Rusty Wright and Jason Domingues have a different idea about what a workplace should be. And, along with Jason’s wife, Allison, they have created that vision on Mission’s Johnson Drive in a space called Bonfire. They predict more creatives are going to call Johnson Drive home.
Wright and Domingues are both photographers, some might think of them as natural competitors in the business world. But they have created Bonfire as a shared space and are bringing other creatives in to take up residence. Already, they have been joined by husband and wife team Nate and Meagan Borozinski. Nate and Meagan are primarily photographers, too, but Nate works in industrial design as well. Soon the back of the building will house Survival Letterpress operated by Joey Gross.
Besides photography, Domingues is a leather crafter and Wright is a woodworker. Domingues says he will custom make almost any order from leather. His Prairie Goods line can be ordered at Bonfire or online. Wright for the moment is producing custom picture frames from a variety of woods.
While they share space, their businesses are completely separate. “This is just the place where our own businesses operate,” Wright says. Both are location photographers and specialize in weddings. They didn’t want a typical studio. After looking a lots of space around the metro, they settled on Johnson Drive as the perfect spot. “I think in two years, this place (Johnson Drive) is going to be real popular,” Domingues says. “We are lucky to get in here now.”
The space now has a meeting space, shooting area, office desk space, Jason’s leather-working bench, Rusty’s wood-working equipment, plenty of open space and storage and the separate rear area for the letterpress operation. They have room for more people to share.
“The most important thing we are building here is the mix of people,” Wright says. “(It’s) the synergy of being together that you don’t get from working alone.” Everyone already at Bonfire would get a voice in approving a new tenant.
On the Bonfire site, the partners describe it as a “place to congregate, discuss, learn, get hands-on and help each other get better; and have fun in the process.” Wright says, “we want people in here.” Already, once a month they are streaming the “One Million Cups” meeting from the Kaufmann Foundation and inviting the public in to watch and share coffee. They haven’t ruled out offering the space for public meetings.
“We want more creatives in here,” they say, and they don’t have to be photographers. And they are inviting more creatives to look at Johnson Drive. “We are pumped about downtown Mission,” Wright says. “We are telling more people about Johnson Drive.”
Bonfire is located at 6104 Johnson Drive. More pictures of the space can be found here.