Photos & Video by Ryan Stopera
Meet Jessica Barrett and Sarah Johnson, two of the leaders behind Machine Shop, one of the 12 values-driven businesses that have come together in support of Pollen’s mission to change our collective story for the better. Together, they challenge Pollenites to raise $20,000 by Give to the Max Day on November 14, which they will match dollar for dollar.
All About Machine Shop
The Machine Shop is a historic event venue located in the St. Anthony Main neighborhood of Minneapolis. Machine Shop hosts a variety of events, including weddings, galas, and local markets—all reflecting a diverse and culturally rich Twin Cities community. “In a world with declining opportunities for human connection, we create a space for gathering and celebration,” says executive director Jessica Barrett.
The Break Room lounge space at Machine Shop is also open to the public on Monday nights, with small plates and cocktails. “We want it to be an extension of the community feeling from our events,” says sales director Sarah Johnson. That community feeling also extends into Machine Shop’s annual employee celebration, which turns into what the team calls “a very exuberant karaoke party.”
POLLEN: What is your greatest source of pride in your work?
I feel corny saying it, but our job is making dreams come true on a daily basis. Some of our events have been planned for months or years, some even a lifetime. Holding a space for the stories that are being told here is a privilege and honor.
POLLEN: Where do you find your greatest sense of community?
Our community starts with our team working at the space. We believe in taking care of each other and taking care of the vendors working in the space. These are the people who make it all happen and the strength of that community leads to purposeful events for our clients.
POLLEN: What are the core values of your business?
The Machine Shop team took a team retreat to create a mission statement and core values. Our pillars are quality, innovation, integrity, and community. We want our space to be a positive, inclusive, and intersectional part of our community where vendors, clients, guests, and staff have the freedom to create a collaborative environment. We strive to be a place where integrity and innovation align.
POLLEN: What responsibilities do you feel as a business leader in your community?
We want to be a leader in our industry in small but meaningful ways. For example, shifting away from language that focuses on “bride and groom” to more gender neutral options, so no one feels excluded during the planning process.
Join Jessica & Sarah: DONATE TO MATCH THE HIVE TODAY
Find Machine Shop and give them an online hug for supporting Pollen.