Monday, May 16, 2022

Here’s a place in town where entrepreneurs can ‘connect and collaborate’

VIRGINIA BEACH — Some see entrepreneurs as people who have a talent for recognizing an opportunity, usually in the business world, and usually with the intention of making money from that opportunity.

Then there are those who see entrepreneurs — or at least some of them — as a little bit, shall we say, adventurous.

Megan Hogan is an entrepreneur of sorts and she hopes her new business, The Annex, helps others not only survive, but also thrive.

The Annex is a place where people can connect and even collaborate, Hogan said. It’s a place where “creative entrepreneurs” can get out of the house or the neighborhood coffee shop and meet with clients, or simply brainstorm with others.

“I want The Annex to be a directory for businesses,” she said. “There’s just something about a change of locality that reinvigorates your ideas.”

The idea for The Annex began when Hogan’s Navy husband Chris — who co-owns the business — was on a nine-month deployment. She found herself without much to occupy her time. She picked up furniture to refurbish and sell and did some business on eBay.

Later she started helping people with their marketing and branding, at no cost.

Soon she found her calendar full of meetings and lunches and she decided she needed a base of operations.

At a ViBe Creative District event, Hogan met the owner of Superior Pawn, which is located on Virginia Beach Boulevard. One thing led to another and a former garage space at the pawn shop was soon transformed into The Annex.

The financing behind the business venture came from money Chris had been saving for a car.

“I told him, bet on me instead,” Megan Hogan said.

Inside The Annex there is a meeting room that can be rented; a bright, open space with tables and chairs that can be used for trainings or presentations or meetings or even photography sessions; and there are six desks for rent in an area being used as a “boutique” office area (one desk remains open, and Megan Hogan hopes someone with a talent for graphic design and photography might soon occupy it).

“It’s a quality over quantity type of thing,” she said.

The Annex also hosts a business book club on the second Tuesday and Thursday of each month (6:30-7:30 p.m. and 12-1 p.m. respectively). It’s just like a regular book club but the reading material focuses on business or personal success. About a dozen people attend each session.

“The books are strategically planned conversation starters,” she said. “We meet with each other and we brainstorm. Everybody calls it their home away from home.”

She said many people who frequent The Annex have recently started a new venture or they’re ready to take what they’ve been doing to the next level.

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