Room to breathe: Oconomowoc痴 unique new meeting space

By Ryan Billingham - Enterprise Staff

March 13, 2014

Laura Kiley sits in her new meeting space Loft 24. She will be hosting an open house on Friday, March 21, to introduce the community to the business.     
Ryan Billingham/Enterprise Staff

OCONOMOWOC - Space is always at a premium. Parties, meetings, sales gatherings and birthday parties often strain office and household spaces and can lead to a stressful environment.

Laura Kiley has what she hopes will be the answer for area groups, parents, businesses, artists and home-based retailers who need some breathing room: Loft 24.

She has filled the upstairs space at 24 S. Main St. with an eclectic collection of vintage furnishings and is opening the space for groups and individuals to rent.

的 have a lot of friends that do home based-businesses like Mary Kay. Many of them were saying, 選t would be nice to have a place to go and not have the house messed up,樗 Kiley said.

Kiley said since Studio, Etc., an off-site meeting area rental business, closed she was having trouble finding the right place to host art classes through her business Traveling Craft Co. - many of her clients felt reluctant about hosting art classes in their homes, wary of messes and potential damage.

She took it upon herself to remedy the problem.

的 said, 選知 just going for it,樗 she said. 的知 going to open a space that people can afford to use.

Kiley pointed out that many of meeting space options in the area are expensive, with rental fees for everything from paper towels to catering.

Her business model keeps it simple. She said there is no need for costly rentals because clients can bring anything they need. She will have two rental options and 殿 la carte items. The space can be rented for an entire day or just an hour.

The location, she said, is convenient, too. The mall downstairs features a game room and a pizza restaurant.

She said that helping nonprofits will be part of her mission and organizations already are lining up to use the space.

On Friday, March 21, from 5 to 10 p.m., Loft 24 will host an open house with complimentary appetizers, desserts and beverages.

The event will also help Kiley refine the space, which features a projected screen on one wall complete with a Nintendo Wii and a comfortable sitting area that looks perfect for a movie night.

的 want people to be honest with me, she said. 的 want to know how it can be improved.

The large space has been filled with furniture and vintage decorations that feature Kiley痴 fun-loving tastes. One wall is papered entirely in children痴 book pages; another features old player piano reels.

Kiley said she loves collecting quirky pieces and she now has a place to put them to good use and, hopefully, help the community thrive.

It took only a month for Kiley to furnish the space. She痴 a seasoned thrift store and vintage store shopper and used Craigslist to find inexpensive, yet unique pieces for the loft.

的知 not a hoarder, but I love collecting, she said, smiling.

For more information about Loft 24 call 262-354-830, visit www.loft24wi.com or email contact@loft24wi.com.