A local business, owned by two 20-somethings, is moving to Main Street to join the Southside revival.
“Twelve months ago, we were at a team of three,” Nick Macco, 26, founder of Southtree.com, said. “We’re up to a team of 10 now, plus a few part-time employees. We had an outing with our entire team and their family and friends, [and] we couldn’t get enough tables at the restaurant. That’s a great problem to have.”
The company, which helps preserve aging home movies and photos digitally, started in a garage before leaders moved to the current offices on South Broad Street. After three years of 70 percent growth, the company needed more room and decided to move to the SoHo Building on Main Street.
Macco said he expects an equal amount of growth this year and said he will likely soon be hiring more employees. He is constantly looking for “talented and driven people” who may find a place at Southtree.
“It’s required a lot of reinvestment to handle the close to 1,000 home movies we’re now digitizing each day,” he said.
Most of the company’s business-98 percent-is outside Chattanooga. But Macco said he still gets business from locals.
“To accommodate the growing number of drop-offs, we’re dedicating the front of our new location as a showroom for customers to drop in with their home movies and photos,” he said. “It will be open and beautiful, with standing tables to meet with one of our experts to discuss what they have and how we can help. We’ll have some cool vintage pieces on display, too.”
Southtree co-founder, Adam Boeselager, 25, hopes to have a “functional ’50s Coke machine,” Macco said.
To that Macco said, “We’ll see.”
But the duo does know they are exposing the old brick in the building and that they will have a showroom, 2,000 square feet of production space and offices, Macco said.
Also moving into the building with Southtree is a company called Whiteboard.
“Whiteboard is a creative agency devoted to for-purpose ventures,” Eric Brown, company co-founder, said. “We spend our time building brand platforms that utilize creative media, Web and social mediums. These platforms serve as reflections of the people we work with and the communities they’re leading.”
Including Brown, the company now has five full-time employees. Brown and his business partner, Taylor Jones, both 25, started the business two years ago.
Brown and his wife, Katie, made the decision to stay in Chattanooga in 2010. And now, moving to Main
Street is an important milestone.
“I had a job offer in New York City when my wife told me I should think about taking the Whiteboard idea seriously,” he said. “In a society that often determines where you live by where you get a job, we believe the contrary. We wanted Chattanooga to be our home. We’re excited about joining the many cohorts on Main. The area is a constant reminder of where this city has come from and what it is becoming.”
Updated @ 9:30 a.m. on 03/23/2012 to correct a typo.