This month, we take a look at three of Columbia’s newest businesses or locations – Tradesman International, Moon Yoga, and Now Loading.
Tradesmen International wants to help Columbia grow. Though the national company was founded in 1992, the Columbia branch opened its doors just five years ago. Since then, Tradesmen International has assembled a varied workforce of craftsmen to be hired out on an as-needed basis.
“We consider ourselves a labor support company,” says Luke Reft, current manager of the Columbia branch. “We employ skilled construction workers from all different trades.” Outside contractors can then hire Tradesmen International workers with flexibility. Luke says the company’s method saves contractors money over time, since scaling their workforce up or down as needed allows contractors to avoid paying unnecessary wages.
Tradesmen International is looking to grow alongside the town.
“Columbia is a growing market,” Luke says. “We’re always looking to hire more skilled guys, more skilled trade workers. Our goal is to work with more and more contractors and build our partnerships and grow from there.”
403 Vandiver Dr., Ste. E
Moon Yoga Studio
Amber Treece fell in love. She spent several years in Arizona learning the art of vinyasa yoga and hasn’t looked back from this yoga practice, which allows students of any level to be free but also mindful, she says. Amber noticed that Columbia was lacking a vinyasa studio and held pop-up donation yoga classes for charities or local organizations for more than a year. In March, she opened Moon Yoga Studio, where she’s both founder and instructor.
It’s not just a yoga class; Moon Yoga Studio creates an experience, she says. “The instructor is part yoga teacher, part DJ, and part light master,” Amber says. Lights and music are changed throughout the space, which has exposed brick walls in each room. “This style of yoga will challenge body and mind while bringing you tools to live as stress free a lifestyle as possible,” she says.
23 S. Fourth St.
Jazz Youngblood came home from a study abroad trip with an idea. Inspired by the internet cafés of South Korea, Jazz wanted to import a new brand of entertainment through Now Loading. Opened in March, Now Loading is a cross between a 21st century arcade and a digital media workshop. Jazz says Now Loading’s current services include virtual reality birthday parties and events. As Now Loading grows, Jazz says a permanent location will offer access to modern arcade-style gaming and a high-end digital media studio.
“As gamers and content creators, it’s extremely solo,” Jazz says. “We don’t get a whole lot of human interaction. I want to create a community space for people who are interested in anything digital media or gaming.” Drawing a parallel between Columbia and South Korea, Jazz emphasizes the importance of local community. “Gamers and creators will be able to make bigger things because they have more people and resources.”
500 E. Walnut St.