We had the good fortune of connecting with Reda Hicks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reda, how have you been affected by Covid-19?
Typically, GotSpot is in the business of finding other businesses space for daily use. But in the wake of COVID-19, with stay-at-home orders in place and many businesses closed, this model really hasn’t worked. GotSpot’s typical traffic ground to a screeching halt. What we quickly learned, though, is that while businesses aren’t currently in need of space, there are plenty of emergency response activities happening right now in which space is a critical component. Community kitchen space is needed; warehousing to store relief goods and then space to distribute them is needed; space for pop-up clinics, cold storage, temporary pet boarding for first responders and families battling the illness–GotSpot could still help, and in big ways. So we launched a program called RescueSpot to help address these needs. And, of course, GotSpot will be there to help when businesses start reopening.
What should our readers know about your business?
GotSpot is short-term space for business, like Airbnb, but for daily rental of storefronts, studios, commercial kitchens, and more. We’re the marketplace where businesses that have space, and businesses that need to borrow space, can find one another. With GotSpot, local brick-and-mortar businesses are a space resource for entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are a new revenue source for local businesses. Our mission is connected, resilient business communities everywhere, and we’re getting there by building successful, lasting relationships between all kinds of local businesses. All marketplaces have their challenges, and GotSpot is no exception. Getting started is in large part an awareness game, and we’re working hard every day to reach new SpotHolders and new SpotSeekers to make connections between them and help GotSpot grow. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that connection is key. Building the right connections in a community can help it weather all kinds of storms. Whether it’s economic downturn or actual storms like the ones we face in Houston, connected, collaborative communities are the ones that survive and thrive. That’s why GotSpot is focused on teaching businesses to think of each other as resources. When the Etsy entrepreneur and the local boutique, or the personal chef and the local cafe, or the maker and the local logistics company think of each other as business resources every day, they also think of each other in a crisis. And the whole community benefits from having built those muscles.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My family loves to do all kinds of things in Houston, but most of those visits center around food. We love to take friends for breakfast at Down House, lunch at the Hobbit Cafe, or dinner at Tin Roof BBQ where the kids can play while we enjoy some live music. We also love grabbing coffee, usually at A 2nd Cup, because it’s great coffee with a great mission. We enjoy taking people to visit the Museum District. The Natural Science Museum and the Holocaust Museum are personal favorites. We also love checking out the Houston Zoo, especially with friends who have kids. And my husband and I love the theater. We catch every Broadway show and every TUTS show as well. COVID-19 has also seen us spending a lot of time outdoors. We’ve loved exploring the Jesse Jones Nature Center, the Mercer Botannical Gardens, the Lake Houston Wilderness Area, and Deussen Park. We’ve also taken up foot golf as a family. It’s basically golf with a soccer ball, and a hole so big my three-year-old can sit in it. So much fun!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been blessed with a tremendous amount of help in my entrepreneurship journey! A ton of people and organizations have cheered me on, been resources, and made invaluable connections. One organization that has been particularly helpful to me is Bunker Labs. Bunker has provided me with opportunities to grow my business, like pitch competitions, the Launch Lab Online program and the Veterans in Residence partnership with WeWork. But most importantly, Bunker has provided me with a tremendous community of other entrepreneurs around the country who are invested in each other’s success.
Instagram: @gotspotinc and @hicks426
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/rmhicks and https://www.linkedin.com/companies/gotspotinc
Twitter: @gotspotinc and @hicks426
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/redamhicks and http://www.facebook.com/gotspotinc
Bio Picture (GotSpot backdrop)–Charlie Horse Photography Black-and-White group shot–David Tenenbaum “Rosie the Riveter” Group Shot–Lawrence Ream Photography