Wachusett Business Incubator Launches Intersect Event Series

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The Wachusett Business Incubator, a business environment dedicated to fostering economic growth in the North Central Massachusetts region announces a new event series open to the public.  The Intersect Series focuses on the confluence of the Arts and Business Strategy.

“The Intersect Series spotlights individuals and their enterprises building successful business models  that engage in Arts and Cultural phenomenon,” announces executive director Scott M. Graves. ” Each event will focus on a particular topic and each are designed so you get the most out of attending our exciting offerings.”

Each event will be hosted by a professional in the area of expertise covered or panel discussions.  Morning, afternoon and evening times have been selected on the calendar for 2020 to accommodate as many different situations for our audience as possible.  The WBI always has coffee, tea and beverages on hand and select events will include light fare and entertainment as applicable.


The 2020 inaugural Intersect series will feature a panel discussion recounting the experience of building a natural fibers ecosystem.  Our panel will consist of leading members of our regional natural fibers ecosystem including loom operators, marketers, producers and farmers.  Register for our January 17, 2020 event.  

This event will also feature natural fibers materials and products on display, some for your purchase and artwork featured artist of Gallery Sitka East and West operated by Tamar Russell.  Locally Sources hors d’ouvres and beverages will also be available.

Panel Biographies

Michelle Parrish is one of the founding members of Western Massachusetts Fibershed. Western Mass Fibershed’s first project was a woolen yardage project funded through California Fibershed’s affiliate micro-grant program in 2018. Garments constructed from this locally sourced, spun, and woven woolen cloth are on display at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, MA. The exhibit Fibershed: From Farm to Fashion Within Fifty Miles is up from November 5th, 2019 – Jan. 3rd, 2020. Ten local designers created these unique pieces. Michelle has a master weaver certificate from the Hill Institute in Florence, MA, and is a founding member of the New England Flax and Linen Study Group. She is also a natural dyer and educator, and her dyed pieces are currently part of an exhibit at the Botanical Garden at Smith College in Northampton, MA. The exhibit The Art and Science of Dyeing is open through May 2020. Michelle teaches workshops and gives demonstrations in natural dyeing and the flax-to-linen process around the region. She blogs about her dyeing, plant growing, and fiber projects at http://localcolordyes.com

Peggy Hart of Bedfellows Blankets is a teacher and production weaver. She designs, produces, and markets hundreds of blankets each year, including custom blankets for sheep and alpaca farmers using their own yarn. Her weaving career has followed the stages of wool’s technological development: Hart began as a hand spinner and weaver, dyeing wool with natural dyes. As a Peace Corps Volunteer she started a handspinning and weaving workshop in Kenya. Upon returning, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, worked as a weaver in one of the last mills in Rhode Island, and bought her first industrial loom. She weaves on totally obsolete Crompton & Knowles W-3 industrial looms. Peggy is the author of Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation published by Schiffer Books in 2017.

Katie Cavacco is a multidisciplinary maker and textile upcycler with a passion for creative reuse and repair. Raised in Franklin County, a lifelong love of sewing led her to a BFA in Fashion Design from MassArt in Boston; a love of sustainability took her to University of the Arts London for MA Fashion Futures in sustainable fashion systems; and a love of place brought her back to western MA.

Her business, Free Ramblin’ Kids, features comfortable, handmade, eco-friendly footwear for young children, along with toys, accessories, and dress-ups for children using upcycled wool. A love of handwork inspires her meticulous hand-stitched details.

Erin Kiewel was born and raised in Gardner MA. She holds a duel BFA in Fashion Design and Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She currently apprentices for Peter Erickson of Erickson Silver, learning the tradition of making handwrought silverware. She also had a custom clothing and production sewing company called Almost. Her love of craftsmanship roots her making practice. Her consideration the legacy of each piece means her pieces are future heirlooms. She teaches sewing classes to her community to give the magic of creating something by hand to as many people as possible. She enjoys knitting, mending clothes, and the art of tatting. Erin is on the executive committee of the Chair City Legacy Makerspace.

Keith Tetreault of Plainview Farms with his wife Debra Intrieri have been raising alpacas for nine years in Hubbardston, Ma.Keith grew up with assorted animals.His first experience with a llama included a kiss. Currently Keith and Debra have 41 alpacas and three llamas. Keith shears his own alpacas and shears locally for other owners.All fiber is used in some form. Some is sold to local artisans, yarn is produced at a mill in Brandon Vt. Fiber is also sent to a company in Fall River Ma that produces clothing such as socks, hats, mittens, etc. which we buy back and sell at many local events along with in our gift shop at the farm.Keith and Debra also make items.  Keith also owns Ultimate Reglaze Inc. bath tub refinishing.

Scott M. Graves, Host is executive director and a founding board member of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of Smash Music, an independent music education and merchandising company in Massachusetts. Prior to a career in business development and advocacy, Scott was a leading jazz educator in New England and performing artist.  The programs of the Wachusett Business Incubator reflect his efforts to unite the most meaningful elements of the fine and performing arts with non-predatory business models.

Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.

WBI Business Spotlight: Wood You Build It


Wood You Build It

  • Wachusett Business Incubator Leadership Candidate
  • In Business: 2 years
  • Outstanding Goals
    • To transition from craftsman to CEO
    • To develop job opportunities nationally for others
    • To develop real estate opportunities.

What WBI is providing

  • Leadership Training
  • Financial Skills training
  • Business Planning
  • Strategic Partnership Development
  • Assistance Developing Investment opportunities

Wachusett Business Incubator is assisting Justin and Kate Robichaud to transition from a successful sole proprietorship to a national franchise model, making it possible for thousands of craftsman to realize their dream of owning their own business while Justin and Kate realize theirs.

How can WBI Help Me?

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Membership in the Wachusett Business Incubator

The Wachusett Business Incubator develops novel programs for the marketplace.  But it is also available to you as a co-working space.

We want to let you know we’re here for you when you need a desk for a bit of time, or require a meeting space for the day and want to surround yourself with other like-minded folks building, innovating and taking part in a positive business community.  

Want to learn more? Contact us today or find membership and daily rates here.   Here is an overview of membership services.  


Membership Program

Members of Wachusett Business Incubator have access to a number of services based on membership level.  Some of the benefits of membership with tenancy include:

  • Having a bonafide business address where member can meet with clients or customers, suppliers, and colleagues
  • Access to the on-site executive director
  • Access to shared equipment and high speed internet
  • Ability to schedule the use of presentation space for workshops, seminars and other presentations for groups of up to 30 people
  • Networking opportunities

Full-Time Tenant   $390/month

A full-time tenant membership has unlimited use of a dedicated, furnished office space within the incubator. Additionally, This tenant has access to the shared conference room and presentation spaces (by appointment), kitchen/coffee area, and all of the equipment including high speed internet, printer/copier/fax machine. Additionally, full-time tenants can request time to meet with the executive director for business planning consultation.

Shared Tenancy   $195/month

Shared tenancy entitles the member to a shared, furnished office space, for up to 20 hours per week. The schedule for use of that office space is pre-arranged. While in the office, the tenant has access to the shared conference and presentation spaces (by appointment), kitchen/coffee area, and all of the equipment including high speed internet, printer/copier/fax machine. Additionally, He or she can request time to meet with the executive director for business planning consultation.

Affiliate Member  $185/year

An affiliate member is entitled to a 2-hour business planning consultation with the executive director and may request consultation with other professionals at a member rate. Additionally, an affiliate can schedule use of the conference room or presentation space, including kitchen/coffee area at a discounted rate.

Day Trippers   $25/day

Day Trippers may utilize all public areas, host small meetings at one of the existing tables.  You may also choose between conference rooms pending availability.


Wachusett Business Incubator announces Open Hours

The Wachusett Business Incubator is pleased to announce we will be hosting open office hours with our executive director Scott M. Graves

Hours will take place weekly on Fridays from 10:00AM to 12:00PM and Mondays 5:00PM-7:00PM.  Prospective entrepreneurs are encouraged to call or message WBI ahead of time to secure a time slot but nobody will be turned away during these time slots.

Why meet with Scott during open hours?  Prospective candidates for the WBI Leadership Candidates Program, as well as individuals interested in our membership programs, training programs and other amenities should consider meeting a worthwhile endeavor.

The WBI will also present topics of discussion, feature our existing candidates and other programming, offer special services and host social functions from time to time during open hours.  Check our schedule to find out more.

We want to hear from you!  Come prepared with your ideas, concepts to present, questions to be answered and energy to join our ever-growing community of like-minded entrepreneurs and industry professionals.

Open Hours will begin December 2, 2019.  

Scott M. Graves is Executive Director of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of Smash Music, an independent music education and merchandising company in Massachusetts.

Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.

Our Latest Video: Follow Your Dream

Why are you listening to those outer voices that keep you from realizing your goals?  

Let’s face it, even the folks that love us the most at times compromise our ability to take risks.  While this comes out of love, taking risks and discovering new capabilities is at the heart of what it means to be alive.


The Wachusett Business Incubator represents a comprehensive set of resources that can help you launch.  And that boils down to people.  Here you’ll find the people that can help you, support you, be a part of your entrepreneurial community.

Love Learning!  Join us and follow that inner voice that knows who you really want to be!

Scott M. Graves

executive director