Creativity, innovation and dedication—three crucial pieces for success. The ability to reimagine, rebuild and see it through.
Robert and Laura Zeidler possess these amongst other important qualities. Embodying what it means to pursue passion as an entrepreneur, they chose to invest in Hamilton’s future by transforming a piece of its past. An old mill that dates back to 1900 when it was still known as the Imperial Cotton Company is now the epicentre of creativity in Hamilton’s vibrant downtown.
The three story, 20 000 square foot main building—just one of six buildings on the property—is home to more than 140 tenants, which span from independent artists and makers to small businesses. One of its most alluring characteristics are the large windows that span the facade, lighting the interior of studios and common areas. Its charm and openness can be attributed to the seamless blend of historic elements and modern amenities.
Walking through the building is like scrolling through the yellow pages—I pass architects, aerial acrobatics classes, graphic designers, builders, artisans and industrial designers like my friends at The Rock Paper Scissors Co.—the overarching theme remaining consistent: creation.
One of my favourite tenants is Ushi Mart; a brand intent on reshaping the fashion landscape through their one-of-a-kind pieces. Ethically made to last with up-cycled materials that not only reduces their environmental impact but also contribute to the unique nature of each piece. Another neat stop that also bridges old and new is All Sorts Press; a letterpress printing and design studio that uses early-mid century printing presses to produce luxury print matter.
For the many individuals and teams in search of affordable workspace, The Cotton Factory offers CoWork, which is host to shared workspaces, private offices, meeting rooms and other useful features typically only available in large, pricy offices. Beyond these functional perks, CoWork encourages community and collaboration with networking events guaranteed to redefine the infamous ‘let’s connect’. Take that, LinkedIn. Oh and yes, it also features those splendid windows, wooden beams, exposed brick and hardwood floors—because being in a good environment is as important as any other part of the process.
Six years after the renovation, The Cotton Factory continues to evolve. A brilliant example of artistic expression in the city. A space for creation, collaboration and community.