Studio on the CommonGail Ockerbloom Freeman opened Studio on the Common, a community space dedicated to creativity, connection, and art in October 2015. Part creative space and part gift shop, Studio on the Common has since been a community buzz spot for its highly appreciated art programs for children and adults; its hosting of community gatherings, private events, and business team off-sites; and for its very selective gift items.

Interview with Gail Ockerbloom Freeman

Tell me a little about yourself and how you started Studio on the Common.

I’m from Winchester, I grew up here, I went to Winchester schools all my life and I actually have worked in high-tech and not-for-profits in the healthcare field since I graduated from Boston College. But I also was a camper and had a grandfather who ran a camp and I’ve also always loved to be around art and creativity. In my work, I was responsible for strategy and business planning and marketing, all of which drew upon creativity and innovation to help differentiate a business or develop a strategy that would actually work. I have always wanted to open something in Winchester that would be a place of creativity and could combine some of what I did as a camper with some of what I did as a business woman and some of what I did as a leader in a not-for-profit organization trying to change healthcare around the world. And this is where I ended up! I’m also pretty convinced that it’s communities that really change things and so I feel very privileged to be in the midst of the community trying to figure out a business!

When you started building your business, what were some of your biggest challenges?
What have been some of your biggest highlights so far?
What do you think has been Studio on the Common’s biggest contribution to Winchester?
What do you want the legacy of your business to be in Winchester?
Do you think being a woman has impacted how people view you as a businessperson?
Who is one woman who has inspired you?
Any advice to other female entrepreneurs?