This month, we take a look at three of Columbia’s businesses – The Basement Reef, Iron Moe’s, and Sawdust Studios.
The Basement Reef
Having been an aquarium enthusiast for a while, Anthony Willroth finally decided to open his own shop, The Basement Reef, in July.
The Basement Reef is an aquatic store and houseplant shop with a wide variety of saltwater and freshwater life, including fish, invertebrates, plants, and corals.
In the future, Anthony hopes to incorporate fun and interesting lessons revolving around aquariums. His goal is for them to be a unique and alternative way of learning, and he has even started teaching some online.
Anthony is not alone in his new aquatic business endeavor, however. Dr. Mitch Tucker, his business partner, holds a PhD in biology and works as a professor in New York. Mitch Zooms into the classes being held at the store to share his knowledge with customers.
Classes are up now through the Basement Reef’s social media. Anthony believes these classes are needed now more than ever as an alternative to hands-on science experience.
“Iron” Moe Ricee has opened his own shop, Iron Moe’s Tattooing, after being requested frequently by his previous clients and friends. His new shop officially opened at the beginning of August. Specializing in fine-detailed tattoos for all of his clients, Iron Moe’s provides Columbia with a great experience for all.
Iron Moe strives to provide a place where every person that comes in feels welcomed into a warm and inviting atmosphere. “A lot of people who come in don’t know much about tattoos, which is fine because that’s our job, as artists, to inform and help,” Moe says. “I want to be the guy that creates the place where everyone is welcome, and you’re not going to be [judged] for any questions or ideas you have.”
Iron Moe hopes to open another shop in the future, but for now, he wants to welcome everyone into his new shop.
“Carpentry and woodworking is certainly a passion of both of ours, and we wanted — and saw the need — to bring that to more folks in Columbia,” John Walter, co-owner of Sawdust Studios, says. After seven months of planning, John and Cruz Chavez opened Sawdust Studios in July.
John describes Sawdust Studios as “a gym for woodworkers.” Members are given keycard access to the studio 24 hours every day. They bring in their own lumber, Sawdust Studios provides the tools, and they can make whatever they want.
“There’s a lot of makerspaces all over the country, but they’re not catering to woodworkers,” John says. But Sawdust Studios does. Right now, the business is focusing on safety and sanitation as COVID-19 looms large over small businesses, but in the future, the pair’s goal is to have 200 woodworkers as members of the shop. Once they’ve achieved this, the possibility of more locations will be explored.