Business professionals and artists looking for space for meetings and creative arts have a new option in downtown Denison. The Desk and Easel, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, specializes in offering business and office space for professionals who may not have a location for meetings or other office space.


The new venture was started by husband and wife Cruz and Wendy Acosta, who purchased the building at 319 W. Main, formerly the home of Martha’s Miniatures, about two years ago. Originally, the couple planned to renovate the upstairs portion of the building for loft space, but did not have plans for the bottom floor.


“We had no ideas on what to use the bottom floor for, but we knew it needed to be retail,” Wendy Acosta said.


As the pair brainstormed, they thought of the idea of creating a business space that could be used by professionals who may only need the space a couple days a week or a few hours each day. Acosta said this kinda of space would have been useful to her husband, who had no room to meet with foremen with his small business, and did not want to hold meetings in their home.


Denison Area Chamber of Commerce President Ken Higdon, who helped coordinate the ribbon cutting, said this space could be valuable for many fields that typically work from home rather than a dedicated office. Higdon said this would include such broad careers as accountants, Realtors, insurances sales and other service professions.


The front of the former store front has been opened up and has modern contemporary desk space, tables and other places where one can set up a laptop to work, meet with clients or conduct business during typical business hours for $100 a month. Tenants will be able to make use of high-speed internet, copiers and other professional services while at the location, she said.


Further into the building, three adjoining rooms have been developed into private offices that can be rented out to tenants looking for an extra level of privacy or to dedicate space for their business. A fourth room features a long conference table for professional meetings. Acosta said the space is available at drop-in rate for customers who may only need it for a few hours.


The rear of the building has been set up as an art space dedicated to giving artists of all varieties a place that they can go to focus on their trade. Acosta, who described herself as an artist, said the city has many “kitchen-table artists” who do not have a dedicated space to work and instead do so from their home. A separate room near the front of the building serves as Acosta’s personal art studio.


“I always wanted to make a safe space where artists can create,” she said. “Not everyone has the opportunity to have their own studio.”


Since Jan. 1, sisters CJ Holmes and Catherine Gauthier have rented one of the three private officers for their new business: A Family Member Home Care of Texas. The office, which is modestly decorate with a few books, a picture of the sisters, and two desks, serves as the primary location for their new two-person business.


“We were actually looking for office space and someone told us about this place,” Holmes, who also rents one of the two upstairs lofts, said. “They had just started building it out.”


Beyond simply offering a professional space for the business, Holmes said the location also gave her the chance to network with other smaller business professionals in the area.