Tag Archive for: community spotlight

Community Spotlight: Janelle Blakely Photopoulos of Blakely Interior Design

Our Community Spotlight here at The Mill at Lafayette shines on Blakely Interior Design. Since its inception in 2010, Blakely has been dedicated to collaborating between their team of designers and customer base with their goal to create a dream space for all of their clients.

Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, owner and principal designer of Blakely Interior Design, started out right here at The Hive, the Mill’s shared co-working space. When asked why she chose the Mill as the place to house her expanding business, Janelle says, “It is so exciting for us to come back to our roots where it all began. I love how we have come full circle moving back to the Mill this February to our own brand new design studio. It truly inspires us everyday to see how the business has grown and evolved!”

Blakely moved into a ground level suite in the Rodman Building and quickly transformed the area into a space that showcased their design skills. “To see the transformation of our own 2,000 sq. ft. space, reflecting our brand feels surreal. You have to be in an environment that inspires you to do great work, and we love how our new space turned out!”

Janelle cites the overwhelming support of the people and other businesses here at the Mill as being her favorite part of being in the Mill community. “From dropping off misdirected mail to helping us unload our custom doors, the people have been wonderful. Even when we made a big stink (literally – from our amazing epoxy painted floors) – everyone was so patient and understanding. A few dozen donuts helped!”

Janelle and Blakely Interior Design are dedicated to the business scene, also. “We love to work with local artisans to help showcase their craftsmanship whenever possible on custom pieces for our clients. Not only does it help our local community’s economy, but it provides our clients with something truly unique and special they normally would not find in a big box store.”

Blakely Interior Design truly is a great fit for our wonderful community here at the Mill At Lafayette. Stop by their design studio, visit their website, or contact them today!

Community Spotlight: iDance Academy with Kelly Rountree

This week the Community Spotlight shines on Kelly Rountree, owner of iDance Academy. Kelly earned her

Bachelor of Arts in Dance/Choreography from Rhode Island College and has been dancing since 1985.

iDance Academy has called the Old Carriage house here at the Mill at Lafayette home for almost five years. “The Old Carriage House combines rustic charm with all of the new upgrades made to this beautiful space,” Kelly said when talking about one of the reasons she likes being a tenant. But there is more than just ambiance here.

“I like how everyone in the Mill community seems to bond with every other business here. We help each other build our businesses and get our names out to the entire community together.”

Kelly created her business based on the concept of family. “iDance Academy is my second family. Every student and parent is considered a part of the iDance family and I will do anything I can to help them.” Kelly feels she has found the perfect environment to base her business here at the Mill and that she can better focus on her students “We want all dancers to learn the beautiful art of dance while having fun. Every year I watch all the students grow more and more. I love what I do and I hope to continue to grow our family here in the future.”

Visit iDance Academy to learn about all of the classes that Kelly offers and to find out about her latest schedules and tuition.


Community Spotlight: Rachel Leonard LICSW


Today  the Community Spotlight shines on one of our original tenants, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker Rachel Leonard. “As a LICSW in private practice, I provide therapy for people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief & loss, trauma, or adjusting to difficult life situations.  I provide therapy for tweens, adolescents, adults and families.”

Rachel signed her lease in 2012 and finds that the historic Lafayette Mill was a great fit for her business needs. “I chose the Mill because I loved the way the light poured in the massive windows. I needed a small space with a waiting area and affordability for starting my new business was key.”  Along with these features, Rachel has also found that the nearby walking trails are a bonus if a client would like to ‘walk and talk.’  “The big parking lot, handicapped accessibility, and historical charm were also factors which led me to choose The Mill.”img_8068

When asked what her favorite thing is about being part of The Mill community, Rachel echoes what many of our tenants find appealing. “Personally, my favorite thing about The Mill community is the diversity of the tenants and their businesses.  If myself or a client are in need of other wellness services, financial or business services, they are all here!  While my work is very private, it is nice to know there is always a neighbor nearby.”

As someone who understand the stresses of our modern life, Rachel finds the historical features of The Mill are very grounding in our hectic world.  “It’s nice to be connected to something old, to touch the bricks, watch the water flow, and take a time out at lunch or any other part of a stressful day. I love seeing how The Mill itself changes with the seasons and time of day.”

Rachel is currently accepting new clients who have Blue Cross Blue Shield, United, and Tufts insurances or who wish to self pay.   You may learn more about her and her practice in the Psychology Today therapist directory or her website rachelleonardlicsw.vpweb.com.

Community Spotlight: Jessica Filkins of Jahmu Juice



This month’s edition of our Community Spotlight shines on Jessica Filkins, of Jahmu PBC, a turmeric-ginger chai tea company. Jahmu’s mission is to spread the awareness of the health benefits of turmeric, ginger, and other anti-inflammatory spices, and to make healing herbs readily available (and enjoyable!) to consume.


Jessica is a 27 year-old mermaid, yoga instructor, entrepreneur, and founder of Jahmu PBC. Jahmu has been tenants of the Mill at Lafayette since September of 2014. “We had an office/certified kitchen built-in and it is the perfect space for us,” said Jessica. They’ve recently expanded to take over the adjacent space for additional dry storage.


The Mill was Jessica’s first choice for her business because “they were very accommodating, and able to affordably build out our office/kitchen to fulfill the department of health requirements.” Jessica also doesn’t mind the easy commute from her home in Newport, and loves that the Mill is only 5 minutes away from her parents’ home in Wickford.


One of her favorite aspects of being a tenant of the Mill are the many amenities. The Mill “borders a beautiful park, yet is close to stores, the post office, a train station, and Route 4.” After just a few minute walk, you can be “lost in the woods, laying down in a grassy field, or sitting by a lake.” Jessica loves taking walks in the nearby Ryan Park in every season – especially winter. She also loves the waterfall and picnic tables behind the Mill – a great spot to unwind, eat lunch, or even do a little yoga during a hectic workday!


However, Jessica’s favorite part of being a part of the Mill community is “connecting with other business owners in the building.” She loves the “fun variety of different people and businesses, and everyone is super nice, supportive, and interesting.”


The Hive coworking space is another amazing aspect of everything the Mill has to offer. At The Hive, you’ll find a self-serve Jahmu station where you can purchase Jahmu’s turmeric tea at any time!


Jahmu Chai is an instant turmeric and ginger chai tea inspired by the traditional Indonesian elixir, jamu, and the ancient Indian healing beverage golden milk, a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. Jahmu PBC has created the world’s first instant turmeric-ginger chai tea mixes. Jahmu PBC offers four mix varieties: Jahmu Chai Caffeine Free™, Jahmu Chai With Caffeine™, Sweet Jahmu Chai™ and instant Jahmu Golden Milk™.


Looking for a professional space to settle in and get some serious work done? The Hive RI and the Mill at Lafayette have very affordable options, from open coworking space(s), to individual offices of differing sizes, to a private conference room, or you can even reserve the larger space(s) for your own events, presentations or workshops! Reach out to Tuni at tuni@trsstrategies.com or call 401-255-7413.