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FunTimes Magazine

“The Colab”- The Place of Opportunity

Aug 16, 2023 02:00PM ● By Kyrah Page

Image: The Colab via Google

The idea of starting your own business and escaping the restrictions of a typical 9-to-5 job is generally what draws aspiring entrepreneurs. Even though this road has an irresistible charm, it is important to recognize that it is not for those who are weak in heart. Before the realities of success, there are intense challenges and unchanging realities that every entrepreneur must face. However, there are people out there waiting and willing to give someone a shot… as an entrepreneur, you just have to be bold and brave enough to take it.

Let me introduce to you a young woman who created a space to provide a platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses. 24-year-old, Alyse, opened a space called “The Colab” originally on November 26, 2021. After 7 months, they relocated to a new store for a better opportunity and are still standing strong today!

“The Colab” located in Monroeville Pennsylvania in Monroeville Mall, is not just a regular store. It's a hub of diverse experiences, bringing together various brands, entertainment, food, culture, and innovative concepts under one roof. Among the many stores that line the mall, "The Colab" stands out as a beacon of creativity and community. What truly sets "The Colab" apart is its unwavering commitment to supporting local artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and creators. The store serves as a platform for emerging talent, providing them with an opportunity to display their craft to a wider audience. Every item in the store comes with a story and a face behind it. This not only adds a personal touch to the shopping experience but also strengthens the local creative community. The store often hosts events, pop-ups, and workshops that encourage artists and customers to come together, exchange ideas, and learn from one another.


I sat down with the owner, Alyse, to discuss her motivation behind starting “The Colab.” 

“I wanted to “create revenue” for myself, so my dad offered his barbershop as a space to utilize.,” She stated, “I figured I could host some kind of event to bring my family/friends out but didn’t know how. That’s important too, I’m very big about bringing people together. Then I started researching what I could do, and I found out about “pop-up shops,” I figured out the method and then started hosting them all over the city, (success Barbershop, community forge, highland park, Frick Park, etc.) As I grew, the vendors (small businesses) started to follow me & loved what I was doing and asked if I could create a space for them to sell their stuff daily, I thought about the mall because they have decent foot traffic so I ran with that then boom!”

As I stated previously, being an entrepreneur is rewarding but it can be tough. I asked Alyse about her struggles while on this journey and some advice she could give based on said struggles. She stated a few in particular that stood out. “One of the things I struggled with was starting a business with a business partner I didn't know much about. I also struggled with getting vendors and relocating to a new location.” Alyse then said, “Create contracts, make sure everything is written on paper or via email. Also, make sure to use clear and concise communication with everyone you come in contact with (business or not).”

Alyse has worked hard to create a sense of community and is a pillar of that same community. As an entrepreneur, small business, & vendor at “The Colab” I can personally attest to how being there has helped me grow and provided me with the exposure I wouldn’t have had otherwise. When it comes to networking and hustling all it takes is one opportunity to take your brand to the next level. I went from making merchandise out of my house to having a space in a store to sell it. 


"The Colab" is more than just a retail space; it's a celebration of local business owners, a platform for collaboration, and a nexus of creativity. This store has successfully carved out a niche that resonates with the spirit of Pittsburgh's local business scene. "The Colab" offers an experience that's both enriching and inspiring. A visit to this store is not just a shopping trip; it's a journey into the heart of the Pittsburgh creative community.





Contact Information

136 Mall Circle Dr. Monroeville, PA 15146

 Kyrah Page is currently a student at Lincoln University. She is also the CEO and founder of her own brand called “Keepin’ It Kultured.” Where she combines art with activism to empower, inspire and educate the Black community. She advocates for change, promotes black positivity, and addresses controversial issues. Kyrah is many things but most importantly she is an activist.

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