Champion PR moves to The Funk Lab on Grand Avenue

Stacey Champion is closing her Treeo space and moving Champion PR to 1007 Grand Avenue. (Kara Carlson/DD)

Stacey Champion will move her business to The Funk Lab on Grand Avenue starting Feb. 1, leaving the historic bungalow that has housed her business at the end of this month.

Treeo will close after Champion, a local activist and head of Champion PR + Consulting, announced she will be moving her business to the new space at 1007 Grand Avenue, a space she will share with Kirby Hoyt, owner of EDGE Industries. Treeo has been home to monthly art exhibits and various community events during its little over two years on Sixth Street.

“We just wanted to make sure that when we took over this space we had a good community component to uplift the arts community since we were coming into this neighborhood,” Champion said.

Champion opened Treeo in October of 2014 with past partners Ashley Harder, owner of Harder Development, and Joe Brklacich, owner of FenSource. All three are involved in the arts community and at the time they were all looking for office space. Once Champion had the idea, she contacted Harder and Brklacich.

“(Champion) was telling me that she was looking for office space and how she had this idea of being able to do creative or art events in the office space,” Harder said. “That’s totally my interest as well so I just jumped on it.”

As they all grew their business it got cramped, so Harder moved out about a year and a half ago and Brklacich moved out last April, leaving Champion PR + Consulting as the only business in Treeo for the past several months. After other Roosevelt Row businesses closed or relocated, Champion said the area lost its sense of community so she decided it was time to move.

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“Now that everyone, including some of the Fifth Street stuff, is gone it feels lonely over here and I’m not willing to kind of wait for everything to get redeveloped,” Champion said.

Champion said one of the reasons she choose Grand for her new location was because it has the community she feels Roosevelt Row now lacks.

“I’ve always loved Grand,” Champion said. “I appreciate the fact that (Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation Director) Beatrice Moore has done a good job of really kind of holding down the fort in that neighborhood to make sure that it’s community-oriented in a lot of ways and I have a lot of friends over there also.”

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“I knew there was enough space that I could accommodate something like what she was looking for,” Hoyt said. “I’ve also been looking for an excuse to kind of put everything back in order and make it less of my personal man cave and get back into more of a studio environment and get back into that (hosting art and community events) again. So, it was just good timing.”

Hoyt has held art and community events at The Funk Lab in the past and Champion said that by moving forward she plans to continue to hold events.

“I’m not committed to doing monthly exhibitions like we have here (at Treeo), mainly because my business is really crazy right now so it’s just a time factor, but just given who I am and the work that I do in the community, absolutely we’ll be doing both public and private events there,” Champion said.

Both Hoyt and Champion said they prefer to work in a creative space so Hoyt hopes they can create a creative environment together.

“I’m just looking forward to having fun,” Hoyt said. “That’s why I like this area. I like a creative environment to do my work and my design. She sounded like she was looking for something like that, to have a creative, open environment, so that’s what we’re going to try to create here.”

Contact the reporter at Stephanie.M.Morse@asu.edu.