Turns out this latest effort to webify Wellesley is the handiwork of an entrepreneurial local couple, Linda and Gabe Cole, and a relative of theirs. Their backgrounds are in law, business/engineering and finance.
Linda tells us a bit more about WellesleySquare.com, a sort of virtual town square that will give local businesses with or without storefronts a better web presence. The plan is to get it up and running during the second quarter, and the Squared Ventures team is reaching out to local merchants now.
Our site will be twofold: We will offer (1) pages dedicated to merchants possessing a brick-and-mortar storefront that actively strive to direct more traffic in to their stores and (2) an accompanying virtual gallery and marketplace for local merchants, artists, craftspeople, and service providers who have rich offerings absent a physical presence.
WellesleySquare.com won’t focus exclusively on Wellesley:
We use Wellesley Square figuratively, in that we will, of course, welcome businesses throughout Wellesley and in nearby towns that wish to participate (especially given that many of our cherished shops have moved to Needham or Natick due to escalating rents).
Wellesley Square is not simply our first site but extremely important to me personally, given my family’s history here [the Coles’ kids are the fifth generation of Linda’s family to call Wellesley home]. I would like my children to enjoy many more years of being able to walk to a vibrant downtown area, where faces are familiar and favorite places can continue to thrive.
The Squared Ventures team plans to replicate their Wellesley model in a few other New England communities that lend themselves to it. The team has not accepted outside funding, but might.
On the drawing board is a forum through which patrons can share stories about prized items acquired through local merchants and perhaps store histories.