A space to share knowledge

Argus-Press Photo/Sally YorkOwners Jamison and Michael Nazarian are shown inside their Dabble Community Enrichment Center, a new place to share and learn various skills, located at 210 N. Saginaw St. in downtown Durand and set to open Jan. 3.

DURAND — People who’d like to share skills or learn new ones might have a new destination in downtown Durand: Dabble Community Enrichment Center.

Located at 210 N. Saginaw St. and set to open Jan. 3, Dabble is already signing up students for a variety of classes, including job interviews and resume-building, navigating Google, Facebook for businesses and many others.

“It’s going to open up a lot more opportunities to learn something new that could be a pastime or turn into a side business,” said Jamison Nazarian, co-owner of Dabble with husband Michael Nazarian. “We’re bringing more education to Durand.”

At the same time, Dabble presents an “opportunity for anyone who has a passion for something and wants to teach people about it,” Michael Nazarian said.

To keep things creative and wide-ranging, Dabble instructors can lead classes in any subject they’d like — as long as it’s legal, he said. The idea is, if an offered course is worthwhile, students will fill the room.

“This is Uber for education. Anybody can register to teach,” he said. “Lots of people have skills but no credentials.”

Dabble teachers can rent a classroom space or share a portion of enrollment fees to Dabble. Prospective students can check out course offerings and register at wedabble.org.

Classes will take place inside 3,500-square feet of building space, the former home of Charter One bank. The Nazarians purchased the structure, which had been vacant for years, and updated it with new paint, lighting and flooring.

The main level features white boards, tables and chairs and, coming soon, a 65-inch wall TV and projector equipment. The lower level is set up with comfortable chairs and monitors for gaming classes and tournaments. A back room is being renovated to serve as an audio-video studio, where Michael Nazarian will stream his podcast, “Realistic Sustainability.”

In addition, both levels will be available for event rentals, providing intimate spaces for parties, business meetings and other events accommodating up to about 50 people upstairs and 40 downstairs. Hire Tasty Bits Catering (owned by Michael Nazarian’s brother) for an event and you get a break on the rent.

Nazarian, who will lead some classes, brings engineering and sustainability skills to Dabble. A native of the Montrose/Flushing area, he’s an engineer at Chrysler who has worked with STEMnetics, seeing first-hand the positive impact STEM education can have on Flint students.

Now Durand students can sign up for STEMnetics classes at Dabble. The Nazarians are also looking for a yoga teacher and organizing a trivia night.

Mike Nazarian delved into community life shortly after moving to the city about four years ago, serving on the Durand Planning Commission.

Together with council member Jeff Brands and the Beautification Committee, he spearheaded an edible landscape program that’s so successful the city council recently voted to make it permanent.

“The community embraced edible landscape, and they embraced me, too,” Nazarian said with a laugh. “Now we’re putting in a place where people can learn.”

A soft opening of Dabble will take place with a Christmas decor swap, set for noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 12, hosted by the Nazarians. Anyone can bring in old Christmas items and trade them for “new” items. People are also welcome to just come in empty-handed and pick up some free holiday decor.

“We’ll donate what’s left,” Nazarian said. “I don’t want anything thrown out. That would hurt my sustainability heart.”

He and Jamison Nazarian, an office manager in Argentine Township who grew up near Fenton, have three children: Aidan, 15, Addison, 11, and Grayson, 9. They said the move to Durand has been a good one for the family.

“It’s a cute, quaint town,” Jamison Nazarian said. “I feel comfortable and safe with the kids here. This town is full of heart.”

(1) comment

Mother Hen

This is such a great idea! I hope that many will take advantage of the opportunities offered and enrich their lives with newfound knowledge and skills.

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