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Woman in Eagle Mountain aims to connect and uplift through a virtual community center

EAGLE MOUNTAIN – Social worker Carissa Thurman wants to connect Eagle Mountain residents with small businesses while empowering people through community classes.

Thurman is someone who does contract work and runs his business from home. He noted that Eagle Mountain has a large number of small businesses that also operate from home. She said she wants to help support local businesses, but it can be difficult to find them all if there isn't a physical community center.

Thurman said in her opinion, Eagle Mountain lacks space for small businesses and needs more mental health services.

“Community teaching can be therapeutic even if it’s not therapy, and there’s value in bringing people together, and there’s value in people sharing their skills,” she said.

With all of this in mind, Thurman knew she could create a community center, even if she couldn't afford space for it. She also wanted to start building connections for small businesses.

So she decided to create Texturs – a virtual community center that can function as a multivendor marketplace to encourage and connect residents through community classes.

The Texturs website says their goal is to support Eagle Mountain residents by helping them find spaces to learn, grow and share through community courses and resources.

Small businesses can sell classes through the site and community members can easily find new hobbies and activities to participate in and connect with others. People can also list spaces available for rent so people who want to host events can find venues for their ventures.

As a mother who runs a business, Thurman says it can be difficult for her to find time for therapy or activities that improve mental health. She hopes her website can help others in similar situations stay connected to resources despite busy schedules.

Business listings range from sports to financial advice to wellness activities, technology knowledge or art lessons. She encourages all companies who want to be involved to get involved because she knows everyone can serve the community in unique ways and build trust among community members.

“There's something magical about saying, 'Hey, I know the owner of this and I have a relationship with him,' and so you feel a stronger desire to go there,” Thurman said. “I want to go because I know the person. I want to leave because I want her business to be successful.”

Texturs is hosting a Microburst Community Classes event on June 20 at the Overland Barn, where participants will take turns taking mini-classes from local businesses, including cake decorating, cleaning, budgeting and more.

“I want other people’s businesses to be successful. I think the personal connection is important,” Thurman said. “We want to facilitate connections, encourage people and support local communities – be it my local community or someone else’s.”

Thurman said Texturs will begin hosting quarterly Microburst class events, but she hopes to expand it into a true community center like Thanksgiving Point, with shops, gardens, classes and other opportunities for the community to come together.

Thurman said there is potential in what she created with textures, and she hopes other cities can see value in it and build something similar that will benefit them.

Anna Harden

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