We're almost approaching the 90-day mark as Las Vegas "downtowners." Since the Grand Opening, DTLV has wrapped its arms around LAYOP Clothing Company. The amount of love and support has been surreal. We truly appreciate belonging to this warm, intimate community. Our plan is to continue to create brand awareness and increase our presence within the DTLV culture daily.
Today, we're starting a brand new initiative called Downtown Tuesday. Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, LAYOP will highlight one DTLV entrepreneur/business. As entrepreneurs, we understand what it takes to make dreams come true. Through hard work and dedication, entrepreneurship can positively change your life forever.
Take our first profile feature, Jeremy Martin. Jeremy, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, is a proud DTLV resident. I met Jeremy last summer at Inspire after a Vegas Talk (formerly known as Downtown Podcast) interview and he's always been very passionate about DTLV since day one. Once LAYOP decided we were going to open up our flagship store inside Downtown Container Park, Jeremy was one of the first people I told. We share similar core values: Family, Football and Faith.
Please read my short interview with Jeremy below. We like to call this section, "The LAYOP Full Timeout."
LAYOP Full Timeout with Jeremy Martin of Downtown Faith
1. When did you get the vision to bring a church to DTLV?
I’ll never forget sitting in The Beat Coffee Shop in January of 2015 thinking, “We should start a church for this community!” From there I would spend my once-a-month personal planning day on the puke green couch right in the middle of that coffee shop. I would think, dream, and believe that this is our next step as a family. It was one of those days, the third Wednesday of the month, that I started imagining a place that created a safe, welcoming space for people to discuss life and faith. I imagined a place that didn’t look or feel like “church” but more like a living room or restaurant. I believed there could be discussion around God, life, and beliefs that was helpful and meaningful rather than argumentative or offensive. The vision still burns in my soul as we take steps to create spaces like this for the DTLV community.
2. Tell me more about one of your successful DTLV events, Pub Theology. How does it work?
This has been a journey for us for sure. We got this idea from another local pastor who connected our vision to something he had heard about. I looked it up and sure enough, a man in Indiana had started this thing called Pub Theology. He was engaging college professors, students, and a community of different beliefs as a local bar. This idea seemed amazing so I got all of the resources I could. Drinking and bars are pretty prevalent in Las Vegas so I thought it could be a good fit. Well, it’s been received with great interest and excitement. People from all walks of life join the discussion. I’m not really a beer drinker, but once-a-month you can find me trying something new at Banger Brewing on Fremont St. They have been great about helping us host this discussion group. We’ll have anywhere from 8-18 people show up on a Monday night and discuss their views on culture, philosophy, faith, and anything else on the discussion guide that night. We say, “It’s formally informal.” There’s a guide and a facilitator but usually the conversation takes its own path. We love the different views and different brews! To connect with events like this people can visit our website dtlvfaith.com or our Facebook page.
3. Where do you see Downtown Faith in the next five years?
Well I’ll be honest, I see it as an integral part of the downtown community. I believe that every vibrant community has vibrant communities of faith actively involved in community. We envision multiple, small locations. Some might call this “micro-church.” As downtown grows we grow. I’ve imagined locations in each revitalized district with each location adopting the unique culture of that district. Maybe the Arts District location resembles an art gallery and feels more aesthetic, while the Fremont East gathering is driven by technology and entrepreneurship. If we can reflect our community while also maintaining our identity as a community of faith I’d say we are pretty successful. Also, we should be making significant impact on social issues faced in our community as well through strategic partnerships with local organizations. This is very important to us!
4. What are three things you'd like to see come to DTLV?
I’ve thought about this a lot and I think there are three very important features necessary to building this community: 1) I’d love to see more, median income housing. If you build it they will come! 2) Two words…Green Space. Central Park in New York is famous because it provides a large amount of a hot commodity for urban city centers, grass and trees! 3) Affordable grocery shopping. I know this one resonates with so many people and I have neighbors and friends on the front lines working to make this happen. I believe the more we see these aspects of community grow, the more the community will grow. People want to live here. That’s a fact. We need things like modern churches, affordable housing and groceries, and green space to bring people here to live, work, and play!