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STATE OF THE ARTS 25

described as a viable housing alternative for single people, couples and even new parents. To augment Newman’s backing of $5,000, Katz has launched a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $10,000. Crowdsourced funds will be put toward finishing the bar prototype and starting a second one, he explained. “With a little luck,” Katz wrote in an email, “I’m hoping to turn this venture into a sustainable career.” As the father of three children — twin 12-year-old boys and a 15-year-old daughter — Katz hopes to show them that “it’s possible to be successful doing something that you love and makes you happy,” he wrote, “as opposed to the ‘normal’ nine-to-five jobs our society seems to mandate.” Eventually, Katz said, he’d like to see his sons join the venture — so far, his daughter has zero interest. And he hopes the business will be lucrative enough to help cover the cost of college for all three kids. Katz’s enthusiasm for turning the “blank canvas” of a shipping container into something cool is infectious. “I want people to freak out,” he said. “I want people to see the possibilities of what you can do with these things.” 

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media site Pinterest is packed with information about and inspiration for transforming the bare-bones boxes into ultra-modern cabins, snack shacks, root cellars and even swimming pools. But the trend seems not to have reached Vermont — yet. “I’ve been waiting for it to happen up here,” Katz said. “Where the hell is the container bar in Vermont? I haven’t seen it.” But he’s not the only Vermonter who sees potential in reclaimed shipping containers. Katz, who maintains a studio at Burlington’s GENERATOR, worked with the maker space’s director, LARS HASSELBLAD TORRES, to craft a business plan. In September, Katz presented the mobile bar in a FreshTracks Road Pitch session at the CHAMPLAIN MINI MAKER FAIRE. Afterward, Burlington entrepreneur ALAN NEWMAN (Magic Hat Brewing Company, Seventh Generation) approached him and agreed to fund Katz’s prototype unit. The bar is already slated to serve at some 13 festivals next summer, Katz said, an arrangement orchestrated by Newman and Higher Ground business partner ALEX CROTHERS. But the scope of Katz’s project goes far beyond a single container. “I don’t want to do just bars,” he said. In the future, he envisions turning shipping containers into tiny homes, which he

Seven Days, November 23, 2016  

Three Vermont Nonprofits That Think Locally, Work Globally; Can a Scandal-Plagued Hotel Save Burke Mountain?; The Read on Sen. Bernie Sander...

Seven Days, November 23, 2016  

Three Vermont Nonprofits That Think Locally, Work Globally; Can a Scandal-Plagued Hotel Save Burke Mountain?; The Read on Sen. Bernie Sander...

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