Rough Draft may be bidding farewell to its owner and current manager, but caffeine and aesthetic addicts have nothing to worry about as management will be picked up by the qualified Rachel Solomito ’17.
Carly Hubbard ’16, the owner and current manager of Hillsdale’s beloved Rough Draft, is in the process of handing off the management of her business to Solomito as Hubbard prepares to move to California.
Hubbard began the process of opening Rough Draft while finishing her fifth year at Hillsdale College. After weighing several options, she ultimately decided to pursue the creation of her very own business.
“I was too attracted to the opportunity of creating a space for the people of Hillsdale and the college students could hang out and get to know one another and enjoy something beautiful and delicious, whether it be a coffee or beer or scone,” Hubbard said. “I think everybody deserves something beautiful.”
Still a student herself when she began drawing up plans to open Rough Draft, Hubbard said she had the students of Hillsdale College on her mind while designing it.
“I wanted there to a space that was open a bit later than other places in town,” Hubbard said. “I was always up late studying as a student and had out-studied all the spots and would always fall asleep if I went home to my off-campus house.”
Hubbard accomplished exactly what she set out to do, as Rough Draft is a popular destination amongst Hillsdale’s students. Freshman Morgan Billingsley frequents Rough Draft often.
“I enjoy Rough Draft because it is warm and welcoming, and provides a great study space off campus,” Billingsley said. “Not to mention the coffee is great.”
While ultimately a rewarding and successful endeavor, Hubbard faced her fair share of challenges starting her own business from the ground up as a recent college graduate.
“It was a long journey, it took way longer than I had anticipated to open Rough Draft and there were so many more decisions to make and problems solved that I ever dreamt of when I started,” Hubbard said. “There was just so much to confront when we were working on construction and codes and licenses and equipment and all of it was so new and foreign to me. I often felt overwhelmed and unqualified.”
After overcoming this initial set of hurdles, Hubbard was able to accomplish what she set out to do: provide a bit of beauty and liveliness to the people of Hillsdale, all while having plenty of fun.
“My coworkers make it so fun and sweet to go to work and I love them all so incredibly dearly. I love creating weird latte flavors and coming up with cocktails and I love throwing parties and I think I love live music more than most people,” she said. “I love our slightly broken sink and how packed our back room is because I didn’t make it big enough.”
Lara Ryd ’18 began working at Rough Draft in June 2018, and has thoroughly enjoyed her time there thus far.
“My favorite aspect about working at Rough Draft is the fact that I get to be a part of both the town community and the college community at the same time,” she said. “The team at Rough Draft is incredibly community-oriented. It’s one of those places in Hillsdale that bridges the divide between the town and the college.”
As Hubbard gets ready to leave her beloved town and business, she is setting her eyes on the future.
“My plans are up in the air; that seems to be a trend in my job searches,” Hubbard said. “I am headed out to the Bay Area in California to try my hand at working in Operations at a few sustainable start-ups that I greatly admire. I’m winging it like always and I can’t wait for the next adventure.”