LINCOLN, Neb. — Just north of downtown Lincoln is home to Nebraska’s Innovation Campus, a facility aimed at creating relationships between the University of Nebraska and private businesses.
Within that facility lies the creative hub of the campus, Nebraska’s Innovation Studio, also known as the UNL makerspace.
This is where visions come to life for Koosha Mooghen — a Lincoln resident for the past two years who previously owned a furniture business in Iran.
It took Mooghen just two weeks to build a love seat, ottomans, chair, and couche, all from materials he bought at Home Depot and Joanne Fabrics.
And in Mooghen’s creativity lies not only the foundation of the UNL makerspace, but a story of perseverance.
“It is great to see somebody find new ground and build themselves back up,” Brett Kennedy, Director of Nebraska Innovation Studio, said, “and feel empowered to make the choices they want to make, build a business the way they want to build it, and with very little risk, and with very little cost to him, in coming here and start a business here.”
But for Mooghen, its less about the business, and more about following his passion.
“When you love something, you just figure something out,” Mooghen said.
Mooghen’s journey to the Capital City was a long one.
After living in Iran, he reconnected with a woman he knew as a child and decided to follow his heart.
He sold his furniture business, moved to Turkey to join the refugee process, and two years later, he arrived in the U.S. Last year the two got married.
After following his now wife across the world, Mooghen returned to doing what he loves.
“I came here and what is it? They showed me and everything and I loved it,” Mooghen said of the UNL makerspace. “It's a good environment, good tools, great people here.”
Only two years after arriving in America, Mooghen is doing more than just creating a life for himself, he is inspiring others around the facility that allows him to practice his niche.
“A lot of members saw Koosha sew that couch together, approaching the whole thing himself and the ideas started to fill their brains to acculture their own furniture,” Kennedy said.
There are a few coming opportunities to check out the work of Mooghen, and the UNL makerspace.