Pre-Opening Party on 3/28
In anticipation we awaited our Pre-Opening Party! We wanted to celebrate with our community and everyone who helped us get this far. Our space is set up for Coworking and great times. There is some minor touches we still have get done, but overall we received very good feedback.
Tonight we offered drinks, snacks and our trademark jello shots. Our first guests arriving were our spouses exploring and approving what we accomplished so far. Eric and Carl were working in our space for a couple of hours before our party and also brought back their spouses. Carl also brought his cute little son. Kelly and Michelle came with their spouses and also brought their kids.
Eric and Kelly were the first two to officially sign membership agreements with us. They were also pulling a lot of weight at our work party last Friday. Carl joined them in signing.
Diane stopped by for a tour but had to leave for a Design Meeting. Jacob from Office Nomads visited us to check out our space. Ayumi visited, got a tour and stayed a little on the roof deck. Patrick from WSB came to take a picture of Stefan and me and we had a brief chat about the Google office on the roof deck while the sun went down. Drew stopped by and enjoyed the sunset on the roof deck with us. Emily arrived with her husband shortly after Drew, signed an agreement and stayed for some conversations. And Betsy and Dana joined us on the roof deck. As always we really enjoyed how our space filled up with warmth and witty conversations. Thanks to everyone who came. If you couldn't make it but would like to sign an agreement with us, just stop by or email us.
Coworking Meetup on 3/26
We opened our door at 9.30 am. My friend Alexandra stopped by to check out our new business. Even she wasn't really interested in a Coworking space she now considers signing up and already told someone she ran into at Trader Joe's about it. Yeah! Love it. Keep spreading the word West Seattle.
Emily visited us for the first time, got a tour and started setting up her work space. Betsy arrived while we were on our tour so she had to wait a couple of minutes downstairs. If you ever happen to come and find the door locked, please walk around the house on the right side and use the bell on the back door. We don't have a bell on our front door.
Tracy also visited us for the first time and set up her work space at one of our standing desks. Stefan, Kelly and Deborah arrived just in time for the meetup. Deborah brought a huge plate with awesome oatmeal raisin cookies. Thanks Deborah!
Our meetup started at 12.15 pm. Betsy told us about her recent trip to Texas and we learnt a little about cow farming. We introduced ourselves, writers, bloggers, HR, online education and consulting. We talked about our diverse work projects and ideas.
Deborah is looking for some people that are about to retire. She is about to start a business for retirement planning to figure out what you want to do in retirement (career change, projects, second education). She is looking for people to test her business idea. If you know someone that might be interested in her service, please contact us and we will refer them to her.
Betsy is looking for a small barrel for another project.
We talked about our upcoming events. Our Pre-Signup Opening Party is coming up on Thursday evening from 6 to 9 pm. This will also be the first chance to sign our member agreement.
We will participate in the Art Walk on April 11th and as an incentive for all the early members we will host a Member Wine Tasting on April 25th. If you can't make it to our Opening and still want to sign a membership, please contact us by email and we will send you our member agreement by email.
As always we laughed a lot. And we can't wait to see it all come together.
Thanks for coming everyone!
Our Work Party day at Office Junction started setting up our bank account at Washington Federal with multi-talented Gypsie. Not only is she a great banker, but also a massage therapist, bookkeeper and is willing to do a workshop for us on how to avoid high bank fees as small business owner. Needless to say, she sounded like a great fit for us and will hopefully spread the word for us. She also recommended us to educate our self employed members the Coworking membership will be fully deductible business expense. One more great reason to sign up with us. Not only is it more fun to not work alone, it's also almost free.
We were back in our space at 11 am, right on time to start the official Work Party part of our day. First thing on the to do list was setting up our new coffeemaker. 14 cups of freshly brewed aromatic awesomeness ready in minutes. Yeah! Next on the list, setting up the water kettle for the tea drinkers in our midst. Check!
Around noon Eric arrived, we gave him a tour of the new space, updated him on what he missed while travelling for the last month and together we started cleaning the stand up desks and assembling chairs. Tim from Jigsaw Renaissance stopped by for a couple of minutes to check out our space. Chandra also stopped by for a quick tour of the space. Kelly and Michelle arrived, toured the space and helped getting 32 table legs set up and assembled. When all 8 desks were done, David and Deborah came and toured the space.
We all took a short break on our newly put together chairs around our big table using the opportunity to take pictures (see above & gallery) of our new lounge area. David, Kelly and Michelle hit the road after this and Eric and Stefan got our huge locker acquired from Second Use, formerly in duty at a Seattle Fire Station, out of the truck, in the house and against the wall. Yeah! We started cleaning our used desks when Marco, my husband and Amazon Employee, stopped by to drop off our newly craigslist-acquired white boards and enjoy a little afternoon snack with Tim and Sarah, our kids, on the sunny roof deck. Samantha came accompanied by her little daughter and her husband and Amazon Employee. Our husbands seemed a little jealous about our new work space but they are also invited to enjoy our space for their free trial day. Husbands and kids left and we got our freshly cleaned desks up to the 3rd floor. As we made it up there, we decided, it would be time to enjoy the sunshine on our roof deck.
Rob joined us for a tour and we chatted about Coworking and all the potential and social impact for our members and the community. We went back to work and Samantha removed the armrests from all swivel chairs in the meeting room. Stefan started installing our number lock system and I cleaned up a little. It was a long day with lots of tasks to be done and we accomplished most of it. It was time to start the celebratory part of the day.
Deborah returned with a bottle of wine and her husband to show off the space. Then Kerrie and her daughter came and discovered all 4 floors. Eric and his wife returned for the after party and we all gathered around the big table talking about travelling and cultural differences.
It was a fantastic day, wonderful start and great Housewarming and our space really felt warmer with all the people helping out and visiting. We particularly enjoyed the feedback everyone gave us about the space. We received great reviews about the location, kitchen, natural light, roof deck, great looking bathrooms, space layout and our most wonderful gorgeous Puget Sound view from 3 out of the 4 floors of our space.
I was anxious to show off our 'new baby', anxious to finally find out if only we would love it so much or if everyone else would love it just as much as we do. I think, we found the answer today and we look forward to fill the space with great ideas, social impact for our members, the community, lots of laughter and good times.
Thanks to everyone for coming today! I can't put in words how much this means to me and how much we enjoy seeing it all come together.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support.
We got really great, fancy chairs on Sunday. A table and a bench on Monday. More desks, chairs and wastebaskets on Tuesday and Internet connection today on Wednesday.
Next on the list: Work party scheduled for Friday from 11 to 7 pm. We will assemble some of the new, shiny stuff we got. We don't think this will take super long so we will have enough time to enjoy the space in good company.
Stop by if you would like to get a preview of our space!
Milestone 1 on 3/15: Signing Lease
The big day we were looking forward to since we started thinking about a Coworking space in West Seattle and actively looking for a space since October finally arrived. At 3pm we met with our Property Manager to sign our lease agreement. It took us about an hour and we were rewarded with some gold shiny keys. After our signing we got beer and chips to celebrate and went straight to our new address, 5230 B California Ave, to start planning out the space.
Kelly and Christine did some Coworking at Mind Unwind all morning. For lunch time Stefan and Deborah joined and we started our meetup. We are working on a lease agreement with a great space on California Ave. We showed some pictures to everyone at the meetup 2 weeks ago. We recapped last weeks meeting and we tried to work out some more details that came up over the last few weeks.
We talked about some amenities that would most likely be expected and our plans to offer some flexibility in time use. Kelly thought that would be very well appreciated.
A set of general rules will come with the Member Agreement legally connecting our Liability Insurance and Rental Agreement.
Our guidelines for the space would be "Use and treat respectfully!", "Don't be a d*ck!" and "You are in charge of your own experience!".
We also would like to encourage the Coworking core values:
Collaboration - Openness - Community - Accessibility - Sustainability.
Kelly gave us some great input to a lot of questions we had. Kelly: "No!", "No!" and "No!"
"No" to most of the fancy stuff we thought we have to provide for everyone's satisfaction, but we might start without some of those and will see and wait and hope our great community will shape and mold all the details in place.
We want to participate in the West Seattle Art Walk, continue with our free Coworking Meetups, but scale them back from weekly to bi-weekly. We want to have a regular get together for all members once a month. Workshops led by members and guest speakers invited by members.
We want to create a space to meet, work, collaborate, learn and have fun!
Stefan led the Coworking session on Wednesday 3/6 at Mind Unwind.
At 12 pm he started the free Coworking meetup. Deborah, who was also there last week, and Drew, showed up and they came up with a few ideas for events and classes.
First time we participated in the GCUC (pronounced "Juicy") in Austin, Texas aside with Coworking spaces that run for some time, people that want to start one, people that just closed down one, some that want to franchise their Coworking spaces and so on. We as newbies were especially interested in operations, culture and networking.
The first day was in a Conference format with 4 panelists and 1 moderator each - about future, culture of Coworking, interest of corporations and serendipity in Coworking, lead by Seattle's Office Nomads owners.
The second day was a Unconference were participants requested discussion topics and formed groups in different forms and numbers to exchange knowledge and discuss these topics. This format was particularly helpful for us as we heard from multiple Coworking spaces how they are run and what they use, how they use it and why.
Office Junction received a lot of valuable information over the course of these 2 days and is ready to get started.
As part of our Coworking session last Wednesday we had our meetup at Mind Unwind, our temporary Coworking space.
Kerrie, Kelly, Deborah, Jane and Jason shared their knowledge about Social Media. We talked about LinkedIn and all it's features, some which we find confusing, like the skill recommendation. Deborah shared with us that she recently learnt that these can be edited now, so it's better manageable for what you want your network to recommend you for. We talked about using the official 'meetup' for social media, also twitter and facebook.
WS Office Junction (@WSOfficeJunction) uses twitter for event postings and connecting with local businesses and other coworking spaces as well as for preparing for the upcoming Coworking Conference in Austin (#GCUC). We post interesting articles and infographics about Coworking and our events on Facebook. We use LinkedIn (WS Coworking) for member networking, discussions and polls. A meetup summary with a link to the latest blog posts, events and newest updates goes out per weekly email newsletter. To receive our newsletter, leave your email address on our Contact page.
We made a short round of introductions, talked about our projects and Christine introduced her environmental and educational community project. Visit the West Seattle Bee Garden website to support a great mission.
Then we talked about the possibilities of Coworking in our permanent space. We looked at some pictures of the space. Stefan and Laura joined us right after that and we brainstormed what we want to see and do in the space. We all got pretty excited. We haven't signed yet, but work on a lease agreement. So, wish us luck this will work out and we will soon be able to do some great Coworking together.
Christine and Stefan, Co-Founder