After Kerrie suggested a Holiday Party for all us independent business people, we (Stefan and Christine) hosted a WSOfficeJunction Holiday Party at December 18th at noon at the Beer Junction. We brought some cookies, carrots, cracker and even some candles.
We met two fun new ladies, Betsy and Wendy, great community members and internet/new media savvy. We talked about our struggle to find the right space and got some great ideas we will follow up on. Carl joined us and added to our conversion. The ladies had to leave early, but shortly after this Kelly arrived and joined in on the fun. We truly laughed a lot. Laura arrived and we all listening in Bryan dreaming of his own brewery. We all pitched in our ideas on that. A little later Michelle arrived and we shared some stories and our special interests.
We also talked about our 3 potential locations (warehouse, school house, business park) briefly, but kept it casual for the rest of our Holiday Party.
We met for our 10th WS Coworking Meetup at Uptown Espresso on 12/11 from noon to 1.30 pm. We were joined by Kate (a Special Education Specialist), Chandra (an attorney for family, business & non-profit law), Eric (a screenplay writer & travel complaints mediator) and Laura (a small business & retail consultant). Kate joined our group for the first time. We talked about our various business projects, the challenges of working from home and other alternative work spaces, staying focused on tasks, validating achievements as small business owners and more.
In the second half of our meetup we presented the latest on our search for a permanent space. We were busy touring almost every available commercial property in West Seattle (about 25), and ended up with two sites we really liked. While visited Youngstown Cultural Arts Center we learned they only have space available hourly or for one day per week but suggested we should check with the Fauntleroy School House. So, we did. We still have to wait for their next board meeting, but it sounds promising. The other office space we liked is located in the Business Park in Delridge, right behind Uptown Espresso and Subway. It's a professional business space with lots of room to grow and plenty of parking, fast access to the bridge and some other features. If you have any feedback on these locations, please let us know.
We will continue our search for a space closer to the Junction, but most properties in this area offer high priced retail spaces only ($20/sf and up). We want to make our space affordable to small businesses and a prime retail space would not support this mission. We will also consider work-live units and houses close to one of the Junctions, but the two spaces mentioned above are the ones with the most potential and a good feel. We brainstormed about other vacant spaces in West Seattle, shared ideas on interim sites and talked about other potential developments. If you see or hear anything, please let us know immediately. We look for 1,500 to 2,000 sf total, an open space and 2 smaller, separate rooms (one meeting room, one break room), $10-15/sf including NNN.
We noticed lower attendance from people that joined us for the first couple of meetups and talked about alternatives to our weekly meetup. Would a later time of day, another location, more events like Night Outs, a coworking session or changing the format towards networking sessions help? Please give us input so we can organize something that
works for you. If you want to do a workshop, let us know and we will set it up. If you want to have a coworking session at your house or somewhere else, let us know and we'll spread the word. We will continue to meet at least once a week until we can settle in a space. We will also update you on all current developments during our meetups and via email, Facebook and blog post, but our primary goal is to grow a coworking "community". This means to bring people together for sessions, meetups and other events, even if we don't have a permanent "home" for the community yet. So please come to our meetups, tell your friends, neighbors, business partners. They more the merrier and the stronger our network.
Kerrie suggested we should have a Holiday party for us small business folks, self employed and telecommuters missing out on all the corporate fun these days. So, we are happy to announce our Coworking Holiday Party next Tuesday, 12/18 at 12 pm at The Beer Junction, 4511 California Avenue SW. Bring your cookies, your lunch or a dish to share (yes, it's OK to bring your own food or favorite take out at The Beer Junction) and show off your favorite Christmas sweater and fancy business cards.
We look forward to see you!
Christine and Stefan
What happened? We don't know.
We held another meetup on Tuesday 12/04 12 pm at Uptown Espresso and met 2 new people and Kerrie. Kelly was also at Uptown but preoccupied until after our meeting.
We introduced each other (contractor, editor, writer, software consulting), went over our concept, plan, why we would like to cowork, how frustrating it is to not hear from the Hamm building manager and what we did last week to find a location.
We then tapped into the fun part where we thought about alternatives. We came up with quite a lot, live/work units, houses close to California (have to check out zoning regulations), pop up locations, separate rooms in coffee shops, restaurants, shared office with other business, church space, houseboat, RV, tent, parking lot - you name it, we talked about it. It was another productive and fun meetup and we gathered some more inside what future members would like to see and do in our space. We put most ideas on our to do list. After the meeting we looked at some more spaces around Alki and in the Delridge area. Very interesting, but nothing that would fit for us yet. We'll keep looking for now and consider interim sites if we can't find anything great until Mid-January.
Let us know if you consider hosting a coworking session at a local coffee shop or your home. We met only great people so far, so this would definitely be fun.
Our next meetup will be on Tuesday 12/11 at 12 pm at Uptown (Junction) in West Seattle.
Thursday Night 11/29 we met at Beveridge Place Pub for a great chat and beer. Charles, Kelly, Stefan and Christine talked about career choices, finding our personal strengths, coworking benefits and lots of other stories. We look forward to have another Night Out soon, at least once a month, and hope some more people might be able to come.
In case we can't start out with a full time space, we would like to find out what days and what time might be best for you for Coworking sessions. We would look for a space to sit for some computer work and add a structure (discussion on topic, lunch, morning circle) for some social interaction.
Please add what days and hours might work best for you in the comment section.
Looking for a space over 6 weeks we still hope we will find an office that will fit all needs we heard about in our meetups and by email. We are desperate to start as soon as possible, but without a good fit, we might have to search for a while. Hopefully not too long.
If we want to start earlier, we would have to tone down our wish list.
Following we have some options. Please discuss in comments, what you would find appropriate as an interim solution (all would include table space, a chair and wifi-internet):
A) a smaller space without separate meeting room
B) a small space with a small separate meeting room
C) a table/desks in a joined office with other businesses to sit down and work
D) a coffee shop to meet on a regular basis for coworking days
E) a private home to meet for coworking days (1 to 3 days/week)
F) a rented residential house with different rooms
G) don't care about the space as long as there is a group of people and internet connection
H) a rented room to meet for coworking days (1 to 3 days/week)
I ) only interested if it is a professional office space with meeting room
Please use the comment section to let us know what you would like to see and use as interim location.
Christine and Stefan, Co-Founder