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
Christine and Stefan, Co-Founder