Food Blogger/Restaurant Critic, Owner of Feasting Fort Collins
Three years ago, Kristin Mastre would never have guessed that her life would look like what it does today. When she decided to casually take on the role of restaurant critic and food blogger for the local Ft. Collins area—she imagined an outlet for her creative writing and passion for nutrition—not the unexpected twist of unprecedented, straight-out-of-the-gate success and local celebrity that she actually experienced. Her writing and reviews for her site, FeastingFortCollins.com, were so well received that she went from casual hobby writer, to professional blogger within a year’s time—a true rarity in the blogosphere and entrepreneurial world. And, if you were to ask Kristin how she did it—she’d say that she’s not sure she could have done it without Cohere.
Hearing Cohere owner Angel Kwiatkowski, speak locally on the subject of coworking, Kristin immediately connected with the idea. “(The coworking) concept was amazing. Being at home with two kids, it was so appealing to me—I need to get out and talk to other adults. (My coworkers) are going to know about adult things like SEO and advertising and I can talk about something other than Playdoh and diapers.” Little did she know at the time, a break from the isolation of working from home and the perks of adult conversation would be just the beginning of all of the other incredible ways that her colleagues at Cohere would contribute to her professional life.
After just six months of blogging, Kristin was being approached by local businesses who wanted to advertise—something she knew nothing about setting up, and was quickly realizing that the technical side of running a website was beyond the scope of her expertise. And, right off the bat, her new Cohere community showed up for her. “I needed to switch blogging platforms—and there was someone there willing to help. And we’re talking—they are openly giving me help, expecting nothing in return. It’s just this unspoken understanding, when you’re part of the community—you give help and receive help. It’s been incredible to be part of this collaborative environment.”
For Kristin’s family, working in the evenings was ideal for maintaining her work/life balance, an option she has been elated to have available at Cohere. During the nighttime shift, she’s met others who are in her same situation—working odd hours to make staying at home with kids possible, or operating additional businesses on the side—connections that make her feel right at home. Other things that have made her feel at home? Realizing that these supportive work relationships had evolved beyond the confines of her work life, and that the support she receives is not only for her business—but also, genuinely, for her.
“There was a time when my husband was between jobs, and things were difficult. During one of the Thursday morning pancake breakfasts (a weekly Cohere social event), they were talking about what they all wanted out of their businesses for the coming year. I wasn’t able to make it—but (my coworkers) went out of their way to tell me that they had talked about, for me, wanting my business to be so successful that my husband wouldn’t even have to work,” a sentiment that is still incredibly moving and meaningful to her. Kristin went on, “The thing with freelancing is that it’s not only that it can be lonely—but sometimes you also really don’t feel supported. Everyone at Cohere has this unwavering, undying support. It’s not just a space to do your stuff—it’s a work family.” And that, to Kristin, means more than anything.