Tiny Coworking Spaces in Washington, Colorado and New York

Cohere was a tiny coworking space for many years before we became the VC-back multi-location titan that we are now in Fort Collins, Colorado (heavy sarcastic tone). Because of that we take special pride in sussing out the lesser-known tiny and rural coworking locations that you’ve probably never heard about in the New York Times, Entrepreneur or Fast Company publications. Today we’re going from NY to WA and stopping over in Colorado. The moral of the story: ALWAYS look for a coworking space even if you’re off the beaten path.

Carnation, Washington: Tolt Hive

Why Cohere loves them: they started their community in a barn.

tolthive

Tolt Hive is in the very beginning phases of building our community in Carnation, WA. Located in the heart of a beautiful agricultural valley about 25 miles east of Seattle, Carnation is a quaint town with a walkable neighborhood and numerous trails that lead to amazing views of the Cascades, rivers, and nearby farms just a short distance outside of town.

A small group of us began gathering twice per week in September of 2014 in a barn loft (no joke) in our little town of 2,000 people to test out the idea of coworking. I founded Tolt Hive in January of 2015 and have moved our gatherings to office space in the center of town. We are in the process of negotiating with the space owners to set up a more permanent arrangement at this location.

We currently get together on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m at the following address: 31957 E. Commercial Street, Carnation, WA, 98014. Readers can join our mailing list and get more info at www.tolthive.com.

Paonia, Colorado: The Hive Paonia

Why Cohere loves them: a Cohere member was traveling through and couldn’t wait to come back and tell us that there’s a coworking community of “hippie rafters on the western slope!” 

paonia

When The Hive was initially conceived in the spring of 2014, the plan was a far-reaching idealist concept with the intention of bringing the community together, attracting new and amazing people from far reaches, sharing resources and ideas, and collaborating on new ways to create a better future for our local community and the world. Because of overwhelming contributions from our members and the community, we’ve already succeeded , and at a reality-questioning speed!

Beacon, New York: Beahive

Why Cohere loves them: their loquacious description below.

beahive

Beahive has been around since 2009.  Many of our Beacon members are émigrés from NYC. They’re the kind of savvy, ambitious creative class habitués you find in cities, but since they’ve escaped the city for a small Hudson Valley river town famous for both its world-class museum Dia:Beacon and Pete Seeger, and galleries and cafes nestled between a mountain and the river, they’re a touch older (average: 30s and 40s vs 20s and 30s) with an admixture of individualistic and communitarian tendencies.

Believe it or Not: Cohere Coworking is Now Valued at…

 

Tech SupportCohere, the Fort Collins, Colorado-based coworking space that specializes in being awesome, has just raised $0 million in a round of funding. The deal values the company at a whopping $.00000000000000000000001 billion, according to Founder, Angel Kwiatkowski.

It’s a decent price for what is essentially a sharing hub of friendship and unlimited coffee. But Cohere’s business model, which combines real people with each other, plays into the “sharing economy” trend that has captivated hardly any investors for itself in recent years.

In addition to its modest physical footprint, which includes 2 spaces in this one city with one more on the way, Cohere also recently debuted its own social network, called “turn around and talk to your neighbor in person.” It’s similar to LinkedIn, in that it’s a business networking site, but it’s not infuriating to use nor does it generate 27 emails every hour to its members.

As Angel Kwiatkowski, Cohere’s community manager, told a friend when Cohere launched, the goal was to accommodate all the people who fill up coffee shops and pajama pants at home. “We literally cannot make coffee fast enough,” she said. “I get the feeling that there is much larger demand for donuts and coffee in coworking spaces than we ever anticipated.”

Now, however, Cohere has more demand for more toilet paper. “We happen to need two-ply just like Uber happens to need cars, just like Airbnb happens to need apartments,” Cohere co-founder Angel Kwiatkowski told a concerned member.

But Cohere’s approach is not more or less risky than Uber’s or Airbnb’s. Unlike either of those companies, which essentially act as marketplaces for independent drivers and home owners, Cohere leases all the physical space, itself, and for now, that’s working out well for the company. Thanks to a marginally positive checking account balance, many of the members who occupy Cohere’s spaces are capable of paying for a monthly membership.

So it’s no wonder Cohere’s getting while the getting’s good. The question is: what happens when the coffee dries up or—dare we say it—the bubble bursts?

Tea. The answer is hot tea.

Cohere Coworking Stats, Figures and Growth in Fort Collins, CO

Happy Holidays From Cohere: Thanks, Reflection, Future

As the year comes to a close I wanted to take some time to thank you, reflect, and give you a preview of what’s coming in 2015.

Thank You.

I never say it often enough but you make Cohere possible. You choose us. You work with us. You laugh with us. You grow with us. Maybe you’ve been a member for 5 years or for 5 days. You matter. You are important.

Without you, Cohere is just an empty shell, a real estate transaction and a line item on someone’s budget. WITH you, we become a community, a pivot point for new friendships, and a platform for personal growth and change.

Let’s Reflect.

In December of 2009 we started out coworking in a donated reception area once/week. On the 5th week we ran out of chairs (14 of them) and broke the internet.RMI2 coworking test In March 2010, we opened our first location in Old Town with 4 members. Coworking-Cohere

In January 2012 we moved to the Howes location. Last December we had 39 members and 1 location. This December we have 75 members and 2 locations. That’s double. That’s huge. And we’re set to double again in 2015. Whether you told a friend about Cohere or posted an update on Facebook, many of our new members come from word of mouth and it makes a difference.2014-11-07 13.17.06

What’s Next.

2015 will bring Cohere to its final space frontier: Cohere Bandwidth, shared rehearsal space for musicians inside the amazing artist ecosystem that is the Downtown Artery. We’re looking forward to creative new connections between the artists of the Artery, the musicians of Bandwidth and the nerds of Cohere.

While Bandwidth may be located at the intersection of Linden and Jefferson we’re really at the crossroads of combining art, music and brains in brand new ways.

Here’s to 2015, may it bring you meaningful connections, amazing independence, kindness and love.

Love, Angel

2014-11-21 10.20.46

Ps. Hat tip to Julie who’s been with us every step of the way from our first pre-community meeting to today.

 

Ridiculously Productive Meetings

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I bet you never wonder how 3 people with full-time jobs manage to shoe-horn in the creation of a shared rehearsal space for Fort Collins in their “spare” time. If you’ve been following us, you might wonder why I would brag about our ridiculously productive meetings for Cohere Bandwidth when we’ve been at this for almost 2 years. If you must know, most of that 2 years was spent waiting on real estate with very few DONES getting checked off of our TO-DOS. Skip below to the COMPLETION step if you are skimming.

But now that the space is REAL and under construction we spend every Friday going from Oh Fuck! to Hell Yes! Here is our extremely effective meeting process:

  1. AGENDA: Anyone can create or add to the agenda. We do this in a shared google doc that everyone can edit. The doc contains ALL of the agendas with the most recent at the top. The agenda is usually created the night before or the morning of each meeting. We’re agile and quick so it wouldn’t make sense to create an agenda further in advance than that.
  2. SCHEDULE: Meetings are always at 10am on Fridays at Cohere and last 1.5 hours. The person who is late has to get coffee for everyone else.FullSizeRender (1)
  3. AIRING OF GRIEVANCES: At the start of each meeting we get our feelings out. Yep, you read that right. If anyone is frustrated or flabbergasted or just plain giddy, we talk it out BEFORE we task. This step is key. Due to the nature of our structure, we can’t be together or even talk every day so it’s important to make a real connection to one another before we start doling out chores.
  4. ORDER: We go through the agenda in order. Always. We rarely add anything to the agenda during the meeting.
  5. TIME: Never, ever, ever put an estimated time for discussion on an agenda item. This makes no sense.
  6. COMPLETION: We complete any tasks that come up IN THE MEETING. Example, if Julie needs to email someone about a radio interview then Shane and I talk about a graphic design task or similar. This allows everyone to be productive during the entire meeting, which is something I never got to experience in corporate life.
  7. DELEGATE: If any tasks remain, they are completed directly after the meeting ends or get shifted to me (Angel) if possible since I have the most spare time to complete things. Shane will often do heavy duty graphic design tasks outside of the meeting as it’s part of his creative process.

So there. Now you know how we make the most out of our 12 hours/month together.

Does your team have an unconventional meeting process? Tell us all about it so we can steal your tips for our next meeting.

Happy 4th Anniversary Cohere! Let’s Play Alumni Catch-Up

happy anniversary Cohere

That’s right folks, it’s already been FOUR long, wonderful, coworking-filled years since our community officially opened! It’s hard to believe. We started with just a handful of independents working in the loft space on Jefferson Street, and now, Cohere has almost 50 members, we’re charging full steam ahead with Cohere: Bandwidth (our effort to bring shared rehearsal space to the local music scene), and (fingers crossed!) opening a new Midtown location soon.

Thinking about all that’s happened since we became Fort Collins’ first coworking space got me thinking about our alumni. Those members who were there in the early stages, but have moved on to other things or places because of life or work or both!

So I decided to play a little game of Cohere Alumni Catch-up (aka Where are they now?!) Enjoy catching up with your colleagues below, and thank you for supporting this small, woman-owned business. YOU ARE ALL MY FAVORITE!

Cohere Alumni Catch-up (aka Where are they now?!)

suzanne-for-cohere

Suzanne Akin

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Freelance graphic design and working on my clothing line, Akinz

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
I’m running my clothing line full time and opened our flagship store in Old Town last August.  

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Lots of them. Either power lunging to Kilwin’s to make up for the salted caramels we were about to eat or the very first Custom Beanie Creation Station setup :)

Member Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane Griesemer

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere? 
Freelance.

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Work- I am the Director of Product for the Global Accelerator Network, an organization of technology seed accelerators located in over 50 countries. 

Life- I married Eoin, a guy I met on OK Cupid, a dating website I tried because Alex convinced me I should during an afternoon of coworking. I am incubating our first gremlin, due June 2.

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Getting laid off from my shitty, shitty job and driving directly to Cohere to celebrate my new found freedom and bright future. And the people. I love my Coherians.

beth-knoxville-instagram

Beth Buczynski

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Freelance copywriting/environmental blogging (for WAY too little).

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Living in Longmont and coworking at the Armory Workspace in Loveland. Still copywriting and blogging about the environment (for MUCH better rates), doing a little editing, and promoting my new book about the sharing economy, “Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resource through Collaborative Consumption“!

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Night coworking! Cupcake runs. Publishing the coworking ebooks. Hanging Holindaise decorations with Angel and Kevin U.

Lindsay

Lindsay Ogden

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
When I joined Cohere, I was working as a freelance Drupal developer. I had been in Drupal for a little over a year and was still pretty green.

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
I am working as a technical business analyst and product manager in web technologies, unfortunately no longer remote :)

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Learning from other professionals who became my friends. Getting to work with such different people, expand my network of colleagues and friends was invaluable and treasured. A particular memory that stands out is walking to the hot dog stand with friends for lunch.

beanie

Alex Chiang

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Working remotely for Canonical.

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Living in San Francisco, eating $4 toast, and paying way too much to live in a twitter-sized apartment. On the plus side, it’s always sunny and in the 60s.

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Culinary camaraderie, whether it was helping the sweet toothers find the perfect gelato or on a more personal note, discovering that Big Al’s would stack as many 60/40 bacon/burger patties on top of each other as you wanted.

Image via macrj

 

Featured Member Monday: Meet Rosalie Rae Robinson

Rosalie Rae Robinson
Copywriter, international marketing manager, and
 the managing director of Physique: Body of Tea
www.physiquetea.com 

As freelancers, we’re often guilty of neglecting our physical bodies while pursuing more cerebral activities. This is bad news because without healthy bodies, our creativity and productivity will always suffer. Part of the struggle of being a member of the independent workforce is that we’re responsible for everything, and that means the work (almost) never ends. Entrepreneurs sometimes have trouble making time for the rest, relaxation and nutrition that keeps us delivering our best day after day. That’s why Cohere is thrilled to count a health-conscious member like Rosalie Rae Robinson among our number.

Rosalie is a wellness and fitness freak. She’s also pretty darn good at copywriting and marketing. Through her work with Physique, she’s creating awareness about how organic, non-GMO, and fair trade tea can be the secret to unlocking the healthiest you. Here’s more about Rosalie:

How did you hear about Cohere?
I was looking into renting an office space for myself, and then found out that such a thing as coworking. I liked that idea much better than sitting alone in an office all by myself … which is what I was doing at home anyway. From there, Cohere was just a Google search away!

What’s your favorite part about Cohere?
Being around other people who are working makes me want to work harder … that, and I get an extra guilt trip when I know someone’s just seen me on Facebook.

Favorite past time?
At the moment, calligraphy, cello, and reading.

What’s something we don’t know about you?
I have a first degree black belt in tae kwan do.

What was your life like before Cohere?
Full of sweat pants and distractions.

How has it changed since joining?
Dress pants and … well, different and more enjoyable distractions. ;)

Featured Member Monday: Meet Kevin Udy

Kevin Udy
Search Engine Nerd
NerdyMind Marketing
www.nerdymind.com

Kevin U. (as he’s been affectionately dubbed) is one of the unique individuals that brings a wonderful spice to our coworking community. Kevin was one of the driving forces behind NoCoFat (Northern Colorado Friday Afternoon Tweetup) which brought together many of the online personalities who eventually became Cohere’s founding members. To say Kevin is an old soul would be an understatement, but his grasp on new technologies is a blessing for his clients and friends.

Even though Kevin had a 9 – 5 office job for much of Cohere’s first year, he made a point to make his SEO expertise and general knowledge about website design available to members through social events and night coworking. In fact, the majority of members have probably turned to Kevin in a time of Word Press crisis, only to have him calmly dissect the problem, and carry on. Here’s the story of how he found our community, and how it, eventually, helped him become more independently connected:

How did you hear about Cohere?

There was a bit of buzz about it in my twitter stream, the concept of coworking was new to me, but I loved the idea and wanted to try it out. Unfortunately I had a job in an office, so I didn’t join right away… I just stalked the community from the fringe. I also remember seeing a meetup group that met before the space was procured, but I didn’t attend. And finally, I met and talked with Angel about Cohere at the FCIP meetup.

When did you join?

In my head… when the doors first opened, in reality – when the night owl plan was added!

What’s your favorite part about Cohere?

Belonging to a resourceful and fun community – participating in social events with everyone.

Favorite past time?

In the past few years, I’d have to say… cloudscape photography or vegetable gardening.

What’s something we don’t know about you?

I love doing taxes and financial planning. Also, I’m not always a catastrophizer (shhhh… don’t tell Angel).

What would you tell a friend who is interested in joining Cohere?

I would tell them how valuable it can be to belong to a community of like-minded and awesomely varied professionals, how nice it is to have a place to work and socialize that isn’t your home office, and how much fun I’ve had at night coworking.

Meet Cohere’s New Community Manager: Kristin Mastre

kristing-mastre-2

Remember a few weeks ago when we introduced Bill Mastre? We waxed poetic about the fact that both Bill and his wife Kristin were both independent professionals, using coworking to make life easier. This week, it’s time to introduce Kristin, not just as a Cohere member (she’s been a member for a while) but in her new role as Cohere’s community manager.

Kristin’s introduction into coworking came as it did for many of us, in the form of Angel’s memorable Ignite presentation about collaborative work. “I was intrigued because she had been a coworker in a company with my husband and here she was with this brand spankin’ new business to share with Fort Collins,” Kristin said. “I loved the concept from the moment she spoke about it because community is a very important value to me. It resonated deeply and I knew that night that I was going to check out Cohere. I’ve been hooked ever since!”

That was around three years ago, and since then, Kristin has become a fixture in our community. Now that Angel’s taken some time off to care for her adorable baby, Kristin has come on board to help manage the day-to-day activities in her absence. In case you’ve never met Kristin, or aren’t sure what a community manager does at a coworking space, here’s the scoop:

What’s your job as the community manager? 

KM: I think most of it is really just being there at the office with everyone. I’ll take people on tours and show them around, get their membership paperwork together, update our Cohere website with new member information, and brew a new pot of coffee every now and then. I organize some community events every month – one low-key fun related (usually revolving around food) and another that is more educational utilizing the expertise and talents of our members.

What kinds of questions do you love to answer for Coherians? 

KM: I love sharing connections. A big benefit of Cohere is being a member to a pool of resources. Life as a freelancer can be scary and we depend on business referrals. I get the warm fuzzies when I’m able to connect people – one getting new business, the other finding an outstanding solution, both forming a fantastic relationship.

What’s been your favorite moment so far as community manager?

KM: It’s hard to say because I haven’t been in this position for longer than a month, but two moments stick out in my mind. One was the roundtable meeting we had with The Coloradoan. It was awesome that our group of tech savvy small business owners were able to give insight as to what kind of content would be useful to our community. The other is when I’m nose-deep in my work on my laptop and realize that I’ve worked through lunch. I haven’t said a word about it and before I know it, someone is offering to pick up lunch or coffee for me. That really has nothing to do with community management, but everything to do with the community.

What’s something we don’t know about you?

KM: I am a diehard fan of rap and hip hop. In fact, it’s all I listen to (98% of the time). Every Friday night Bill and I have a date night at home after the kids go to bed where we grill up a steak dinner, drink cocktails and listen to hours of tracks from different artists. Ask me about rap and I might not shut up.

If you want to learn more about what Kristin does to pay the bills, check out her member feature here. Otherwise, just stop by her desk and say ‘hi’ next time you’re at Cohere!

Featured Member Monday: Meet Carrie Visintainer

Carrie-Visintainer

Carrie Visintainer
Writer
www.carrievisintainer.com

Looking for a way out of the seclusion of working at home – or as she calls it, the “insanity” – Carrie Visintainer found a social, comfortable and safe harbor in Cohere. “I joined Cohere to save myself, and my family!” This wife and mother-of-two was drawn to Cohere’s tremendous amenities that her lovely home just couldn’t offer her, including excellent networking, educational opportunities and inspiring diversions, such as a Dire Straits poster that she swears consistently helps her push through writing blocks! Not only do Carrie’s words flow more freely at Cohere, but she enjoys being a part of a committed group of professionals who strive for personal success.

“As a writer, working from home means sitting in front of my laptop for hours on end, trying to access my subconscious, and crazy stuff like that. It’s isolating. In order to feel connected to the larger world, I joined Cohere. It’s been a great balance for me,” Carrie shared.  The social aspect is one of Cohere’s elements that keeps her coming back for more. “I’ve met a lot of interesting people that I might not have come into contact with otherwise. I enjoy the professional connections, as well as the socializing,” Carrie explains.

As a world traveler with a degree in zoology and a Masters in molecular, cellular, developmental biology and genetics, Carrie is part of the remarkably bright core at Cohere. “I split my time between literary projects and freelance assignments. Mostly I write about travel and science, but I’m open to (almost) anything.” Carrie has experienced the success of Cohere’s networking potential first-hand by receiving a variety of freelance projects though her social and professional connections there.

Carrie says that her time at Cohere is spent typing a lot, chatting a little, cracking jokes here and there and enjoying the view out the window. Regarding her favorite spot at Cohere, she said, “I’m a person who loves change, yet I head for the same seat every time. It’s in the brightly lit room with lots of windows. I also love the kitchen, sofa and fireplace.” Carrie knows at least fifteen other Coherians by name and that number may be on the rise – “If a friend of mine was considering joining Cohere, I would definitely recommend it and tell them it’s a great way to learn and grow, and to feel supported.”

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