Primal Flower’s Shelley Anders surprised me with a beautiful bouquet last week. I took the flowers into the Labs and watched as buds opened and the collection evolved. Still vibrant on my desk today as the sun dips, the flowers are a promise of the bright and cheery things to come in the next few weeks as we gather with loved ones and begin to gain a little more daylight.
I invented coworking in a first-floor flat in Chicago.
Or maybe I just longed for it. “You know,” I would ask friends over bitters at the Violet Hour, “the easy flow of ideas that happens at work? The accidental way someone else’s good idea mixes it up with yours and something fantastic emerges? I miss that. I want that.”
My friends would mostly nod and say something about the enviable creative lifestyle. But while transitioning from working with a group of creatives to working on my own had incredible perks (the flexibility, the travel, the connections to other people doing interested work, the chance to grow and learn in the directions I wanted), it had some serious drawbacks too (wait, I’m my own IT department now?).
I missed having a crew.
Enter the coworking movement. Because it turns out that lots of other creatives/tech people/makers were feeling the same way.
I’ve been so happy to be welcomed into my local coworking group, WE Labs—a buzzing downtown Long Beach workspace that fills a missing piece of my work week. WE Labs inhabits a 1920′s brick-n-mortar at the corner of Long Beach and Broadway. And in my short time on the eighth floor of the Pacific Tower, I’ve been able to team up with other creatives on local projects, recommend WE Lab talent to my clients, host brainstorming sessions with outside collaborators, attend art openings for fellow coworkers, and meet fascinating people doing interesting work in radio, film, fashion, visual arts, and tech.
I continue to travel for projects and work on-location at shoots. But I now enjoy everything about my in-office days: the morning commute via bicycle, the doorman’s greeting, the cranky elevator to the eighth, the cheery first-thing curiosity from Robbie about what I’m working on, the view to the Queen Mary in harbor, Dan’s morning tea ritual. Yes, yes.