Vibe Coworks teams up with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance

Vibe Coworks teams up with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance

There's a new partnership in town, and it's red hot.

It’s not always what you know, but who you know. That’s why we made a bee-line to our friends at the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) when we first started scheming about launching the region’s premier shared workspace and coworking community. We knew full well that there would be no better place in town to get connected up with resources, movers and shakers that we might never encounter on our own. And we were right.

KEDA has been our eyes and ears from day one, helping make sure that the decisions we make are grounded in the most up-to-date local data available, and introducing us to rockstar local leaders at every opportunity. KEDA refers to itself as “your business matchmaker”, which is really kind of perfect. These gals and guys are masters of their trade, and ridiculously fun to work with, too.

That’s why we’re over the moon excited to welcome the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance  to Vibe as our very first Vibe Corporate Catalyst.

Similar to the Vibe Founding40, our Corporate Catalysts hold a special spot in our hearts as bold visionaries who share our passion for revolutionizing the way we live and work in Kitsap.

So many of us are ready to say goodbye to tiresome commutes, less than professional coffee shop client meetings and lonely days working from home. Here at Vibe, we’re thrilled to be bringing a happier, healthier, more connected way of working to Kitsap, and we’re grateful that KEDA believes in its potential just as much as we do.

Working with companies like Vibe is why I love being a part of KEDA. I am privileged to meet and work with the true visionaries of our community—the business owners and dreamers. I am excited each time I hear about a new project, a success, or am able to introduce one great business owner to another. The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance looks forward to the energy that Vibe will bring to Kitsap.
— Kathy Cocus, KEDA Business Development Director, KEDA

As we countdown to opening day late this Fall, expect to see the KEDA name appearing right along beside ours. We’re grateful for their support in bringing Vibe Coworks to life for all of us here on the Peninsula, and especially the work they’re doing with the Campaign for Kitsap. In the words of KEDA CEO, John Powers, “On Kitsap!”

Your charitable donations could be doing so much more

Your charitable donations could be doing so much more

When Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce chief, Sue Allison asked if I'd speak at this month's Networking Luncheon, the answer was easy (yes!). And while I would have loved to hop on stage and spend 30 precious minutes of your time talking about why everyone and their mother (and brother, and sister, and father...) really should be making a mad dash to ditch the status quo and join up with the future of work + life that we're building at Vibe Coworks, the truth is nobody wants to be marketed at. I get that. (Even if you really, really should come join us. Stat.)

Instead, I want to talk to you about how **smart** businesses go beyond one-off charitable donations to instead build partnerships that take their profits, impact and culture to the next level. 

Did you get that?

The smartest, most successful businesses today are ones that go beyond one-off charitable donations and instead build social impact partnerships purposefully and intentionally into their culture, products and marketing.

Here in Poulsbo, that should be ALL of us. 

That's because consumers are increasingly demanding that their dollars go to businesses that 'do good'. I know I am. And not just in a one-off, 'I sponsored X, Y and Z random event' kind of way, but in a meaningful, intentional, impact-driven partnership sort of way.

Same goes for new hires. Ask any business leader who has already adopted this approach and s/he will almost surely tell you that their commitment to social impact partnerships has also become one of the most powerful recruitment and retention tools for bringing in—and hanging on to—top talent. 

Some of you are probably asking why I'm talking about this. 

Well, in addition to wearing the hat of CEO and Cofounder of Vibe, Kitsap's premier shared workspace and coworking community, I am also the Regional Community Engagement lead for WaterAid, the world's largest international nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls gain access to clean water, safe toilets and menstrual health education.

I'm lucky to have spent the last 15 years working with international organizations including the UN Refugee Agency, UN World Food Programme, International Catholic Migration Commission and WaterAid to publicize important untold stories, influence policy makers, and craft powerful social impact partnerships, including with brands and businesses including ARUP, American Standard, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola, H&M, HSBC, Western Union and The Hunger Games / Lionsgate.

Over the course of all that, I've learned a thing or two about partnerships, employee engagement, and what makes meaningful, impactful charitable different from just cutting a check and hanging a donor plaque. I've also learned a thing or two about how to go about building those relationships.

And you know what the funny thing is? One thing I've learned is that of some of the most authentic, impact-driven relationships take root and accelerate more quickly in coworking spaces like Vibe than they do most anyplace else. Imagine that.  

So come join me. Let's have a chat about how all of us can do well by doing good, right here in Poulsbo.

Wednesday, July 12 // 11.30am - 1pm 
Doing well by doing good, with Vibe Coworks CEO Alanna Imbach
July Poulsbo Chamber Monthly Networking Luncheon
Gateway Fellowship Hall

The West Sound’s premier women’s summit is coming to Poulsbo

The West Sound’s premier women’s summit is coming to Poulsbo

Get ready. Sparkwood Events announced last week that early-bird registration to the 2017 Inspired You summit is *now open*, and we are stoked. Not familiar with Inspired You? Inspired You is the premier one-day event for women seeking inspiration in their personal and professional lives (you know who you are!), right here in Kitsap. Set to take place at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino on Sunday, October 15, think big city quality, right here at home.  

 So what's this got to do with Vibe? Here are 5 big reasons why we're all in (and you should be too):

1. Inspired You celebrates West Sound women supporting West Sound women.

“This event is where you’ll find new connections and friendships, renew your sense of community, and find the inspiration you need to take on your next personal challenge,” says Jackie Wood, Inspired You founder and President of Sparkwood Events. “In a world where women spend more time thinking about what we have to do than we want to do, Inspired You offers an important and refreshing opportunity to discover and embrace what’s working, and let go of the things that are not.” 

The one-day summit is the only one of its kind in the region, and has been praised for creating an environment for local women to step back, learn, connect, reflect and reignite their diverse personal and professional passions in an inspirational and supportive environment.

2. The 2017 line-up of speakers is going to blow. your. socks. off.

From opening keynote Stephanie Jackson, to Lindsey Carnett, Megan Dalhman, Jenny Ingram, Jessie Nino, Kerry Slone, Kelly Welk and more, your head is guaranteed to spin with new tips, tricks and inspiration on how to design the life you love. Thinking of ducking out early? Don’t. Vibe Coworks cofounder Alanna Imbach has signed on as closing keynote and will be sending you off with some sweet news that we’ve got up our sleeve. You’ll hear it at first, at Inspired You. 
 

3. Inspired You speaks the language of Vibe: we're ready to change the way we live+work in Kitsap.

Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely want to see just as many men around Vibe as we do women. But in a society where women start companies at twice the rate of men but receive only 13% of the total angel financing availableand in a region where child care options are limitedwe’ve got work to do. Vibe is designed to be a launchpad, giving you the freedom, flexibility, resources and connections you need to accomplish the amazing things you’re aspiring to, whatever that may be.
 

4. Inspired You is the kickass brainchild of a Vibe Founding40 member

When we put out the call for 40 bold visionaries to join with us in creating Kitsap’s largest, most cutting-edge coworking community, Inspired You founder and Sparkwood Events President Jackie Wood was among the first to sign up. “Kitsap is the best place to raise a family, in my opinion, but I am so excited about having the ability to have a home away from my home office that doesn’t involve a coffee shop”, she told us.

 So what’s the only thing better than a first-class event produced by a Vibist? A first-class event that also features other Vibists. Like Lindsey Carnett of Marketing Maven, for example, another powerhouse Founding40 member on the docket to speak at Inspired You 2017. Swoon.
 

5. Did someone say brunch? And cocktails? And $30 off? Yes, yes they did.

Tickets to Inspired You 2017 are just $149 if you snag yours at inspiredyouevent.com before July 15 using the code COUNTMEIN. Not too shabby for a day of learning, connecting and strategizing alongside some of the West Sound’s most inspirational women. Another thing we love? A portion of this year’s proceeds will go to Morrow Manor in Poulsbo, which offers female survivors of domestic violence and their children a safe and supportive place to rebuild their lives. Oh yeah. We’re in.

Construction underway on 'community hub'

Construction underway on 'community hub'

New home underway for ChocMo, High Spirits, Crabtree Kitchen + Bar, Vibe Coworks.

POULSBO—Construction is underway on Tim Ryan Construction's newest project: a two-story building with underground parking that will house retail, office, restaurant and special event space. 

Conceptual rendering of the lobby of Poulsbo's new Work. Eat. Drink. building on 8th Avenue, developed by Tim Ryan Properties.

Conceptual rendering of the lobby of Poulsbo's new Work. Eat. Drink. building on 8th Avenue, developed by Tim Ryan Properties.

The building is scheduled to be the first private or public building in Poulsbo with LEED credentials, the company stated in an announcement of the project, on 8th Avenue.

The building boasts a functional design meant to offer a means for people to explore the space and all it has to offer. 

Among the new tenants: ChocMo and High Spirits.

"The project is on track for LEED certification by the United States Green Building Council by virtue of the very design elements it naturally possesses," the announcement states. "Using sustainable elements enhances the building design, as well as the operational efficiency, and the impacts that they have on our community both now and long term are important to us." 

Tim Ryan Construction, or TRC, collaborated with Rice Fergus Miller, Inc to achieve a building design that meets the needs of tenants and considers adjacent properties. The site backs up to Centennial Park and the south fork of Dogfish Creek. The building was designed for visitors to enjoy the park, the company announcement stated.

Using the property to showcase edible landscape plantings wherever possible will provide an opportunity for community members to gain an understanding of nature in an unprecedented manner. Easily accessible by foot, bicycle or car, the building will be an attraction for both locals and visitors alike.

"This new building is a family project, built for Tim Ryan Properties," TRC President, Dan Ryan, said in the announcement. The lease spaces are designed for third-generation family member businesses: ChocMo, High Spirits liquor store, Crabtree Kitchen + Bar and Vibe Coworks.

Conceptual rendering of High Spirits, a liquor store in the new Work. Eat. Drink. building on 8th Avenue in Poulsbo. Construction is now underway. High Spirits and ChocMo will move to the site from 7th Avenue. Other tenants—all family businesses—include Vibe Coworks and Crabtree Kitchen + Bar.

Conceptual rendering of High Spirits, a liquor store in the new Work. Eat. Drink. building on 8th Avenue in Poulsbo. Construction is now underway. High Spirits and ChocMo will move to the site from 7th Avenue. Other tenants—all family businesses—include Vibe Coworks and Crabtree Kitchen + Bar.

"As longtime residents of Kitsap County, the family is excited to bring this unique building as a lasting contribution to the community," said Ryan.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2018.

This is a long-time Kitsap County team, with Rice Fergus Miller hitting the 30-year milestone in 2017, and TRC celebrating its 60th anniversary. TRC has been building in Kitsap County since the early 1970s. TRC's local projects include the Poulsbo Village Shopping Center, Poulsbo Village Medical Center, the former Union Bank building, West Sound Academy, and the Suquamish Museum.

Tim Ryan Construction was awarded the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award in 2016 for its contributions to the community as a supporter of youth organizations, health and human services and the arts. 

Rice Fergus Miller is a 47-person architecture, design and planning firm, located in downtown Bremerton. 

As published in the North Kitsap Herald, Friday, May 26, 2017, page A13.

How coworking can lower your taxes, and your stress

How coworking can lower your taxes, and your stress

Yay, tax season! (Said no normal human being ever). If you're anything like the 56% of American adults who say that tax filing season is among the most anxiety ridden times of the year, you've probably spent a fair bit of time these last days trying to find those last six receipts that you know you saved right there... or was it there?... or crap, I have no actually have no freaking idea. Do you think X vendor will issue me a new one? Like NOW??

And when you're done crawling around behind the dusty file cabinet in a futile attempt to find that one rogue, yet essential, receipt, you can start working on that revered home office deduction. All you have to do is measure the size of your office, calculate what percentage your office takes out of your whole home, do a little voodoo, and deduct that percentage from your indirect household expenses. Not into measuring tapes? Just deduct by room. Or by square foot and the magical the $5 flat rate... 

Wait. What's that, you say? You don't actually have a physical home office, but more of an 'hour on the couch, 3 hours at the dining table, 4 hours at the kitchen counter' type of home office? Yeah, sorry. You're screwed. No IRS home office deduction for you (unless you happen to have a really smart tax advisor, perhaps?)

That's why we'd like to blow your mind for just a minute: your coworking membership at a place like Vibe Coworks can put an end to all of that tax prep trauma.

Using a coworking space for business means you finally have a clean way of claiming Tax deductions on your office expenses.

The statements, receipts or invoices that you get from us here at Vibe provide a clear record of expense and, because it is separate from any use of space for personal reasons (like a room at home might be), there is a clean delineation of the business expense. No more hair-brained measuring and calculating of rooms, square feet and percentages of your humble abode, and no more wondering whether your home office claim might trigger your return for an audit. Unless you like that sort of thing. Then by all means, go for it. 

For the rest of us, your coworking expenses are the secret weapon to achieving the tidy tax records and deductions you've been dreaming of. But don't take our word for it. Talk to your personal tax advisor; we'll provide the receipts.

Happy tax day!

 

This PNW designer has something to say about transparency, connectedness and pink hardhats.

This PNW designer has something to say about transparency, connectedness and pink hardhats.

Happy International Women's Day to you! Celebrated in homes, schools and workplaces around the globe, today is a day to celebrate progress, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

Interior designer Stéphanie Isaacs is turning conventional on its head at the Vibe coworking space, creating an inspiring new hub for community connectedness in Kitsap. 

Interior designer Stéphanie Isaacs is turning conventional on its head at the Vibe coworking space, creating an inspiring new hub for community connectedness in Kitsap. 

If you didn't get a chance to read our earlier story with Rice Fergus Miller's Kristen Linn, who is blazing trails as the lead architect on the new building that Vibe is proud to call home, you better hop over and do that now (here's the link). But come back and read this, because we've got another powerhouse woman on our team that you really have to meet. Her name: Stéphanie Isaacs. And there's no better day to get to know her than on a day when we're celebrating bold change and 'women in the changing world of work.'

This building will help to change the preconceived notion that you have to live in a big city to feel connected.
— Stéphanie Isaacs

Stéphanie may or may not have known what she was getting into when Rice Fergus Miller assigned her head up all of the interior design work on our project, but we're damn glad to have her with us, and know that you will be too, from the moment you walk in the door at Vibe this Fall. Hear what she has to say about a few things, including transparency, connectedness and pink hardhats.

Vibe: What inspired you to get into interior design?
SI: 
I think it was all those episodes of "This Old House" that I was forced to watch as a kid. Ha! Truthfully, I was always kind of a squirrelly kid with tons of interests. One year I was tap dancing, another year I was on a pottery wheel, and the year after that I was writing poetry. If I'm not constantly learning or experiencing new things, I don't thrive. Design as a career allows me to take a deep dive into worlds outside of my own experience. You're getting inside the thing that you're trying to design, and it requires research and educating yourself about all the moving parts and pieces. Every new project is like going to school I'm a total nerd for it.

Vibe: How would you describe your approach to design? 
SI: 
My design approach really attempts to arrive at the most simple expression of how a thing or space needs to function. I ask myself: 'What is this thing actually trying to accomplish?' Then I look at the problem in its most abstract form. You're questioning everything you know and basically throwing it out the window. Stripping it down often reveals a more beautiful version of itself. Then it's an additive process, playing with scale, texture and materiality to make an aesthetic statement. Sometimes you come up with total crap, but you keep working at it until it's not. It's those Eureka! moments you live for. Any designer will tell you it's not just problem solving. Bucky (Buckminster Fuller) said it best: 'When I'm working on a problem I never think about beauty, I think only how to solve the problem. But when I am finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.'

I’m bummed that we still have to talk about this in 2017. Discrimination, unequal pay, harassment, etc. are all things that you’re going to deal with in any male-dominated profession and you constantly have to prove yourself in the field. Construction sites get interesting. I made it a point to swear more just so I could be ‘one of the guys.’

Vibe: According to a 2016 survey by Women in Architecture, 1 in 5 women worldwide say that they would not encourage a woman to start a career in architecture. How do you feel about that?
SI: Honestly, I'm bummed that we still have to talk about this in 2017. Discrimination, unequal pay, harassment, etc. are all things that you're going to deal with in any male-dominated profession and you constantly have to prove yourself in the field. Construction sites get interesting. I made it a point to swear more just so I could be 'one of the guys.' Yes, there are some stories. A friend of mine attended a conference for women in architecture and they had distributed a gift bag with various things, one of which was a pink hardhat. A PINK HARDHAT. That was literally exactly the opposite of what they should have done. Architecture and design isn't for everyone, but that's not necessarily because you are a woman.

Vibe: Talk to us about Vibe and the building that Vibe will call home. What has been your inspiration behind the design work that you're doing on the project?
SI: 
Vibe and the other tenants of the building hold tight to their values of enriching and elevating the customer / member experience. Vibe does this by reaching out, developing and nurturing community relationships. ChocMo, Crabtree Kitchen + Bar and High Spirits achieve this through educating customers about high quality products and services that are local to the region. There is an educational component to each of the client programs, which really lends itself to the idea of transparency. The building design responds to this by being honest in its use of materials and construction. Nothing fake or fabricated. This transparency of design will help connect the users of the space, and help reinforce the integrity of business and the spirit of the owners. My clients are my inspiration!

Vibe: How do you think Vibe Coworks, and the building space that it's in, will change the world of work for local creatives, entrepreneurs and remote workers in Poulsbo and throughout the Kitsap Peninsula?
SI:
I think this building will help to change the preconceived notion that you have to live in a big city to feel connected. There are so many great stories happening right at the local level and very inspiring entrepreneurial people behind it. If you can give folks a cool place to gather, eat, work and network... you're creating a hub for connectedness. There is really nothing like it in the area!

Vibe: What keeps your creative energy flowing? 
SI: 
Travel. I hardly get to do it enough, but it's the one thing I most look forward to. Again, it's about experiencing anything outside of what you know and attaining a different perspective of the world. Travel provides endless inspiration for creativity. It's a given, and you'll find most creative people actually require it. For me, it's about asking questions about the world. I'm super inquisitive by nature and I like to know why things are the way they are. How could they be different? Do they need to be different? I like to live in a cerebral state of mind most of the time, which generates interesting outcomes in terms of creativity. It's a blessing and a curse.

Vibe: If you could design for anyone, who would it be?
SI: 
Anthony Bourdain!  

Meet two of the unstoppable women behind Vibe

Meet two of the unstoppable women behind Vibe

Need a reason to party this week? We've got your back: International Women's Day is happening this Wednesday, March 8 and it's a big. freaking. deal. Celebrated in homes, schools and workplaces around the globe, IWD is a day to celebrate progress, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Think we're stoked? You'd better believe it.

Rice Fergus Miller's Kristen Linn is blazing trails as the lead architect on the new building that Vibe is proud to call home. 

Rice Fergus Miller's Kristen Linn is blazing trails as the lead architect on the new building that Vibe is proud to call home. 

The United Nations has made "Women in the changing world of work" the official theme for 2017, and it just so happens that we have some pretty brag-worthy women working behind the scenes with us here at Vibe who are doing just that, including our project manager (and architect) Rachelle Freegard, lead architect Kristen Linn, and interior designer, Stéphanie Isaacs, all from Rice Fergus Miller.

This week, we were able to tear Kristen and Stéphanie away from their work just long enough to get an inside look at what makes them tick. We'll start with Kristen because, when it comes to having her and Rachelle at the helm of our architectural ship as lead architect and project manager, respectively, we know that's something exceptional. Why? Because women continue to be vastly underrepresented within the world of architecture: a mere 16% of members of the American Institute of Architects are female. 

The soul of this building is inclusion. Everything has been about the people who come here, how they will feel and how they will interact. It will truly be an experience.
— Kristen Linn

Rachelle, Kristen and Stéphanie are a design force to be reckoned with in and of themselves. Together, these women are unstoppable, shaping the look, feel and experience of Vibe in ways that will forever change your definition of 'workplace'. Join us in raising a glass to the women who are literally 'changing the world of work' -- not just in their world, but all of ours.

 

Vibe: What gets your creative energy flowing? Where do you find your inspiration?
KL:  Problems. When something isn't working right, that's what gets my creative energy flowing. I want to fix it! Design, at its heart, is problem solving. I am inspired by people and genuinely just want to help people. 

Vibe: What is your favorite element of the new Vibe building?
KL: 
I think there are a few elements that stand out and will surprise people, but my favorite element is the unisex bathrooms. The soul of this building is inclusion. Everything has been about the people who come here, how they will feel and how they will interact. It will truly be an experience.

Vibe: Sustainability and healthier, happier living are two things we've talked a lot about with this project. What are some of the ways that this is being taken into consideration from a design perspective?
KL: 
There is an overarching LEED goal for this project (achieving the globally recognized certification as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building), but one of my favorite ways that sustainability and healthier, happier living has been considered on this project is the interaction with the outdoors. Where feasible, we have incorporated operable windows with loads of natural light, along with the benefits of fresh air. Both Vibe and Crabtree Kitchen + Bar have access to the outdoors through their own decks and stairs to the adjacent Centennial Park. Personally, I am way more productive, and happier, when I can sit near a window and see nature.

Vibe: What is the biggest challenge that you've faced while working on the Vibe building?
KL: The biggest challenge has been fitting all of the programs into the site and meeting all of the criteria for each tenant: Vibe Coworks, Crabtree Kitchen + Bar, ChocMo and High Spirits. Our team has had a lot of fun working through this puzzle.

One thing that can turn women off from the profession [of architecture] is often the pay and benefits compared to the time/effort worked. But I don’t think that it just an issue that impacts women; I think it is much more of a problem within the profession.
— Kristen Linn

Vibe: According to a 2016 survey by Women in Architecture, 1 in 5 women worldwide say they would not encourage a woman to start a career in architecture. How do you feel about that?
KL: 
I feel like I should be more well-versed in this topic than I am. I head this a lot in the beginning of my career. I am interested to know what the age bracket is of the women who were surveyed. From what I've been told, architecture was a more male-dominated profession and could often feel like a 'boys' club.' Construction sites can often be an interesting place for women as well. Honestly, from what I've experienced in most offices, it's a fairly equal split. Another thing that can turn women off from the profession is often the pay and benefits compared to the time/effort worked. But I don't think that it just an issue that impacts women; I think it is much more of a problem within the profession, when compared to other professions that take as much schooling and licensing as architecture does.

Vibe: If you could design for anyone, who would it be?
KL: I would design for a group of people interested in reducing home costs, hopefully enabling more people to afford homes. There is a group associated with Auburn University in Alabama called Rural Studio, that does these $20K homes. It's really inspiring. I would love to design smaller modular homes like the old Sears homes that could be ordered from catalogues and assembled like a kit of parts by the homeowner. I enjoy the puzzle of making small spaces functional. Making an affordable home would be an added bonus.

Next up, Stéphanie Isaacs' take on design, inspiration and women in the future of work...  

Ready to try coworking? Here's what 6 local experts want you to know first.

Ready to try coworking? Here's what 6 local experts want you to know first.

Enough. Enough of the loneliness of working solo; enough of cool but distracting coffee shop work attempts; enough of long commutes and utterly unprofessional conference calls taken while battling the mute button so you can pretend there aren't dogs, kids and cars roaring in the background. Enough. You're ready to give this brave new world of coworking a try. Congrats, we say to you. Go forth and find your happy, and take these proven tips and tricks with you when you do. 

Try out a few different spaces.

Each space is unique and it can be as important as finding the right job or the right house. Not everyone will enjoy every space—they all have a slightly different focus and culture. It’s great to be in your own neighborhood if you can, but it’s even more important that you are going to really want to go there.
— Marnee Chua

try it for a month.

It’s hard to get a feel for coworking in one day, but after a few times you’ll start to make connections and feel the benefits, both in your work and your personal happiness. If you don’t find it useful, you can always drop your membership.
— Cortney Stehlik-Freeman
Cortney Stehlik-Freeman, Kitsap Coworking Meetup Group

Cortney Stehlik-Freeman, Kitsap Coworking Meetup Group

Ask your employer to cover the cost.

Marcel Imbach, Vibe Coworks

Marcel Imbach, Vibe Coworks

Coworking is not just for freelancers. Many of us work for large companies that are eager to support the needs and interests of their employees in order to retain top talent. Talk to your employer about having them cover the cost of your full- or part-time coworking membership. Many will.
— Marcel Imbach

Get to know the people around you. 

You should feel ‘free’ where you work. It’s not a library; you can speak. You can—and should—interact. The potential for new relationships is key. Coworking is, in large part, about getting to know the people around you. It’s so much more productive and rewarding than the alternatives.
— Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly, Spark Commons

Sean Kelly, Spark Commons

Be flexible and look for ways to contribute.

Leslie Schneider and Jason Omens, Office Xpats

Leslie Schneider and Jason Omens, Office Xpats

That’s how you get connected fast and get the most out of coworking. Coworking gives an entire community of professionals the chance to find each other, develop trust and eventually do some business with each other.
— Leslie Schneider

This Bremerton architect experienced a 'wow moment' when he was hired to design Vibe. Here's why.

This Bremerton architect experienced a 'wow moment' when he was hired to design Vibe. Here's why.

Make no mistake: Vibe Coworks is a massive group effort. It's a place, a space and a community of people being brought to life by an army of smart, creative do-ers from around the Sound. Steve Rice is one of those people. And as principal at Rice Fergus Miller, he also happens to be ringleader in chief of the architectural and design team that is pouring its heart and soul into making Vibe unforgettably inspirational from the minute you walk through that door. Don't blame us if you don't want to leave the place. Steve and his team are masters of their trade, and we're pretty okay with that. This week, we sat down with Steve to get his take on how environment impacts the work that we do, what's been happening behind the scenes at Vibe and what he loves most about living+working right here in Kitsap.

Bremerton architect Steve Rice is Senior Principal at Rice Fergus Miller, a certified B Corporation known for its expertise in shaping community and being on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainability. 

Bremerton architect Steve Rice is Senior Principal at Rice Fergus Miller, a certified B Corporation known for its expertise in shaping community and being on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainability. 

Vibe: What inspired you to get into architecture and design?
SR: When I was 11 years old, my parents hired an architect to design a house for our family on the Key Peninsula. We visited the site every Saturday during constructionit was spellbinding for me. I could see my future from right there.

It was a wow moment—a thankful wow moment. Over the course of your career you find a few special projects that stretch boundaries. I could see right away that Vibe would be one of those.

Vibe: As a human, as a designer and as a business leader, how does the environment you're working in impact you and the work that you do?
SR: The environment I'm working in should be inspirational. I think that's especially true for anyone involved in creative, connective or 'thinking' types of work. My team and I were reminded of that in 2011, when we renovated an abandoned Sears Auto Center building in downtown Bremerton, transforming it into RFM's office and studio. It's a joyous space, and we like being here. It absolutely contributes to the quality and spirit of the work that we do. That is exactly what will happen at Vibe, too.

Vibe: What was your first thought when we, together with Tim Ryan Construction, first approached you about taking on the design of a revolutionary new coworking space in Kitsap?
SR: Honestly? It was a wow momenta thankful wow moment. Over the course of your career you find a few special projects that stretch boundaries: boundaries of place, type, method or the edges of one's imagination. I could see right away that Vibe and the building its housed in would be one of those projects. There is great reward in working on these [types of projects].

Vibe: That first encounter was back in April 2016. What's been happening behind the scenes since then? 
SR: First, we established a design identity for the building, and visual positions for the interiors. Now, we're bringing detail into the picture, documenting everything, while staying true to the overall design intent. We've also been working closely with the City of Poulsbo's Planning & Building Department to make sure that our design plans exceed their requirements, and that the needed building permits can be processed as quickly as possible. 

Vibe: What's your favorite element of Vibe's new building? 
SR: The deliberate notion of craft. As developers and tenants, all of you at Tim Ryan Construction, Vibe, ChocMo, High Spirits and Crabtree Kitchen+Bar presented several challenges around how you want people to interact with the building and your respective businesses. Craft will appear on several different levels, but especially where people experience the building in a close waylike touching a handrail, holding a well-designed menu, meeting with people around a kitchen hearth or thinking it out with clients or business partners on the 'porch' at Vibe. We're trying to translate into physical form what owners can usually only describe with words. I think visitors will appreciate how everything is crafted carefully and related in a seamless way.  

Vibe: On a more personal level, what's your favorite thing about Kitsap? 
SR: I love the proximity to nature and its beauty here in Kitsapthat I can hop on my bike and get in 50 beautiful miles on a Saturday afternoon, and then have oysters for dinner that I gathered on our Hood Canal the night before. In the dark and rain and wind, of course.

Vibe: What are you most looking forward to in 2017? 
SR: For our firm, I am looking forward to seeing our practice continue to develop and evolve. I get a lot of joy from seeing great young professionals rise up and share the firm's leadership. For me personally, I am looking forward to another long bike ridethis time from Detroit to NYC. And of course seeing Vibe and the partner businesses open in the new building. I love the celebrations around a new place, and all of the possibility that it represents.

6 reasons why 2017 will be the year you fall in love with coworking

6 reasons why 2017 will be the year you fall in love with coworking

1. You finally understand what coworking actually is. 

Most people have no idea what coworking is. Or they think they do, but they've got it all wrong. This is the year you will have it all figured out. Lest there be any confusion, coworking isn't about 'holding hands and singing hymns while getting things done' (thank you Sean Kelly @Spark Commons for clarifying that one...). But it's also not something that's only for high-tech start-ups, or just a place for shared office space--both misunderstandings that Works Progress' Marnee Chua hears all the time.

"Until you see it," says Marnee, "a lot of people don't understand that the most important part of coworking is the community it provides for people who are otherwise isolated--people who work from home, telecommute, freelance or are starting their own small business. A neighborhood coworking space provides a location to share your experiences, network with peers and be more productive by helping to separate work time from home life."

So go ahead, revel in the sense of freedom and personal responsibility that coworking can give you. "You get the perks of an office without 'the boss' breathing down your neck. And ideally you will meet some great people," Sean told us. "Perhaps you'll burst into song if you're feeling a beat, too. Your call."  

2. Inspiration and passion are contagious.

Ask Vibe Coworks cofounder, Marcel Imbach, what first got him hooked on coworking, and you'll get an unequivocal reply: "the vibe."

"I walked into my first coworking space and was immediately struck by the atmosphere," he said. "It was a place where people had chosen to be, and everyone there was not only passionate about the work that they were doing, but interested in working alongside others that were equally driven by the work they were doing. People were visibly productive, happy and expressing creativity. That sort of atmosphere is contagious, and can inspire so many great new ideas and opportunities." 

In the same way that not every restaurant serves good food, not every coworking community offers that same contagiously motivational energy. That's why it's worth trying out as many different spaces as you need, until you find the one that lights that I-can-conquer-the-world fire in your belly. As in life, diversity of coworking spaces is a good thing. And now more than ever, you've got options.

3. Crazy cool things can happen to you at a coworking space.

Take, for example, Spark Commons in Bremerton, where a local systems architect dropped by for the day to get some work done, only to discover that his employer was one of the biggest web development clients of Spark Commons founder, Sean Kelly. They're a global company, making it--as Sean says--"surprising and serendipitous" for the two of them to meet and live in Kitsap.

Better yet, you might get to build some pretty solid relationships with people from entirely different industries than your own--people who you'd have no real excuse to meet otherwise. That's the case for Vibe's Marcel Imbach: architects and designers sit alongside naturopaths, journalists, financial analysts, lawyers, artists, authors and nonprofit pros. Somehow, miraculously, all of those peeps not only get along, but they enhance each others work just as often as they form formal business partnerships and unexpected friendships.

As if that weren't exciting enough, you might also get to experience things like the Coworking Visa, a special nation-wide pass that allows members of participating coworking spaces to work from another space for free, usually up to 3 days while traveling. The fact that a dad from Works Progress was able to swap membership spots for a week with a dad from Office Nomads in Seattle while juggling the summer camp / childcare shuffle with their daughters is just one of the crazy cool coworking things that Works Progress cofounder, Marnee Chua loves to talk about.

4. More money, more time, more happy.

Why? Because, as Office Xpats cofounder Leslie Schneider explains, "coworking gives more people the chance to work, and therefore spend local, and be closer to their family's needs. It gives one-person businesses the chance to grow within an informal incubator, and without any commitment to long-term leases. Coworking gives an entire community of professionals the chance to find each other, develop trust and eventually do some business with one another."

And while coworking opens up a world of possibility for everyone, it can be an especially powerful option for women. "We've found that the highest barriers for women in their careers and in operating small businesses come down to 3 things: access to capital; access to female coaches and mentors within their field; and access to flexible and affordable childcare", said Marnee Chua, who has also cofounded the Women's Business Incubator in Seattle. Coworking can help break down all of those barriers by building networks, connecting people and ideas and offering an effective infrastructure for more flexible work-life integration.

5. You realize that your home office, coffee shop and brick and mortar office are all great... until you try a coworking space.

To really understand what coworking has to offer, you first need to try working from home, a few coffee shops and a brick and mortar office. Once you do, Leslie Schneider swears you'll know exactly what you're missing when you try working from a coworking space instead.

Cortney Stehlik-Freeman sings the same song. She started the Central Kitsap & Bremerton Coworking MeetUp in 2015, after leaving full-time employment to work for herself and finding the daily grind of the work-from-home life stifling, both physically and creatively.

"Coworking spaces have a different feel than 'normal' offices," she told us. "You're there with coworkers, there's coffee brewing and copiers running...but there's a more productive and creative atmosphere than there is at a typical office. I do a combination of working from home, from coffee shops and from a coworking space on different days, depending on what my work requires that day. I like that my coworking space gives me a place to meet with clients and colleagues in a more professional setting than a coffee shop. On days that I cowork, I feel more productive, which I think is attributable to the productivity of the atmosphere and the people around me."

6. You finally have options, right here in Kitsap

Between Kitsap's affordability, beauty, breweries and stellar local communities, you don't have to tell us why you choose to live here. Kitsap is the Pacific Northwest's best kept secret, and we're pretty okay with that. What we're not okay with is anyone feeling forced to make a hard call between leaving the land that they love just because of a job or professional ecosystem. Enough of that. Thanks to changing remote work policies, improved technology and not one but THREE coworking spaces on the Kitsap Peninsula, you can finally be the master of your own work+life.

"Accessibility is going to be such a boost for the west side of the Puget Sound," argues Sean. "I enjoy our more laid back lifestyle, but I'm enthused about the potential for new business that the fast ferry will bring. An influx and mixture of new talent and ideas will be huge for entrepreneurs here." 

Not a fan of the fast ferry? No matter. Cortney Stehlik-Freeman is similarly convinced that we are living in a "very exciting time for entrepreneurs and others who choose to live their lives according to their own design." You catch that? According to their own design. "This has special meaning for those of us who choose the Kitsap Peninsula lifestyle, but need to connect with the workforces or larger markets of bigger cities. Essentially, it means that we can finally do the work that we want, while also creating the lifestyle we want."

Ready to give coworking a try? DO IT! Hit up a local space or two, and consider joining the Vibe Founding40 as we countdown to opening day in Poulsbo (yeah!)

For this I am thankful

For this I am thankful

I’ve got to hand it to you, Poulsbo. It’s not even a full moon right now and you’re giving me all the feels. This week, some 300-odd million of us Americans are preparing to belly up to the table in celebration of that time honored tradition that is Thanksgiving. This of course also means that a nearly equivalent number of us are dusting off the gratitude goggles and having a real think about the many, many things we have to be thankful for, today and every day.

As a mama, as a wife and as cofounder of Vibe, I’m certainly no exception: I have a whole hell of a lot of things to be thankful for this year. (Fear not, I also have a whole lot of things to be worried, mad, anxious and stressed out about this year, too, just like you, but we’ll stick to the good stuff… gratitude goggles, gratitude goggles, gratitude goggles…). So here it is: 10 Things I Love About You.

Just kidding. We haven’t had enough wine for that just yet. But my happy little heart IS overflowing with thanks right now. These are 6 reasons why:

  1. Kitsap is a gem of a place to call home.
    If you’re ever passing through NYC, there’s a good chance you’ll see a giant billboard that says: “Raising a baby in an NYC apartment is like trying to grow an oak tree in a thimble.” Well, we’ve been trying to raise two babies in an NYC apartment and I can tell you it ain’t for the faint of heart. Seattle’s value-for-money isn’t looking much better. So imagine my excitement to be moving back to Poulsbo. After all, where else can you find that magical mix of water, mountains and green, a welcoming community, cool breweries, solid public schools and a place where you can still afford to live? #thankful

  2. We’re surrounded by visionaries.
    Co-what? I know. Coworking as we understand it at Vibe is still sorta new. But we are fortunate to be surrounded by people in our community who understand Vibe’s potential to dramatically alter the way we live+work in Kitsappeople who didn’t send Marcel and I to the looney bin when we started dreaming up the idea, but have instead started dreaming with us. People like Dan Ryan, Craig Steinlicht, Mary Ryan, Dan Weedin, Nick Johnson, Jan Harrison, Rachel Bearbower, Steve Rice, Brett Eddy, Kathy Cocus, Mayor Becky and so, so many others. Yeah. We’re pretty thankful for all of you.
     
  3. My employer didn’t fire me.
    It’s the ultimate entrepreneur dilemma: when do you tell your employer that you’re moonlighting? Vibe was born out of my dream to work remotely from Kitsap for WaterAidan international nonprofit that I’ve grown to be immensely passionate about since joining the team nearly 4 years ago. But Vibe is neither a small nor subtle endeavor, and there was no way to keep it under wraps (thanks, Facebook). Not only did they refrain from showing me the door, they’ve been as supportive as any entrepreneur could ever hope for. #grateful
     
  4. There are people out there who actually paid attention in art class.
    And I mean that in the most grateful, genuinely respectful way possible. We’ve had the good fortune of working with some incredibly talented designers, architects and builders these last months, all of whom are the real geniuses behind the Vibe Coworks look and feel. From Nick at Cima Creative, to Steve, Rachelle, Kristen, Stephanie, Matt, Sean, Richard and all the team at Rice Fergus Miller, Inc., I’m thankful to all you creatively-minded for all the work you’re doing to set the tone for the modern, inspiring place we know that Vibe will be.
     
  5. Our investors and mentors believe in what we’re doing.
    Lest you be led to believe we have a secret stash of cash somewhere, please hear me when I say that we’re working our way through the same hurdles as any new business. You know, basic things like where do we get the cash to make this happen? (Did I mention I’m throwing more than 65% of my salary at childcare and exorbitant NYC rent right now?? Lovely.) That’s why I am so, so grateful that people with far more business start-up expertise than Marcel and I are going out of their way to help us come up with creative, sustainable solutions to make it all work.

    Here, I’d be remiss not to mention Tim Ryan Construction who, as both developers and investors, believed in our vision of a new kind of hub for community innovation so much that they went all in, investing in the design and construction of an entirely new building that’s perfectly located, and specifically fit-for-purpose. Yeah. That kind of thankful.
     
  6. You’re as excited about Vibe as we are.
    Over the course of the last seven months, we’ve received an overwhelming show of interest, enthusiasm and support from people like you who are excited about becoming part of the Vibe communitya community of creatives and professionals who are passionate about the work that they do and choose to work together while doing their own thing. We’re already running a waitlist for private offices, and we’re fielding membership inquiries daily. Thanks for joining us on this journey to re-imagine the future of work+life in Kitsap... together.


From our crazy busy, crazy thankful family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving.

Alanna, Marcel, K+N

Time out with Kitsap entrepreneur, Lindsey Carnett

Time out with Kitsap entrepreneur, Lindsey Carnett

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we sat down with North Kitsap High School grad-turned powerhouse entrepreneur, Lindsey Carnett to talk big vision, real challenges and the power of giving back through business. Formerly a star NKHS soccer player, Lindsey left Poulsbo in 2001 to study Spanish and Communications at California Lutheran University, where she became Captain of the women's soccer team. Fifteen years later, Marketing Maven, the company she founded in 2009, has been named to the list of 'Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America' by Entrepreneur Magazine, and named one of the fastest growing PR firms in America by O'Dwyer's PR. With roots in Kitsap, Marketing Maven has grown to be a multi-million dollar bi-coastal operation, with a staff of 20 and offices in Los Angeles and New York. Just the kind of story we love.

NKHS grad, Lindsey Carnett, is the Founder and CEO of Marketing Maven, recently named one of the 'Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America'.

NKHS grad, Lindsey Carnett, is the Founder and CEO of Marketing Maven, recently named one of the 'Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America'.

Vibe: What inspired you to get into marketing and public relations?
LC: It was in high school, when the North Kitsap Herald and the Kitsap Sun covered my fundraising efforts surrounding a trip to China to pay soccer. The donations rolled in, and I discovered the power of publicity. In college while working three jobs, I earned a Wall Street Journal article above the fold on a Monday morning for a tech client of mine. I'd done it from my phone, while en route to a soccer game. I knew I was skilled, and this career would allow me to travel and give voice to those who wouldn't have one otherwise.

Vibe: Marketing Maven is celebrating its 7th year in business. That's an exciting accomplishment. What are some of the things you've achieved that you're most proud of?
LC: I am most proud of my staff. We have grown together in the growth of our skill sets. It has come with a strong investment in leadership training, tactical skill development in analytics reporting, and embracing and licensing cutting-edge technology. I am also thrilled when Marketing Maven is the game-changer for our clients. Maybe they are trying to get a product into retail and need to show consumer awareness, maybe it's a non-profit where we support them in raising the final dollars necessary to serve people in need. Or maybe its the exposure that will convince the investment community to take a tech start-up seriously enough to invest. That's what excites me the most!

The clients we serve are entrepreneurial, and many of them share our same core values of being ‘trailblazers who get shit done’. We give a voice to the underdog, and we measure everything we do via analytics.

Vibe: As a human, as an entrepreneur and as a business leader, how does the environment that you're working in impact you and the work that you do?
LC: I am a big advocate for working in an environment that makes you thrive. The right environment can inspire creativity, improve focus or cultivate collaboration. I see the environment impact my staff in the same way.

Vibe: Tell us about the clients you take on. What makes them stand out from the crowd? 
LC: The clients we serve are entrepreneurial, and many of them share our same core values of being 'trailblazers who get shit done'. That helps us see eye to eye. We give a voice to the underdog, and we measure everything we do via analytics.

Vibe: Marketing Maven has made a name for itself by giving back to the community. Tell us about some of the causes that you support and why you've made giving back a priority.
LC: We've supported an organization called Casa Pacifica for the last four years. It is an organization that helps behaviorally challenged youth in our area. We also support the Boys & Girls ClubBig Brothers Big Sisters, the Alzheimer's Foundation and It Starts with a Girl, an all-girls school in India. Clients where we have donated additional pro-bono hours include nonprofits, WaterAidUp2Us Sports and Back on My Feet.

At Marketing Maven, having fun at work is built into the company culture. CEO Lindsey Carnett (bottom right) and her team keep things real by taking time together to celebrate their wins.

At Marketing Maven, having fun at work is built into the company culture. CEO Lindsey Carnett (bottom right) and her team keep things real by taking time together to celebrate their wins.

Vibe: Talk to us about how you keep your team excited and inspired. What makes Marketing Maven a great place to work?
LC: We celebrate client campaign wins as they happen and more formally on a monthly basis, awarding the team member with the most significant media placements earned for clients that month. We also have a quarterly team-building event. Some of the activities we've done together include painting night, kayaking, bicycling, BBQs at the beach, comedy shows, a holiday harbor cruise and climbing to the top of the sand dunes to watch whales in Malibu.

Vibe: Marketing Maven Public Relations is headquartered in Greater Los Angeles with offices in New York. What's your take on remote working, and juggling teams and partners that are located around the globe?
LC: Since 30% of our business is international, I love having a team that covers so many time zones. We have identified very good communications practices to help us talk regularly as a team. It requires more effort to schedule, but the constant communication really makes the distance work to our advantage.

Vibe: How do you think Vibe Coworks will change the world of work for local creatives, entrepreneurs and remote workers in Kitsap and beyond?
LC: I think Vibe Coworks is a brilliant idea for Kitsap County, and will open up more opportunities for people without having to commute. Vibe will improve efficiencies, and give employers more confidence in allowing their staff to telecommute from a more professional office environment. I think it will also help more revenue stay in Poulsbo by giving local businesses more customers throughout the day. And I think Kitsap residents will experience less burnout from commuting. It might even afford people from Kitsap higher incomes, if they are able to work for bigger, better companies that they wouldn't have considered applying for before, due to the long commute. 

A company culture or work environment is anything you make it. Vibe Coworks is a clean slate, and it’s up to the people there to shape the overall feel of the space. It isn’t just a building that makes the community—it’s the people.

Vibe: What are the biggest challenges that you face as an entrepreneur, and as a CEO?
LC: As an entrepreneur, the challenges is always having your hands in too much: being the janitor, the sales rep, the customer service rep, accounting and everything in between. Over the last 7 years, I've had formal training on how to work on by business, not in my business and that has helped me get the right people in place. Right now I am focused on strategic growth over the next 5 years. What market sectors to capture additional market share, what services to expand, what new services to offer, what technology to license.

Vibe: What are you passionate about, beyond work?
LC: I love mentorship. One of the most rewarding experiences I had was working with aspiring medical professionals at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, helping them to improve their communications skills. It is rewarding to me to see what people I trained are doing now, where they've been and to hear how the advice I gave them has helped them succeed in their careers or life journeys. I have also lectured to Entrepreneurship majors at California Polytechnic University and was thrilled to hear their questions and see how they benefitted from the information I shared.   

Vibe: What's the best piece of advice that you've been given and repeat to others?
LC: If you like what you do and are good at it, you won't work a day in your life and the money will come. 

Vibe: What's your favorite thing about the Pacific Northwest?
LC: The strong sense of community, and the way that people are authentic and genuinely care about one another. 

Vibe: In your opinion, what is the future of work?
LC: It will be a more regulated work environment due to HR laws about when you can and can't contact your employees. Each business will need to be very clear about their communication mandates, working overtime, and what that means in terms of electronic communications and response times.

Vibe: Anything else you'd like to share?
LC: I think it's very important to remember that a company culture or work environment is anything you make it. Vibe Coworks is a clean slate, and it is up to the people there to shape the overall feel of the space. It isn't just a building that makes the community--it's the people!