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partnerships

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!”

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.