Built to Last

My neighbor, friend, and coworker Fisher thought immediately of Colin’s bike-centered fabrication and machine shop when I told him I was looking for self-created, soul-satisfying work spaces, and he was generous enough to introduce us via email.

Two weeks later, Daniel and I were walking toward the Equinox building–where Colin’s shop lives–in the most industrial part of Seattle’s industrial arts Georgetown neighborhood. With every step we took, I felt more out of my element. We passed a guy working on a pickup truck engine. Then a few more guys drinking beer at a cobbled-together table. Would there be any other women in the space? Then the walk down several long, dusty hallways. Metal vehicle parts and metal art hung at random on old nails, hooks.

I took a deep breath. Would I have anything in common with the man at the end of this hallway? And would he trust a woman whose fingernails suddenly felt ridiculously, obnoxiously, and actually arrogantly clean?

Still wishing I’d just left the afternoon’s gardening clothes and dirt on, I stepped through Colin’s door: shop 109.