That’s So Salmon Bay!

On the advice of Jacob at Office Nomads, this week Daniel and I went to Ballard (in Seattle) to meet Ruby, who has created a soul-satisfying work space in the often less-than-soul-satisfying world of home loan lending and mortgages. Could this elusive thing be real? Was Jacob crazy? As we approached Salmon Bay Community Lending, we were curious to find out…

Acceptance, Love, Family, Community

This spring I was part of a crazy group of Central District neighbors that decided to create a community event called Hopscotch CD – 1.8-Miles of Fun! The best part about creating the event was the opportunity it gave me to meet even more people in my neighborhood.

Danyale of Good Hair Salon was one of the first local business owners to decide that a bunch of middle-age adults who wanted to hopscotch almost 2 miles around the neighborhood and meet neighbors weren’t completely crazy. Good Hair Salon, and their next-door-neighbor Couture Nails, set up a fun beauty table for the June 1st event at Pratt Park across from the salons. They made the day of many neighborhood kids and adults by giving away nail art with nail polish and decals and cool stickers, face painting, and temporary spray-in hair color along the hopscotch path…

The People Are the Space

I dug through my email folder and figured out that I met Susan and Jacob in early May, 2012, when I joined the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance group–a place for coworking space owners and other collaborative space holders in our area to get to know each other, hang out together, swap stories, and help each other out. I quickly realized that I’d actually met them briefly before, back in 2008, when I visited their coworking space, Office Nomads, as I was exploring my options as a new, free, recently jumped-from-my-corporate ship human. And I remembered that seeing their space back then helped me say “No!” to going back to my old world of work.

But this past year, Daniel and I opened our home as a coworking space, so I began to get to know them as fellow coworking space holders, and I’ve come to think of them as friends. Susan and Buckley dog sometimes come and work in our space, and I recently became a 5-days-a-month member of their space. I recognized Office Nomads as a self-created, soul-satisfying work space, in large part because they both glow when they talk about their space, and the coworking community and culture in general, and their own business partnership. So Daniel and I headed over one sunny late January afternoon to hear their story…

Infinite Loop of Care and Connection

We met Niki at the beginning of her work day, 6 p.m., at the alley entrance to the old brick building within which her Mobius Cycle studio lives. We followed our gracious host several floors up a winding, dusty staircase—photographer Daniel looking at the beautiful light coming through the old windows and fashion-challenged me admiring her dreadlocks—all the way up to the wide and open door of the floor she works on. The floor holds many work spaces, she explained, including Mobius Cycle. Where her work space ended and the others’ work spaces began wasn’t entirely clear. We would eventually come to understand this as simply an extension of Niki herself…

Always in Flux

Fisher and Sean (called the amazingly-energetic-20-something duo, or AE20D, by my collective name-giving brain) told me that we should talk to Martina of Swift Industries, because she and her husband Jason have created a soul-satisfying work space for themselves designing and making bike bags and accessories in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

A few days later, Daniel and I pulled up in front of a deep gray (concrete?) old warehouse building that was kind of ugly and not very inviting from a distance. But we’ve learned that it’s pointless to judge a space by its cover, like people, and, well, books. And as we walked up toward the building, we began to see interesting architectural details emerge—the building’s lovely features doing a pretty good job at overcoming their painfully uniform and gray paint job for those close enough to notice.

We weren’t exactly sure where to enter the building at first, and then–after we found the door–whether to knock or just go in. But we were fresh off our time with Haulin’ Colin, and I wasn’t feeling at all worried this time. Colin had taught us a new truth: makers rock, especially creative-every-day, bikes and bike-related accessories, makers. Thanks to Colin, we’d fallen a little in love with Martina before we’d even met, and I couldn’t wait to meet her. I bounced up the gray steps with a big grin on my face. A little initial awkwardness would not stop Daniel and I—the amazingly-energetic-for-40-somethings duo.