New Studio Space!
Many of you know that I’ve just moved into a shared office space in the River Arts District with some amazing women, so for this month’s blog I thought I’d share some of the details about how this got started, why we started it, who is in the space and most importantly, give credit where it is due. Big thanks to my dear friend Derek DiLuzio for the pictures!
How the studio space came about
This is such an exciting time to be a female entrepreneur. There are so many buzz words out there like girl boss, boss babe, business babes and the list goes on! There is a rise in young female business owners and it’s such a fun community to be apart of. I feel grateful and blessed that we live in a time where this is celebrated. Another buzz word out there is “business bestie” and as cheesy as it is, Casey Nifong and I immediately became business besties after she hired me to design her brand and website for her business, Mountain Laurel Digital. I started my business only six months before her so we immediately clicked, supported each other, asked each other for advice, vented to each other and lifted each other up.
During our many meetups, we dreamed about how fun it would be to have a shared work space where we could run our own businesses, but work alongside each other. We could recruit other like-minded people with similar businesses and crawl out of our lonely home offices and feel like we had coworkers again. We began telling people about our idea and at one YPA event, Casey came running up to me and informed me that Jared Kay told her the space beside his business (Amplified Media) was up for rent. Within only a few weeks Casey and I were sipping champagne in a big open room with no clue what to do next.
Why we wanted a shared office space
Our main goal wasn’t necessarily to have only women in the space, but it just naturally happened. The tech and digital world is so male driven, that it was a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by women in tech that aren’t afraid to dive into code, data or analytics. All of our businesses work so well together and our mission is to share ideas, strategies, clients and dreams. We aim to support each other and partner with each other to provide quality options for our clients.
Who else is in the space
Casey Nifong: Owner of Mountain Laurel Digital
This girl is such a force. Not only is she insanely smart, but she’s the sweetest person you’ll meet and her business is so important in this digital age. She specializes in SEO, market research, brand strategy and content creation. Essentially she helps your business get found online and helps you find your authentic voice and target audience.
Caitlin Campbell: Content Strategy Partner to Mountain Laurel Digital
Caitlin and I used to work together at a local branding agency and immediately became attached at the hip. She is a talented writer, content creator and brand strategist. When we worked together in the past, she would write all the brand language for the client's business while I worked on design. We worked closely to make sure the final product was perfect. When I was working on Casey’s website and she needed a writer, I sent her to Caitlin and they hit it off immediately. Since then Caitlin has become Mountain Laurel Digital’s primary content creator and my primary dance partner.
Kelli Early: Marketing Assistant at Mountain Laurel Digital
Even though I only recently met Kelli, I am blown away by her passion, work ethic and heart. She is a perfect fit for our space. Kelli is a recent grad of UNCA and is diving head first into career mode and eager to learn all the things.
Lydia Roberts: Owner of Lydia Roberts Website Design and Development
I first met Lydia when she was the organizer of WordCamp Asheville. She stood on stage and talked to the entire conference and I was immediately impressed with her. Not only was I impressed that she organized this conference, but she is SO knowledgeable in Wordpress, coding AND design. There aren’t many people that can do both development and design. When I worked at a local marketing agency, I actually worked with her on a website that I designed and she developed. Funny enough Lydia was actually the one that referred Casey to me for a logo. It all comes around full circle :)
All the credit goes to
I would be lying if I sat here and took credit for this space. While I was definitely part of the initial concept, it is Casey who is the ringleader of this whole operation. This absolutely would not have been possible without her fearless leadership. She had a vision and made it happen and it’s been such an exciting thing to be part of.
The next person I want to thank is Dan Nifong, Casey’s husband. First of all, I’ve never met someone so intelligent and talented. There’s literally nothing this man can’t do. He not only put together almost everything in our office like walls and shelves, but he also climbed a huge ladder to install lights and helped hang everything on the walls. He is a huge reason why this space came together and it’s amazing watching the overwhelming amount of support he provides for his wife. They are quite the team!
Lastly, I want to give a huge shoutout to Holly with Treadwell Designs who was the space planner for this office. We would have had no clue how to take this massive room with large columns and turn it into smaller offices, shared communal spaces and a conference room. Holly visited us from Durham, measured out the office, provided a plan, revised the plan, suggested furniture, walls, styling, plants, everything. I have never worked with a space planner or interior designer before and now have a huge amount of respect for everything that goes into their jobs. She was professional, timely and quickly understood the aesthetic we were going for.
The space is officially complete and I’m beyond excited to spend my time there working alongside these incredible women and host my clients in an inspiring, fun space. We’re only just getting started and I can’t wait to see how everything evolves. Come see us in the River Arts District! We’re located at 372 Depot St, Studio #44.
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