How I Have Benefited from Coworking

People come to coworking for various reasons. I came because our two-bedroom house was too small for my work, my wife’s schooling, and the schooling for my 4 and 2-year-old children. One day, after several months in each other’s hair, we realized there wasn’t room.

I called up LOOM Coworking and started that day.

I did not think that a simple choice such as renting a coworking space could change my business for the positive, but it did. I have learned more about my business, I have found new clients, and I have been able to connect with the local community. Read more

Our members are doing such cool things and collaborating … Mama has gotta brag!


collaborateMember Chris Jones of Jones Brothers Realty hired member
Josh James to create this awesome promo video!

Member Paul Davis, tutor and writer, and Cathy Kitchens, who will be hosting  ACT prep courses in our Gallery@LOOM, are working together on youth tutoring services!

Member Tom Ostrowski of Cruise Planners is offering a “Painting at Sea” Cruise experience with Debbie Whitsett, our Community Benefit Partner at Olives Studio, Gallery and Gifts!

We are so excited about the business opportunities that are being created in our community!

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I love my art teacher because …

Did or do you have a fine art teacher that has influenced or effected your life?

Whether you became an artist or not, many of us would not be who we are today without the efforts, talents and compassion of an art teacher somewhere in our past.

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Don’t have what it takes to work from home? … yeah, me neither!

I recently read an article by Rachel Gillett of Business Insider entitled  “I worked from home for a year — here’s the one mistake I’ll never make again”. Immediately, I felt I had met a kindred spirit. In June 2015, I began working as contributing author on a textbook. Being in an educational environment of one kind or another for 35 years, I severely underestimated the culture shock I would have transitioning to a work-from-home existence.

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Media at the Mill – downtown crawl recap

We had amazing attendance at our Catawba Studios Progress Presentation,
Tour of Theater revitalization, downtown walking tour and after party!!!
Check out the first of three Talk of the Town segments on the event.
Thank you so much Ann Pensiero-Norment and Darlene Cunnup for the photos and to
Fort Mill Economic Council, and all our sponsors and volunteers!
of photos from the event!
Here is what the attendees shared….
Allison Rose said … I truly enjoyed the Catawba Studios presentation. The film crew community in this area is so happy about what’s to come. I am glad I was there for the presentation and ran into some people I knew. Pleasant evening. Thank you for hosting
Amy Hillard said … I loved seeing community come together. Everyone was engaged. Great event even in the heat. Also, thanks for checking on your volunteers! 😉
Jim Stablein said … I liked the Catawba Studios presentation and the Walking Tour, specifically the historical information at the Fort Mill History Museum. And, of course, meeting new people!

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Business in a Bedroom Community

working-in-pajamas2Almost 7 years ago, the Walls Street Journal published a great article about the idea of coworking. Raymound Flandez espoused that those within coworking communities enjoy lower overhead and improved networking. These advantages still hold true today and are even more important to remote workers outside of the urban core. So why are so many mobile and independent professionals in bedroom communities still working in their bedrooms? Read more

Personal Assistants needed

OPPORTUNITY: We have had several people ask about a part-time need for personal assistant and administrative support. While we will not be directly providing these services, we would like to keep a database of professionals who do.

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Coworking – good for body, mind, and … wallet? The unexpected benefits of membership

Google the phrase “benefits of coworking” and you will get 609,000 links to articles, research, surveys, and other info touting how joining a collaborative business community will enhance your profitability and productivity, create opportunities for collaboration, solve your problems of isolation from potential clients, and help you grow your business.

But rarely do people talk about the financial, physiological, and environmental advantages. Those things that are more immediate and often measurable that improve our quality of life, stress levels, physical health, and familial bonds.

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opening day working

Coworking ….. it isn’t about the space – or is it?

(A founder’s reflection on opening day of the first coworking community in York County, SC – a suburb of Charlotte, NC)

Within just a couple of years, almost half of our workforce will be entrepreneurs and mobile, freelance or contingent knowledge workers. Coworking communities, numbering over 8000 worldwide, are becoming an expected amenity to the creative class when choosing where to live and engage.

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What is your superhero power? … It might be Tummling!

grizzardGrowing up in the south, one of my favorite writers was Lewis Grizzard, famous for his witty take on southern culture. Although I didn’t agree with a lot of his musings, one epiphany he had (and the excitement with which he had it) has always stuck with me. Once, someone trying to insult him, called him a “smart-a** white boy”. With great vigor and zest, he said “FINALLY I know what I am! I’m a smart-a** white boy”. After years of inner conflict, he was now able to put a word to his professional calling.

When deciding to develop a coworking community in Fort Mill, SC, I had to do a lot of self-reflection to be able to explain to others (and myself) why I felt that it was my mission to bring collaboration, community and creativity to our area … all for the benefit of local independent workers. I looked back over my time in higher ed, corporate America, professional associations and even social circles to determine what my talents (or self-professed superhero powers) are.

269599_683931059966_8114764_nOdd as they sound, I came up with:

  1. Lack of the Embarrassment Gene: Sometimes participation results in failure, but you never know till you try. If you fail, you either learn from it, make connections with others via sympathy gathering, or have some darn good stories to tell later.
  2. Instigation: My favorite quote is “the world is run by those who show up”. Well, the party is ruled by those who dance … especially those who drag other willing (or unwilling) participants onto the floor.
  3. Volume: Who needs a glass and flatware to get people’s attention at an event when you can shock them into submission with your lungs.
  4. Eavesdropping: What most people might see as a rude act, I claim proudly as an innate “awareness” of my surroundings and a desire to learn about people, what makes them tick, and how I can help facilitate their success.

Doesn’t seem like a list that was enhanced by 25 years of higher education and professional experience, but stick with me for a minute …..

By far the most rewarding part of my career in higher ed actually took place outside the classroom. Throughout my tenure, I worked closely with student leadership, freshman orientation, career and civic engagement, and the award winning campus programming board. Each of these experiences gave me more and more insight into group dynamics, methods of collaboration, successful program development, helping people assimilate to new environments and challenges, encouraging engagement, and bringing out the best in potential leaders. Managing a coworking community requires all of these, it is just serving a different audience!

Hub Bay Area Brochure - Spring 2011(4).inddWhich led me to the epiphany …
One day last fall while listening to a podcast, I learned a new word and everything in my mind started to fall into place … TUMMLER … an old Yiddish word that describe social directors or entertainers who encourage guest or audience participation or one who incites others to action. If you remember the movie “Dirty Dancing”, this was the guy whose job it was to inspire visitors to take part in enriching activities, to get to know them enough to connect them with like-minded folks, and inspire them to make the most of their visit.
Tummling goes so much further than social engagement. It is an essential part of growing a coworking community because engagement and making connections with others, personally and professionally, is the secret sauce that makes coworking the answer for more than a HALF A MILLION professionals worldwide. Creating that requires the ability to instigate participation, to get people’s attention, to quickly learn about others, and to be comfortable with the fact that you won’t always succeed.

Change is inevitable and growth is always a goal … and I am so excited to finally know what I am!