Watching a fellow creative plan, launch and grow a business from the ground up is undeniably one of the best perks of running Social House. I find all of the growth stages really rewarding to witness, but launch is my jam. It's even more special when the entrepreneur is young but experienced, motivated, oh-so-talented and incredibly kind and supportive - and for me, there's a extra cherry on top when the business AND the person are both ones I can particularly relate to. All of that is exactly what Ellen and her newly launched Coule Company, a content strategy and UX consultancy, embody - and we are beyond lucky to have her as a neighbor and a Housemate. We recently grabbed a few moments out of her day to get a peek into her daily life, how she got started, and the things that drive her forward.
Small Biz Stories
In a community like ours, we are lucky to witness all kinds of dynamic change: new faces coming in, others heading out; business growth and pivots, from names to specializations to total one-eighties; babies, weddings, new friendships, and everything in between. Perhaps these transitions are amplified in a House filled with creatives, as it feels to me that we tend to be more 'in motion' than most: travel, transition and evolution are the norm.
Regan is no exception, and I've loved getting to know her in those times 'in between' that she's been in the House with us. She'll be off again soon on a new adventure; but, before she goes, here's a peek at the story of how she got started with her business and the passions that drive her forward.
Our creative industry niche here at the House isn't always the easiest thing to maintain; it'd be easier, in the short run, to say yes to all and never turn away a prospective member. It is, however, a benefit that makes us different than other spaces. The conversations, connections and collaborations between our Housemates come more naturally for it, and from a place where it's easier to have that sense of being among kindred spirits. "Creative", as we say, is more of state of mind and how you do vs. what you do. While most of our membership works in visually creative businesses, others, like Sue, work creatively in a business that isn't traditionally so.
Dr. Sue Babcock was one of our earlier Community members, and she came to us during a pivotal time in her career. Seeking to transition her practice from mostly in-person to online, Sue has worked to update and expand her blog, provide more online services as part of her practice, and increase her mindfulness meditation classes and retreats. She's established relationships here at the House to help her in the process, benefited from our great group of experts to answer questions along the way, and given so much back to our community at every turn - including the Friday morning mindfulness sessions she hosts here to help keep us centered, positive and present on through the weekend. We recently took a few moments over coffee to learn more about her journey, her motivations, and what's coming up on the horizon.
I say it often, but only because it's true: our members are the best asset we have in the House. We do our best to add diversity wherever we can, but, not surprisingly, due to our niche focus and the nature of attracting a like-minded community, that isn't always an easy task. Constantin and Alina, who joined us back in June, added so much to our member mix: another male perspective (we have a lot of women in the House!), experiences gained from another country and culture, and a professional background that was a great balance for our more visually creative group.
Constantin is launching InCorporate Now, an incorporation and business services company geared towards helping those outside the US establish businesses here, and Alina assists him while also working on an online fashion and accessories boutique, and very recently, a gourmet tea company. Together, they bring positivity, confidence, fresh ideas and a true hard-working entrepreneurial spirit into our community, and we're lucky to have them. Here's Constantin's take on the crazy journey that is small business ownership.
You've heard it time and time again because it's true: referrals are the best source of new business. Michelle of Luxe Lara Designs & Marketing was our first member rockstar to join through our "official" referral program, and she's a fantastic example of why such programs are so important: like-minded, creative, driven, collaborative and passionate about helping others succeed in business. She's a completely perfect fit for our community, and it's hard to imagine our House without her in it. Case in point: Some of her recent branding and online marketing projects have included other House members - either as clients or as creative partners - showcasing the best benefit of a coworking space like ours.
We recently grabbed some time with Michelle (over coffee, of course) to learn more about how she made the leap, and to get a peek at a day in her life.