the Whole Story, Kind of.

I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to write this story. A lot has happened in the past siz months, so much that it's been hard to sit down and share it. There are a lot of moving parts. I've kept notes, journaled, saved sketches, texts, etc. Each time I would sit with this to tell the story, it would shift or something new would happen and there was never a complete way to share what we were experiencing. When I sat down and started piecing it all together it dawned on me that there's a book here. A really good book, which is now in the works. It's the whole story of COTERIE Company, from start to finish. The finish of this story... because it's coming to a close. 

I'm still sorting through all of the details, the lessons, the funny stories, and look forward to telling it all. The past two years have been nothing short of a beautiful, brutal, exciting journey and that richness can't be contained. My hope is that by sharing the stories someone will take some little nugget away that will keep them from tripping as much as I did. And, because I'm looking forward to spilling the tea a bit. 

One of the biggest challenges for me this year has been watching how the half truths and blatant falsehoods printed by certain local media outlets has impacted the team that worked so hard to bring the COTERIE vision to life. While I am no stranger to the ways people can twist words and experiences, many of the team who pushed through this year with me are new to this, and their pain was palpable. They remained strong in the face of some classic media bullshit, and stood by our brand. Ultimately, a story is a story, and with limited resources, our choice was fight the media or continue to build our vision. We chose to go high. They continued to go low. 

The development of this vision was a high bar from the start. Bootstrapping a vision to serve women worldwide? It takes big balls. We had them. Maybe we still do... time will tell. It also takes deep pockets. We did not have those. Walking into a space dominated by men, funded by men, primarily serving men was like the Wild, Wild West and we did not have enough ammunition. I didn't know that in the beginning.

In life, and/or business, there's a few sets of knowledge:

  1. Things you know you know.
  2. Things you think you know.
  3. Things you know you don't know.
  4. Things you don't know you don't know.

My ratio was off. It's important to be realistic about this ratio.

We learned hard and fast the difference between legit investors and the not-so-legit kind. As I will outline in the book, we were taken for a ride. It was not fun, it was not pretty and it resulted in the company losing everything. We may have been able to recover our Pittsburgh community, but the assault from paragraph #2 swiftly and succinctly ended that recovery. To the credit of our ownership we are able to exit later this year, in an attempt to recover losses and repay debts. Here's to the hustle required to pull it off, the goodwill of the beautiful people of Pittsburgh, and the power of community. 

The list of things I've learned is about as long as the list of things I messed up this year. Too long for here, but suffice it to say that hindsight is 20/20. The team who worked with me through this year was incredible. I cannot begin to tell you the talent and heart I witnessed from that team. True visionaries, exceptional communicators, women who do what they say they will, and a team who owned their role at COTERIE. There is no amount of thank yous that can be said. The same can be said of our countless community partners, vendors, colleagues, journalists with integrity and the men + women behind the scenes who help me drive forward. I have been blessed beyond measure with extraordinary allies. Thank you to the many people who stood by me while I learned.

What's next? The book will launch later this year. A strong, healthy, fun filled fall in Pittsburgh before we return Henry's clubhouse to some lucky corporate office. Then I'm going to take a nap; regain some personal time. And maybe, just maybe, I will build a new rocket. We blew up our first one, as tends to happen when you're building something revolutionary. I believe that with the right investher(s), a fresh start, and lessons applied, the next one may be the one that soars. Time will tell. 

Until next time . . .

JB

Trading Spaces

I want art to make me think. In order to do that, it may piss me off, or make me uncomfortable. That promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion.

Pink
 

Our work, designing COTERIE, is part of the art we're creating in the world. And there are days it really pisses me off. Others, I feel peaceful and supported. I don't love one more than the other, but have immense gratitude for both experiences. In both scenarios, I am pushed to do more. Not one to sit and accept the status quo, I am always considering alternatives. 

This week we wrapped our first COTERIE Team Training. for 4 days our entire team met to discuss standards, COTERIE values, craft new goals, understand each team members' job, and look to the future. It was an exhaustive few days, with each member of this team offering their all. I enjoyed every moment, even the really intense challenging ones. There were moments that the frustration or concern on someone's face was powerful in the way that you can see the movement that person is experiencing. 

I appreciate many things about our team, but one of the standouts from this weekend for me, was watching each person truly commit to the vision of our company. It's easy to show up and be in the right now {most of the time!} but harder to commit to the future, which is a fluid evolution. It basically requires someone to say "I am here for all that I know and all that I don't." That's an incredibly BOLD statement for someone to make in a work environment. 

Growth happens whether we want it to or not. Nothing stands still. It's all moving...time, energy, space. You can choose to participate, you can choose a different path, and you can choose how you connect to the growth around you. Growth is uncomfortable. It requires patience, surrender, clarity of choice, and an appreciation of things unknown. Which, by my math, equates to courage. 

Thank you team, for an incredible experience, for bringing your heart + soul to all you do, for the creativity + action you offer, and for trusting us to lead you. 

xo, jb

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

May has been a wild ride. Not much more or less than April, but built of different things.

Today, while catching up with a colleague in a quick "I'm gonna make sure you're still breathing" call, she asked why I haven't been writing for the blog. The answer is simple, I have little time to do more than true, results generating work and care for my sweet family.

She didn't like my answer. Writing is good for my soul. I have so many stories to share. People want to hear what we're up to. The public loves the behind the scenes stuff. I have so much experience building businesses, I should share it all.

Mmmm. Hmmmmm. 

Good for my soul, yes. I'll give her that one. Writing is both an escape and a full frontal that's equally liberating. I do have so many stories to tell. They're coming. Three books in the works, one almost ready to go to the editor. Landmarks, the story of my wild life to this point, coming later this year. A yet untitled number on building COTERIE. I'm considering "Tacos, Turning Points + Turncoats" or "The Pie Shop, a Journey to Serving Women Worldwide". I'll keep you posted.

People want to hear what I'm up to? I'm keeping this movement moving. Keeping my team inspired, motivated, plugged in and steeled against the craziness of being part of a startup. Led by a woman, with an all female cast of characters. We're on the road a lot. On the phone even more, and working our asses off to create fresh, innovative, inclusive communities for people to thrive in. While keeping it all together on a shoestring because our bootstrap wore out about six months ago. Learning who to talk to, trust + choose to work with as we grow this vision to an unprecedented scale. While managing the normal person daily stuff of life. Like laundry that doesn't hang itself up. Or carpool and end of year projects for big kids who still need direction, TLC and more than any single human can give well on a daily basis. And these kids are the best of the best a mama could ask for. If I had two extra hours in each day I'd sleep for 30 minutes of that and give the other 90 to them, so I'd be a slightly better version of my tired self when enjoying the extra time together.

The public loves the behind the scenes stuff? I'm going to call bullshit on that one. The public loves chewing on other people's truths. They're somehow infinitely more palatable than our own. Truth #1, be good to the people who are there for you when shit is hard because when things get harder you'll be surprised {unless you've built hard things before} how many people will run in the opposite direction. Truth #2, be prepared for less sleep, money, social capital and {insert chosen vice} than you need to sustain your sanity. As one successful entrepreneur said to me recently "everyone who's built something big has experienced the thing where you question every single decision you make and then the recovery decision. Twice. In the same day." You think we're crazy? We're way ahead of you people. Truth #3, there's no secret sauce. Buzz kill, right? Not all truths are delicious.

I love writing. I aim to do it more frequently, just as I intend to exercise more, spend more time walking on the beach and mastering my crepe making skills. Lately I've been writing term sheets, investor decks, equity agreements, checks... lots of checks. Praying they all clear.  🙏🏻 

Lessons to share on building a business? Stop reading all the formulas for success. They're nonsense and extremely distracting from the work you need to do. The only formula is work + more work = results. Get back to work.

To my sweet friend who called me out today, thank you for reminding me what fun it is to sit down and share all of my thoughts in words on the virtual blackboard in the classroom disguised as the internet. I'm not sure that it's all relateable but it's all real. Totally and completely imperfect in its execution, even if it's well designed. Maybe the magic lies in connecting those stories so that we can all be a little kinder not only to each other, but also to ourselves.

Until next time...

jb

Aisle Seat, Please

I’ve traveled a fair amount in my 25 years, and until recently it has been a comedy of errors. Picture me, frantic and sweaty, splayed out on the floor of the airport rearranging my bags to meet the weight limits. Boarding a German train only to find my giant suitcase firmly lodged in the aisle, with a crowd and the murmur of European annoyance building behind me. Lotion on silk shirts, rogue wheels slamming luggage into my ankles with every step, headphones knotted beyond all hope. Arriving red-eyed and disheveled to every destination. No longer, though: with a plan to open in 40 cities in 4 years, Team COTERIE is on the move, and I’m on a mission to streamline my travel experience. Below are my best tips to do that. P.S.- we know our COTERIE community are jetsetters, too, and we’d love to hear in the comments about your recent or future getaways!   

Before you go….It all starts with your luggage. Efficiency is the name of the game when you’re traveling for work, and that old LL Bean duffel is just going to slow you down. Start off on the right foot with chic luggage + accessories from women-owned brands like Away and Cuyana. Away suitcases have built-in USB chargers, secure locks, and scratch-proof, beautifully minimalistic hard shells. I’ve got my eye on a zip-top leather tote (personal item!) and leather travel case set, in matching pearl grey, from San Francisco-based Cuyana.

Image courtesy of Cuyana

Image courtesy of Cuyana

 

Packing

The most important rule of them all: do not check a bag. Just don’t. You’ve got work to do and cities to explore. No time for lost luggage. Lay out everything you want to bring, then edit ruthlessly. Don’t pack anything you haven’t worn before, don’t pack anything that doesn’t go into at least two outfits, and don’t pack anything that requires a lot of care. For shoes, my rule is one pair of heels + one pair of flats + one pair of tennis shoes. I’m currently searching for sneakers that are supportive for running, but are compact and unobtrusive enough to wear with regular outfits (anything that can do double duty is prime for travel). As for actual technique, our founder Joanna swears by the rolling method. I took her advice for our last trip, down to GrowCo in New Orleans, and I fit in way more than expected, with minimal wrinkles. In your personal item, use pouches to make necessities easy to find: one for wallet + cell phone, one for makeup, skincare, and Visine, and one for headphones and chargers.  

Neutral maxi + straw carryall = success. Image via My Domaine

Neutral maxi + straw carryall = success. Image via My Domaine

Entertainment

I know this is a hot-button issue, but hear me out: the Kindle is the best thing that has ever happened to me. For plane reading, anyway. It’s slim, backlit, and lets you switch between books without having to haul them. Or download some podcasts ahead of time. Check out Forbes Million$, interviews with amazing female founders like Glossier’s Emily Weiss, or The School of Greatness podcast for entrepreneurial anecdotes and skill building. Or, heck, buy an Us Weekly and catch up on Taylor Swift's love life. No judgement here. 

Wellness

Know how to step off a plane feeling fresh as a daisy? Yeah, me neither. However, I have gathered a few tricks to help you feel less like an old sponge upon arrival. Plane air is crazy dry, not to mention full of microbes. Hydrate like you’re preparing for hot yoga the day of the flight, and pop an Emergen-C when the beverage service comes around. The air affects your skin as well; as moisture is pulled out, cracks can form that allow bacteria to enter more easily. Get ahead of dullness and breakouts with a cleansing wipe right after you’ve strapped in, followed by moisturizer and sunscreen. UV rays are intense up there, and sunscreen provides a better physical barrier to bacteria than moisturizer alone. Our Director of Operations/resident aromatherapist Blair never travels without essential oils: lavender to relax you and protect your airways, lemongrass for an immunity boost, and peppermint for clarity and focus after you land.  Hope these tips help you on your next adventure, work or otherwise. Cheers to breezing past the luggage carousel!

-Lindsey Hook, Community Development Assistant

An Update from team COTERIE

Starting a business is challenging. Starting something that’s new to a market adds a host of hurdles, both known and unknown. We have recently come under fire for our startup practices. Stories that are untrue have been told, and truths have been diluted. We’re here to set the record straight.

In June of 2016 I began putting a team together. After 9 months in development, I’d identified a Charlotte office location, and was as ready as I could be to build a team to support our first community. That team was committed to introducing COTERIE to Charlotte, and we worked to piece together a system that we thought would work. There was a lot of trial + error. Ultimately, that first property didn’t open, for a variety of reasons. We weren’t prepared to absorb that loss, and many on the first team left, angry to not see their efforts pay off. During that time we’d also added our second location to the fold, and those who stayed on board chose to redirect their energy + talent to that community.

As a boot-strapped startup, we’ve had no one backing this. You hear stories of wildly inflated valuations, unicorn funding in the hundreds of millions, etc…. those stories are fun to read, and super exciting. The truth is that few experience that story, and even fewer women ever get near those opportunities. Hard work, tenacity, community support + an enduring passion for our mission is what has driven this. It’s very hard work and we have commitments that stretch our resources weekly. We’re further along than we were six months ago, and in six months, we’ll be doing even more.

This story isn’t a new one. The startup world is ripe with stories like ours. It’s not as sexy as the magazines and Facebook stories would have you believe. It’s also interesting to hear how people react to these truths depending on geography. We know that it’s not as familiar in areas where traditional, corporate structure has reigned.

Our story is pretty raw. A lot of sacrifices have been made to get where we are today, and we are savvy enough to know that there will be more, albeit different, sacrifices in the future. What we’re very proud of is our company culture. Our team is very close, we support an environment of transparency, we adapt to each other’s needs, with a family-first approach, and we actively consider ways to advance this company. In an effort to make a difference for women worldwide, we know we have to start at home. That’s a constant effort.

In January of this year, we sat down as a team and committed to developing a stronger VDS {vision delivery system}. We sat in our newly chosen Charlotte office, talked through the things that weren’t working and discussed our growth plan. Moving forward, we knew it was time to get real about ensuring that our foundation was stronger, so that the company had more market power and our members + clients are offered a greater user experience. The past three months have seen a considerable amount of growth, and we’re very excited about what the future of COTERIE looks like today.

We’ve been blessed with the enthusiasm of the press. From local stories about our spaces serving women, to international recognition as one of the best coworking communities in the US, we’re grateful for the stories that promote why we’re here. We’re also experienced professionals who’ve been at this {business} for many, many years. I’m no stranger to objectors, and my life has been colorful. There’s plenty of stories to tell and hear. At the end of the day, we sleep well knowing that our work is valuable, that we’ll do great things and make mistakes on our way to greatness. What you won’t hear in relationship to COTERIE are stories about blatant sexism, people being fired for not playing to someone’s ego or contributors being diminished. There won’t be stories of gross waste of funds or inflated salaries for the top brass. We keep it clean and respectable, because that’s part of what we would like to be known for.

COTERIE is about service. How we bring that to life may or may not meet with the approval of everyone, and that’s ok. People often judge what they don’t understand. It takes a certain level of acceptance to endure the challenges of a startup environment. It would be easy to buckle. However, each of us feel called to continue, and as hard and messy as that may be, we will continue building what we know is a powerful, meaningful community for other unstoppable women. Women who aren’t afraid to look the naysayers in the face, smile and continue building their dream.

 

 

The WHY Behind COTERIE

When I first started writing this post, I knew it was missing something.

I’m the Community Development Assistant at COTERIE Company- my job is to establish connections and partnerships in each COTERIE community with like-minded individuals and businesses. This role has exposed me to so many amazing women in the Charlotte community alone, and I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned here to D.C., Charleston, and beyond. I’ve learned that women in business closely tie their personal success to the success of those around them; that we know the pie is big enough, and that the points added to a web only strengthen it. This is apparent to me any time I have a conversation with a new connection, and leave with five more names of women who I “just have to meet”.  I love seeing the bridges between all the movers and shakers in Charlotte, and I love building more through COTERIE Charlotte at Packard Place. This, ostensibly, is the main directive of my position, but I’ve struggled to verbalize WHY it- and COTERIE Company as a whole- are both so meaningful to me.

 

 

I couldn’t find the thread when I began writing, but I found it recently in an unexpected place.

The conversation, with a male passerby, closely mimicked one I had over Christmas with my grandfather and one particularly sardonic brother. I tried to explain my role as Community Development Assistant and what we aim to accomplish at COTERIE, to little avail. They grasped the parts, but could not see the whole. The what was easy: beautiful spaces, wellness offerings, intellectually engaging speakers, etc., but the why remained unsolved. I realized later that they were missing the most important piece of the puzzle: that even in this day and age, the modern workplace is about 20% less supportive of women than of men- between 18 and 22 cents on the dollar, to be exact, but support (or the lack of it) comes in myriad forms. “I’ve never really noticed sexism,” said the male passerby. Workplace discrimination against women may not exist as rampantly in the vintage variety, but the devil is in the details. Subtle environmental cues that enforce the gender gap can fail to register to men. Women, however, know exclusion when they see it, and recognize its opposite. There’s a flash of recognition and an immediate understanding. In my role here I have forged connections with a hugely diverse array of women, in the corporate world, non-profits, startups, and beyond. I have felt that psychic handshake time and time again. So this is what I love: when I tell women what COTERIE Company is doing, inside our space and out in the community, I never have to explain the why.

written by Lindsey Hook- Community Development Assistant 

A Day In the Life of a COTERIE Member

Imagine you’ve woken up on a busy Tuesday morning (I don’t know why – my Tuesdays always seem swamped) and you hit the ground running.  Walk the dogs, pack lunch for the kids, get them to school and you barely make it in for your 9am meeting.  But, “ahhhhh,” you step off the elevator in COTERIE Pittsburgh and the Concierge greets you.  Your meeting suite is ready with water and snacks.  Coffee is fresh brewed, just the way you like it (DARK!)  Your client beat you to the office, AND they have already been offered refreshments, got plugged into wifi and can be seen happily chatting with another COTERIE member on a plush white sofa.   

You hand the Concierge your dry cleaning and pick up last week’s that was delivered to the office.  COTERIE took care of that with the cleaning company {female owned} selected to serve your community twice a week.

Your meeting goes well and you ask the Concierge to book reservations at a new restaurant nearby for lunch.  After a very successful meeting and lunch, you come back into the space and check your virtual mail (not email – but our encrypted mail service that scans your physical mail and sends it to an inbox).  An invoice that you had been waiting for in your DC office comes through and you’re able to pay it online.  You’re so glad you didn’t have to make a trip just to take care of that, since the office is not staffed at the moment.   You receive a business call from the DC area that routes through your cell phone.  COTERIE’s business phone service, included in your membership, allowed you to create a DC-based phone number for your business that can be managed from anywhere. 

You take a break and grab a La Croix from the community fridge – thank goodness they stock your favorite flavor.  You pass another member who invites you to the yoga class that is happening at 6 in the other collaboration space.  You didn’t pack yoga clothes so go back to the lobby and pick some out at the boutique and charge it to your account.  Lululemon + Gaiam yoga products can be found in the boutique. You ask the Concierge to touch base with your sitter and let the kids know you’ll be home after 7.  You haven’t had time for yoga in ages!

After yoga you grab a quick glass of wine with the rest of the class on the terrace with a 360 degree view of the city. You don’t want to be late for your next engagement (your mother in law’s birthday dinner) so you change and grab a fresh bouquet of flowers for your mother in law from the boutique on the way out. 

Making life easier, that is what we do at COTERIE.  Come see how we can support your growing business by helping YOU get the things you need to function at YOUR BEST!

Introducing COTERIE Charlotte at Packard Place

It's been nearly 18 months since COTERIE was conceived. In equal parts it feels like forever ago, and yesterday. What I knew then and what I know now are different. The ideas that originated at the table that first night have been iterated, retooled, bent, broken, repaired + restored. Building a company is a much different experience than building a brand, and vastly different from building a small business. The lessons you learn on the road to something big are humbling, exciting, painful, exhausting, motivating, infuriating + exhilarating. It's hard, sometimes unforgiving, and in the end, I believe worth every single moment, dollar, tear and win. Time will tell, but we're still here, and only growing.

What I knew that first day was that Charlotte, which is my home, would benefit from all that COTERIE offers, and the values we are built on. That fundamental truth remains, and my commitment to that belief has only grown stronger. I mean, when your state has a female Senator who claims that some women have lard for brains, you know there's a delta on how women are served. Thankfully Charlotte is led by a fearless female Mayor, Jennifer Roberts, and represented by a strong, brilliant Congresswoman, Alma Adams. We are rooted in the right place for our work.

So the task has been about finding the place. Where to park our company; the right address. Shortly after I spoke publicly about our struggle in the Charlotte commercial market, Dan Roselli called. Dan and his wife Sara are the proud owners of a lot of square feet in Uptown Charlotte. With many years in the startup space, they are deeply invested in the success of small business in this region. It's also not coincidence that Dan works with a team that's mostly female. Their success as a team has been shared with everything and everyone they invest in; you won't meet many people in this city who don't know the Roselli's. When he reached out to me and offered a home in his prized Packard Place, it took me about 30 seconds to say yes. Teaming up with Packard, 100k sqare feet of entrepreneurial magic, and HQ, a growing coworking management group currently managing Packard Place, all with Dan and Sara at the helm, was a no brainer. 

So here we are! COTERIE Charlotte at Packard Place. The luxury coworking community Charlotte hasn't had. A coworking community focused on elevating + advancing the women of this community. Run by a team of Concierge ready to serve, offering a weekly wellness program, unique events, and a wealth of resources at your fingertips. Our members enjoy laundry service from Charlotte's 2U Laundry, personal concierge service from the fabulous Kadie Kersey of Uptown Errands, and many more local partners we're proud to support. 

How do you get involved? Become a member of course! With meetings suites, a developer's lounge {currently in development}, a project suite, kitchen, library, gorgeous sunlit living rooms and a terrace overlooking Uptown's skyline, we're the place to be if you're a woman in Charlotte looking for the place to be. Coming this Spring, a V I P Lounge, expanded terrace and large event suite. The women you'll meet will help you grow, offer their experience + share the journey of being a woman who's working to make things better. Because, at the end of the day, that's what this is all about. Whether you're in corporate America or you're a SAHM who's making your kids' school stronger + safer, we're all on a mission to make things better. 

We look forward to meeting you, welcome the opportunity to serve you, and cannot wait to see how COTERIE helps you move forward!

xo, jb

Introducing COTERIE Pittsburgh

It's a little hard to wrap my head around the fact that we're nearing our Grand Opening in Pittsburgh. I'm beyond grateful that we've had the past two months to get our sealegs in our temp space... there's been a lot of test driving systems, clearing hurdles + learning to adapt. I feel like a professional acro-yoga mentalist at this point, and I know my team will agree, it's been a huge blessing. We're ready to open doors to what will be a one of a kind property in this city. An overstatement? I don't think so. We'll let you decide.

Pittsburgh is a special city. We've had many people ask "why Pittsburgh?". People who are from here as well as people in our other markets are curious why this hidden gem was high on our list of first markets. There are many reasons; I'll highlight my top 3 {they don't involve food I promise, though the food here is incredible}:

1. The Community. Pittsburgh is a richly diverse community that has chosen to intentionally include everyone. It's a mouthful, read it again. Intentionally inclusion. Much like any large city, you can drive 30 miles in any direction from city center and meet any culture, in full spectrum socioeconomic position, with kids and without, young and old. What's interesting about Pittsburgh is that the people of this city care about everyone. Yes, there's division. But there's far more community building, compassionate leadership and strong collaboration happening. The people of Pittsburgh care about each other, and they welcome outsiders with open arms. 

2. Innovation + History, Married. We work in many cities and talk with people around the world. We watch to see who's advancing their cities, who's caring for the future while honoring the history that built their success. We've sat at the table with the entire age range of this city, people who built legacy brands with pencil and paper, and those who are creating a future with no waste, sustainable energy + AI structures. They speak with reverence of the other, with respect for what came before them and what lies ahead. I have been in and out of this city for almost two years, and have yet to hear anyone in a position of leadership speak ill of anyone who's creating solutions, or those who have written history. There's a mutual respect here that other growing cities would do well to model relationships after. Pittsburgh knows how to build bridges.

3. The Women. There's a lot to be said of the women of this city. They are made of stern stuff, and aren't afraid to be uncomfortable. We've had the pleasure of meeting leaders from every platform, and they are movers + shakers. These women have big ideas, know how to market themselves, are thoughtful collaborators, and they are compassionate developers. Which is good, because Western Pennsylvania is also rich with women who aren't certain how to grow, but know they need/want/have to. For every woman we've had the pleasure of meeting, we know there are countless others with similar hopes + dreams, goals + ideas, waiting in the wings, uncertain how to move forward. Start here.

We're here to help connect you, support you and celebrate your successes as you achieve them. Based in the historic Frick Building, we offer a luxury community rich with resources, fun + powerful educational + growth opportunities, and unparalleled service. COTERIE is where women work, yes. It's also where you can accelerate your brand, expand your network, plug into unique workshops + retreats, host events + enjoy a dynamic wellness platform. We're excited to show you what we're made of. Here's how you can get connected:

Tuesday, December 13th: The Corporate Client. If your business is ready for an alternative to the cube farm or you plan corporate events, please join us for a fun tour and Q+A with our Leadership Team. Register for free here.

Wednesday, December 14th: Social Planners + Nonprofit Leaders. Come see what we offer you and your clients. From holiday parties to summer soirees, we know a thing or two about events. We'll show you around, and walk you through our process of luxury made simple. Register for free here.

Friday, December 16th: Community Open House. You're curious, you know other coworking communities and you want to see what makes us different. Come test drive COTERIE for the day; we can't wait to meet you! We'll introduce you to how we operate + make sure you're taken care of. Register for free here.

Saturday, December 17th: Community Opening House + Weekend Wellness. Health + Wellness are key to our core values. Taking care of you goes far beyond freshly brewed coffee + the occasional ends in -AY party. It means making sure you're healthy + whole. Join us, and a few of our fabulous partners, as we introduce you to our yoga + mediation specialists, our incredible health coaches, and a few truly game changing wellness leaders who do things a little differently. We don't care about your dress size; we care about how strong you feel, inside + out. Register for free here.

A little housekeeping: you'll want to come to the 20th Floor, our Penthouse suite. You'll need to register for the day{s} you'd like to come... we take the privacy + security of our members seriously. Please take a moment to register with the links above, and we'll look forward to seeing you soon! Yes, you can share these links and yes, please bring your friends + coworkers... the ones you'd want to join you inside of COTERIE. ;)

You Are Not Alone

"I knew some people doubted my abilities as a female (yes that was directly called out) and as a young person.  I lost sleep and hair, became very thin and pale and my personal relationships suffered.  You see, I loved my work but it was hard and I felt so alone.  I lacked true mentors and companions in the field who could offer advice and help me problem solve."  

Read More

Do You Remember Middle School?

I am in the midst of middle school drama with my daughter, Sarah. As teamCOTERIE was sitting around talking after work one day this week, I was sharing the latest events of middle school.  And we all kind of cringed. The memories for everyone suddenly flashed through our minds, the stories flowed, and then we laughed and said thank goodness we are past that.  But are we really?

Sarah is 12 years old and in 7th grade.  Each evening as we discuss her day, I am reminded how hard middle school is. How the girls are not so nice to each other. How cliques are formed and almost impossible to penetrate. How friends you have had all through elementary school are suddenly not your friends anymore. How the popular kids always make the team or get the grade, deserved or not. How the struggles to fit in occupy almost every single waking moment. 

I try my best to reassure her that things will get better. That people mature and grow out of the cattiness that exists in middle school. That as long as she is herself and is nice to others and working as hard as she can in class and on the volleyball courts, she will be fine. I tell her she is strong, beautiful and smart and that “she has this”.  Then she heads off to bed with a smile on her face.  That smile of HOPE.  And I feel a little guilty. Do people really grow out of middle school behavior?  

The workplace can be just as hard as middle school. Think about it. You have worked with that guy who always takes credit for everything. You have tried your best to get in with the “cool” kids to no avail. You watch the lunch bunch leave together every day as you sit in your cubicle alone never getting an invite to join in. You work endlessly on a project and receive no recognition or credit from your boss. You feel defeated.  You have not felt appreciated in a long time. You have had those days where you just want to crawl under your desk and hide. Let’s look at some facts?

Workplace bullying is real. Maybe you have felt it or witnessed it where you work.  According to business.com, 65.5% of American adults are impacted by workplace bullying, either as the perpetrator, the target, or a witness. This greatly impacts workplace productivity and morale. 60% of workplace bullying targets are women. Unfortunately, the targets of bullying lose their jobs at a significantly higher rate than the perpetrators.  It just doesn’t seem fair (that’s also a quote from Sarah about middle school).

So how do we ensure we are not reliving middle school in the workplace?

EMPOWER YOURSELF … at work we have a choice. We have a choice of who we work for. We have a choice of the jobs we take and the teams we join. So why not surround yourself with people and a culture of support.  Empower yourself to make the best choices about how, where and with whom you spend your days. Believe that you deserve to be your best. Being your best is a choice, it’s a decision we make every day.

I have worked in “middle school” workplaces over my 25 years and have found that I was not my best in those situations. So, I made a decision to find an organization that fits me. It took a while, I had to try on a lot of glass slippers before I found my perfect fit.  At COTERIE, I have found a team and a company that is committed to bringing out the best in each other. It’s more than something that is printed on our value statement. It’s more than corporate speak in team meetings.  It is engrained in who we are. Each person brings different experiences and perspectives. Our team meetings are engaging. No one wins unless we all win. That’s a mindset engrained in our culture and in our communities.   

We are developing communities that are positive environments for people to thrive and be their best. Our team is constantly learning how to be of service to our members, so that everyone feels supported. Is it a challenge? Yes, no one else is creating coworking spaces that provide the level of support, education and encouragement that we are. We are EMPOWERED to make a difference.

I wish middle school were easier for Sarah. I wish girls understood at that age the importance of being together and supporting each other is more powerful than tearing each other down. I am doing my small part to teach Sarah how to survive the next year. Fingers crossed for me (and her) J

Careers and jobs are hard, so make sure the environment you choose to work in supports you.  Let’s leave middle school behaviors for the 7th graders.   

 

xx Amanda

amanda moorhead

Chief of Staff