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

  

Back to School

We have the opportunity to reset anytime. This may look like a complete CTRL+ALT+DLT on our routines, career, or it may be comprised of smaller lifestyle habit changes. New Year’s Eve is the most obvious of these times to make a change, birthdays seem to provide another “good time,” each seasonal change is in a way refreshing, and then there’s always the “I’ll start on Monday,” quote that usually comes mid-week…,but not too long ago, back to school did it for me. While I was never a straight-A student, I put in my time. I did a lot of extracurricular activities, and found joy in creating my schedules and routine (go figure!) with all of the brand-new school supplies. I’m a sucker for pretty stationery.

While I can’t speak to the controlled chaos, or complete chaos that involves back to school (I do not have children, but I do have a mother who teaches), it still provides an opportune time, as adults, to take a step back and evaluate. Have you accomplished what you set out to do on December 31, 2015? Did you fall into an “I’ll start on Monday,” rut?

The great news: there’s still a ton of time left in 2016 to make a mark, a start, or a solid dent in whatever it is you’d like to work on professionally and/or personally. Will something you try to finish in 2016 set you up for something bigger and better in 2017? What does this path look like? What small steps can you take for that larger end goal in mind? Is there a particular training you’d like to attend? (COTERIE has some amazing Lunch+Learn offerings, so be sure to keep our calendar at-hand!)

Set aside some time to ponder these questions. Discuss them with your fellow COTERIE members to see if they’ve had similar experiences and how they’ve overcome any challenges to reach their goals. Begin to organize your thoughts—and your calendar—because before you know it, the holiday season will hit (it always seems to sneak up on us) and you’ll be wondering where the time went. Scale your goals into bite-size pieces to help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed. Perhaps you take a “I will accomplish X by doing Y,” stance. (A good example, “I will quit soda by keeping a large water bottle with me throughout the day). Boil it down to nothing and remember KISS—Keep it Simple + Stupid. Remember to be kind to yourself in the process, there will be the occasional setback, and mindfulness is your friend. You’ve got this, we’ve got your back.

Alexandra Mannino, COTERIE Project Director

 

Mission Statements + Manifestos

COTERIE's Mission:

COTERIE is designed to advance the lives of women worldwide through personal + professional empowerment.

CORE Values:

COTERIE is committed to connecting women of all backgrounds, socioeconomic status, ages, religions, needs, abilities and geographical locations. COTERIE is a community where collaboration, creativity, respect, change, growth, courage, giving, compassion, faith and curiosity are encouraged + fostered. 

 

I recently read an article about Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes. To say it made me angry would be a gross understatement. It still pisses me off. The author wrote two pages of phrases like "We can no longer point to Holmes as a credible example of what we can achieve when confidence is placed in our abilities." and "It’s a heartbreaking moment when you realize your idols are merely human, incapable of perfection just like the rest of us."

I've spent the better part of a week chewing on this article. I'm not giving you the link... I won't contribute to her conversion rate. What happened in that article is a solid reflection of the hurdles women, especially bold, visionary founders, face when they take the leap to build something innovative. The veritable public shredder that a woman is put through because she failed at something, anything, is obscene. It happens every day in boardrooms and classrooms and neighborhoods everywhere. This standard that we hold women to is in stark contrast to the standard men are held to. A female founder screws up and we call her a failure; a man does it and we call him a maverick. It's unreal.

Theranos, for those who don't know, is a clever medtech firm designed to deliver blood test results faster than any model currently on the market. It was so bold that heavy hitters in the investment world jumped in, committed hefty sums, the valuation {don't get me started on the bubbles that investors create, offering founders zero room to move for fear of it popping} of Theranos ballooned. When kinks were found in Holmes' armour, instead of recognizing the Le Mans level learning curve of a startup in a challenging market, and reinforcing the armour, investors and leadership fled in droves. They skewered Holmes for being human, for failing. 

Theranos' Mission Statement:

Our mission is to make actionable information accessible to everyone at the time it matters.

By making actionable information accessible to everyone in the world at the time it matters most, we are working to facilitate the early detection and prevention of disease, and empower people everywhere to live their best possible lives.

 

The contrast... Elon Musk. Musk is known for his brash ways, his renegade decisions, his untenable vision and the unrelenting approach to development of his vision(s). People, men and women alike, celebrate him. Even those who can't stand him... they still respect his commitment to his vision. He has lost billions. His investors still come back for more because they love the rush of betting on someone that bold.

Don't shake your head. It is the truth. Men and women alike do it. This isn't about a woman in a man's world. It's about a woman acting in a way that society feels uncomfortable with. Men take risks and they're brave. They take a loss or fail and they were courageous in their effort. When women make similar choices in an equally bold manner they are branded reckless, careless, irresponsible. And we wonder why more women don't take the stage in these arenas. We give them no room to fail forward

"Elizabeth Holmes was a beloved CEO and media obsession — widely touted as the next (female) Steve Jobs." ... "She represented a combination of qualities many young women and girls aspire to achieve: She was intelligent, respected, young and successful, to name a few." Comparing Holmes to Steve Jobs is more accurate than this author intended, I'm sure. Steve Jobs was hated by his industry in his early years, and only in his second life at Apple became the beloved and revered pioneer that we idolize now. If Job's history is any indication of what Elizabeth Holmes' future could look like, let's buy stock right now. To write about her in the past tense is short-sighted at best. 

Please reread our mission statement. We are committed to this not in spite of the debate that takes place in + outside of our walls, but because of the growth that respectful, healthy differences can cultivate. We invite you to fail forward. We want the bold and the timid, the rookies and the veterans. We know that there is more to be gained by leaping and failing together than there ever will be in playing it safe. We know that tearing one woman down, condemning her failure or her bold choices is a failure of grand scale. It is a disservice that cripples not one, but all women. 

To the author of that wretched article I will say this... I dare you to move from your desk and make a courageous leap that sets you apart from not only the women of your generation, not only the industry that you intend to serve, but from society as a whole, and have the courage to do it while under a microscope of naysayers and the armchair quarterbacks of life who wait for others to fail as sport. Elizabeth Holmes may not be the perfect idol you were hoping for, but she is, without question, a leader among women, a role model for the generation growing under her. Your failure to recognize that demonstrates your growth opportunity. We invite you to grow with us.

JB

Why COTERIE? Why Now?

I have spent the last 20 years of my career working for major global companies. I have learned a lot during this time. As with any job, there were good days and bad days. There were good bosses and not so good bosses. There were amazing cultures and toxic cultures.  And I have discovered during all those experiences that for me, culture and team are the most important aspects of what makes a job meaningful to me.

Recently, the stars all aligned, and I met the amazing CEO badass of COTERIE (appropriately named in an earlier blog). Someone who is inspiring. Someone who encourages others to be everything they want to be. Someone who has big dreams AND has a plan to execute those dreams. The connection was instant. The admiration was real. And then as she talked about COTERIE and the culture and the team that was being assembled. I knew at that moment I needed to be a part of this very special place. I needed to be a part of this team that is changing the way coworking is defined, that is giving opportunities to women and men all around the globe and that is committed to giving back to our communities. 

Let me tell you WHY COTERIE is for me. This is an organization, with leadership and a team, that truly wants to see everyone succeed. The culture requires collaboration, respect and courage to take risk.  The environment encourages creativeness and support. The team’s goal is to see each other and the organization thrive, beyond even our wildest dreams.

Why now? I was at a point in my career that I needed a change that aligned my passions around health + wellbeing and my need to feel inspired by my company and team.  I needed to believe the organization walks the talk.  It’s not just a pretty website but an amazing group of talented people with common values and goals behind those glossy pictures on the internet.  COTERIE is a great fit for me. The environments support positive mental and physical wellbeing, with large open spaces, natural light, sustainable design, creative work spaces and connections to the outdoors.  I kind of love this.  

Do we dream big? Yes, we do. Do we think we will succeed? Yes, we do. Do we expect bumps along the way? Of course, but that’s ok, this amazing team is there to pave those pot holes and get us back on track. It’s going to be a great ride for me. I am looking forward to this next part of my career journey.

Amanda Moorhead, Chief of Staff

The Library + What Sticks

Just the other day, we walking some seriously inspirational women on a tour in our building when one proclaimed after seeing the Creative Suite, “Oh, this is going to be my spot. It’s already my favorite room.” And then on the second floor we walked into the Writers Lounge, “Never mind, this is my room, I’m such a writer, this is it.” In the back of my mind I couldn’t help the room I’ve secretly dreamed about…

The Library.

I’ve always enjoyed reading. I’m not a one-book-a-month-girl, but always have one in hand.  I haven’t had television in my apartment for a few months now, and I’m actually okay with that as it’s not been a major outlet for me throughout my life (yes, I will probably get one soon, as I do love The Voice).

Without a television, when I’m not cooking, my time has been filled with reading. Whether it’s online articles, a great novel or a blog, I have found the past few years have been chock-full of more self-development books than usual. Perhaps it’s some mid-career pivotal shift or that I really needed them or I’m just excited to grow in life in general, there has been a draw to them for whatever reason it may be. However, I’ve been careful to not get overwhelmed with the insight you gain, as it’s possible to drive yourself crazy trying to do 432917 things, so I certainly throw in a novel or two in between these reads…but with that said, I’ve come to a realization from what I’ve read.

If it sticks with you, it’s meant to. Imagine you’re a tree. As you read something, perhaps it’s a mantra, an idea, something, and you read it once or twice, put the book down, and you just get it. Now sometimes you won’t, and that okay. But if you do get it, and you continue to put that piece of the puzzle into practice, you’re continuing to grow new limbs, new leaves. In this process you’re shedding old bark. Gaining more wisdom. My point is, we don’t need to strive for perfection with these books.

I recently read The Four Agreements. I even made it the background on my phone, but you know which ones stuck? #3. “Don’t make assumptions.” And #1. “Be impeccable with your word.” I have difficulty trying to remember the other two, #4. “Always do your best,” and #2. “Don’t take anything personally.” Oh, isn’t #2 always easier said than done for us women!? So I remember 2 out of the 4. That’s okay. I think that’s better than okay because I believe that by having a somewhat-continual personal development book on rotation, it’s forcing you to stay super mindful with what sticks and what doesn’t. It’s changing your thought process as you continue to read and grow, whether you identify with being a palm tree in the sun, or a gorgeous shady red oak tree, you’re growing in whatever realm you’d like—personally, professionally, and mentally. I’ll continue to practice these two agreements and add them to the next book’s thoughts. It’s called practice for a reason. And from this, your relationship with others will change. And your relationship with yourself will change. How powerful is that?

 - Alexandra, Director of Project Development