Founder / Owner, OutDo Work
Bachelor of Science, Sustainability; Arizona State University
Bachelor of Art, Fashion Design; The Art Institute
Graduate Certificate, Business Strategy, Harvard University Extension
Green Building LEED AP Certified (Interior Design & Construction)
Huge fan of historical dramas (if they have great costume pieces, that is perfection), mid-day naps, and our goofy dog-child Maverick.
Your standard, stuffy office space was of no interest. I designed the facility using human feel-good and planet-friendly practices, created a membership concept based on inclusion + community building, and run operations for OutDo Work for 35 members and counting.
I draw my business sustainability strategy from my recently completed Bachelor of Science in Sustainability from Arizona State University with a focus track on Economics and minor in Political Science.
I am an entrepreneur at heart, but started my career in marketing consulting in NYC for big brands like Conde Nast Publications (home of Vogue, Traveler, etc.), Book-of-the-Month Club and many more! My focus was on customer retention by creating a tailored customer experience. After a decade of amassing marketing and business strategy expertise, I realized that while I LOVED helping businesses succeed, I would really like to apply my strategy to my own business. I was also growing tired of the very patronizing corporate environment (by businesses not listed here), and am not shy about speaking about my negative (slightly traumatizing) corporate experiences.
So back in 2015, I began to research the potential to start my own company. I was guided by my biggest pain point, which as a remote consultant was the lack of co-working spaces that felt truly welcoming and conducive to the work I like to do. I enjoy the comforts of home, and like feeling like I belong. I'd much rather be at a cozy coffee shop, but would then have to worry about loitering and lack of accessible battery plug-ins. I was also getting very into tea cafes at the time, and thought, how nice would it be to work in a cozy, inspiring workspace outside of the home?
Fast forward a few years later, and for a few different reasons, we relocated to Buffalo, MN, a town about an hour north of Minneapolis. My fiancé Stephen and I together found an affordable, beautifully remodeled 1950's house in a walkable area. Stephen, also an integral partner in this venture who I will also be outlining in a future post, and I were sold on the walkable downtown area with just enough businesses to make us happy: a kitchen store / cooking school, a wine bar and hair salon!
Fast forward to today, I apply my continued education on regenerative buildings, combined with tenant feedback, to continuously improve the tenant experience. We are at 35 members, and I LOVE coming into the office and hearing peoples stories, requests and experiences (yes, even the complaints because it provides me with opportunity). I am not always on site as we do travel quite a bit, but there is still a good amount of work to-do:
A day in the life of a co-working owner:
- Project management: conforming contractor capabilities and task completion, scheduling and managing project timelines with multiple contractors, bidding and hiring out, using projects like Trello and Gantt Charts to manage schedules
- Responsive to current and prospective tenant inquiries: anything from updating credit card info, to upgrading tenant spaces, to reviewing meeting room process and tools
- Marketing: creating email newsletters, meeting room tips emails, special announcements,
- Community involvement: sponsoring local events, co-promotions with other local businesses, organizing artist displays and reach out, article / blog creation for newsworthy content, hosting local entrepreneurial classes to discuss business, speaking at seminars (typically about marketing)
- Operations: Managing zero-waste projects, upgrading Wi-Fi and internet equipment, working with Mesa by Sidewalk Labs on our thermal comfort project, learning what the heck a 'tech stack' is and how to build one, billing management for numerous business recurring expenses and customer payment portals, determine cost-benefit analysis for adding new/requested service sharing equipment (like printers), Manage mailbox member updates and ensure correct delivery of mail items, developing / improving digital sign-up process
- New member onboarding and member off boarding: entire letting process, creating legally approved sign-up documentation, onboarding materials/communications, member office share 'match-making', experience check-ins
- Business strategy: periodically assessing the business environment to respond to new threats and opportunities (think competition or expansion)
- Expansion design and building design upgrades: Conceptualized and managed sustainable office & meeting space build out for current 4,000 sf plus an additional 1000 sf expansion, prioritizing human and planet health with selected furniture, fabrics, materials, equipment, color palettes, and lighting for a cohesive design
- Sustainability projects: Researched energy policy and managed energy audits to subsidize efficiency improvements, retrofitted historical building with various energy and water efficiency updates, reducing YOY monthly consumption by 200%, feasibility research into future projects (currently include solar (2023), rain garden (2023), and more)
Next up: I am researching lease concepts for growing small business owners that require a brick-and-mortar location of around 2,000 - 7,000 sf. but do not want to manage a build-out or building operations.
Are you a coffee shop, small cafe, co-working space, yoga / gym studios, or small grocery market owner? Please reach out! I would love to chat about your leasing experience.
As people continue to dream of starting and growing their business, we want to help make their transition successful and help communities thrive.
Contact me at (602) 881-4695 or email@example.com for more info!