After four years, I’ve moved out of my studio space in Georgetown. (You can see more photos of the studio in these posts: featured in the Washingtonian; featured on the West Elm Blog; the launch party; and studio progress.)
I started the space in 2014 when the only other co-working spaces in the DC area, to me, felt very male/tech. If I was going to pay for office space, I wanted something that was more than just a random desk in a shared office. I wanted a space where female entrepreneurs could not just work, but help each other grow. I wanted to create a community of strong women, who just happened to also be kickass businesswomen.
Aesthetically, I wanted the space to work for photo shoots, be flooded with light, and be somewhere that I wanted to spend time and could focus. I found all of those things.
At the time, I didn’t really understand that you should have a broker for commercial space. I saw the space on CraigsList and contacted the company directly. It was the only office I looked at in person and I knew right away that I wanted it. Hardwood floors, white walls, big windows — I fell in love.
Being a newer entrepreneur in a fickle industry, convincing the owner of the building to rent the space to me was a process. He literally asked me, “What is a blogger anyway?” — so that’s what I was dealing with. I had to explain every single way I made money, and show him press clips from being featured in the Washington Post and the Washingtonian to show him I was a credible businesswoman.
I finally convinced him to rent to me, and I felt so official having an office to go to.
Being in Georgetown was helpful because it was near a lot of stores that I’ve worked with over the years. There are lots of events in Georgetown that I would attend, and it’s near a lot of the local universities, making it easy for interns to come to the space. And shockingly, it was cheaper than a lot of other spaces around downtown DC.
I also loved the feel of Georgetown at the time. It was busy, fun, and I felt like the energy there is happy and contagious.
The space wasn’t something I wanted to pay for just on my own (or could afford to). I knew going in I’d be sharing it, and since many of my friends also work for themselves, I had already taken a poll and knew I had enough interested parties to go for it.
After working from home for three years and feeling like a hermit, I craved daily interaction with other creative people. Several of the women who joined the space have become some of my best friends.
Over the four years of being there I’ve watched all of these women’s businesses thrive and grow. I’ve had five interns there. I’ve shot countless photo shoots there. Drank numerous bottles of wine there.
I’m sad to leave the space, but since moving outside of DC proper, I have found that spending an hour in traffic to go to and from my office just didn’t seem like a good use of my time. Besides the time driving, driving in the DC area in general can be stressful simply due to the amount of cars on the road. And planning around rush hour times is just not something I want to be in my life if it doesn’t have to be.
Once we moved, I rarely used my office, and that’s when I knew it was time to move on. Also, after four years of being in charge of a co-working space, it just wasn’t something I wanted to spend any of my time managing anymore. The mental load on me was just too much.
I’m still searching for my new space (with a few friends that I’ll share the space with) so all of my office furniture is in storage until then.
I cherish the time in my Georgetown studio, and the women who I got to experience it with, but I’m ready to move on. I’m looking forward to a fresh start, a new chapter.