Coworking in Columbia County kicks off
A Columbia County businesswoman is launching a coworking and community office space in Scappoose as a way of allowing small business owners to network without absorbing the overhead costs of owning their own workspace.
Jessica Hansen, a Scappoose resident who runs a professional consulting business called Diamond Inspired, recently started Jubilee Collective as a community education center and coworking office space in Scappoose.
Hansen developed the idea out of personal necessity to find office space, as well as her vision to connect with other professionals in a business-friendly environment.
"No one can really do business alone. I wanted to give people a chance to leave their home and have a change of place," Hansen said.
Coworking offices are communal spaces where members have access to resources like desks, high-speed internet, copiers, scanners and other office amenities atypical in the home.
"I wanted to provide a space where people who need a place to hang out to do work can go that's not a coffee shop," Hansen said.
Coworking spaces have gained popularity over the past decade in cities like San Francisco, Denver and New York City, and several coworking spaces are available for rent in Portland. Hansen, however, saw the need for a similar working environment in Columbia County, and wanted to offer something that could also be used as a community resource.
Hansen likens it to a gym membership, but for an office. Members pay a monthly — or, in some cases, daily — fee for access to the space as needed. Eventually, she would like users to be able the space 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to accommodate those who work outside of normal business hours.
In addition to desk space, the Jubilee Collective will also offer a community education center. The small classroom will be equipped with whiteboards, projectors, tables, chairs and other conference room fixtures. The space can be used for teaching professional workshops, demonstrations, or teaching drop-in classes.
"I wanted to give people a space to use other than the library," Hansen added.
While Hansen's business hasn't been up and running for long, she already has several clients on the books. Carly Franklin joined the collective and plans to use the space on as-needed basis. Franklin runs a podcast and lifestyle blog, and explained that having a quiet place outside of her home to work will be beneficial. She has worked from home off and on for about five years and said she is looking forward to using the new space as a productive work environment and an opportunity to network with others.
"Definitely, for me, there's the aspect that I can focus better when I'm not taking care of animals at home or being distracted," Franklin said. She also said working at home can be isolating.
That vision is exactly what Hansen had in mind for Jubilee Collective, adding that as a business owner who also works from home, she appreciates the need to connect with others.
"I want people to be able to do things that bring people together," Hansen said.
For more information about the coworking or classroom space, visit www.jubileecollective.com.