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HIVE MEMBER UPDATE
By: Hive Founder – Chris Yates
When we opened the Hive 2 years ago, the idea was to create a space that was more than “just an office building.” We wanted to create a culture of collaboration where people could come together and create things, share ideas, and make a difference. We achieved that by gaining over 100 members, hosting countless meetings, events, workshops, gatherings of all kinds, and seeing ideas become reality. It’s been a lot of hard work, and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
If you’ve visited the Hive recently and noticed that the front door is always locked, there’s a good reason. Originally, we wanted the space to be open during all business hours to create maximum “buzz” and really get things happening. It worked. The Paonia Chamber of Commerce moved into the front suite which brought all sorts of visitors to the space all summer long. Countless locals came to workshops, community events, art exhibitions, and perused our space.
So, what’s the problem?
Last summer, we started hearing the same feedback from many of our members. “I can’t get any work done here.” Why? “It’s too busy. I feel constantly distracted.” Yep. Buzz overkill. To resolve this, we tried building a second co-working room that was for quiet work space. Unfortunately, making a room quiet can be more expensive than one would think, and it still doesn’t change the volume level of a half-dozen community members who come to socialize rather than work. What’s more, is that we noticed the members who couldn’t get work done were the people who invested in full-time co-working memberships and had serious projects to focus on. The “distractions” were mostly coming from well-intended, highly social non-member visitors, or members of our least expensive plans that enjoyed attending workshops and events but didn’t really need to utilize the space to get work done.
Hmm…. So, how do we serve everyone at once? How do we provide focused work space and the highest quality experience possible while being open to the whole community? Answer: We don’t.
After conducting a financial analysis and surveying many of our members, we realized something very important; About 80% of our revenue was coming from 20% of our consistent members. Of the members and non-member community that contributed the other 20% of our revenue, they created nearly 80% of our overhead expense (coffee, increased need for cleaning, internet bandwidth consumption, utility usage, the need for employees to manage everything, etc.)! The 80/20 Rule is REAL!!!
Now that we know what the problem is, how do we make the change? How do we make sure that our members receive the value that they deserve, give them the focused work space that they need, while building a collaborative culture that invites the community to participate and holds The Hive as a gem of the town and acts as a magnet for other like-minded freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads? Sometimes the best answer is the most simple one:
Step 1: Lock the door (80/20 Rule) Only full-time members/tenants and event hosts have front door access.
Step 2: Only One Membership Option (Attract the people who will be most committed to the business and culture.)
Step 3: Re-Engage the Community
We are at Step 3 of the plan now. From Step 1 and Step 2, our membership numbers are way down, but so are expenses. The members that we see using the space most often are happy, productive, and feel that the space brings them more value now than it did before. Re-engaging the community will be an educated experiment. We know what worked before, and what didn’t, so we will now re-open the valve carefully until we have just the right temperature.
Watch our announcements in the near future. You’ll see things like “Free Coworking Fridays,” a new format for our Coffee and Cocktail Colliders that will allow guest participation, special member events (guests welcome), and more.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this update! There is more to announce, but not just yet. Soon you’ll hear about faster internet, sunlight in our Nectar Meeting Room, background music, new perks for members, and a few surprises. To be continued….
How coworking inspired the formation of a rock band
Interview by Hive Member ClaireZane Murphy
“Music is undeniably a healing force, it makes me come alive. The world needs more folks doing what makes them come alive. If I have any talent with music, I want to give it away, for other people’s hearts.” – Brodie Kinder
Brodie Kinder and the Killer Bees, a homegrown Paonia band, are creating quite a buzz in town. Before ever seeing the band live I heard stories about their stage presence, and at this year’s Mountain Harvest Festival I witnessed the band’s powerful connection with their community first hand. This is a one-on-one interview with bandleader and Hive Member Brodie Kinder, taking us behind the scenes of his group’s formation (at the Hive!) and the intention behind their big sound.
CZM: So first of all, can you start with a brief history of the band?
BK: We formed here in town, December of 2014. I’d played in bands before but I had been performing as a solo artist for over a year, with a few duo/trio collaborations, and that winter I felt it was finally time. I wanted a BIG sound. So I started secretly auditioning friends around town. “Hanging out and jamming” was code for, “do you got the chops for my band?” It was a pretty fun process to find the right folks.
CZM: How did you ask them?
BK: Haha, do you want the long or the short version? Well, the first one was Dakin Henderson. He was a Hive member and the videographer of Lost Cabin Productions, and I heard he played keyboard. So we jammed at his house and he was killing it! Later that day I worked up the courage to ask him, “Do you wanna be in my band?” And then same thing with Chris Faison. We would always pass by each other in the halls at the Hive – come to find out he’s a stellar saxophone player! He is the real deal. He melts faces. In fact, a lot of the covers we chose were based on the fact that he could shred on sax. Chris King was also a friendly face walking around the Hive, working for Shadescapes. I found out he was a drummer through Andrew Cranson, who eventually became our bass player and happens to be one of the funniest dudes and best hunting guides on the western slope. And present throughout the whole process was Melanie Jean, my sweetheart, harmony singer, co-writer and now current bass player. She and I met in the spring of 2014 and have played as a duo wherever there’s an opportunity. She only picked up bass last November, but worked hard to fill in for Andrew since he’s guiding this time of year. We miss him dearly. Then lastly, to fill in our horn section, we inquired with the ubiquitous Dave Noe, the man with the Purple Trombone. Turns out he’s one of the sweetest guys and really had what we were looking for. Yeah, so that’s kind of the long of it all. But we got started at the Hive and one day in practice we were trying to figure out our name and someone was like “The Killer Bees” and we were like, “Done. That’s the one.”
CZM: Is that paying homage to the Hive?
BK: Totally. That’s where it all began.
CZM: That’s pretty cool. So a theme that was coming up for me as I was doing some research on your band was that it’s connected with community. Could you speak to how the Paonia community impacts your band? Having your home here — is there a difference when you’re playing in Paonia since people in the community know you in different capacities?
BK: Yeah, it has been quite the community affair. Do you believe in the power of affirmation?
BK: I believe that Paonia is kind of like this laser-focused network of intention and manifestation. If humans were stars, Paonia would be a tight, bright constellation. So it’s been cool to see the community show up to help manifest those dreams and intentions. We were gifted the practice space we have now, in the garage of this AMAZING family’s home. They’ve got a gaggle of kids and it’s been so cool to hang out with them and be welcomed into the family essentially.
I believe music is a form of deep expression that communicates a message. Ever since traveling in this group called Up with People I’ve been wanting to make music that connects people in a positive way. I traveled around with 100 young people from 20 different countries, and after being at a place for about a week doing community service, we performed this big show as a thank you. The message was one of peace, hope, and understanding. So for me, I love seeing the impact of music and being able to give people permission to “shake what yo momma gave ya!” Music is undeniably a healing force; it makes me come alive. The world needs more folks doing what makes them come alive. If I have any talent with music, I want to give it away, for other people’s hearts.
CM: That partially answers one of my next questions, which is, do you have a hope or an intention for the audience to have an experience or connection while listening to the band?
BK: Yes and there has been a lot of positive feedback resonating those intentions. My aim is for people to feel some levity in their life, some celebration, some joy and excitement. After the Mountain Harvest Festival show everyone was buzzing about how good they felt. It was like a group high. I feel like when I’m performing with the band we’re channeling energy. Something magical happens in front of a live audience. You can feel it in the room.
CM: Something I noticed is that you have a lot of audience interaction. You’re really playful and you seem really present. What is it like for you to be up in front of an audience and how has that evolved for you?
BK: I don’t necessarily intend for my shows to be funny but there ends up being a comedic aspect because you know, life is pretty funny. And stuff happens. So I try to be really present with what happens. I think it is necessary to interact with the audience. The show is a communion. I could perform to an audience of two people or a thousand, and if I don’t ever acknowledge them through a joke or some interaction then what am I doing? I feel so alive when I’m interacting with the audience. Have you ever seen the Blue Man Group?
CZM: Not live
BK: Well there’s a part where they teach the audience how to rock out. So it’s like first put the fist up, then do the head bang. . . very often, even in the duo shows, we’ll do a song where we make the audience have to do a karate chop. So imagine there’s a pile of bricks in front of you and you have to “HUH!!” (motions karate chop) at a particular spot in the song. It’s a playful thing but the audience gets to be as much a part of the song as the musicians are. There is a magical aspect that turns on when we’re up there. It’s so much bigger than me or the band. It’s pretty cool.
CZM: In the book The Artist’s Way (http://juliacameronlive.com/) the author talks about connecting with spirituality in your creative process. In what way did participating in the Artist’s Way workshop impact your creative process with your band members and perhaps with just yourself as a musician?
BK: Something that I’m still figuring out is my writing process. I think I’m pretty decent at performing and leading a band, but the writing aspect, before I can call forth the intention, that’s where I’m still learning to trust myself. So you know, now I’ve given myself permission to make crappy music until I figure it out! My friend once said that it takes some poop to make a garden (laughter). It gave me permission to suck (laughter).
CZM: Failure is compost right?
BK: Totally. And the morning pages have been a great outlet for that “poop” that can clog your creative flow. Giving yourself the permission to turn off the critic for your own artistic process.
CZM: Awesome. What are some of the most influential teachers who have impacted your creative process?
BK: Being raised in the Unity church — which is more of a practical spiritual community than a religion — definitely influenced me (unity.org). Within the Sunday school curriculum we would meditate and be mindful, being accountable for the thoughts and the feelings that we have. We learned that we could actually change our reality through positive affirmation and meditation. And as a teenager you’re like “That’s cool, whatever, this is kind of boring, these girls are cute. . .” but actually the lessons really started sinking in, and I’m so grateful for that. One of my originals, “222,” is an affirmation song. It’s an honest catchy tune and if you embody the lyrics it’s a pretty powerful tool. A simple melody mixed with a mantra makes an impact and a great dance tune (big smile), lyrics with intention.
Another influence growing up was Leroy White, this beautiful old Rastafarian with a long dreaded beard. At our Unity retreats he would perform spirit-evoking tunes with live looping and ambiance. He would sing into my soul, making me feel bigger on the inside. There’s a song I’ve been meaning to cover that he does, “I know what Love is”, as I know it, (singing) “I know exactly what love is, love is both tender and true. Love is a feeling my heart has when I’m being held close by you” (singing ends). It takes you through this whole journey and I just remember bawling my eyes out as a kid.
CZM: Beautiful. Wow, lots of activism, lots of community, lots of connection. It’s really cool.
BK: Same team huh?
CZM: Yeah. It’s almost like you belong in Paonia (laughter). So is there anything coming up in the future that you want people to know about? Any cool things happening touring in the next few months that you want to mention?
BK: We’ll be posting more videos from Mountain Harvest Festival, and then there’s a few things happening on the Front Range in Denver. We may squeeze in another show here in town around New Years as well.
CZM: Is there anything that you hope will happen in the future of your band’s story? Any big vision that you have?
BK: Well, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. It would be a dream to be able to play at Red Rocks and hold the microphone out to the audience as they’re singing back the words I wrote at full volume. That would be so cool.
CZM: Wow, what a reflection that would be. Anything else you want people to know about your band that they might not know already?
BK: We may be rock stars in Paonia, but we started out in my single-wide trailer kitchen. Humble beginnings.
Interview by Hive Member ClaireZane Murphy
Prema Rose Productions
Prema Rose is evidence that The North Fork Valley’s creative community is rapidly growing. After 37 years living in the mountains west of Boulder, Prema moved to Paonia this summer to join her son, Michael Rose, and his family who have been in the valley for 5 years.
Prema is a producer and actress who has created the movie production company, Prema Rose Productions. She has co-written and is currently producing the MicroCosmic Cartoon Show: an animated/live action musical feature film. The story tells of a young boy who unexpectedly wanders into The Circus of Life and discovers himself on a quest for self awareness and transformation. The screenplay and music have already won several awards at international film festivals.
Synopsis Teaser for the production:
Prema first came to the Hive this summer to seek professional support with her production. As a Hive Connect Member, she has been learning new tools and skills, making connections, and building relationships that are moving her business forward. She is currently gathering a team of other talented likeminded people who – in her words – “see the need for transformational media in an industry glutted with violence”
“We need to give our youth (of all ages) hope and inspiration that we have harmonious choices for our lives. Bringing delight and depth of understanding through the cinema is a powerful medium to reach wide audiences around the world”.
Her background: Prema was born into a theatrical family in N.Y.C. where she began her career in the theater as an actress at fourteen years young. After playing on Broadway, TV, and film, as well as prominent regional companies, she was catapulted into a spiritual journey around the world for seven years, culminating in serving humanity as a midwife for twenty-five years. She has four children and six-and-a half grandchildren and is enjoying being close to two of them in Paonia.
Prema is interested in hearing from members who resonate with the MicroCosmic Cartoon Show. At this time, she is looking for an individual with social media marketing skills, an office manager, an local entertainment lawyer, and, of course, those who wish to make a donation or invest in this ground-breaking movie.
If you fit the bill for any of these roles, bee in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hive Member Spotlight: Dave Knutson
It really helps to have a human relations geek at your coworking space. These people seem to intrinsically understand the power of sharing, collaboration, and socializing in the workplace. They are the absolute best at fostering it.
Dave Knutson is no exception to this. Dave is a Hive Member and Human Resources Consultant who greets every Hive Member with a glimmer in his eye and a “hello” so authentic you can’t help but pause and ponder what was in his morning coffee.
Bored of working at home by himself, desiring a more buzzing social scene, Dave joined the Hive last winter and soon after became a front-desk Host. He currently greets worker-bees and guests at our front desk every other Monday morning.
Dave originally landed in Paonia in 2003 when he came to work as the Minister of Human Resources for Chaco Sandals. Chaco shut down their Paonia operation in 2008 and Dave ended his 5 year reign and began private consulting work. He has clients all over the Pacific Northwest, the Front Range, and in the North Fork Valley.
Beyond HR consulting, Dave fills his life with big projects and passions. He is the President of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council– the group that stewards the extensive cross-country ski trail system on Grand Mesa. He teaches intensive leadership trainings for local community leaders, and is working on his own self-designed research project investigating how people in rural areas like the North Fork Valley make a living.
Dave is as gifted at play as he is at work, and can frequently be found skiing, hiking, backpacking in wild destinations near and far. He also maintains a dedicated Vipassana Meditation practice that he enjoys sharing with friends in the Valley.
His favorite quote that he keeps on his credit card to remind him of the mystery of life:
”Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck” – Dalai Lama
Like many who have had a brief taste of Paonia, Teresa and Scott Shishm were asking themselves: How can we get back here? After living in the North Fork from 2001 to 2006, and then Durango for 9 years, Teresa returned to the valley this summer with Scott to begin a new chapter. They are both boot-strapping entrepreneurs. Teresa has her own graphic design company and Scott is a Physical Education Instructor and Bike Mechanic who just opened a bike shop, Shish KaBikes in Paonia. They have a 4-year-old daughter Sonora who is in her first year of school at North Fork Montessori.
As Hive Members, Scott & Teresa have been networking, learning, and collaborating with the Colony to develop their businesses. Teresa rarely misses a Hive Work Sprint or workshop, and Scott was last seen at the Hive gathering feedback on his bike shop ambitions from a full house of Hive Members at a Coffee Collider last week. Teresa also joins us as a front desk Host on Tuesday mornings!
Teresa Shishim has designed and implemented online and print communication for businesses and nonprofits for over 15 years. Her diverse background includes industry and non-profit experience, software development, animal welfare, river restoration, energy efficiency, environmental consulting, and holistic healing. She created her first web site when she was 14, and she has been involved in creative work and design ever since. You can see a sampling of her most recent work for Paradise Theater in their upcoming “Take a Seat at the Paradise” fundraising campaign. Follow Teresa’s work on her Blog at Yoka Design.
Scott Shishim has been a bike fanatic since he was a kid. He learned basics of bike maintenance at an early age from his father and has “wrenched” ever since. His passion for cycling led him to Durango, where he raced for Fort Lewis College and honed his skills at Durango Cyclery working with professional Wrenches. He attended SRAM Technical University and worked on the full gamut of road, mountain, BMX, cross, touring, townie and kids bikes. Scott shares his love of cycling with kids and has coached junior mountain biking through DEVO in Durango, developed after school mountain bike clubs, and taught Physical Education for six years with a cycling program for kids 3 to 13. He is excited to realize his dream of opening a bike shop and bring this experience to Paonia, Colorado to put it on the bicycling map. Check out Scott’s shop, Shish KaBikes, located at 202 Poplar Ave in Paonia. Open Tues-Fri 10-6 & Sat 10-4.
She rides a green bike with fake roses on it’s basket and has already tweeted about the farm to table dinner before it’s over. She has big bold ideas, and always seems to know the inside scoop on the latest and greatest small-town happenings. Recently, she’s become obsessed with tiny houses and is blogging about them in great detail alongside her ponderings on the splendors of veganism and camping with children. That’s Patti Kaech, scribe and founder of Tink, Peter,and Ladybug: A green lifestyle blog.
Patti moved to Paonia three years ago from Crested Butte and landed at the Hive at its grand opening in spring 2014. She is currently a front desk host at the Hive on Wednesday afternoons where she’s often found bee-ing the “Great Connector”, helping members and visitors discover opportunities and make new connections.
“I came to the Hive for the vibe. I love being around other people who working on interesting projects and bouncing ideas off of each other even though we work in different industries. The community and focus on active membership keeps me motivated, and moving forward on my work. Plus, it’s awesome how multigenerational it is. We have young hipsters…and grannies like me!”
Patti has a BS in International Marketing from San Francisco State University and has worked as a Real Estate Broker, Corporate Communications VP, Business Manager of a Ski Clinic and a Development Director at KVNF. She’s recently joined the Board of Directors of the Western Slope Conservation Center and her spare time is spent camping, hiking, cross country skiing and enjoying the Colorado lifestyle. She lives with her nine year old daughter, Ellie, in Paonia and visits her older kids and grand kids in Crested Butte often.
One of Patti’s passions is zero-waste living. She asks you consider…”Why use a plastic bag next time you’re at the grocery store? Reusable bags are easier and more ecological. Plastic is the kiss of death for so many things.”
Read Patti’s most recent blog post “Top Ten Summer Sanity Saviors”.
Alicia Michelsen is on a mission to support life long learning. Since she moved to Paonia 13 years ago, she’s poured her time and heart into creating alternative education programs in the North Fork Valley. Now, as the President of the Board & Program Director for The Learning Council, she is taking it to the next level.
The Learning Council was formed in Paonia in 1984 as a nonprofit with a mission of providing gift education to the community. The organization was inactive for many years, until last year, when, under Alicia’s leadership and vision, The Learning Council was resurrected and transformed into an influential resource in our community.
The Learning Council provides classes for the entire community in music, art, cooking, agriculture, and hand-working — all on a “gift” donation basis.
The Paonia Bike CoOp, Thursday cooking classes at the Trading Post, the Village Building Convergence public street art project, and Embodying Rhythm Marimba Project, the Parade Marching Band, and energy classes with Ed Eaton, are just a few of the offerings this year. Coming soon – they are offering a skateboarding class, a permaculture design course, and rite of passage work for young men and women.
“The Learning Council is focused on feeding our community’s apetite for education, creativity, and life skills, and making this totally accessible to anyone of any age and ability. We love to offer classes at the Hive as it is such a central location and active hub of conscious thought for our valley. The Hive classes have been a great success and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Hive as a way to empower the colony and share the Learning Council’s gifts” says Alicia.
Just two doors down from the Hive is the Glennie Coombe Art Gallery where Solar Energy International (SEI) regularly rents a conference room to use for extra classroom space. It’s also an ice cream shop (We’re not complaining…).
As the Director of Spanish Programs for SEI, Daniel is leading an international outreach effort to establish solar training programs throughout Latin America, where few solar schools exist and large-scale renewable energy systems are just emerging. His work is vast in scope and changes every day. One day, he’s at the Hive reading technical training manuals, the next he’s jetting down to Mexico to meet with heads of state.”Having a strong community in the North Fork Valley and at the Hive throughout this big, ambitious, unpredictable, and often tenuous project has been invaluable”, says Daniel.
Daniel focuses fervently to “make the impossible possible in the world and in (his) life”. He owns an off the grid straw bale cabin in Crawford, CO and likes to travel and spend time outdoors with his three kids “as much as possible”.
Region 10 just published a great spotlight of the Hive and how coworking is evolving in our region. There are currently three coworking projects in various early stages of development in Montrose, Delta, and Mountain Village. Read more at http://www.region10.net/coworking/