When Cassandra LaValle, founder of Coco Kelley and The Emerald Studio—a lifestyle brand and an interior/event styling studio, respectively—first set eyes on a two-room office in a historic building in downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square, it was a perfect match.
And not just for LaValle. The space would make for the ideal multi-use coworking office for a collective of seven female entrepreneurs, called Jackson St. Studio, which was founded by LaValle and Chloe Csadenyi-Benson, an interior and architectural designer who runs Gather Seattle.
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"The idea was to curate a group of like-minded women entrepreneurs into a studio in where we could work together side-by-side to collaborate and lift each other up," says LaValle. "We all come from creative fields within the ‘lifestyle’ arena, and our skills overlap and complement each other wonderfully."
The women in the collective work across the spectrum of creative fields, from architectural and graphic design, to public relations and photography. "Jackson St. Studio has been instrumental to me in my recent move to Seattle," says Lauren Essl, founder of Blue Eye Brown Eye, a graphic design and calligraphy studio. "Being plugged into this group of women entrepreneurs right away has provided me with a great network not only for work connections, but also in friendship."
A coworking space like the studio fosters professional connection and alleviates financial burden. "Sharing a space also allows us to afford a space in Seattle, despite the growing rents here," LaValle says. "We find it not only inspiring to be around each other, but essential, too. Having this space has enabled all of us to expand our businesses, and we’re all incredibly grateful for it."
Perhaps the biggest advantage to sharing the studio space is being able to avoid the isolation of the average cubicle. "I always find myself leaving the studio endlessly inspired," says photographer Ellie Lillstrom. "Whether it’s after a collaborative chat with one of my talented office mates, or at the end of a full-day shoot in the space with it’s perfectly balanced natural light, I leave filled to the brim with new, exciting ideas."
Such is why the typical workday here is anything but: "With so much creativity in our space, there’s really no ‘average’ day," says LaValle.
Other Company: Gather Seattle
Photography: Ellie Lillstrom