Dear Inc. Community,
THANK YOU for helping The Inc. accomplish so much in its first year and a half. Your belief in the value of coworking and childcare has shown the Puget Sound (and the world!) that this idea is viable and necessary for today's families. With your support, we have taken this idea and made it into a reality in an extremely short time and currently serve over 120 members and counting.
However, with fast growth comes moments of reflection to ensure that our foundation is strong and sustainable. With this in mind, The Inc. Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close The Inc. West Seattle indefinitely on August 17th.
We plan to use this opportunity to learn, reset and become much stronger as we are still very much committed to serving multiple communities in Puget Sound. We look forward to serving the West and South Seattle communities again in the future.
So what does this mean for The Inc.?
- Our Green Lake location remains open and will be even stronger as we pool all our resources together to make it shine as the crown jewel of coworking and childcare in Seattle.
- We plan to invest more in the Playschool program by strengthening the teaching team and curriculum and exploring expanding hours and age ranges for care.
- We will begin focusing on providing more support to our parent members with a variety of workshops and events for more opportunities to connect and learn.
Thank you again for your patience, commitment and support as we build a sustainable coworking with childcare model together! If you have any further questions and/or comments please reach out to The Inc. team at email@example.com.
Marlene Mejia Weiss
Co-Executive Directors, The Inc.
July’s member spotlight features Carrie Pollak, owner of Diaper Stork, who is bringing a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation to The Inc. A savvy drive and unique skill set has assisted her in purchasing, relaunching and scaling an environmentally and socially-conscious cloth diapering business in the Puget Sound. I spoke with Carrie to find out more about how she set out to create a new, more flexible professional life while working at The Inc.
Carrie joined The Inc. Green Lake in November 2017, soon after her daughter turned one. She was still on her maternity leave and figuring out next steps after being at home with her daughter. She was no longer interested in a full-time corporate job and had always desired to have her own business. She had a handful of business ideas for a startup, but as a new mom, she did not have the time and energy level to dedicate to a startup. Given her impressive work experience and background (Mechanical Engineering degree from Cornell, MBA from Northwestern University, over a decade of work experience at Amazon), Carrie realized that purchasing, scaling and improving a business would be the perfect fit for her skill set and expertise.
While researching potential businesses for sale during a work session at The Inc., Carrie discovered Diaper Stork, a Seattle-based cloth diaper service. “I thought it would be a really great fit. The previous owner started Diaper Stork in 2014 and was a full time caretaker for her daughter.” Carrie said.
Having cloth-diapered her own daughter, Carrie was very interested in the business from the get-go, but she also liked that Diaper Stork could give her flexibility and freedom to be at home mostly with her daughter. She felt it was a great business opportunity to invest in a product and business she cares about so she soon took over Diaper Stork. Carrie explains, “I’m passionate about a product that is convenient, good for the environment and community-oriented and a service that has a social and environmental impact.”
With a new business to grow and a toddler in tow, Carrie set up a regular, yet flexible work routine for her and her daughter at The Inc. Green Lake where they go four days a week. Carrie shares about her daughter's experience, “She squeals when we arrive, and is super excited about the toddler playroom. It makes it very easy for me to have this space to come to work because I know she’s happy. My favorite time of the day is when the toddlers waddle out in a line holding hands as they walk to play-time outside. It’s the cutest time!”
While her daughter happily plays in the The Inc.’s toddler room, Carrie focuses on customer service and operations of Diaper Stork and makes sure she’s carrying out its vision and mission. “At Diaper Stork, our mission is to allow families to make conscientious choices for their baby and the environment.” Carrie says. “I believe in the reuse and sharing economy. This service allow families to choose both convenience and the environment versus one or the other. Whatever your reasons for choosing cloth, we want to help make cloth diapering accessible, convenient, and easy to stick with. It’s a great option for diapering.”
Carrie is motivated to fulfill a long-term vision to have Diaper Stork offer more services and product offerings and expand to more regions. She is constantly asking, “How can we have more products to recycle within these families and within this community?”
We look forward to watching Diaper Stork continue to flourish under Carrie’s leadership. It’s amazing to see what parents can accomplish when we have the work space and time to laser focus on our goals and dreams. Carrie’s story is a prime example of what we hope the Inc. can do for you too!
Learn more about Diaper Stork at http://www.diaperstork.com/ or follow Diaper Stork at https://www.facebook.com/diaperstork/ If you have any cloth-diapering questions, email Diaper Stork directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!
- Lauren Watkins: readtowriteblog.com, IG @readtowriteblog
We are thrilled to feature The Baumans for our June member spotlight!
Once you meet Carolyn, small business owner and calligrapher of Anchored Paper Co. you can’t help getting caught up in her lively dynamic drive. She has a bright, friendly personality and is enthusiastic about life! I had the pleasure of interviewing Carolyn on behalf of The Inc. to feature her as The Inc.'s May Member Spotlight and celebrate Small Business Week (April 30-May 5).
With 13 years of design expertise behind her, Carolyn, is a notable forerunner in her field. Her focus is in creating beautiful custom wedding suites, a package service that often includes handwritten materials customised for her clients. This includes everything from the save-the-date note to the wedding invitation and the wording on the table place cards at the reception.
She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design and lives in Seattle with her husband and two and half year old daughter.
Fluent in all areas of design, Carolyn has a specific passion for hand lettering, typography and print design. Her detail-oriented, unique and creative designs have been been recognised and featured in Seattle Bride magazine and other online and print publications.
Carolyn loves to share her skills and passion for her art with others and regularly hosts modern calligraphy workshops. She recently hosted a few workshops in collaboration with Glassybaby, where she taught the careful strokes of fine lettering on glassybaby votive candles.
Although she works from her office studio space in Ballard a few times a week she is a frequent member of the Inc. Greenlake. “The Inc. is wonderful,” Carolyn says. “I could get a nanny for my daughter but not only does the Inc. offer an affordable playschool option, my pretty independent daughter Lily, really thrives with social interactions and she is so excited as soon as we walk through the doors. I feel like The Inc. is helping me to be a better mom. And let’s be honest, working from home never works.”
As an outgoing creative, Carolyn sometimes struggles to feel motivated while she sits and works alone in her studio. The Inc. provides the social interaction she craves. “It energizes me and I feel less isolated.”
In her free time Carolyn enjoys connecting with friends and is the advertising coordinator for her daughter’s co-op preschool. Carolyn and her husband are overjoyed to be expecting a baby boy this Summer, and she is looking forward to being a working mom parenting an infant and a toddler. “After this baby comes I think the Inc. will be a great constant in my life.”
- Lauren Watkins, readtowriteblog.com, Instagram: @readtowriteblog
I am excited to share the deeper conversation I had with Inc. member Elise Worthy, the new CEO of the well-loved Wallingford children’s consignment store - Kids on 45th and our April Inc. Member Spotlight! (If you are an Inc. newsletter reader, you may recall that we mentioned Elise in our last one.) I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to chat with Elise and share her insights as a mom, wife, entrepreneur and software developer with you just in time for National Small Business week which is this week, April 30-May 5. So let's dive right in and meet Elise and learn more about her business!
Since graduating with an MBA from the University of California at 25, Elise set out to acquire the marketing and project management experience that has laid the foundation for her current work. In June 2017, she purchased Kids on 45th and is using it as a platform for innovation in children’s resale and recycling. With a keen awareness of the limited time moms have to shop for their children’s clothes, she is placing an emphasis on online sales, subscriptions and mail-based recycling.
She jokingly comments, “As an owner of a children’s clothing store, I don’t have time to buy pants for my son, Isaac. It’s a running joke in the family.” Kids on 45th have recently launched an online subscription service that will hopefully make the shopping experience an easy, convenient and affordable option for busy parents. As part of the service, every season's high-quality used clothing will be delivered to your doorstep. Outgrown or unworn clothing can be returned for credit towards your next box. As a mom to two children under the age of 4 she recognizes time is a limiting factor. “I don’t have much time to shop recreationally these days and shopping with toddlers is not easy.”
The team at Kids on 45th works hard to create a sustainable business with an affirming environment for their customers where parents and caregivers feel validated. “We want to meet moms where they are at. Parenting is hard. Our goal is to be approachable and to offer personable service. We want it to be a laid-back and fun experience. You won’t need to put on a false pretense while you shop with your little ones. Every child has a tantrum or an accident. It’s cool. We’re all in this together.” she says.
Elise helped rescue a business that was about to close down. Last year, Elise, was a consigner at Kids on 45th. When she missed her consignment appointment she called to reschedule and was told the business was closing down. Now she is an owner of a 30 year old neighborhood business, and she’s making waves in the children’s consignment world.
What does a typical day look like in the life of Elise Worthy, I ask her. “Every day is different. In the morning I try to write down a 5-point to-do list for the day, to get those top of the mind things done. And every morning I begin my day with a cup of pour over coffee that I make. I feel very lucky. I lean very heavily on my parents and my mother in law lives with us. So many things wouldn’t be possible without them.” Elise also relies on The Inc. Greenlake as a reliable and flexible option for her son when his preschool is closed for breaks and vacations. “The Inc truly is an innovative business concept, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
Her advice for those in marketing or just starting out in business —”Marketing is about a drum beat. Just keep going- even if it feels like it’s not happening, that’s how your customers will remember you.”
For news and updates on sales check their Facebook page. They have a one year anniversary celebration coming up at the beginning of June. Now is a perfect time to spring clean and clean out the closets because they are currently accepting open drop offs in the store every week from Sunday to Wednesday. Bring in two bags of clothing for $10 of instant credit per bag. They will accept any size and season of clothing, aside from heavy winter snow gear.
- Lauren Watkins, readtowriteblog.com, Instagram: @readtowriteblog