We’ve all had the experience of being in a space and seeing its potential. Those flashes of insight where you look beyond the dated cabinetry, the tired paint, the dim light fixtures. You love everything about the neighborhood too. You envision yourself devoting tender loving care to transforming the space.
This was my experience of The Buehl Building and what is now The CoLab. I loved it despite the 1970’s style dark wood paneling, the dusty tangle of objects in storage, and mini-blinds that unceremoniously rerouted the natural light. It spoke to me in character of the space that still lingered in the weathered hardwood floors and intricately stamped tin ceiling. I also love the people & energy of Lakewood. This city is beautiful all the time but during the holiday season, its pure magic.
In 2018, I hosted the Home for the Holidays Pop-Up Shop in the space next door which is now the fabulous Blossom Cleveland floral bar! Something about the building resonated deeply with me from the first time I experienced it and I knew I wanted to put my stamp on it. The four years of curating the Pop-Up also put me in touch with local artists and craftspeople, which became the jumping-off point of my business model. I wanted to bottle the inspiration I felt around other motivated, interesting creatives, and business owners & develop a space to allow others to experience it as well.
I approached the owner of the building (who is an absolute delight to work with- lucky me!) He has been incredibly supportive of my vision and at times even believed in me more than I did in myself. In less than a year, the space has come alive.
My vision to create a co-working space where small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives are supported; as well as a venue space for gatherings and celebrations, started in 2019. After a moving meeting with my business coach, I couldn't get the co-working space idea out of my head. An architect was hired and the demo began in March of 2019. It was a total whirlwind and amazing how quickly The CoLab was born.
I threw a launch party on Feb 28, 2020. The reception from the public was incredible. It was a dream and people raved! It felt so good and I am so thankful to have had a brief three weeks to reflect on while we were closed due to covid. To see how much the community embraced The CoLab has helped me stay positive & remember we will be back just as strong when it's safe. We have used this time on pause to finish the little details, like our beautiful new kitchenette & Zoom Room phone booths!
The CoLab is open, calm, inviting. When you are here you get work done, there is nothing else to do but hit the ground running. The bright, pristine walls, the flood of natural light, the upbeat sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you have carved out a space for your commitments and goals.
Working alongside others is inspiring and, just like being at the gym or in a fitness program, you tend to keep pace and thrive off the energy and enthusiasm of the group. The non-verbal has a palpable presence here.
The CoLab is a place where the focus is on taking care of the people who share this space. We are a community that supports freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs, makers, and creatives. It is such a blessing to have this space and the people who gather here to work and play. I hope you will join us!