On Friday, August 31st, we cleaned out the remaining items from 208 S Wilmington St and turned our keys into the leasing office. The emotions of the transition hit us at different times.
Sara Rose felt it on Friday afternoon as we surveyed the empty space and thought back on the excitement we felt as we walked into the space for the first time as coworking space owners.
Cristina felt it on Saturday morning, as the reality sunk in that we could no longer say we owned a downtown coworking space.
The first time we walked into the space in May of 2011, it was unfinished but we could see its potential instantly. In our minds, we plotted where the white desks and comfy chairs would go, where we would put the kitchenette area, and which of the walls would be painted with whiteboard paint. We knew that if we were going to run a coworking space, it had to be out of this office.
We vividly remember the excitement of getting our keys, seeing the space painted green, and watching as our first coworker, Heather Allen, signed her coworking contract.
We remember realizing that our leasing document read “Roman-Empire” because we, Roman Co LLC, were renting space from Empire Properties.
We remember painting the whiteboard wall the night before we opened and laughing as Sara Rose’s head accidentally bumped the wet paint (her friends thought she was going grey but thankfully it’s back to normal now).
We remember our “Bring a Screwdriver, Get a Screwdriver” party, where friends and coworkers brought us a Philips head screwdriver, helped us assemble our furniture, and were rewarded with mimosas (almost like a screwdriver!).
We remember our open coworking day, where every seat in the house was filled. And wouldn’t you know, our fire alarm went off on our most crowded day.
We remember the ongoing battle over the Foursquare mayorship, which was awarded to J King White but ultimately stolen by Sara Rose.
We remember filming the #TRFLovesIt music video- a week and a half of lyric brainstorming, filming, and editing with Tyler Helikson, Heather Allen, J King White, Jon Leonardo, Derrick Minor, Corey Woodard, Bo Hargrove, Elisabeth Holby, and Travis Hager. It took Sara Rose and Cristina about 20 takes for their 20 second segment of the video, but the blooper reel is well worth the wasted time (though Tyler may not agree!).
We remember practicing our British accents with our token international coworker, David. We hope he still owns the Tea and Crumpets book we bought for him because we still have the postcards he mailed to us during his travels abroad.
We remember laughing over the hilarious and vulgar paragraph that Brad emailed to us when we asked our coworkers to submit bios. We’ll also never forget laughing of the pictures of him as a teenager or listening to his rap songs and quoting the lyrics to him in random conversations.
We’ll remember cracking up with Jamey and his wife about defining the relationship talks and telling Jamey we were leaving him in charge of the space when he was the only one there.
We remember countless visits to Wilmoore Cafe for coffee, Raleigh Times for PBR and pork nachos, and Spize Cafe to pick up brown bag lunches. We’ll always celebrating our six month anniversary happy hour at The Hive with several of our coworkers and friends.
And despite the alcohol that flowed, we’ll certainly never forget our red carpet themed Raleighwood party, our bigger-than-anticipated New Year’s Eve party (or the next day clean-up!), and our beer pong networking event.
We’ll never forget celebrating Sara Rose’s November birthday, complete with pumpkin whoopie pies, during a brown bag lunch or celebrating Cristina’s July birthday with charades one evening.
We’ll never forget watching Heather nap sitting upright at her desk with her turtleneck pulled over her face or joking that Cristina was the den mother for the 10 rowdy guys working from the space.
We’ll never forget Friday at 5, The Walter Lane Project, or meeting the many individuals who walked through our doors for a visit, a day pass, or an event.
We’ll never forget spinning in the desk chairs and then attempting to walk, nor will we forget the hilarity and strangeness that ensues when you sell 12 chairs and 12 desks to strangers on Craigslist.
These moments and many more made the past year an incredible one. We learned so much about ourselves and running a small business. We want to thank everyone who made it a tremendous year and stuck by our sides as as we learned the ins and outs of operating a coworking space.
We learned, we laughed, we cried, and oh yes- we worked too
We know working with HUB Raleigh will bring its own crazy, funny, and bittersweet moments with it, so we’re excited for what we call our “new year.”