Celebrating monsters, coworking and the year of the Rat in Kitsap

What do Chinese New Year and coworking have in common? Possibly nothing. Possibly a whole hell of a lot.

As visionary-in-chief here at Vibe Coworks, the fact that we skipped the whole ‘2019 year in review’ thing this year is on me. We skipped it this year—not because we have nothing to review or reflect upon—but because, well, no one has time to read those things at year end anyhow, and we just recently shared a powerful list of reflections and 2019 accomplishments when we celebrated our first anniversary last October. (Miss those? Read about them here).

The stats coming out of this place are mind boggling (a whopping 1,353 meetings and events were held at Vibe in 2019, for example), and absolutely worthy of celebration. But what’s truly outstanding is how—in a little over one short year—we have together created a best-in-class coworking community. It’s hard to run stats on that. And yet, I have the honor of hearing personal stories time and time again of how Vibe Coworks is changing people’s lives and the cultural fabric of our region, in real, authentic ways.

We are a community of possibilities

It’s here at Vibe that newcomers to Kitsap, including many ‘trailing’ military spouses, are finding that they’re able to immediately plug into a warm, welcoming and supporting social and professional environment.

It’s here that “retired” professionals are finding the support and inspiration they’ve been missing to kick off their second and third careers.

It’s here at Vibe that some of Kitsap’s most long-standing brick and mortar companies come to hold their leadership trainings and board meetings, while newly born companies meet with their growing base of local clientele.

It’s here at Vibe that families who are working so hard to juggle career, school, sports, daycare and more know that: A) they’re not alone; and B) they can count on a ready stash of Legos, puzzles and coloring books to keep kids entertained when all else fails and that conference call just can’t be changed.

It’s here that we’ve watched members-turned-friends form LLCs, collaborate on projects and generate countless referrals for one another.

And it’s here at Vibe that we’ve shared in the truest sign of community of all: the regular sharing in life’s highest highs and lowest lows, including family deaths, the birth of new babies, sports PRs, home purchases, moves, divorces, engagements, hirings and firings…. These are sorts of conversations and relationships that very few people have experienced in ‘traditional’ office settings.

Which brings me back to the Chinese New Year….

Across the globe, Chinese New Year celebrations kicked off this weekend, continuing for the next several weeks. It’s a holiday steeped in tradition and stories, one of which tells of a monster named Nian who would come out every New Year’s Eve. Most people would hide in their homes. But one boy was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers… And so began the tradition of firecrackers at the heart of every Chinese New Year celebration.

When I think about what all that we’re doing here at Vibe Coworks, I think about that boy.

The traditional way of working is like that monster: agonizingly long, expensive and environmentally damaging commutes; isolating and distraction-filled home offices; financially unsound long-term leases on under-utilized corporate offices. Employers who are steeped in traditional ways of doing things are stuck in siloed traditional corporate offices, while others make well-intentioned attempts at allowing their teams to work remotely by sending them off to lonely home offices.

At Vibe, we’re not afraid of that monster. Instead, we’re paving a brave new path — a path by which we pay only for the time and space we need, are surrounded by a vibrant, inspirational professional community, and are empowered to reclaim time and headspace for ourselves, our teams and our families. It’s called on-demand workspace, and it works. Like the boy fighting off Nian, we’re blazing the trail for a better way of living + working here in Kitsap… using all the firecrackers we can find along the way.

Whether you’re a long-time member, an a la carte conference room booker, or an armchair supporter, THANK YOU for joining us along this firecracker-filled journey to a happier, healthier, more connected way of working in Kitsap.

May the year of the Rat bring you every great fortune!

— Alanna Imbach
Founder + CEO

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