Work exchange for the win: Meet Vibe Host Lindsey Costlow

Here’s a fun fact for you: since opening just two short years ago, Vibe has been staffed, not by employees, but by members who trade eight hours a week of their time for an unlimited membership to Kitsap’s most dynamic coworking community and shared workspace, thanks to the Vibe Host Program.

For our member-hosts (Space Captains, as we like to call them), it’s a fun-filled way to meet new people, get involved with the community and offset the costs of membership. For Vibe, it’s a way to increase a sense of ownership and belonging among members, while also helping us scale up to where we can bring on permanent paid staff that will ultimately continue to work together alongside our Vibe Host team. We consider that a win-win.

Today, we’re spotlighting our newest host, Lindsey Costlow. Pull up a seat and hear more about her story below, then be sure to say hi when you see her at the front desk on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.

Where’s home for you, Lindsey?

I grew up in the greater Seattle area. The city is close to my heart, and the Puget Sound will always be my home. After high school, I went straight to Western Washington University and lived in Bellingham for four years. I received my BA in Sociology, with a Communications Minor, this last August. After that milestone I decided I needed a change of pace, and joined my family here in Poulsbo.

It had to be a little surreal thinking you had more time to go at Western Washington University, only to fast forward to graduation in light of the pandemic. How do you think COVID has changed the course of your life and career path?

Lindsey: I had completed my major in Sociology and minor in Communications, but I’d just set out on a path to earn an additional minor in User Experience when the pandemic started. I was really excited to learn with my peers and to create new things, but after one quarter of online classes I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through the next four quarters to graduate in June ‘21.

So after coasting through a second quarter of online over the summer, I decided to graduate in August. I was sad to say goodbye. However, I am still pursuing a career in User Experience—it just means that I now need to find job opportunities in which I can learn the hard skills of interface design, instead of coming in with them like I had hoped. Luckily I’ve got Vibe, which seems to be one of the best places on the Peninsula to break into modern tech careers.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Lindsey: I’ve been talking to people at Vibe about this lately—I do not enjoy looking at LinkedIn! I find it outdated, and cluttered. The amount of information on each page is overwhelming, and it prevents users from spending more time on the site. So I decided to try my hand at redesigning it as an experiment, and as a portfolio piece that I’ve called Reimagining LinkedIn. I built it in HTML and CSS, streamlined the home page and cut out many of the distractions.

Another thing I’m pretty excited about is that I am showing some of my work in a local art show! The 2021 CVG Show is an all media statewide juried art competition for photography/digital, two-dimensional and three-dimensional art that is hosted each year by the Collective Visions Gallery in Downtown Bremerton. I feel so honored to be one of the 135 artists invited to exhibit this year, with over $9,000 in cash and prizes on the line. One of my pieces, Triacontadigon 2, will be up in the gallery from Jan 23rd to Feb 26th. This is so absurdly exciting to me.

If you could wave your magic wand, what connection, resource or opportunity would help take you to the next level on your life path?

Lindsey: I’m so excited to find the job that will kick off my career as a UX designer. I’d really love to connect with someone who is an established designer that is looking for an intern or part time help. I’ve got a working understanding of the principles of design and the design process; now I’m ready to learn how to implement them.

Let’s talk about Vibe Coworks for a sec. What’s the biggest thing that has surprised you since coming here?

Lindsey: I hope this doesn’t sound cliche, but I’ve been surprised by how friendly everyone is at Vibe. It makes me feel like a genuine part of this community, and it makes my job as a Space Captain even more fun.

What’s your favorite thing about being a Vibe Space Captain, or Host?

Lindsey: My favorite thing about being a Space Captain is getting to talk to all of Vibe’s amazing members. There’s such a wide variety of people, interests, careers, et cetera, and I love hearing about all of them. I also really enjoy the environment. In an era where working from home is almost unavoidable, I’m very glad to have somewhere as pleasant as Vibe to work.

What advice would you give to people who are new to Vibe?

Lindsey: I know it feels a little odd since we’re distancing, but reach out! Introduce yourself to someone you haven’t talked to before, ask questions. I love making new friends, and I know I’m not the only one.

Speaking of new, you’re new to the Kitsap area. What are your 3 favorite discoveries you’ve uncovered so far?

  1. The North Kitsap Heritage Park, my favorite spot to run.

  2. PaperQuirks on Front Street in Poulsbo. I geek out over pens, paper, and art supplies, so this is the place for me. 
  3. The Suquamish Dock. The views of the Sound from there are just incomparable.

What is one thing that’s made you smile recently?

Lindsey: This.

Last but not least… everyone’s got a secret talent that no one knows about. What’s yours?

Lindsey: I’ve got a really good two truths and a lie—I’ve been vomited on by a dog, I’ve been pooped on by a hummingbird, and I’ve been farted on by a manatee. Find me at Vibe sometime and make a guess on which one is the lie.