4 things I’m thankful for this holiday season

My life feels all the richer with the Vibe community I have gained in the past year and a half.

I moved to Kitsap in 2021, not knowing a single soul. To make it even harder, I moved to Hansville, wayyy out on the on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula.

Since then, I have joined a gym, found a job, found a guy, and found some friends. Those of you who are members—or who have spent time here for meetings or events—know now how special of a community we have here at Vibe. It’s no stretch to say that the Vibe community plays a vital role in shaping my life and wellbeing, and I’m certain that it does (or will!) for you, too.

As we close out 2023 and reflect on all that we are grateful for this holiday season, these are four things I’m especially thankful for this past year that I want to share with you: 

1. Real friendships

I am super thankful for the friendships I have created here at Vibe Coworks. We ask ourselves all the time how we can make friends as we get older. Turns out, coworking spaces are amazing places to find them.

Thanks to Vibe, I have found wonderful people to surround myself with at and outside of work; people to look to for mentorship (thank you Alanna!), and people to look up to and learn from in all aspects of my life.

Not sure where or how to start? Start by showing up! Free First Fridays are a great way to dip your toe into the water… it’s free access coworking all day long, followed by a fun and friendly no-pressure happy hour at Crabtree Kitchen + Bar from 4 – 6pm.

Whether you’re a long time member or a first time visitor, we’re here to help you feel right at home, and introduce you to some stellar people, too.

We clean up alright. Team Vibe at the 2023 Greater Kitsap Chamber Business Awards Gala, celebrating the very best in business, nonprofits and community leaders.

2. Professional achievement

Over the past year, I have been promoted from Community Lead to Community Manager at Vibe Coworks. I feel so grateful to this community for giving me the opportunity to work with and for you—thank you.

With the support of Vibe, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago to represent Vibe Coworks at the GCUC North America, the national coworking industry conference, and complete the Yale School of Management Accelerated Management Program this summer. The Accelerated Management Program was a doozy, and took hours of hard work.

Thank you, Vibe ownership, for giving me the opportunity to continue to grow within my role.

3. Collaboration across the whole of our Kitsap community

We talk a lot about collaboration here at Vibe, and this year I had the opportunity to be part of putting that collaboration into action in new and exciting ways that extended far beyond our four walls.

My favorite, I think, was breathing life into our first accelerator program, run under Matchstick Lab—the entrepreneurship + innovation arm of Vibe Coworks.

The inaugural Microbusiness Accelerator is something we could have never launched alone. But together with Kitsap Bank, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), Kitsap Community Resource’s BE$T program, and the WWU Small Business Development Program, we succeeded in getting (one of?) Kitsap’s first accelerator programs off the ground in record time.

I’m grateful for having had a front row seat to watch and cheer on the ten local business owners who were part of that initial Microbusiness Accelerator cohort.

And looking ahead to 2024, I am grateful to be in a position to help grow Matchstick Lab at Vibe Coworks, crafting programming and resources that unlocks the full potential of bright ideas, the people who dream them, and the teams that bring them to life across the West Sound region. I can’t wait to see who comes through our programs next.

The inaugural 2023 Microbusiness Accelerator through Vibe Coworks’ Matchstick Lab was a masterclass in growing and scaling businesses, building a professional peer community, and bringing together business support resources from across the whole of the Peninsulas.

4. The inside scoop on all of Kitsap’s best

I may live way out in Hansville, but my view of the Salish Sea makes it all worth it. We live in one of the most beautiful, picturesque places in the world (believe me, I’ve seen a lot). What we lack in sun, we make up for in landscape and scenery.

Thanks to the community at Vibe, I have gotten countless business recommendations, restaurants, stores, hikes and breweries that make this peninsula all the better. I know I haven’t seen, eaten or shopped at a fraction of what Kitsap has to offer, but I can’t wait to continue to explore.

Here is a quick list of what have become my favorite and most frequented local businesses, thanks to the great recommendations I’ve received (PS gift cards make great Hanukkah gifts and stocking stuffers): 

  1. Indigo Plum Footwear & Apparel (Vibe Coworks member-owned!)
  2. Peter’s Kitchen + Pop Up Kitchen 
  3. White Barn Decor 
  4. The Rodeo Drive-In Theater 
  5. d’Vine Wines 
  6. Purpose Boutique 
  7. Peninsula BevCo 
  8. The Yard Fitness Club 
  9. Ba Sa Restaurant 
  10. Vibe Coworks of course 😉

Gratitude in community: Celebrating our togetherness

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that community matters. We can do more together than we ever can alone, growing and strengthening our community and businesses, learning from each other, and leaning on each other.

As we close out this year, I hope you, too, can find time to reflect on the positive aspects of your own communities, and the connections that you see enriching all our collective lives. Care to share? I’d love to hear them.

Thank you, for being part of my circle through Vibe.