The Grand Opening for St. Thomas’s first coworking office was a smashing success. The crowd began to trickle in at 12 PM and by 1 it was full of people commenting on the unique nature of the space as they saw it for the first time, complete with its 16-foot living wall, open concept design, and glowing natural light provided by the translucent roof. Visitors were free to look around the sun-bathed atrium at their leisure, some moving upstairs to the conference room, where they were greeted by Las Chicas coffee and delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by Salt & Pepper Meals. Guests were invited to enter their name into a draw for a sit-to-stand desk and an ergonomic standing mat, and grabbed free day passes to The Atrium at the same table. Others walked through the main room to the kitchen and enjoyed a charcuterie board by Simply Does It that was overflowing with handmade cheeses, fresh fruit, nuts, and prosciutto.
At 1:30, local singer songwriter Deni Gauthier began the show, contributing his smooth, indie folk melodies to the laid-back atmosphere. He paused at 2 PM to allow Brandon Olsen, the owner of The Atrium, to talk a little bit about how he was inspired to create the space when his web design company, Tapa Creative (now Establish Media), outgrew its home office. The team then began to look for alternative office space. Finding nothing affordable, flexible, and inspiring for a young creative business to grow in, Olsen decided to create his own solution and offer the same thing to other business owners. A few short months later, after the July long weekend, The Atrium opened its doors.
Currently, around 20 small business owners, entrepreneurs, and even some nonprofits work at The Atrium. As members they can choose to have a private office, a permanent desk, or to be flex members. Members enjoy unlimited access to complimentary coffee and tea, high speed internet, as well as a lounge and conference room spaces. The positive environment and culture of collaboration is the real benefit, however, according to Olsen. Community building events, such as a monthly Zero Day to talk about business challenges and successes, are already underway. All of this comes at an affordable price for small business owners, with memberships ranging from $85/month for a part time flex membership to $600/month for a private office. There are no contracts or cancellation fees, so entrepreneurs can sign up without fear of being locked in for a year.
The Atrium also rents out a large conference room and its kitchen to the public, and offers ‘virtual memberships’ for those who need a mailing address and mailbox for their business. Visit www.workattheatrium.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(Full Disclosure: Brandon Olsen both owns The Atrium and has ownership in Establish Media. That being said, we feel this article is an accurate representation of the event and space. Establish Media is also run out of The Atrium and we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think it was one of the best workspaces in St. Thomas!)