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On Wednesday 2/21 we joined forces with MakeOffices to launch their newest location – MakeOffices at the Wharf, which is (where else) in the new District Wharf development. How does one launch a co-working space? Excellent question, and we were determined to make it as non-boring as possible, so we turned the day into a community focused co-working experience centered around supporting entrepreneurs and businesses large and small throughout the District, with exciting and informative panels, discussions, workshops, and a local makers market featuring some of our favorite vendors and makers.

Huge thank yous to our vendors and partners who made this day happen: MakeOffices, WDCEP, and 202Creates for being our presenting partners, Jrink, Seylou Bakery and The Coffee Bar for providing an amazing breakfast, all our fantastic panelists, No Kings Collective and Rose Jaffe for doing some gorgeous live painting, our vendors who participated in the vendors market – Take Care Shop, Shake Shack, lululemon, Galley, Territory, Rich Bars, The Anthem, JRH Graphics, YombuNew Chefs on the Block (who screened/talked about their amazing new DC-based documentary), Rachel and Company for sharing some top organizing tips, Yoga Factory and Take 5 Meditation for helping us be more zen during our work day, and our happy hour partners – Cava, sweetgreen, Laoban dumplings, Sip City, and Bring Your Own Cocktail. We truly could not have done it without all of you.

Feeling some massive FOMO from all the knowledge we gleaned from our panels? We asked our panelists from our first panel, entitled The Journey to Brick and Mortar and featured Becky Waddell from Take Care Shop, Mallory Shelter and Carolyn Misterek of Brief Assembly, Kate Murphy from Jrink Juicery, Sunyatta Amen from Calabash Tea Bar and Cafe, and Cait Lowry and The Coffee Bar, and was moderated by Maryann Lombardi, the Chief Creative Economy Officer of the DC gov’s Office of Cable TV, Film, Music and Entertainment, to share some insights and advice from their experience opening a business in D.C.

BYT: What is the piece of advice you wish someone gave you before you started your own business?
Kate Murphy: Passion and profession can be one in the same. Work doesn’t have to be a deafening chore until you retire- make a list of what you want to be doing, what you care about, and then turn that into a tangible company or position. You’ll be surprised what you can do when you care.

Becky Waddell: My situation was unique because I was having a baby – so, I wish people who had kids already would have encouraged me to understand how much time and space I would need and want at the beginning. Women are told we can have and do it all – and it’s not true. We can’t be and do 100% all the time to everything and my biggest piece of advice to women who are having children and starting a business is to recognize and embrace that so they set themselves up for success.

Sunyatta Amen: It’s all-consuming. You will eat, sleep and dream it. Oft times your significant other and family will not understand the lack of time and energy you can spend on them.

BYT: What do you look forward to the most in your day-to-day?
Kate Murphy: Meeting someone who has never tried our products before and turning them into a JRINKer. Also, literally any time in the day when I eat, which is a lot.

Becky Waddell: Chatting with customers about their needs and pondering creative ways to make our work more accessible and helpful to our clients! We have such a great team and I feed off their knowledge, observations and intuitions.

Sunyatta Amen: It is my pleasure and honor to help people feel their best by serving them.

Panelists from our Social Media Marketing & Innovation panel: Left to Right: panel moderator and artist and consultant Meg Biram, Cava’s Director of Marketing Meg Schiffman, creative strategist Victor Nguyen Long, senior account executive at REQ Christina Brathune, and influencer and coach, Michell Clark.