Co-working spaces are a great thing to get your business going. Or even when your business is growing. But there may eventually come a time when you need to find a new space all your own.
After working out of Qwirk for about four years, Mike Whaling, owner and president of online branding company 30 Lines, was ready for a new space.
Whaling started the company in April 2008 while living in Orlando. Although he had been working for an engineering firm, he always had an entrepreneurial spirit.
“I’ve always been one to see where the opportunities are and go after it,” says Whaling.
He found a similar entrepreneurial spirit in his wife Heather, who heads her own public relations firm, Geben Communication.
Being online companies, 30 Lines and Geben Communication could be headquartered anywhere, but the couple moved to Columbus to be closer to their families and because they had heard good things about the city.
“I didn’t know too much about Columbus before I moved here, but it’s been awesome,” Whaling says. “Columbus has history, it has character, and is doing a lot to move forward. There are so many things going on and people trying to make the city better.”
When they moved to Columbus in December 2009, Whaling took a desk at Qwirk in German Village. 30 Lines quickly grew from one desk at Qwirk to two full suites and when they outgrew that, they were given the option to take over a floor.
“Qwirk was a really good fit when it was just me,” Whaling says. “Now we have five employees and we were ready to have our own space.”
Whaling’s search for a new office took him to German Village, Downtown, and the Short North. He wanted to find something close to his home in German Village, but the spaces available were not the right fit.
After seeing a space in the Wheeler Building, tucked away on Lynn Alley in the middle of Downtown, he finally had the feeling that he’d found the right space for 30 Lines. All the activity happening on nearby Gay Street helped solidify that it was the correct decision.
“We really wanted to be in a setting where there was that kind of energy,” he says. “I want to make sure this is a place where people want to come to work.”
Besides the unique setting, the 2,300-square-foot office has a lot of open space, as well as privates offices. The exposed brick and natural light are pleasing and built-in bookshelves and desks offered cost-saving opportunities. The offices along the wall all have glass windows that allow light to pass through. New carpet and new paint on the walls were the only interior changes necessary.
Being a company that is very active online has allowed Whaling to meet some wonderful people, virtually and then personally. Whaling meets with executive coach Keith Speers about twice a month to discuss building a business the right way, and to get him thinking about how he wants to grow 30 Lines.
“It’s okay to ask for help,” Whaling says. “You won’t be able to do everything yourself.”
Having a good support team in place gives him peace of mind and reassurance that 30 Lines is growing in the right direction.
To learn more about 30 Lines, visit 30lines.com.
Do you know of, have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.