Alaina Shearer has been working for herself for about two years. About a year and a half ago, she started Cement Marketing in a small office space above Wild Goose Creative. However, with rapid growth came the need for a bigger space.
“Accommodating the rapid growth has been one of the biggest challenges,” Shearer says.
Her company has been expanding despite the bleak conditions of the current economy. She said they have not been immune to that, but “there is a clear need for affordable sites that work.”
Cement Marketing does all aspects of websites− web design, development, search engine optimization, and social media. It also brings traditional marketing techniques into the new world of marketing. The company’s beautiful office space located in downtown Columbus reflects that blend of old and new.
“Many of the furnishings you see here are all upcycled,” Shearer explains. “We’ve gotten things from Craigslist, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, from the curb, and the Goodwill.” Some of the newer items, like the cube shelving and track curtains they use as screen separators, are from IKEA.
“We looked all over the city for a new space,” she says. After seeing a Craigslist ad for the 1,300-square-foot space that was the former fashion showroom for Luxboheme, she went to go see it in person and fell in love with it. She also loves the energy downtown.
“There’s nothing like it,” she says.
It’s a beautiful space− plenty of natural light, beautiful wood floors, exposed brick, a statement door. With a budget of $2,000, the interior designer expertise of her mother, Valerie, and some carpentry skills from her uncle, the space was transformed into the colorful, cheerful work environment that Shearer and her employees are happy to call home and clients are happy to come to for meetings.
“Our clients love the space,” Shearer says. “They feel at home here and get excited to come here.”
She feels the meeting environment really effects how a meeting will go and is happy they have been able to create such a great vibe at an easy price point.
The conference area was added to the space by framing out walls and putting in shelving. The sizable conference table is a piece of granite they found; the legs are custom made. Elsewhere, a console table is actually a shutter painted with crackling paint and legs mounted to it. All are creative, inexpensive ideas that make the space really unique.
The beautiful space and the company culture makes Cement a great place to work. Shearer has found employees to work with her (mainly through professional networks and Facebook) that have a desire to learn and be the best in their field. Additionally, she has invested in their learning. For instance, the entire team recently went to SXSW’s Interactive Conference.
“It wasn’t cheap,” Shearer says, but she believes it is important to invest in her employees.
Other non-standard benefits include allowing employees to bring their dogs to work and/or have their children stop in.
Find Cement Marketing on the web. If you are looking for help designing your space, Valerie can help you! Call Cement’s office for details at 614-824-5246
And feel free to read Alaina’s GuestPosts on Social Media for Small Businesses.
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.