Welcome to our blog, where we share stories and profiles of the entrepreneurs and events that call The Skillery home.
We've used this blog to announce all kinds of things, from new classes and workshops to better membership options and profiles of our members. Today, we're using it to announce that at the end of this month, we'll be closing our coworking space.Read More
The pride that comes with entrepreneurship is… it’s not that it’s contagious, necessarily, but it tends to carry with it a desire to help others who are hoping to head down that path, so they can feel it too. It’s at the heart of why The Skillery created our Intro to Entrepreneurship workshop series and study-at-home Starter Kit, why we opened our coworking space, why we’ve worked to surround ourselves with an army of inspiring Nashville entrepreneurs.
In that army: The folks behind Porter Flea, Nashville’s premier maker market, coming up again Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10.
Porter Flea was launched and is led by local entrepreneurs who, for six years now, have provided an invaluable, twice-annual spotlight for artists and artisans and shop-small goldmine for shoppers. Having bounded over the big five-year small-business milestone, this year, the Porter Flea team — with a little support from us — is setting its sights on building up the next class of creative entrepreneurs.Read More
The year that will forevermore be known as TwentySucksteen, the year that took Prince and Bowie and Merle and Leonard Cohen and Harper Lee and so, so many others, is almost over. A month and change until we put up the new calendar and, hope against hope, start anew toward a better year. (Bar’s low, at least.)
If you’re feeling similarly beat down by Sucksteen, you could probably use a little optimism too.
For us, entrepreneurship is what we do, and what we love. In a murky haze this week, we tried — and mostly succeeded — to lift our own spirits by plotting plans for 2017: new endeavors for The Skillery, new ways to better serve our community, things that could make this thing we created stronger, more rewarding and more positive.
That all led to a brainstorming of things to look forward to in our specific, fundamentally hopeful part of the world.Read More
You could have fairly accused The Skillery, at times, of being overly complicated about things.
When we introduced our semi-private workstations — dedicated, leave-your-things-here real estate in our flexible coworking space — the membership fees were a bit of acrobatics. It was an add-on to Full-Time membership that, depending on workstation size and team size, could vary in month-to-month cost. We wanted to do right by different-sized teams and, well, kind of ended up being confusing to everyone (including ourselves).
So, new changes here again, to make everything easier, more clear and more welcoming to teams and solo workers who want their own space at our place.Read More
We’ve made lots of changes to the way we do things over the years we’ve been in business — we opened our flexible Nashville coworking space, cut back on classes and workshops, launched our own entrepreneurship curriculum, added semi-private workstations to our main room, and lots more.
Mostly, we’re trying to respond to what our community responds to, so that they’re a happier community, and we’re a stronger business.
This week, we’re adding another something new, in hopes of encouraging a part of the Skillery community that we’ve loved watching grow.Read More
Last year, we wrote about the lessons we’d learned during our first year of running a Nashville coworking space. Among the key takeaways there: experimenting is key, and being open to change in response to those experiments, double key.
We continue to follow those lessons, and we think they’re serving us well. So, as we’re digging into another year, we’ve been gauging what works and doesn’t work at The Skillery, and making some changes.Read More
The Skillery kind of grew up out of an entrepreneurship education program — our founder, Matt Dudley, is a Jumpstart Foundry grad, and that program was as informational as it was inspirational. It helped kick The Skillery into gear, and although we’ve changed considerably in the five years since, the foundation Jumpstart helped us build remains.
That experience — coupled with our steps forward as entrepreneurs — inspired us to explore offering entrepreneurship education of our own. Programs geared toward aspiring small-business folks who didn’t need or want an MBA, who didn’t plan to jump into the funding pool — entrepreneurs who wanted to take a passion project or an idea and build up a mom-and-pop brand.
Over the past two-plus years, we’ve welcomed dozens of local entrepreneurs through our (literal and figurative) doors, to take part in our one-day Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshops and, prior, the more extensive, nine-week CO.STARTERS at The Skillery.Read More
We’re unabashed cheerleaders when it comes to Skillery members, but thankfully, they tend to give us easy bragging ammo. Like, say, Jesse Rhew of RudeTech, who left a career as a rocket scientist to build a business that makes musicians sound better.Read More
When our business was focused more on classes and workshops, we wrangled a broad mix of learning experiences — bookbinding, gardening, jewelry making, calligraphy, and lots, lots more.
Several of our favorite Skillery events, though, came from one of our favorite repeat teaching teams: cocktail gurus PourTaste.Read More
Certain attributes tend to be abundant with entrepreneurs: creativity, boldness, dogged determination. A gift for navigating more practical matters — like, say insurance needs — feels a little more rare.
It was in that space between entrepreneurial daring and practical business needs that West End Insurance founder Andrew Sherrod found his calling.Read More
In 2015, as we rounded the corner of our first year of running a coworking space, we shared what we’ve learned — the good, the bad, the inspiring and the terrifying. We did so in part to offer a little insight to people who might be considering opening a space, and aspiring entrepreneurs of other stripes. We also did it to capture a somewhat tumultuous but ultimately exciting beginning for The Skillery, and to mark a milestone we were proud of.Read More
We built our Nashville coworking space with a purposeful embrace of openness and flexibility, and we believe that’s led to lots of camaraderie and collaboration between Skillery members, just as we intended.
But, as we wrote around this time last year, we also pride ourselves on being open to and welcoming of change. In late 2015, we added semi-private workstations to our membership offerings, and they’ve turned out to be one of the most popular options we have.Read More
We have a big, exciting delivery coming to The Skillery on Monday, June 27 — we ordered a guitar, a piano, electronic drums, a synth and a bunch of other instruments. Luckily, we won’t need to rearrange the furniture, since all of it is gonna fit in a backpack.
Our new band-that’d-fit-in-a-bag: Nashville-based Artiphon’s new Instrument 1, one of the Best Inventions of 2015 according to TIME magazine, and one of the coolest musical things to ever come out of Nashville according to us.
The beginner-friendly instrument, paired with Artiphon’s mobile app, mimics dozens of instruments both in sound and feel — you strum, you pluck, you tap, and even if you’re not particularly adept musically, something cool comes out. We can’t wait to play with our Instrument 1, and if you’d like to come check it out/learn about it too, you’re invited.Read More
Timing means a lot when it comes to starting a business — striking when the iron is the perfect amount of hot tends to help things along. So in 2010, when print publications around the world were shedding staff and circulation, very little about the climate screamed “perfect time to start a magazine.”Read More
Among our many goals at The Skillery: opening the lines of communication between Nashville entrepreneurs.
Running a business can be lonely, physically and emotional exhausting work, and no one knows quite what you’re muscling through like other entrepreneurs. By talking with other self-starters, independent professionals and freelancers, you can learn, you can commiserate, and you can pass on hard-fought knowledge, pushing our community forward in the process.
It’s with that in mind that we launch a new blog series we’re calling "Advice from a Nashville Entrepreneur." We’re hoping it gives some quick insight, food for thought and inspiration, while it spotlights and/or introduces you to some of the remarkable entrepreneurs who — lucky for us — call Nashville home.Read More
Next month, I’ll be celebrating five years of being my own boss. (I’m a freelance writer, and part of what I do is working with The Skillery.) It’s worth celebrating — I’m proud, and thankful, and still a little amazed. The latter mostly because I went into self-employment thoroughly terrified, and carrying the weight of a false start on my back.
About seven years ago, I walked into my boss' office in the newsroom at the local daily paper, and quit. I had no plan, no savings. I had no safety net. But I was miserable, and I really wanted to not be miserable.
After two sleepless, anxiety-ridden nights, I walked into my boss' boss' office, and — tearfully and contritely — asked for my job back.Read More
After a few years of running a coworking space, we came to a particular feeling: coworking memberships are a little like love. In that ultimately, a good match is a little about particulars and practicalities, but mostly it’s about a spark. You feel it, or you don’t.
So while we can shout from the mountaintops that you should join The Skillery if you need a regular place to work in Nashville, we also feel strongly about right fits. We can’t make your heart feel something it won’t, and stuff.
We’re firm advocates for coworking in general (along with coworking at our space), so if we can direct you to a better fit, we’re happy to do so. The coworking community in Nashville is a vibrant and friendly one, and we generally just want to see coworkers settled down with a space that makes their heart soar, even if it’s not us.Read More
There are a lot of coworking spaces in the world. There are a lot of coworking spaces in Nashville, even. This isn’t a bad thing, since if you’re looking for a snugly fitting place to work, options make the snugness more possible.
We all display our own personality in our own way. We think one of the most wonderfully Skillery-ish things we offer at The Skillery: our one-of-a-kind Michaela.
Michaela M. Powell, hailing from the fine fields of Lincoln, Nebraska, is The Skillery’s concierge, which means she makes sure our space is welcoming and work-friendly, that our members are helped and happy, and our community is growing and thriving.Read More
We recently hosted our first non-Nashville Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshop, out at the beautiful Catapult Lakeland in Lakeland, Florida. Post-class, we asked some of the aspiring entrepreneurs in attendance what they wanted to know more about.
Almost across the board, marketing was the thing.
We get it: When you’re starting a business, it’s usually coming from a passion — and creating and producing the product/service is something you have expertise in. Expertise breeds a degree of comfort. Getting people to know about that product/service… that can feel a little more daunting.Read More