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.
Need someone to sign you up for a week membership trial? Michaela’s got you. Need help printing? Done. Need someone to wrangle an elaborate member-perk lunch so you can hang with fellow Skillery members and eat something delicious on a random Tuesday? Done and done.
Since Michaela joined us a little under a year ago, our space has gotten more organized, more stylish (she has a photography/graphic design degree), and definitely more fun. We like to think of her as our secret weapon, and our members tend to think of her as The Best.
Since Team Skillery is exceptionally proud to have her on board, we wanted to offer a chance to get to know her, and what’s she’s doing for us, a little better. So here you go: Better Know a Michaela.
Michaela M. Powell, Skillery concierge
Myers Briggs: INFJ
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Season: March Madness (College Basketball)
Noteworthy skills aside of community building: bread baking, kickboxing, extended bike riding, dog whispering and power napping.
Some very Nashville pre-Skillery employment: retail managing at Hatch Show Print, ice cream scooping at Pied Piper Creamery
5 questions with Michaela
What do you do for Skillery members/prospective members?
“Dishes. Just kidding. I am most likely a member or prospective member’s first impression of The Skillery. I don't have an auto-reply to send to people when they inquire about a tour or about using our space for a day. I do my best to create the friendly ‘Hello’ people are looking for when searching for a coworking space. I want people to really understand this is a great community. You can cowork anywhere, but why not do it alongside of some really amazing people?"
What are some of the things you did to try and tweak things at The Skillery to serve members better?
“There are so many things new people can bring to the surface of a place… I try to incorporate fun mini-breaks during the day to show our members we appreciate them — these ‘celebrations’ happen monthly, at minimum, and are getting better and better each month.
“I flipped our classroom — it used to be this cold, bare room that echoed and no one used during the day. Since our team decided to stop offering classes and workshops we came to this, ‘What do we do with the classroom?’ crossroads. So we took the overhead lights down a notch, painted over the grey walls with a warm white, added some funky green and blue carpet, lamps, reading chairs, and broke the tables up to create daily workstations. It has really served our members because it’s now a place for people to go if the rest of the building gets loud with conversations. It’s like a cozy den, the only thing missing is a nap pod. (We are taking super cool nap pod donations if any readers have one to part with.)”
What’s in your sights for the future, as far as making The Skillery even more member-friendly?
“Listening to member requests is huge. Although we can’t make all dreams come true, I do take into consideration things people request.
“I would love for us to be at full capacity and to see our coworking space being utilized to the fullest extent. If we continue to fill our memberships with different job types, I think we could really be powerhouse collaborative coworking space. How fun is it to actually get to team up and work with the people next to you on a project every now and then?
“Currently, we have three members who have generously offered up their services — accounting, insurance and attorney services, specifically — to only our members, for the small price of a coffee for a one-hour chat. I see our designers helping our non-profits with small newsletter design and our design thinking group needing people to test prototypes. I want more of these things to continue to happen. I want our members to know each other by name. A large part of making these connections happen comes with me introducing people to one another.”
What are your favorite parts of your job?
“I love the surprise factor. If I think we need to have a pizza party, it can happen. I love asking members if they need anything. I think in this day and age of being really busy, it almost shocks people when I ask if they need anything. And I mean anything.
“Sometimes I just start dancing around 3 p.m. because I can’t sit still any longer — inviting people in to that dance party is always one of my favorite things. Making people join me for a walk around the block (or to the Cupcake Collection) is always fun because we all get to take a short mental break. I also love blasting Whitney Houston on Fridays at 4 p.m.
“Working with a team of people at The Skillery and stoke.d that are awesome and challenge me to be better and to think smarter than I ever have. Man, I get a little bit emotional when I think about the team I have with me here at The Skillery.
“I really like collaborating with people here, even if it’s just looking over a design or a job posting, helping our members with a second set of eyes and an open mind will never become tiring.
“I love that we let dogs come hang out every now and then.
“Another favorite part of my job is seeing our members care for one another. I know that if I am running late and not in by a certain time, I usually have a text from one or two people asking if everything is OK. I do the same. If we have a member who doesn’t show up on their usual day or time, I try to reach out to make sure all is good. I love that people tell me when they are traveling for work or taking vacation so I don't have to worry about them. I love that I can be away for a day or leave early and know the doors will get locked and all most of the lights will get shut off.”
Do you think you’re naturally suited for a job like this — where you’re something of a den mother?
“I am not sure I would say naturally suited, however, looking back on all the jobs I have had they have definitely prepared me in some way for this job. When The Skillery was hiring for this position, a friend of mine told me to apply for the job and sent me the listing. I read it and almost didn't apply because I thought it sounded too good to be true. Like, it literally lined up with everything I believed in for small businesses."
Thanks, Michaela, for opening up about what you’re doing at The Skillery (and thank you for doing what you’re doing at The Skillery).
If you’d like to test out our community/space, come by 1323 6th Ave. N. in Germantown and meet our fantastic den mother — she can give you a tour, set you up with a day pass, a trial membership, a Coffee+Coworking membership or any other membership that might suit your needs. Participation in Friday dance parties is optional, but encouraged.