Business Spotlight: Citizens Creative House
What would happen if people who typically worked independently gathered in the same shared space to pursue their work? If people from varied professions, who might not otherwise cross paths, shared ideas and experiences to create an inspiring and enriching work environment?
Photographer Jeff Marsh and Puyallup business owner Bryan Reynolds were drawn together by the need for such a place, and by their shared determination to create it. After years of working from home out of convenience, Jeff admitted to himself that it was difficult to maintain a healthy separation between his work life and family life. Together, Jeff and Brian spent years envisioning, dreaming and planning. Channeling Puyallup's historical and continuing pioneering spirit, they took a risk and opened Citizen’s Creative House in 2015—Puyallup’s first co-working space. In their own words, they “have set out to create a place that inspires creativity, eliminates distraction and ultimately increases productivity.”
Co-working is a growing trend. In Seattle alone, there are close to 40 co-working spaces—a number that continues to rise exponentially. While co-working is more common in a high-tech city like Seattle, in Puyallup, “co-working” is an option that people are just beginning to explore. All the same, Jeff's belief in the numerous benefits of co-working has been buttressed by various success stories from the members of Citizens Creative House.
“This is a place where you can be immersed in relationship and community—not just get work done,” Jeff explained. “You can’t package and sell community…you have to experience it first-hand.” The sense of community Jeff described is obvious at Citizens Creative House. At any given point during the day, the space is full of members from a diverse range of professions: real estate agents, artists, nonprofit owners, doulas, and photographers. Some members work independently with headphones in and their feet kicked up in front of the fireplace. Others choose to engage over a cup of coffee while working in the kitchen. In the center of the main space is a table that invites sharing and collaboration. There is also a larger conference room available for meetings. “New businesses have been born out of that conference room,” Jeff says. Synergy is found everywhere in the space. And the unique moments of idea sharing are what keep members coming back.
Prior to opening Citizens Creative House, Jeff and Bryan were scouting spaces in Tacoma. The appeal of Tacoma as a larger and growing city felt like the right geographic location for a co-working space. Even though Tacoma may have seemed more ready for this type of space, it was the love for their own community of Puyallup that kept Citizens Creative House local. Jeff, Bryan and Shaun are dedicated to making Puyallup a greater place to live, work, and play through generating ideas, problem solving, and creating…right alongside other professionals.