And just like that, Orange Coworking is three years old. It's as astonishing to me as the fact that my human child is now almost six years old.
When I set out to open Orange Coworking, it was such a simple thing, really: I needed a place to work that was near my house but not in it. I needed for my home to be my home again and to be around other people and to get work done more efficiently so I didn't spend all my time working. I needed a place to meet people because we were new in this part of town and I had no friends. I started by working at coffee shops, but quickly got tired of that routine.
Since there wasn't a coworking space in our south Austin neighborhood, I decided to make one. Just a simple place where people who live around here could gather and work. And it is that.
It is also so very much more than that.
The first thing I learned is that Orange has magic in it. I've always believed that synchronicity can help you know if you're on the right path with a thing, and I have always delighted in finding synchronicities. And until Orange, I had no idea how many incredibly improbable things could happen every day.
Within a week of our opening, I'd just given a tour to a wedding videographer who had come in to meet with one of our members. As we chatted, another guy came in who spotted Orange while parking over by Great Clips to get a haircut. As I welcomed the haircut guy, I asked him what he does for work. He said he had a company and named it. The videographer did a bit of a double-take — it was an unusual company name — and asked if it was really his company or if he worked for them. Haircut guy affirmed it was his company. Videographer guy asked if haircut guy had ever lived in Phoenix Arizona, and haircut guy said "Yeeeeesss… why??" Videographer asked if he lived on such-and-such a street. Haircut guy, now a little weirded out, affirmed that also. Videographer asked if his wife's name was Lisa. Haircut guy nodded. Videographer said, "My wife is COURTNEY!" and they tumbled into rapid-fire conversation. See, it turns out that they had been neighbors for a time when they lived in Phoenix. The two guys had never met, but their wives went jogging together every morning so they had heard about each other. When they ran into each other here at Orange, they lived about a block away from each other in Sendera Mesa — and had no idea they lived in the same city; they'd all lost touch when the videographer and his wife left Phoenix. I'm still giggling about that one.
And there have been so many more synchronicities, big and small, since then: someone stumped by trying to figure something out, and the next person they happen to make eye contact with turns out to be an expert on that thing. Random commonalities, points of connection, and helpful resources. From all this, I've concluded that Orange is magic. The world we live in is miraculous. And synchronicities don't make house calls.
When you're stuck, when you feel unsure, when you need something to buoy your spirits, it's really hard for the universe to send magic your way if you're holed up in your house. But when you're part of a coworking space like Orange… it can find you.
Now Orange is three years old and we're working on all kinds of things like how to expand to the space next door, so we can finally offer private offices and dedicated team rooms and quiet hideaways for when you need a spot to be in a bubble for a while.
While future Orange plans are exciting, I am so full this week of love and gratitude and amazement for all that has transpired here in three short years. And I am in love with the humans who make a habit of coming here and being connected with each other.
Thank you all.
Thank you to my mother-in-law and father-in-law without whose help Orange would not have come into being.
Thank you to my dear husband who helps in more ways than I can name, even while building his own company.
Thank you to the members who have come and gone on to other places and things, but helped shape Orange by their presence.
Thank you to the members who are here now, doing Life alongside other Oranges and creating community moment by moment.
Thank you to the Oranges who have gone above and beyond being members, hands-on helping Orange to become and to continue to be what it is.
Thank you to the members-yet-to-come. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know you.
So much gratitude.
Happy birthday, Oranges.