It just kind of happened. One day, I went to Philly and saw cool collaborative print / studio spaces, two months later I adopted my press and started setting up my own letterpress shop, and then my studio mate and I decided that our studio could be just as cool as those bigger spaces in Philly if we expanded to include other local artists. We started planning, banded together and called our shared space Piccolo Studio, and started networking.
But then we realized that our idea for a collaborative co-working space was so much bigger than us. So, we moved forward as PaperBase (this was all one month ago).
Elizabeth and I went to a small business workshop hosted by MICA and that started putting the pieces together for us. It led us to helpful business-y contacts like lawyers for artists and someone who actually understands what we will need for insurance.
From there we started contacting people left and right, and most importantly, we reached out to our fellow printer acquaintance Sarah. We had a feeling she would want to be in the loop with what we were doing (and we wanted to steal her away from her current studio space and band our presses together- but we kept that to ourselves). We were right! And so Sarah has joined our team as a co-collaborator, and business partner #3.
Three is such a stable number. And, between all of us, we started organizing meetings, started looking at buildings, and realized that we don't have to be planning for "eventually" There is a need for this now. Our community wants this. We want this.
So this is happening. We're hosting weekly interest meetings at my studio to spread the word, and applying to grants left and right.
We have one building we're seriously considering for PaperBase's new home (temporary home base is mine and Elizabeth's studio). But we're on the look out for other contenders too.
In the meantime, we're documenting our every move on our website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and tumblr. Be sure to follow us and help spread the word!
So, if you're wondering where I am, where all the printy goodness has gone, and how I am possibly doing this on top of my other jobs and still standing, I am too. But I just keep imaging how amazing it will be to work in a fully equipped print shop with tons of type and other printy people too. PaperBase is going to be SO good.