Kickin’ It Outside 

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There’s no better cure to a stressful day than some fresh air and sunshine. Going outside does great things for the body, mind, and soul. I believe the outdoors were provided to us as a place to retreat to and reset. 

Body

Simply going outside can provide great health benefits. Time outside can help you be more active and even sleep better. Just a plant in a room can make someone feel less anxious or angry. Going outside emphasizes this, and exercising outside is the best thing you can do. Fresh air relieves stress which means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure (so get your daily walk in!). 

Mind

The outdoors boost and restore your mental energy.  The “greenness” of the outdoors has been proven to improve concentration and increase creativity levels. So if you’re ever in a rut at work, go outside for a few minutes to refuel. During that refuel the sunlight will keep up your serotonin to make you happier throughout the day.

The Japanese have a practice called forest bathing. This practice is not to exercise, but just be in nature and take it all in by opening up your senses. Even a quick forest bath unplugged from your devices can destress and relax you. So go bathe in the fresh air today!

 

Soul

For me at least, spending a few minutes outside makes me happier. Even if I’m just watching some Netflix, I prefer to do it from my hammock where I can feel the breeze and smell the freshness in the air. Fresh air is good for the soul in other ways as well. It is social, even if you aren’t trying to see people, you likely will. My time with friends has been almost exclusively on walks and hikes the last few months and I’ve really come to appreciate that people and the great outdoors are really some of the most important things in life. 

 

Our partner this month gets people outside on a regular basis. SKY Soccer strives to create an experience for all of its athletes that is enriching to their body, mind, and soul. They are doing this by creating an outlet for outdoor exercise, building discipline from the game, and providing a social experience too. 

So really, when you get stressed out, just remember to take a break. Go for a walk or a run, if you can’t go get a cup of coffee or just do something for yourself to refresh!

BG Nonprofits

In line with our community partner for the month, SKY Soccer, we are talking all things non-profit and how utilizing a coworking space goes hand in hand.

In the business world, nonprofits and coworking spaces (co)work well together for several reasons. Nonprofits need to focus on their mission, not the little things that it takes to make a business run. Coworking allows them to share infrastructure costs which lets them save a lot of time and money. (Which we are all about!)

Sharing office space with other nonprofits can reduce isolation they may feel. Remote working together reinforces a much-needed sense of community. Additionally, 90% of coworking members have been found to be happier after joining.

SKY Soccer Club is a nonprofit and they love working at Ment. When SKY went virtual a few years ago, they knew they still needed a space to work away from their homes and host meetings. SKY’s club administrator, Keiliah Prater, said that having the ability to work at a place that provides for all of their needs has been such a crucial part of their success as a non-profit, especially over the last few months.

The availability to come and go as we please, the amenities, board room, and location, are all the things that won us over! It was ‘Ment’ to be.

SKY Soccer is just one non-profit organization in Bowling Green. We want to mention a few more that we think everyone in BG should know about:

Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society
Potter Children’s Home and Family Ministries
International Center of Kentucky
Center for Courageous Kids
Community Farmers Market
Hope Harbor
Hope House Ministries
HOTEL INC
Junior Achievement of South Central KY
LifeSkills, Inc

 

You can find a full list on the BG Chamber website.

 

Kicking Off Summer

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We’re kicking off summer with our July community partner, SKY Soccer Club! Who also happen to be Ment members. 

SKY is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop great players and people and enhance the community they serve. They provide sports programs to roughly 2000 kids in southern Kentucky every year! Their services have been provided since 1976!

Talking to Keiliah

I talked with Keiliah Prater, the club administrator, about her time with the organization.  Four years ago she wasn’t even looking for a job when they offered her one. SKY was just what she needed with her background in sports.  She is driven by her lifetime of passion for sports and how they enhanced her childhood. Working at SKY has further developed her passion for sports and for this organization because of what it brings to the BG community.

 “Being able to provide the youth in our community a place to feel empowered, practice living a healthy and active lifestyle, encouragement to be good leaders and good people, and learn to work well with others, are just some of the reasons why I do what I do!” 

 

What’s happening right now

Youth sports play such an important role in physical, mental, and social development. Soccer, and all sports, are looking a little different right now. But SKY is working hard to make sure the youth of BG are still able to play! They have already kicked off the season and hosted a successful, socially distanced tryout for their Academy Select teams and are planning a full recreational season this fall.

Keiliah said that COVID-1 9 has really put their mission back into focus as they strive for players and families to have the best possible experience.  During Tim (director of operations) and Keiliah’s downtime over the last few months, they’ve really been basking in the kindness of their players and families, as well as, working on a new strategy for future success after taking a hit as a non-profit during COVID-19. 

Goodbye WFH

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As we say goodbye WFH (work from home) and hello to our new normals, it is important we take with us the lessons we have learned over the last few months.

Whenever I used to get really busy, I would always think it would be nice to have a couple of months where I could veg out and watch all the Netflix I wanted. You know what they say – be careful what you wish for! I think quarantine gave us all a taste of this and I’m not sure we will ever want quite so much time on our hands again.

The four or so months of staying in emptied the walls of Ment for a while however our members are slowly coming back into the office (yay!). After hearing from them, it is clear to see that while quarantine had its low points it also had its upsides. 

The New Normal

We have all been affected personally and professionally by the outbreak. During these last few months, we were challenged to create a new normal, and still are. For most, work did not stop, but WFH (work from home) meant that the kids had to be taught and taken care of, laundry needed to be done, dinner needed to be made, all while keeping up with our work tasks interchangeably. Thankfully there was camaraderie in the fact that we were all at home. Many of our members decided to create a new dedicated workspace from their homes but said that there were still many distractions. 

Beyond working and doing chores, our members found other ways to be productive with their time. Tim and Keilah from SKY Soccer both did a lot of exercising to keep their mental and physical health in check. The Harris’ spent a lot of time outside with their dogs. Kari spent a lot of time with her dog too (I think we all wore our dogs out with too many walks). Nick gardened and ran. Eric spent time Netflixing and planning for future trips. — these are just some of the things they did to keep happy and healthy during possibly the weirdest 4 months we’ll hopefully ever have. 

We’re All in This Together

Our members work in several different industries which is why work was very different for everyone. As we can see from above though, we all can relate at some point during these strange times. Some of our members saw business as usual, and some, unfortunately, saw a loss. However, everyone took this as a time to reevaluate in some way, shape, or form and slow down. Whether it was with their companies’ futures due to complications from the coronavirus, or their work-life balance routines. 

When it is all said and done, I think we can all agree it is nice to leave the laundry in the basket and step out for a few hours to go to the office, dedicate our time and brain space to our projects, and then be able to go home and feel completely present.

 

*Special thanks to our members with OnTarget Cleaning and Restoration for staying really busy by cleaning and sanitizing to protect from COVID-19! 

Is Sale/Leaseback Right for your Company/Organization?

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Similar to coworking, a concept that is being seen in larger cities now trickling down to the secondary markets is called sale/leaseback. However, the two stem from two totally different means to an end.

Business owners who have immediate needs to be met that require operating capital can sell their property to a third party buyer such as an investor and then lease it back under a traditional long-term lease. This option would create liquidity from the sale that the owner could then use for other operating expenses within the business allowing them to stay open.

Local and national real estate developer JD Haase sees this as a viable option for any business, including small, privately owned businesses in the Bowling Green/Warren County area as the realities of COVID-19’s impact on the economy become clearer.

Larger corporations figured this out a long time ago and typically do not own their own buildings or properties. This gives them access to money that can be better spent in their business for other operating expenses. We have seen this strategy work well for them and I believe it can work well for smaller businesses too.

Haase began his commercial real estate investment and management company, Ewing Ford Properties, in 2017 although he has been in commercial real estate since 2004. He currently owns property in multiple states while also developing a coworking space, Ment Cowork, after purchasing the historic Ackerman building in downtown Bowling Green, KY.

I have always lived by a quote from my late father Jerry H. Haase: ‘The best get better by working together.’ This is how I feel about the times we are currently all working in.

Through the Paycheck Protection Program and SBA loans, we have seen a response from the government for Coronavirus financial help for small businesses, however, it may still not be enough.

If you are a business owner and running out of operating expenses, consider looking into the sale/leaseback option for your facility.

 

TO INQUIRE

Ewing Ford Properties

customerservice@ewingfordproperties.com

270-991-9434

 

10 Places to Shop Local BG

As our state and community continue to reopen and things normalize, please continue to shop local to support our fellow small businesses that have suffered in recent months. Here are just a few options for small businesses that you can support in the Bowling Green area!

 

Spencer’s Coffee

 

Spencer’s is our neighbor and coffee supplier (we literally could not survive without the caffeine)! They are currently offering carryout and curbside pickup at their downtown location and drive-thru at their new location on the bypass. — My personal favorite is the honey badger latte and I love their breakfast bowl.

Downtown: 915 College St, Bowling Green, KY 42101 

Bypass: 1265 U.S. 31-W, Bowling Green, KY 42101 

 

Griff’s Deli 

 

Griff’s has everything! Sandwiches, paninis, salads, spuds, soups, cheesecakes, and so much more- one of my favorite menu items is their pasta salad. They’re open for dine-in, carry out, and delivery every day from 10:30 am- 9 pm.

1640 Scottsville Rd, Bowling Green, KY 42103

 

Great American Donut Shop (GADS) 

 

I’m pretty sure everyone in Bowling Green has heard of GADS and loves every single one of their donuts. However, if you’ve never been this is your sign to get in the car and go right now.  They are open 24/7 so you never have to wait a minute longer than you have to for your donut fix. ( I highly recommend blueberry cake!)

901 U.S. 31 W Bypass, Bowling Green, KY 42101

 

 Lisa’s 5th Street Diner

 

Lisa’s is the definition of a classic diner. Everything there is homemade and made with love. Their dining room is open again, but they are also offering pick up and delivery from 5 am- 2 pm every day!

430 Center St, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101

 

Kyoto Gardens

 

Kyoto is one of my personal favorites. They have a great selection of hibachi grilled meals and sushi. They’re open for limited dine-in and carryout Mon-Sat 11 am – 9 pm and Sunday 11 am – 4 pm.  (p.s. WKU students get 10% with your student ID)

760 Campbell Ln # 110, Bowling Green, KY 42104 

 

Stuck in the Kitchen 

 

Ashley Stuckey runs this business through her Instagram page. Every Sunday she makes a no-doubt delicious meal that you can pick up from her at Muse Apts. She makes something different every week, check her Instagram to see if she’s having a shrimp boil, BBQ, pasta, sandwiches, or anything else you could think of that Sunday.

 

Jules with the Flowers 

 

Jules is open for deliveries and in-store shopping. She makes the most beautiful bouquets, has great house plants, and always has fun trinkets in the shop. You can order a bouquet online, or keep up with her Instagram stories to see what new plants she has in!

802 Broadway Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101

 

Back Down South Boutique 

 

Back Down South is an adorable boutique with trendy outfits and accessories nestled in Fountain Square Park. They are open Mon-Sat 11 am- 7 pm and Sun 12 pm- 4 pm. You can shop in person or have your orders shipped to you! (PS pets are always welcome in the store- our kind of people!)

433 Park Row, Bowling Green, KY 42101

 

Mellow Matt’s Music and More 

 

If you’re trying to build your vinyl collection, this is your place. You can find records and CD’s of famous artists like the Beatles, but also from local and regional musicians. And under normal circumstances, you might be able to find someone recording in there or even catch a live show!

1200 Smallhouse Rd, Bowling Green, KY 42104

 

Slow as Folk

 

Sarah Gust has always been a friend of Ment, and she makes the cutest polymer clay earrings and illustrations. Check out her website to add a new statement to your jewelry collection. She is offering a jewelry-making workshop right now in her studio so you can get her awesome earrings, but make them yourself!

Coworking in the Era of COVID-19

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Coworking will never be what it once was, honestly, nothing will be. Coworking in the era of COVID-19 has taught us a lot of things, one thing is that remote working does work. However, we think everyone working remotely can agree that remote work is not as productive as when done in an office environment; you need the socialization provided in the office atmosphere to be your most productive and creative. Join us in watching as we sit down with our owner, JD Haase to learn more about why coworking is a great option even amidst the COVID-19 era.

 

 

After this pandemic, coworking will never be as dense as it once was. We have never believed in the idea of densification as to never take advantage of others. Ment has always been and always will be very flexible for its members.

If you are considering joining the cowork movement, Ment is ready for you! And the best perk: we’re squeaky clean! Our cleaning company is not just making our space clean, they are making it sterile so you can feel safe and comfortable from within our walls.

Sister Spaces

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One of the best things about coworking is that you can do it anywhere! That’s why we have sister spaces to collaborate with at iHub in Louisville, KY, and Center 615 in Nashville, TN.  What is a sister space you may ask? It’s simple! Ment created a partnership with these two spaces for our members that travel. It allows our members to work out of their spaces for free for the day.

 

iHub

iHub, like many coworking spaces, is constantly growing and changing. It’s a few years older than Ment and is owned by the University of Louisville Real Estate Foundation. I like to think Ment is in the perfect location of Bowling Green and speaking as a Louisville native, iHub is in the perfect location of Louisville. It’s a comfy space right off of Main St. near the up and coming neighborhood of Nulu, my favorite area downtown. 

They have 15 members working in a wide variety of fields. (Another reason to love coworking!) Like us, they have a great conference room that the whole community can rent, but they also host a lot of seminars and workshops run by local businesses. 

 

Center 615

Center 615 was founded in 2011 and started out as 1 building with private offices. Since then it has grown to have 60,000 square feet in 3 different buildings. (Maybe that will be us one day!) Their 92 offices are filled with roughly 250 members. They range from realtors to lawyers to accountants to coders and so much more. 

 

How has COVID-19 affected them?

There isn’t one person or company left untouched by the virus and having to adjust their routines.  Our sister spaces are in different cities so we’ve all had to adjust differently. All of us though have taken extra safety precautions to properly follow CDC guidelines over the last few months. 

iHub has been focusing on the highly touched points in common areas. Everyone has been asked to wear masks and check temperatures, as well as having the maintenance crew wearing gloves. They have also been changing out their air filters more often. 

Center 615 has still allowed 24/7 access to its members and the staff has been on a rotating schedule. While members still had access, many chose to stay home and many still are WFH, which actually allowed for repairs to take place after the Nashville tornado in early March. 

Tennessee opened a little earlier than KY did and their staff has been back full time since May 8th. They have taken all of the same steps as Ment and iHub have in practicing social distancing, wearing masks, checking temperatures, and providing hand sanitizer. Additionally, Center 615 has held off on providing their normal services of coffee, tea, and a nap room- can we get one of those? 

The community has been out of our coworking spaces these past few months, but we’re all working to get back together and to fully put the “co” in coworking again soon! 

 

 

*Special thanks to Molly O’Rourke at iHub and Beth Heflin at Center 615 for helping out with this blog! 

 

The Middle: A Two-Year Reflection

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As short as two years really is, it feels like another lifetime ago. We are in the middle of the ride. As we reflect and celebrate this anniversary, we thought it would be fun for me to take a trip down memory lane of my time spent inside 911 College Street as Ment’s Brand + Community manager.

The Start Part 1

My beginning with “Ment” was one we will all never forget. (I will explain the quotations in a bit.) I had just moved back to Bowling Green after graduating in 2016 and living in Lousiville for a few years working as the PR Manager at Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company. (Shoutout to my Peerless family!) Having no clue what coworking was at the time, I trusted my dear friend’s father, JD Haase, to have something really cool up his sleeve when he invited me into his office to meet with him and his assistant Valerie to discuss a potential job they had in mind for me.

That summer, I had a plan to take the GRE and apply for grad school at WKU, my alma mater, but anything past that was a wide-open agenda. I know now it was truly ment to be that JD offered me the job of being the community manager at Bowling Green’s first-ever coworking space… And I should have put my seat belt on then.

JD and Valerie welcomed me onto their team in April 2018. At this point, the second floor of the building was still in the construction trenches but the green carpet was gone and it was starting to shape into the beautiful workspace it is today.

I sat in through design meetings, marketing meetings, game-plan meetings, and took so many notes my hand almost fell off. I was a sponge who had no idea what I was soaking up, but just knew I needed to be of help when asked. 

The Start Part 2

Fast forward a month into May and we were starting to give tours that still needed a bit of imagination as we put the finishing touches on. We were gearing up for our soft opening, we had a tiny bit of press sent our way, which put our “first name” The Büro in the papers. I, being in PR, loved this! It was great promotion for bringing our brand new concept to BG.

I bet you’re wondering what I mean by our first name, right? Well, we aren’t going to dwell on the past, but let’s just say there was already a different coworking space in Miami, FL that had the name in which we had to, in turn, pivot as a business and desist using the name immediately. 

The reason I feel the need to share this very minor portion of the journey is to show how fast we reacted in a time of crisis. This happened to us on May 25, 2018, and we opened with a new name, new logo, new brand concept by June 13th.

AND we had our papers submitted to file for trademarking our now Ment Cowork by the first of June. It is truly crazy thinking about that. In the beginning, we had a team of professionals doing the marketing and branding for us. In the end, to create Ment, we had only us three. 

I knew at that point when I pulled nearly three all-nighters to create the Ment brand plus create a re-brand plan with a little bit of crisis public relations in the mix that it would be personal for me moving forward. 

 

The Middle

As Jimmy Eat World said, “It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.”

Some days it feels bigger than just office space. I can bet most of us have felt this way about our jobs. Especially if it is something you have put so much time into, stress, literal blood, sweat, and tears. However, when you look at it in the grand scheme of things it won’t ever mean as much to those you are selling it to as it has meant to you.

Since June 13, 2018, I have worked to show every person I could how amazing I think not only Ment is but how special coworking is as an industry. And along the way, we have met and gained some amazing people who see it too and reap the benefits of a space like ours. That is what it is all about. That is why we are here. 

Every step of the way has been a learning process and still is. After all, we are only two! Ment is in the middle of the ride, and we know everything, everything will be alright, alright.

Intern from Home

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Hello there! Sarah the intern here. You may not remember me since I have been working a lot behind the scenes at Ment the last few months. Since we last {virtually} met, a few things have changed. As I finished out my semester as a Junior at WKU and doing what I like to call  “college-ing from home,” I said yes to staying on with Ment for another round of internship. So let me re-introduce myself…

Quick Refresher

I’ve been the strategic marketing intern for the last few months and loving it! I’m now a senior at WKU majoring in strategic marketing (I think that’s the first time I’ve actually said that I’m a senior which is very weird, exciting, and scary all at the same time). However now, I have transitioned into Hannah’s old shoes as the digital media intern.  For the next few months, I’ll be managing and assisting with all things media related which includes writing our blogs! 

What I have been up to (COVID Edition)

Even though absolutely nothing has gone according to plan for the last few months, quarantine has been a great lesson for me to take things day by day even when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. That’s a lesson hard to remember sometimes, because I am someone who always looks for structure and likes to have a plan for everything I do. My grandma always says, “It is what it is,” and boy has this been an example of that mindset.  

With all of the craziness, I have had to adjust to being an intern, school-ing, socializing, and even living at home. I am one of the lucky ones who has a family and a home to go to during this time. However, I never expected to reside in Taylorsville, KY this long again. All of the adjustments have been tough in their own way and even as someone of the “technological age,” being in a time of only technology is trying. I have felt so much more burnt out after so much screen time, I spent days on end alone with my laptop watching video lectures and attending the occasional Zoom meeting. Raise your hand if you can relate! Let’s just say it has been much easier to binge One Tree Hill on Hulu or play with my dog or go on a drive.  

We’re all in this together

This time has been hard for everyone. Most people have been way more affected than I have. But we’ve all been affected because this pandemic does not discriminate. Through my adjustments and coping, I’ve been thinking (and missing) a lot about my life in BG. So I have compiled a list of what I use to take for granted and what I can’t wait to do when I get back in the fall.

I can’t wait to.. 

  • Go on trips to Spencer’s Coffee pretending to study with my friends
  • Give campus tours to excited high schoolers 
  • Walk through Grise hall and either freeze or sweat to death (there is no in-between in that building) 
  • Pull all-nighters studying for finals in the Honors College 
  • Go on midnight GADS runs 
  • Be in the church 
  • To actually get my homework done in Ment’s lounge 

During this time I’ve especially been missing Ment. I miss the people I work with and of course, our mascot Stevie. Every day that I physically was working at Ment, I felt ten times more productive and the quality of my work was noticeably better. To sum up, I wish that I was writing this blog from within the walls of 911 College Street, Suite 203! But I’m still so excited to have the opportunity to continue learning about the coworking world and more about marketing, professional use of social media, branding, and more. As for right now though, I’ll settle for a summer of working from my couch as I cowork with my dog, Morgan.