Coworking at The Tribe, interview with Stacey Sheppard
This week, is symbolic for two reasons, not only did we officially launch Boost Plymouth at the Honky Tonk Wine Library on Tuesday but we also conducted our very first interview with Totnes business owner Stacey Sheppard.
For those of you who are interior designers or are within the interior design industry you may have already heard that name before. Stacey is the person behind The Design Sheppard, a blog that is dedicated to all there is to know about interior design and is perfect for those looking for a spot of inspiration as to what to include in their homes in 2020.
However, our interview wasn’t for the Design Sheppard, it was for Stacey’s latest business venture, The Tribe. A homely and inviting coworking space located in Castle Street, Totnes.
The Tribe, coworking for women
Stacey initially came up with the concept of a coworking space for women back in 2019, inspired by The Wing and The Allbright, both exclusive women-only private members’ clubs which have opened in London in the past two years.
As a freelance writer, Stacey was working from home, providing avid and loyal readers of her blog with fresh content. She began to notice, as we all do, one of the major problems of working from home was the impact on creativity and the amount of time spent alone.
Speaking with other mums in business at the school gates, Stacey wanted to find out how they were handling working from home.
Surprisingly, they all confirmed those same feelings: isolation and an impact on their own creativity, and thus the concept for a coworking space began to emerge.
Further research needed
Despite the discussions at the school gates and Stacey’s own feelings of isolation, she remained unconvinced and decided to dive further into women in business and in particular, how many there were in Devon.
To Stacey’s surprise, there are more women who are self-employed in the South West than anywhere else in the country. She believed that if all these women came together, they would have the skills, knowledge and abilities to bring together a family, or a tribe, if you will, who could help each other to grow.
Stacey’s final step was to discuss her concept with supportive business coach, Matthew Porter, who provided the accountability that Stacey needed to turn her vision into a reality.
Networking, without the corporate
The next challenge that Stacey faced was finding more women working from home to come to the Tribe, coworking space.
Before the space opened, Stacey used her social media skills to build a small and growing community on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Overtime, she started to get more enquiries and, being one of the only other coworking spaces this side of Exeter, The Tribe coworking space became a natural choice for women in business.
The space is becoming a hub where women want to spend their time, not only doing work but also networking with the other desk users.
This networking enabled the coworking space to shake off the shackles of the corporate stuffiness that so many networking events suffer from.
It also meant that the impact on creativity and inspiration was greatly reduced if not removed altogether.
For the future, Stacey has some exciting plans and eventually wants to grow the coworking space, making it the ideal location for creatives and women with a growth mindset.
She wants to bring in the makers, the crafters, photographers and those artisans that are motivated by using their hands to create their product or deliver their service.
Overtime, Stacey would like to eventually get a bigger place, but maintain that cosy, homely feel.
The number of women using the coworking space has been steadily growing with occasions where The Tribe has been fully booked, signalling a prosperous and exciting future ahead.
We would highly recommend getting yourselves a desk at The Tribe coworking space and spend the day simply giving this great place a whirl.
Workshops and events
Stacey also runs a series of workshops and events designed to help women overcome their business challenges. Events on business coaching, Instagram for business, and personal branding photography sold out in a matter of days with follow up sessions booked due to demand.
So alongside the desk space, the Tribe is a great place to run your own workshops and other business related seminars and space is available to hire.
Stacey Sheppard’s 5 Business Tips
If you’re considering starting out in business, we asked Stacey what her advice would be:
- Take ownership
- Support one another
- Be inclusive
- Be someone to recommend
- Ensure you can trust your suppliers