THE BLOG

we have thoughts (sometimes) and write about them (sometimes).

Congratulations Array Graduates!

15823045_364908680551599_5146007774734957771_nIt’s a bittersweet week for us here at The Second Floor. Today, the first batch of students of Array School of Technology & Design are leaving us and going out into the world.

 

So, first and foremost: Congratulations, Array Students!!!

 

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(Actual footage* of The Second Floor celebrating this morning in Cheyenne**)

 

We couldn’t be more proud of these students, or of the school’s faculty. It takes real vision to imagine a project like this, and it takes a great deal of hard work and dedication to make that vision a reality. But the Array team has done just that. Four students out of seven have already landed jobs (before even officially graduating!), and the rest have been bustling from interview to interview this week.

 

We will certainly miss having this batch of awesome people around, but we are so excited to hear what wonderful things they go on to accomplish, and we can’t wait to meet the next wonderful class of Array students (classes start in June).

 

Yay for Array!!

 

*not actual footage

**also not Cheyenne, or the Second Floor, but this is how we are feeling in our hearts and minds, so that counts, right?

Happy Year-i-versary To Us!

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Yes, yes. We know. Anniversary and Year-i-versary mean the same thing.

And it’s true… “year-i-versary” is a made-up word.

But it’s so much more fun to say! Also, the word anniversary just didn’t quite sum up how excited we are to celebrate our first full year as a community here on The Second Floor.

So…Happy Year-i-versary to us! All of us!!

We are so grateful to our amazing members, who play such a crucial role in making The Second Floor the very special place that it is. Without you fine folks, this would be just another building (though we must say, it’s a pretty cool one, with sweet furniture and awesome natural light). But seriously, it’s the people who make the place, and we are so happy that you have come along for the ride.

As we look forward to our second year as Cheyenne’s first and only co-working space, we are excited to add even more members to our tribe, to continue to create a diverse and vibrant community here in the hub of downtown Cheyenne, to be a nexus of energy and productivity, and, of course, to have a lot of fun along the way.

Now, it’s time for cake and mimosas! Cheers!!

March Happy Hour!!

Happy March!

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Time is flying this year. To ring in the new month, we will be hosting our monthly Member Happy Hour here on The Second Floor. Last month’s Karaoke Happy Hour was so much fun that we considered just doing Karaoke every month, but since we didn’t want everyone to lose their voices completely, we opted for Pictionary Smackdown instead.

So – Members, wake up your inner artist, because we will be drinking some delicious beverages, drawing some masterpieces, and no doubt engaging in some friendly shouting.

We will see you here tonight, from 5-7pm, for good times with awesome folks.

Do some good this weekend

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It’s Friday!

Most of you probably already have your minds on fun weekend plans, or maybe a few chores you are planning on getting out of the way. It’s going to be a chilly one here in Cheyenne, so maybe all you are thinking about is cozying up with a good book.

But before you hunker down, or bundle up to hit the slopes, why not take a few minutes to reach out and help someone in need?

All around us in our community, people are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Sometimes the warning signs are hard to spot. And as a state, Wyoming is severely lacking in mental health resources.

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Grace For 2 Brothers is a truly amazing local organization dedicated to the advocacy of suicide prevention through awareness and education around the state of Wyoming. (They are also an awesome member of our tribe here on The Second Floor). The foundation provides information and assistance to those who are in crisis, or who know someone in crisis. They also provide support and resources to survivors of suicide loss.

And right now, Grace for 2 Brothers, in partnership with Charitree Cheyenne, is asking for book donations to help with their efforts. Get Lost In A Book, Not In Life, is their book drive, which is going on now and will continue through March 5. A list of specific titles the organization is looking for can be found here. If you are having your donation shipped, please send the books to:

Grace for 2 Brothers, 1607 Capital Ave, suite 426, Cheyenne, WY 82001

If you’d like more information about the work Grace for 2 Brothers is doing, please check out their website. Also, #mentalhealthmarch is just around the corner, so check out their calendar for more information about upcoming activities and events.

Have a great weekend!

Going Solo (Kind of)

Co-working attracts people from all sorts of fields. In our space alone, we have photographers, freelancers, educators, heads of non-profits, writers, coders and case managers. And that’s just a sampling. Almost anyone can benefit from a fun, supportive work environment, but co-working is especially great for those who are thinking of going out on their own and starting their own business.

Speaking of starting your own business, here is a great post with some things to keep in mind before quitting your day job:

How to Prepare for Self-Employment

Once you’ve cut the cord, it’s tempting to pinch pennies every way you can. After all, breaking free of a corporate structure and starting your own business is a financially unstable time. Working from home is economical, but it can take a toll on your long-term productivity.

Networking is a critical part of building a business. Opportunities are much less likely to come your way when you are sitting on your couch in your PJs than when you are out and about, getting to know others in your community. And in a coworking environment, you have the added benefit of networking with people in fields other than your own. This kind of collaboration allows you to troubleshoot with people who might not have an intimate knowledge of your field, thus allowing you to approach any issues you are having from a perspective you might not have otherwise considered.

There are other benefits, too, including a public place for meeting with investors, clients, and advisors. No matter how professional your online presence, meeting in your living room, or in a crowded coffee shop gives off a less-than-professional vibe.

Also, perhaps most importantly, it can be easy to lose your work/life balance when you are caught up in the thrall of an exciting new venture. Having a structured place outside the home for “work” can help you to remember to draw that line and to save some time for family and friends, or even just yourself.

Starting your own business is a big (and often scary) leap. Don’t forget to surround yourself with people who can support and encourage you!

Could Coworking Work for You?

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I have to admit, my experience with traditional office environments is fairly limited.

In college, I interned in a newsroom, and right after graduation I interned with a magazine. I was extremely fortunate to have great coworkers in both settings, but I must admit, I did not love cubicle life. Something about the sterility of those flimsy carpeted walls drove me out of the office and into the world of professional cooking. I loved the movement and the heat and the informality of the kitchen setting almost as much as I detested the muffled formality of the traditional office.

Now that I find myself spending time on The Second Floor each day, however, I wonder what path I might have followed if those initial office environments had been, well, more like coworking.

I like to think of coworking as the perfect hybrid of the structured office environment and the informality of working at home in your pjs. During my transition from journalist to cook, I did a short spat of freelance work from my apartment. It was liberating, for sure, but also isolating and uninspiring. Coworking, however, gives you the style and informality of a coffeehouse environment, with the amenities of an office (read: fun people to chat with and a kitchen to mingle in). You make your schedule, you structure your work flow, but you still have a great network of people you can look forward to seeing each day and a cool space where work is work and home is home.

I know coworking is still a relatively new concept here in Cheyenne, but if you think it is something that might work well for you, I encourage you to come check us out. We offer free day passes for prospective new members, and are more than happy to give tours of our awesome historic building.

Come check us out!

The Answer

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Our members are the best. There’s just no denying it.

Our community is full of movers and shakers. They are out and about, creating new and fun ways for the people of Cheyenne – and heck, the people of Wyoming – to come together to share ideas, and have some fun.

For example, our very own Array, School of Technology and Design is hosting Wyoming first organized Game Jam

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The Answer,” as the Game Jam has been lovingly named, is a special event where participants try to make a video game based on a secret theme unveiled at the kickoff. The goal (and fun!) is to come together as an individual, or as a team, to complete a game in just 42 hours (you Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans may be noticing a trend here). The brief time span – much less time than it took the computer in Hitchhiker’s – is meant to help encourage creative thinking, and to result in small but innovative and experimental games.

The fun kicks off with a social hour, and will wrap up with a pizza party, game judging, and an awards ceremony. And all of this excitement is taking place here at The Second Floor!

So, if you want to learn more, or are interested in registering, head on over to The Answer’s website.

Have a great weekend!

Working for the Weekend

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When I first moved here in May, I was so impressed with how much there was to do here in Cheyenne. It seemed like every weekend, one of the local breweries was throwing a street party,or hosting live music, always with food-trucks there to provide some tasty food. (We have three, by the way: Freedom’s Edge, Danielmark’s, and Accomplice, which will be brewing their own soon, in addition to all the other microbrews they already have on tap.) There were open mic nights at the Paramount Café, and Friday night concerts on the Depot Plaza. We could mountain bike all day, and sing karaoke at the Suite all night.

 

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about what the winter would bring. I was spoiled for choice in the summer: camping, hiking, biking. Scenic drives were just part of a typical week for me. Would I be trapped inside all winter long? Hunkering down and hiding from the wind?

 

It’s true, the wind here is pretty fierce, but as far as I can tell, that doesn’t keep Wyoming-ites from getting out and having a little fun. So, I thought I would do a little round-up of some of the great activities that are going on this weekend:

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  •  Learn to Fly: Ballet Wyoming is kicking off its 2017 Season this weekend with performances of Peter Pan on January 20 and 21. This one is going to be big fun for all ages, so head to their website for tickets and details.
  • Celebrate Local Storytellers: Insight: Legends will be a night of fast-paced storytelling and music by some of Wyoming’s best storytellers. This collaboration between the Wyoming Humanities Council and the University of Wyoming creative Writing Department will focus on the idea of legends. From myths and parables to Catholic Saints and some of the not so saintly figures of Wyoming’s past, the talks promise to be interesting and engaging, as well as free to the pubic! Saturday, January 21st at the Atlas Theatre
  • Shoot some Pool: The Suite Bistro now has pool tables in their downstairs bar! Go check out the new set-up.
  • Hear some Tunes: Open mic at the Paramount Café is always a great way to spend your Friday evening. Grab a coffee and settle in for some live local talent. From 7-9pm.
  • Enjoy the Great Outdoors. This is basically an every-weekend option here in Cheyenne, depending on how hardcore you are when it comes to winter weather. Obviously, there are plenty of ski resorts nearby if you don’t mind a couple of hours in the car, but there are also some great outdoor activities within a half-hour of our fun little town. I personally like to head out to the Tie City Trailhead in Medicine Bow National Forest for some cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Check out the Medicine Bow Nordic Association’s website for maps and updates on trail grooming, etc. If you have the right sort of vehicle, you could also take a cruise out to Vedauwoo, which looks gorgeous under its blanket of snow. I’ve also heard that Curt Gowdy has excellent ice fishing (though the ice may still be a bit thin this early on) as well as Fat Bike trails once the snow base is thick enough.

 

What are you up to this weekend?

Fri-Yay!

second-floor-succulentsHappy Friday!

It’s a new year here on the Second Floor, and I thought I’d update you on some fun new changes we are making here in our community.

Those of you with part-time memberships will have more flexibility going forward. Instead of two days per week, you can now spread your eight week-days throughout the month however you like. Because, let’s be honest, when inspiration strikes, or the cosmic forces of scheduling align, you just really need to get to work – for a week straight. Or, sometimes life is too hectic to make it in to that writing desk, or that computer screen, and you just need a little break. We understand, and we want to be able to accommodate you in any way we can.

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Along that same vein, we will now also be offering 5-day punch cards. Use your five days any weekday throughout the entire year!

And finally, Happy Hour! Because Friday.

Members can look forward to awesome, themed happy hours on the first Friday of every month. So, mark your calendars, Members! We will be kicking it off on February 3rd, with Karaoke Happy Hour. Get ready to enjoy some songstress-inspired cocktails and sing your hearts out.

And in the meantime, we are currently enjoying Freedom’s Edge Kilted Red on tap in the break room.

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Not a member? Maybe you should be! Come by for a tour to learn more about why co-working is so awesome and why the Second Floor is the best spot in town.

Hello Hello!

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My name is Rachael Ratliff and I am one of our community coordinators here on the Second Floor. Along with other crucial duties including, but not limited to: making coffee, signing up fabulous new members, giving tours of our awesome space, and more coffee (did I mention coffee?), I will be taking over some of the blogging duties here on our website.

 

So, it seems prudent that I tell you a bit about myself.

 

I grew up on a ranch in central/eastern Texas. That’s one of the pretty parts, with lots of trees, and rolling hills – just in case you are one of those people who thinks the entire state is some barren blend of No Country for Old Men and Giant (both of which are great movies, by the way). In college, I studied Journalism and Anthropology. I worked briefly as a journalist after graduation, but then somehow found myself in the world of professional cooking. It’s a long story that involves a cubicle, a recession, and discovering a new passion that would take me so many places I had never imagined living or working.

 

Since then, I’ve lived all over the US, and even in the Caribbean for a short time. My husband and I moved to Cheyenne last May, and we are loving it so far. Getting back out West had been a goal of ours for some time, and it feels great to be able to trot out to Curt Gowdy State Park or Medicine Bow after work for a quick trail run, or bike ride, or some cross-country skiing.

 

I also sell bread and pastries at the farmers’ market here in town, but working at the Second Floor is such a great opportunity to meet some of Cheyenne’s most interesting and engaging fellow citizens. As a bit of a newbie here in town, I must say, I am so excited about the energy I feel downtown. There are so many people who are passionate about building a thriving community here in our little city center, and The Paramount feels like a hub of that energy.

 

In short, I am so excited to be here, and am looking forward to meeting even more of Cheyenne’s entrepreneurs, students, writers, freelancers, and small-business owners. If there are any topics you would like to see us post about here on the blog, please do not hesitate to stop by the front desk, or shoot us an email.

BE SOCIAL

1607 CAPITOL AVE  //  CHEYENNE, WY  //  307-220-0336