Julie Donlon on opening Blue Mind Coworking
The pandemic saw a massive surge in home offices as primary places of business for all types of industries. As this time at home continued, many professionals missed the camaraderie and routine of going to work. JULIE DONLON, and her husband, MICHAEL, saw this longing for normalcy and decided to come up with a solution.
“My husband and I (and our kids) lived on the west coast, moving between San Francisco and Seattle over 27 years before we made the move to Wilmington in 2017,” Julie Donlon says.
She was a stay-at-home mom for twenty-four years, a well as a volunteer, and has had jobs in real estate and retail over the years. Michael Donlon worked from tekMountain, a coworking space, from almost the day they moved.
“He was able to network, meet people, and have a professional remote environment in which to work from,” she says.
Last year, CastleBranch decided to close tekMountain’s physical space for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, leaving a void for those wanting a coworking environment.
“After talking about how we could fill this void and looking at different models, we decided to come up with our own version of co-working for the Wilmington community,” Julie Donlon says.
In addition to co-owner, Julie Donlon is the community success manager for Blue Mind Coworking, which opened in April at 301 Government Center Drive.
The general concept is a place where those in need of an office can rent the type of space they need on a monthly basis. When those spaces are rented, members are able to enjoy loads of amenities including the Blue Mind Coworking app, members-only discounts, a podcast room, lounge, virtual mailboxes, coffee from The Workshop, conference rooms, high-speed internet, kitchen, printing station, and more.
“I am striving to create a community of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and remote workers that feel creative and productive in a collaborative environment,” Julie Donlon says. “Their success is my success. It’s been an amazing experience to see it grow from an idea we had to open our doors to our members.
“To have our space filled with beautiful pieces of art that bring the calm of the ocean inside is a dream come true. It has taken a village of like-minded souls to bring our vision together.”
Because COVID is still a concern, Julie and Michael Donlon are taking the necessary precautions to keep members safe.
“I’m sanitizing tables and such, but honestly, shouldn’t we always be doing that? We also have masks on hand as well as cleaning supplies available throughout the space,” Julie Donlon says. “I want people to know that we can get things back to normal, and we can re-establish those social bonds and networking opportunities which we all need to be happy, productive, and maintain a sense of well-being.”
One goal of the co-working space is to provide a productive environment that promotes local business growth and community.
“We offer a place to come together to support each other – as we do that, the whole community benefits.”
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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