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How I Work October 8, 2014

How I Work: Blossom Braemer - Posh Coworking

How I Work: Blossom Braemer - Posh Coworking

In this week's How I Work, Blossom Braemer of Posh Coworking joins us to describe her collaborative work environment.

I’m Blossom, a straight talkin’, no bullshit, open and giving leader, who has a burning passion for mischief , a ravenous thirst for knowledge and a covetous love affair with entrepreneurism.

Her business, Posh Coworking, is a rentable space for freelancers and entrepreneurs to come together and get out of the home office, gain a support group, and have access to otherwise unavailable facilities (like a conference room and multiple meeting rooms and lounges). 

Listen to the Full Interview

Q. What do you do at Posh Coworking?

What do I do? That’s a loaded question! 

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Posh Coworking, which is a creative coworking space geared towards women and creative business owners/freelancers.

Posh Coworking Office - How I Work - Moblized

Posh Coworking was the brainchild of numerous years of working from home for myself in the creative field. 

When you work from home, you’re kind of stuck in a corner and looking at the wall and cobwebs, and not really talking to anybody except for the cat and dog who hate each other.

Posh Coworking Motivational Picture - How I Work - Moblized

You really need to get out of your box and collaborate with other people. I needed that collaboration so often when I was running my businesses from home, that I made this little list called the Spark List. 

Inside this little Spark List were all these things that I didn’t have that I wanted to have. Like somebody in graphic design who sat right next to me, but they didn’t work for me. 

When I moved to Austin in 2009, I did several tours of coworking spaces at the time, and they just seemed very tech heavy. And although I’m very tech savvy, what I really needed were creative people around me, so my husband and I just said, “Let’s make one.” 

And that’s how Posh was started.

Q. What's your elevator pitch?

Well, first off, I kind of loathe the traditional elevator pitch.

I also do business development coaching in addition to being a serial entrepreneur, and I believe that your “who and do what” statement should be easy to deliver in any situation and be so memorable that the person who hears it:

  • Wants to know more
  • Is so taken with it, they repeat it over and over again

That said, here’s my “who and do what":

I’m Blossom, a straight talkin’, no bullshit, open and giving leader, who has a burning passion for mischief , a ravenous thirst for knowledge and a covetous love affair with entrepreneurism.

My purpose in life is to help you add more tools to your business toolkit that you can use today to propel yourself, and your business, to places you never imagined possible!

Q. How do you spend your downtime?

Again with the loaded questions! Downtime is relative -- I know you know this!

And I know that a lot of women out there struggle with self-care. By nature, we’re designed to be helpers, so we give a lot of our time and effort away to everybody else, and I’m a victim of that, too. 

For the most part, I’m a creative human being, so my daughter and I love Cosplay, we make costumes (mostly Victorian era) and we watch Doctor Who. I absolutely adore Doctor Who. We love to go camping. My husband and I restore vintage cars, so we run the gamut with lots of different hobbies!

Q. What’s the story behind the first thing(s) you’ve ever sold?

There’s definitely a funny story here. Transport yourself back to when I was 13, and I really wanted money. You know how 13 year olds are like a money pit? You can throw money at them, and it just sort of implodes.

And everyone I knew was like, “Oh, just babysit!” But I was the baby in our family, and I really, really hated kids. We’re talking “Ew, get that stinky, smelly, noisy thing away from me,” and I just wanted to go to the mall. That’s where everybody was. Just let me go to the mall!

I spent several weekends at home doing nothing while all my friends were out doing whatever they wanted to do. 

They had money to spend. 

My parents were always the type that believed in the power of earning it yourself, because then you know the value of what you’ve earned. 

After suffering for a while, I started to think about alternative ways that I could earn money, and not babysit, but everything kept coming back to babysitting. 

I thought to myself, “Okay, Blossom, there’s obviously something to this babysitting thing, what is it?” Because I was still determined not to watch kids, since I didn’t like kids.

My mom had this huge “mothers' support group” group that she was a part of, and my dad was really supportive. So that’s what my mom did, she hung out with all these other moms who had little kids. And they were always asking me to babysit.

After some thinking and some planning, I bought myself a pager with my allowance. At that time, I was getting about $7 a week for cleaning the house and doing the random chores around the house, so I put that towards getting a pager.

I gave that pager number to all my mom’s friends. My dad started giving it out to all his friends, and then all my girlfriends had the pager number, too. What ended up developing was my mom’s friends would get ahold of me and say, “I have this job at this time, it pays this much.” Then, I would get in touch with my girlfriends, and they would get the job, and I would retain a portion of what they made that night. 

Which led to about $300 - 400 of cash income a month...and I didn’t have to deal with any kids!

So the first business I ever founded was a babysitter brokerage at the ripe old age of 13.

Q. Who do you work with in your business?

Right now, we’re at about 85% female, and the majority are creative business owners.

They include coaches, consultants, photographers, event managers, artisans...there are a few people who are a in the tech industry, but it’s mostly Creatives.

Q. What pain does your business solve?

We solve the “I haven’t left the house for three days and the only conversation I’ve had was with my dog” problem, but that’s not all we do.

We give people a place to collaborate, and I constantly bring educational experiences, personal development programs, and training to our clients here at Posh. 

One of the things I’m most proud of is that we bring in other entrepreneurs to teach classes.

Posh Coworking - Networking Event - How I Work - Moblized

Being able to expose yourself to different ways of thinking is huge as an entrepreneur, because we tend to get stuck in “it has to be this way” mindset and not be able to see it another way. 

Having someone else's perspective to pull you into a different headspace and take you to the next level of learning or education is huge.

Q. How is your audience unique?

Most coworking spaces in Austin are very tech-focused communities. 

Posh Coworking - Audience - Moblized

Our audience is so diverse that uniqueness just oozes out of every crack around here!

Q. What tools / software / apps do you use?

1. What is the platform your business or business’s site created on?

I’m a total  Wordpress junkie! So we use WordPress with a 3rd-party mobile-responsive theme.

See more Website Building Options

2. What services or apps do you use to market, advertise, and promote?

We use to set up and share information about our events here at Posh, and also share them on social media, set up Facebook events, and so on. 

I do a lot of local networking here around Posh, because statistics show that coworkers go to a place within five miles of their house. Of course, I find all of those local events on Meetup anyways, so it all leads back there!

3. What services (if any) do you use for customer support?

Email and good ol’ fashioned phone calls!

4. What do you use for communication and collaboration?

Basecamp and Google Docs.  Basecamp has been my go to project management resource for three years now. It acts as the manager of our tasks and progress updates for just about everything we do here at Posh, and in all of my other businesses. 

When the Poshterns (that’s what we call our intern team here at Posh) are being on-boarded into their new positions, they get acquainted with Basecamp first, and all of their agreements, job descriptions and instructions for their training are hosted inside Basecamp. When they are ready to be in charge of a new project, they create one for themselves, and learn how to track progress and delegate!

Discover More Collaboration Software

I personally use Basecamp to keep my brain from exploding and losing track of things that I need to get done as well. Everything from reminders, to planning my marketing and the launch of new products is held here and shared with my collaborators. 

I cannot imagine my productivity without it. And the new version of the phone app is much better than the previous version, and I find that quite a relief now that I am mobile more than I am on my laptop. 

5. Are there other interesting software, gadgets, or hacks that you use?

I like things to be easy for the client, and not generate a bunch of work for me in the office, so that’s how we have our tech set up. 

Our members are set up on a subscription service through  Paypal, so there isn’t any invoicing for contract members. If we sell conference room time, or a one hour office block, there are "buy now" links on our site that also process through Paypal. The client leaves us their required time/date info and we book the room once the payment has processed.

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For our members, we use We love it because you only pay for the number of users, and you can adjust it up or down at any point. It allows each of our members to manage their own room reservations, and it helps create community responsibility as well as allowing our space manager to focus on marketing and community building, instead of calendar management.

When it comes to appointment scheduling, I’ve just started using  Timetrade and I need to work with it a bit longer before I offer too much feedback. 

Historically, I am an Outlook Exchange user and am well versed in that software, so I like that Timetrade and Outlook integrate. 

Q. What are some trends in this area of work?

1. Diversifying your skills

I think the biggest trend to watch out for in all industries, whether it’s entrepreneurialism or freelancing or even corporate America, is the push for human beings to diversify. Whether that’s owning multiple businesses or being involved with multiple businesses. 

The human drive to diversify is strong among leaders, and having your basket full of just one type of egg seems a little outdated to most of us.

Speaking for myself, I have and run four businesses right now, and although they’re all similar creative businesses, they’re also different. Posh is one of them, you know, I’m also a business development coach for female entrepreneurs, and I also sometimes make money from my sewing projects. 

What I’m seeing out there in the marketplace is that more and more people, even people involved in corporate America are also doing a small startup on the side, and they’re doing two or three different things, or maybe they’re writing freelance because they love to write, or they have a personal blog.

Diversification seems to be the direction that more and more people are going, especially millennials.

2. Female-oriented workspaces

For coworking specific trends, I see a push for creative / women geared spaces.

This is a hugely untapped market, and women are tired of being forgotten among the remote workforce.

Posh Meeting Room - How I Work - Moblized

They need resources and are relieved when they find many of them here at Posh.

Q. What does a successful day of working at your business look like?

For me, in my business, success is always about me. It starts with me, it ends with me. If I’m having a crappy day, then obviously, I’m going to have a crappy day if I don’t do something about it. 

I need to hit the reset button, or have a do over, or have a 50 second dance party, or whatever it ends up being. For the other people in this space here, I think the same thing is also true. 

As long as they have a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment and then some collaborative stuff, then I think they’re great.

For my business to be successful, with the coworking model, ideally, every day we want to:

  • Meet new people
  • Connect people together with each other
  • Teach something to our members

Q. What apps, tips, or tricks do you use to help out with your own workflow?

Basecamp is definitely my current favorite. 

That said, I’m kind of a time management junkie. So I’ll use time-blocking, and the priority matrix that you talked about in your workshop, and I use Google tasks or Google calendar or a shared calendar to manage reminders and workflow for things that aren’t Basecamp based. 

But for the most part, everything is in Basecamp, and then I integrate that with my calendar.

[The “time-blocking,” she’s talking about the same concept that Corbett discussed in his interview (ctrl+F and search for “complete calendar”). The matrix she references is this one, which I discussed when I did an in-person workshop at Posh!]

Q. Is there anything that would make running your business easier?

To be honest, the coworking business is pretty easy. It’s pretty self-sufficient if I keep people communicating and keep getting out there and telling people who we are and what we do; the community kind of runs it. 

But, if I could wave a magic wand, it’d be nice to have more space.

The other thing that I hear from coworking spaces just starting up is that the path to funding is very difficult because the awareness of what coworking is and what pain it solves is fairly limited.

Random dance parties would be cool, too. You know how there are those apps that are mindfulness reminders and a bell dings and tells you to be mindful for the next 30 seconds, or whatever? I want an app like that, but for dance parties, that dings at a random interval and reminds you to get up and dance!

Q. Do you think any of your quirks make you a good fit for this type of business?

I’m definitely a collaborative learner, and love to put people together and watch what develops. 

This skill/trait is the major contributing factor to being successful at running a space like Posh.

Q. If you could go to before Posh and give yourself business advice, what would it be?

When I answer this question for myself, I kind of have the knee-jerk response of, “Well, I was pretty young” when I first started being an entrepreneur. But honestly, as I sit here and think about it, if I could go back and tell myself something (when I was 12 - 13 years old) about business, it would probably be to get out of the box. 

Don’t get so wrapped up around what you don’t like and limit yourself to seeing the potential that might be there around what you don’t like. 

Alternately, I would say, “Find your passion and turn it into something that pays you.” 

And, if you’re in a brick and mortar business, stay out of the space more than you are in the space. Get funding for an employee who can manage the space for you.

Q. What are your top three pieces of advice for aspiring business owners?

1. Build your community first, before you start your business. 

Forget about the money, forget about where it’s going to be. Just start by building a network of people who need you, and connect them to each other and become a resource. 

The rest of it will fall into place.

2. Explore all the funding options, including non profit / education options.

3. Pay yourself a salary.

Software Recap

Here are the apps and solutions that were mentioned by Blossom.

Software / App Name What It's For
Website Hosting / Membership platform
Task / Project Management
Networking / Event Listing & Discovery
Online Appointment Scheduling
Meeting Room Booking Solution
PayPal Recurring Billing Create a subscription service with recurring invoices
Google Docs Document Creation / Collaboration

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