Rachel Keller Mix Coworking Profile Picture

Rachel Kelleher is the co-founder of MIX Coworking, a coworking space in Clonakilty. Rachel and Michael Kote set MIX up together in 2018 as a passion project. MIX Coworking 2.0 opened in March 2022 on 8 Wolfe Tone Street over two floors. The project was part-funded by LEADER and administered by SECAD CLG. A second round of funding was secured with The Connected Hubs Fund in 2022.

Today the building can hold 26 coworkers comfortably with a social space for breaks and events. Rachel and Mike’s vision was to create a place that is both different to home and the office – a refuge from the busyness in order to work, create, study, research and explore.

As part of The Connected Hubs Fund, MIX Coworking is offering their social space and meeting space for free to volunteer groups, non-profit organisations and creative groups. 

In this episode, we chat to Rachel about their journey to both Clonakilty and the creation of a coworking space, learnings from their original passion project to now, the benefits of coworking and nurturing their creation.

Connect with Mix Coworking: 

About this podcast

Date:           30/05/2023    

Duration:   30:28 mins

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Episode Transcript

Geraldine Hennessy: Welcome to the Cork Creative Podcast. With this podcast, we hope to shine a light on the great work being done in local businesses. If you would like to learn more, please visit corkcreative.ie.

We are now into our third season of Cork Creative. We’ve interviewed many local creatives and businesses, and we have listened to some great advice and lessons learned.

With that in mind, last year we did a series in business supports and delved into the local offerings that can aid both new and established businesses. Mixed co-working in Clonakilty is one such business. At the time of our series, they had big plans afoot to broaden their offerings, so we delayed meeting up with its co-founder and manager, Rachel Kellerher, until their big plans had been realized.

In this episode, I sit down with Rachel in one of their beautiful pods and discuss their journey to both Clonakilty and the creation of a co-working [00:01:00] space, learnings from their original passion project to now the benefits of co-working and nurturing their creation.

So you’re very welcome to Cork Creative Rachel.

Rachel Kelleher: Thanks Geraldine for having me.

Geraldine Hennessy: Sotell us the story of how mixed coworking came about.

Rachel Kelleher: Sure. Uh, let’s get into it. So, well, it, it definitely feels like there’s a phase one and a phase two. So, phase two being in this beautiful building eight Wolf Tone Street. Many will remember the building as Nugents Grocers and Toy Shop.Upstairs where the workspace is, was used for storage. And I’ve been told to store grain many years back. So the building’s been here a very, very long time. We have Cloud nine salon next door, who are great neighbours. And I believe there was a stunning garden here at one time too.

And where the pods are, where we are now, there was battered, old permanent sheds. And the building itself was in dire straits, so it took over 12 months for the renovations to [00:02:00] be complete. It was through covid and uh, commercial construction was closed for quite some time. And we were working with a budget so, we got to the finish line, and opened in March 2022. So the building owner, Johnny O’Donovan, has been a great partner for us. He understands what we’re doing. And you know, what the vision was. So we’ve really enjoyed working together and it’s, it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve had a overwhelmingly positive year. We really enjoy serving our customers- remote workers in the area with a place to work.

Our main focus is that customers feel welcome, comfortable. There’s no fuss, no pressure. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day, you can come in and get your work done. Be in a neutral space. We’ve been very intentional with the colors, plants, furniture, so it feels good. And just so it’s a bit different to home and an office.

The name Mixed Coworking very much comes from that idea of mixing up your work week. There’s a place for [00:03:00] different environments, you know, and, and modes within our work, whatever we do. So, you know, having, having a choice. Having somewhere where you can go that isn’t being at home or being in the office is, is important.

Okay. So that was always the vision. Yeah. So, so that’s, that’s our phase two, where we are now. And how it all started. Well, it, it really ties in with when Mike and I met . Mike and I own the company together. We’ve both have been in and around co-working for a few years. Before, before we met.

So a bit of background about ourselves. So I’m from Ireland. I grew up in Jeddah in the Middle East for the bulk of my schooling. My parents are primary school teachers hence living in the Middle East, and we would travel to Clare and Cork in the summer months. My dad’s dad was from Kiskeam.

Yeah. My childhood memories were of being in Ireland,hot summers. Smells of the grass, which is very sweet when you live in the desert. Yeah, I can imagine. Yeah. So, yeah, I spent 10 years living in, in Jeddah. Okay. My [00:04:00] dad’s originally from Ennistymon and my mom’s from, from Dublin. So, you know, always had a connection to Ireland .

We always felt like home, but was, was very much away. So, yeah, a few years on, I, I did a commerce degree in U C D. And then started my working life. So my first gig was admin assistant at the  NDRC, which were running their first inaugural incubator program called Launchpad. So it’s essentially a place for startups to come together in one room, and it very much reminds me of up upstairs. So it, it was not too dissimilar from upstairs. So, you know, it was definitely my first introduction to co-working. Yeah. But it wasn’t really called that at the time. You know, it was just a mash of different startups in this, this environment. So I worked there for, for about a year and a half, and then I moved to Twitter, which was, you know, again that kind of startup environment, but very different. I was working as account manager and saw the company grow very quickly, and I left after about two and a half years, so I [00:05:00] ran out of it really. I think I just felt a little bit disillusioned after a while- there was really high targets. Working in sales, it’s a, certainly a…a certain mode, so yeah, I, I definitely wanted time, so I left and I went traveling for two years. So when I was traveling, this is now to set the scene, 2014, I met a lot of people that were working remotely. And I just thought this was the best thing ever. It was definitely a light bulb moment for me that seemed like just a real ticket to not have to go back into what I was doing before. Which wasn’t fully working for me. So I started looking for a remote job, and it took a long time to find one.

At the time, the, the pool was small. There was just one job platform called weworkremotely.com. There’s lots now, but yeah, after looking and searching, I, I got a job with Remote Year. And that’s how I met Mike. So, Remote Year, it’s a company that helps digital nomads, remote [00:06:00] workers to work and travel at the same time.

And Mike was the operations director for Europe, and we met in Lisbon. So Mike, he grew up in Southern California. He studied art studio degree at University of Santa Barbara and then headed for Chicago. He actually applied to go on Remote Year and the outcome was working for, for the company.

So he moved to Europe, was living out of a backpack, and he was scouting and setting up operations across Europe. So, part of that was setting up some co-working spaces. Okay. So one in split and one in Lisbon. So that’s the background. So we were both very much, you know, working in co-working, but very, very passionate about it as well.

Yeah. So we met at Lisbon and we were, yeah, I guess we were at a very unrestricted time in our lives. We were, you know, independent. We were moving around and, you know, we, we fell in love. A few months later, Mike came to Ireland for the first time. So this was May, 2017. Yeah. So not that long ago, and that May [00:07:00] was warm weather.

It was twenties, you know, we had a day or two in Dublin and we came down to Kinsale and we camped from Kinsale all the way to Dingle. Mike absolutely fell in love with Ireland. Great. And yeah, absolutely. So he, he just kept asking, why is there nobody here? Yeah. He just couldn’t believe, ‘cause he was obviously working in the tourism industry for years. When he was in Chicago, he was working for a company that organized adventure travel. So I think he was surprised. Just the scenery, the beauty, the wildness of it. And it’s great fun traveling in Ireland with someone who’s not from here. Yeah. Yeah. So that really set us up to, to be here permanently.

It was a whole year later that I decided that I would maybe come down and try and rent a studio or an apartment just for six months to see how I got on. And really, I just had a desire to live somewhere that wasn’t in the city. You know, having the remote job, I could do that. I just wanted to try it out.

Did that. [00:08:00] Mike was still working and traveling a lot for his gig, so we based ourselves in Clon. We had a little studio up McCurtain Hill and it was ideal cos the airport is so close. So Mike would come and go for his work. And we loved it. Yeah. We just loved everything about being here. It obviously felt very novel for both of us.

We did a lot of exploring. I loved the coastline and all of that stuff. So we were living in a tiny studio. We had okay internet-when the weather was okay. And we would move around. Like we’d go upstairs in Arís, we’d be in Sticky Bun. Yeah. Eating tea and cake, you know, just to get good internet.

Yeah. I, I remember doing a call in Sticky Bun. Yeah. You know, at the little bar. Yeah. So we really felt there was a need for ourselves. We really needed somewhere to work if we wanted this to work. As I said, we were just trying it out. So I was here for six months and, you know, Mike was dipping in and out, but the longer we stayed, the longer both of us wanted to stay here and we decided, if we wanna stay here, we need to get an office. So we started looking for a [00:09:00] private office, couldn’t find one. There was nowhere. And then I was in Finer Details, which was Mary Fehily business around the corner. She always thought that small space would make a nice office and her lease was ending.

So I remember running home to Mike. I said, what do you think? Maybe we should set something up. Yeah. And it started from there.

Geraldine Hennessy: The stars were aligning.

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. And , I think what was lovely about it is this, that space was small. We had just seven desks. I had one, Mike had one. We just had five to rent out.

So it really was a prototype. It didn’t feel like there was huge risk. We didn’t have that big fear of if it was going to succeed or not. Because we both just really had a genuine need to have somewhere to work. So thankfully after a few months, we got a customer and we got another customer, and we had, in the end, we had a lovely small cohort of regular users in the space.

And,  yeah, it was very…it wouldn’t have suited everybody. You came in, there was, you know, just, it sounds, there was seven [00:10:00] desks, a little kitchenette and a bathroom, but it was, it, it started organically and looking back, it was great to start like that, you know, as I said, there was very little fear. So we met in January, 2017. We moved to Clon in March, 2018, and then we set up the co-working space in November 2018- that year.

Geraldine Hennessy: And why did you decide to open it up to other people? Was it just from an economic point of view or what was it?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, definitely. So when we couldn’t find a private room to rent, you know, with one or two desks, we thought that it could work because we were familiar with co-working spaces.

We had worked in, in a good few, a lot of them were very big. They had a lot of amenities, so we were kind of like, God, you know, like we could just have a few desks. It doesn’t need to be a big deal. It can really just be a bit of a side project. And that’s definitely what it was. It was the side project.

You know, we, we had a lot of fun. Kind of coming up with the, the name and the branding and all of that stuff. It [00:11:00] really was nearly like a hobby. To be honest, cuz we were both working quite intense jobs at the time. I’d left Remote Year, at that time I was working for a software company. I was working European and US Hours. So I’d finish about nine o’clock and we’d have some dinner and be like, okay, let’s think about the co-working space now. So it was, it was very much a hobby for us. But the lovely thing about it, once we started getting a few customers, you know, the rent was being paid. That was the main thing. The rent was being paid and the council fees were being paid. And you know, we just kept everything very agile. In terms of managing it, it was very self-service. We had a little lockbox. People could come and go and we would, sometimes we would head away, you know, Mike had to go away for work and I’d go with him and we’d kind of just leave it to our few members that we had to, to come in and out. It kind of looked after itself. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So it was a good prototype and we learned what worked and what didn’t. We had great internet. it was warm most of the time, you [00:12:00] know, and it was self-service and we learned, people liked that.

We then obviously dreamed of having something bigger. And then it was really, bringing the things that worked in that sense that it was nice that it was self-service in a way. You know, we didn’t need to have a reception, we didn’t need to hire a bunch of people. So we were pretty confident we could do something bigger.

And keep some of those agile things with us.

Geraldine Hennessy: And I suppose it was a good basis for where ye are now.

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. That’s why I speak about it so fondly. Because, It really was the, the starting point and the prototype, you know

Geraldine Hennessy: Okay. Yeah. And, Covid forced the closing of that original premises back in, in March, 2020. How was the experience of having to close and reopen  for you?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, so we had opened October, 2018 and then fast forward a little time. Covid was April, 2020. So we had our son and Kayden in November, 2019. He was [00:13:00] four months. We were actually away with Mike’s work and you know, obviously with Kayden I went with him and you know, we heard of the first cases and initially we were following everything so closely, but we’d never even thought that anything would happen in the sense that we’d have to close the business.

When we came back, I was still on maternity leave. And was spending a lot of time at home. I wasn’t in mix all that much. Mike was in there every day and in the space of a week, Mike’s company folded.

Geraldine Hennessy: Oh my gosh.

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. And I was told my company was not going to take me back after my maternity leave.

So we called our landlord the next day and we, we ended the lease very quickly. Yeah. When you’re in situations like that, where there’s a little bit of adversity. You know, there’s no fear. There was no fear of what are people gonna think? . Has it failed? We weren’t really thinking about it.

Geraldine Hennessy: Yeah.I think [00:14:00] everyone was in the same base of whatever. They were like, oh my God, what is coming next? Or what’s happening? Yeah. No one knew it, so what was gonna happen? So I think there was a lot of understanding in in people at that time.

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, absolutely. So we ended up having quite a nice few months that kind of May, June, Kayden was four or five, six months of age, and.

In a way we were living on this bit of excitement. What’s gonna happen next?  I mean, we weren’t working. We had lots of time with Kayden, which was lovely. Just before Covid actually started, Johnny O. Donovan, who owns this building, had approached us about setting up a coworking space. And we, we said, yeah, we’re, we’re definitely interested.

You know, anything like that when it starts, you’re, yeah. But wow. Would anything ever come of that? You know, we’ve made contact again in the summer and we’re still in level five and we realized, and Johnny realized everybody’s talking about working remotely now. Okay. Co-working feels a long way off. But [00:15:00] there was a confidence there, it has to come around at some point. You know, so we met many times over the summer, the three of us. Just discussing and chatting. There was a lot of discussing and chatting and just about, first of all, is, is it gonna be the right fit? Because we were prepared to sign a long-term lease agreement. Yeah. I think there was a really good vibe. We were all very excited about what it could be. It just, it definitely felt right. So we applied for a grant with SECAD. The team at SECAD were brilliant. They gave us great guidance. I mean, the application with SECAD is huge. We took our time, filling that out.

And we got great news that we were successful in getting a grant. It was for 50% of the interior fitout costs. Okay. So internet infrastructure, furniture. So when we got the news of that, we soon after confirmed, you know, that we were all on the same page and we, we signed a long term lease agreement for the building.

Geraldine Hennessy:  It was almost like it was meant to be in one way, [00:16:00] you know, that covid happened. And it kind of almost like reset you and, and refocused you in this kind of bigger space. You know, make it more of a, a bigger project for ye. Would you think that?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, definitely.

Geraldine Hennessy: If Covid hadn’t happened, would you still be down the smaller premises?

Rachel Kelleher: I don’t think so. I think we could see that it was working. And it was working whilst we were both working full-time. So in one way, you know, it gave us a time to refocus. I then focused my time, full-time on this. Well, part-time cause I had a baby. At that point, you know, it was, it was mix and Kayden.

So in that sense, my time has been a lot more dedicated to, to it now that it’s much bigger. Okay. Which has been huge. Yeah. Okay. Mike, his company Remote Year, it ended up getting bought by a co-living space company called Selina. Okay. And they were a team of a hundred before Covid to a [00:17:00] team of four. They asked Mike to go back part-time. This was September/October. And he did, and, and amazingly he’s still with them. They’ve slowly gone from six people up and up and up. Yeah. And they’re operating worldwide again. Okay. But it took getting bought by a different company for that to actually happen. The, the branding stayed the same and everything like that. So he’s, he’s actually still with Remote Year.

Geraldine Hennessy: So it’s all like a big circle really, isn’t it?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. Hundred percent very goes.

Geraldine Hennessy: So just talking about a Mix Coworking, it’s, it’s a beautiful workspace and a, a very good location here in Wolfe Tone Street. Was finding that right building essential to you?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, absolutely. So one of our, our big things was being in town. I think because our backgrounds were being in European cities in coworking. So Mike helped set up a coding space in Lisbon and in Split in Croatia. And we had worked together in,based on our roles with Remote Year ,in [00:18:00] coworking spaces in Sophia, Belgrade, Valencia, we thought that there was a huge appetite for coworking in towns. But it has to be in the town. You know, that’s what the whole point is, the footfall. You know, everyone here today is going out to buy coffee.To go get lunch. They might be dropping their kids to school. So it’s that idea of that it’s, it’s part of the town and it’s bringing people into the town. It’s really, really important. That was a non-negotiable. I think with the building, I mean, we love the building so much. So upstairs has exposed beams and high ceilings. It’s not a big space. But it works very well and it feels bigger than it is because of the high ceilings.

Geraldine Hennessy: Yeah. It feels very spacious up there.

Rachel Kelleher: It does. It’s lovely. Yeah. You, you can’t tell when you’re outside looking at it cause it’s south facing. It’s very bright. Upstairs. There’s velux windows on the back.There’s a really good feeling in the building. So, yeah, I, I really do love it.

Geraldine Hennessy: And it’s lovely to see [00:19:00] it kind of being brought back to, like, when you were talking there at the beginning about it being, you know, a grocers and a, a toy shop. I, I can still remember coming here to pick out my Christmas presents with my parents.

So it’s, I’ve, I have very fond memories of this building and I think a lot of people from Clon do too. You know, it’s, it was always there. So it’s lovely to see it being repurposed. It’s a vital part of the community now as such.

Rachel Kelleher: Absolutely. That’s lovely to hear.

Geraldine Hennessy: Yeah. Very good. Yeah.

You’ve used a lot of local and Irish suppliers to bring the whole mixed co-working experience to life. Was this important to you?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, it was really important for us to use local suppliers. All of our furnitures from Donworth Interiors, they’re based in Cork. They’ve been there for years. They’ve been so helpful. We have some nice artwork, which is all from Irish artists. I spent probably too much time, but I think it was worth it, trying to find things that would benefit the space, but you know, obviously on a budget. So we’ve, we found some really nice Irish suppliers. And we’ve had some great [00:20:00] people come through and help us . With the work that’s been done.

Geraldine Hennessy: You set up this beautiful workspace to enable co-working, so you must be quite passionate about it.What are the benefits of co-working?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. Really are so passionate about it. So, I mean, I gave that kind of monologue background of. You know where I started working in Twitter. One of the reasons I left is I really struggled with having to be at my desk every day at 9:00 AM . I was a really hard worker, but I had some sort of imposter syndrome.

You know, if I walked in at 9:15, I felt like, oh my God. You know, you had managers on one end of the room. We had a sales team, and that’s fine when you’re in a good place, but when, you know, you’ve got a migraine and you just need to have some more fluidity in your life. So I think that’s what remote working lends itself to you in a sense that you can blend your work with your personal life.

And then co-working [00:21:00] comes in. You know, when you go to a cafe, do you ever find, or in an airport, you can work very well. You know, it’s because you’re somewhere new. Yeah. I always like that idea of being somewhere new and being somewhere where things are happening. And a, and an airy space.

And I think from working in an office environment, I’ve always felt quite stagnant at my desk. I thought it was me. I thought, why can’t I concentrate?  Now, I, I did well in my job. But I struggled personally with the conformity of it. And I think co-working offers something that’s not home, it’s not the office.

You can come in, you can do your work, you can go at your own pace. And it’s lovely to be around different people that are doing different work. So we have, we have an illustrator upstairs. We have a journalist, we have people that are working in graphic design, engineering, pharmaceuticals. Everyone’s doing something different. And the lovely thing is if, if someone’s kind of picks [00:22:00] up a phone call or something, nobody knows other people’s work. Yeah, yeah. And it’s also lovely that you can come in and say hello, but you’re not meeting people that you’re working with every day.

Because you know, you might feel there’s a piece of work that you wanna work on in the afternoon. Holly comes over and you know, it’s distractions. You need to leave the office to actually get some work done. I know. Yeah. And I mean, the issue now with the remote work is people feel they have too many calls.

I know you nearly need to. You know, Mike, every now and then says, oh, it’s 4:00 PM I can start my day now, the calls are finished. Yeah. So there’s these practices that don’t work, that don’t serve us. Yeah. And we have to be confident to say what they are. And not have that kind of imposter syndrome that I had before.

Because I chat to people that are coming in and out and, you know, every now and then it comes up. Probably the biggest theme that comes up is people feel, because they’re not in the office, their team might think that they’re not working. And [00:23:00] it’s, that’s all on us in terms of the work that we need to do to be okay, that we’re responsible.

We’ve been given the job. People trust that we can do it. And if we can’t do it, then we can ask for help. Yeah. But that’s, that’s a real process. It’s hard. Yeah. So, co-working, I think it’s, it’s, for me anyway, it’s just providing somewhere that is a little bit more freeing.

And as well for some people that can’t work at home. It might be bad internet or there’s, it’s busy, there’s children around. Just have somewhere. Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve really tried to create it that it’s no fuss, you know, if life is busy at home, that you can come here and it just feels like a bit of a haven, you know, you can come in and

Geraldine Hennessy: it’s a lovely atmosphere, like, and it’s nice that there’s people here. You’re not like in your own little office, in your study. Well, you can be if you want, in one of the pods, but, it’s nice that there’s people around as well, that if you want to say hello or whatever you know you can, but you can still focus on your work and get that done. [00:24:00]

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah, that’s exactly it.

So we have..there’s very distinct, you know, levels. We have upstairs as the workspace. We have three ventilated phone booth, which are great for those focused calls. With reactive calls or you know, all hands where you’re not doing a lot of speaking, it’s great to do those at your desk.

And then we’ve downstairs, which is lovely to just have a tea or have your lunch meet people, say hi, and again, there’s no pressure. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get a sense of what people are thinking from the outside. Is, is it that there’s, you know, you have to go in and you have to talk to everybody and, oh, I don’t really feel like that. I just wanna get my work done. You’re a hundred percent catered for. Or if you feel you do want to be social and come in for the reason of meeting people, there’s that too. Yeah. So it caters to both.

Geraldine Hennessy: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Yeah. Very good. And what do you offer for the remote worker looking to put their commute behind them?

Rachel Kelleher:

Yeah, so obviously there’s, there’s lots of reasons why we need to be in the office. So if you’re working in Cork for example, [00:25:00] it’s, it’s, that’s a tough commute. Mm. It really is. It’s lovely if you’re doing it twice a week or three times a week, it’s, it’s tough if you’re doing it every day. So we offer an alternative.

So, I mean, we offer desk space, the phone booths, and we offer the private pods. We also have a employer’s pdf. So if anyone is at a stage where they’d like the idea of it, it’s a conversation they have to have with their employer, we’d be really happy to help in that case. So the, the pdf, it just gives a level of professionalism in the sense of what’s here. We have excellent broadband. We have facilities, we have ergonomic chairs. We have sit/stand desks, uh, monitor screens, so perspective companies knows what’s here. And that it’s, it’s the real deal and it that might in some way help the conversation around working remotely or, you know, not driving five days a week, but less.

Geraldine Hennessy: Yeah. My god that road to Cork, I’m telling you, I couldn’t do anymore anyway. No, no, thank you.

And connected hubs, it’s, it’s a vehicle [00:26:00] for individual hubs like yourself to come together. What kind of supports has Connected Hubs been able to offer you?

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. Connected hubs has been incredible. So they’ve helped us in a few ways. I mean, they had the  voucher scheme. They had two sessions of that. So that was a chance for individuals to try out co-working. Each individual got three vouchers, which you could use in any, uh, co-working space or hub around the country.

So we had a lot of uptake from that. People trying it out. A few people have continued on .Which is lovely. And then for other people, it was just a chance to tip their toe and that’s great too. So that was, that ran last summer. And then they ran a, a winter one as well throughout October, November.

And it was, it was really great. It was done very well. And then they also, the connected hubs also had a fund. So it was a  5 million Euro fund for co-working space and hubs across Ireland to apply to. So we applied to that and were successful. And with that we have gotten the solar panels. 12 [00:27:00] solar panels on the front, the pods and also, two additional phone booths. Oh, great. Yeah, it was really, really great. Mm. Connected hubs as well, thhey have a fortnightly session where you, it’s on Zoom, you join any co-working space or hub around the country can join. They have breakout sessions.

So it’s, it’s great to just discuss with other hub managers or owners, things that come up. Okay. Yeah. you know how to get more people into the space. Marketing drives, yeah. Vat, , pods, phone boots, all these things that we’re all in, in the same industry. So, They, they organize that and, and the chair, Liam Hornan is very, is great.

They, it’s very well organized. And then they’re having a roadshow. So on Thursday I’m going to Limerick to meet other hubsin Munster and we’ll discuss community and all that type of stuff.

Geraldine Hennessy: It’s like a little support network for you as such, you know, just kind of even bounce ideas. What works for one hub probably will work for another hub.

So it’s great. It’s great kind of sounding board like [00:28:00] that for you.

Rachel Kelleher: Yeah. A hundred percent.

Geraldine Hennessy: Okay. From the opening of your doors back in 2018, you’ve gone on to change premises and expand your offerings in terms of now be able to offer private office pods, what are your plans going forward?

Rachel Kelleher: Well, at the moment, just to enjoy it.

Yeah. It’s been a really busy two years. Yeah. I think everyone can relate. When you’ve had a busy period and you come out of it, you look back and you think, how did I do that? But you get into a different mode. Yeah. And. I think when we opened our doors last March, the Connected Hubs Fund, which came soon after that, and the expansion that really came as a surprise, that opportunity was there. And so at December, I was tired. Yeah. I, I, I was tired. I was tired from making decisions. On all the small stuff. Actually, it’s the small stuff though. Yeah. So this year, especially this summer, it will get busy as families and visitors come through town. It’s just to really enjoy it.

Yeah. I, I’m really looking forward to [00:29:00] just being able to do some planting those types of things. We have some things which are far in the …. You know, those things that you’re looking forward to get to. You know, thankfully things are working very well. You know, we’re very happy with how things are going.

We haven’t done a lot of marketing. And we’ve kind of just decided to focus on customers that come in the door. And in that sense, we’ve been under the radar a little bit. But I think it’s working well for us. I think when customers come through the door, really focusing that they have a good experience and that’s the main thing. So, long-term goals, we’ve, of course, we’ve thought about, you know, expanding a little bit more, but I think for the next year or two is just nurturing what’s here. Yeah. Settle into it. Yeah. And see what’s working. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good plan. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Geraldine Hennessy: Very good. Very good. Well, thank you Rachel. Thanks so much for joining us on the Cork Creative Podcast. If you’d like to learn more about Mix Coworking , you can find links to their social media and website on corkcreative.ie[00:30:00]