Why Mountains Matter

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Last night the Mountain Hub has the pleasure of hosting a “Why Mountains Matter” event where each participant shared five slides and had two minutes to talk about why mountains matter to them. It was in true Pech Kucha style and was incredible!

People spoke of food security in mountain cultures, the changing landscape of Kathmandu, the geology and importance of preservation, the most sacred mountain in the world, the contrasting landscape of the mountains (and it’s beauty), raising their children in the mountains, the paradox of the mountains - feeling safe yet exposed and more.

At the end of the night, it was settled, the mountains for us all are a magical and mystical being that draw out adventure, purpose and passion.

Big kudos to Shannon and Baiba from Wildsight for putting on such an incredible event. I hope to see many more in this amazing format!

Below I am sharing my own presentation. The mountains hold a special place in my heart and have brought me a sense of belonging, purpose and an amazing community.

If you are interested in participating in an event like this in the future, please email me at megan@mountainhub.ca.

Ad-libbed “script” ;)

We moved around a lot as a family and I never really felt like any place I lived was “home”.

Everyone around me would be going “home for the holidays”, but for me - my home was my family - wherever we were.


I was always the odd man out it seemed. Canadian in America. Or American in Canada.

At 14 my family moved from Edmonton Alberta to Trappe Pennsylvania. The land of hoagies, Wawas and “wooder” (that’s water).

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After ping-ponging back and forth from Canada to the US a couple more times, I landed in California.

Another foreign entity but more recognizable through movies and TV shows like the OC. I surfed, worked in Silicon Valley and did all the stereotypical Cali things (convertible? Check!)

But my search for that place to call home still eluded me.

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So I traveled to South Africa.

Borneo.

Bali.

Sumatra.

Jakarta.

Peru.

Portland.

And numerous other places wondering if perhaps they were somewhere I could live, or to help answer that burning question, where to call home.

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And then everything changed.

I got the call one month into my travels in Indonesia.

I was going to be an Aunt.

And I knew then where I needed to be.

Back with my family.

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It’s no surprise my sister chose the mountains to help raise her daughter. In fact, a small mountain town in BC called Invermere (you might have heard of it) and so I moved there January of last year.


I have to be honest, it didn’t feel like home for a long time. I felt like a red plate, just driving California ones.

But the mountains had other plans for me and worked their magic.

So much so I now own and run a business, called the Mountain Hub.

Mountains matter to me, because they finally answered the question I always had. The mountains are my home.


What IS coworking!?

Hello from beautiful Banff!

I am writing this email from a coworking conference (GCUC Canada 2018) where I have spent the last two days brainstorming, masterminding, swapping stories and making incredible connections with other coworking space operators, managers, and coworking junkies.

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Today is the last day and I am excited to dig into one of the upcoming topics: coworking in rural communities. Rural communities have a lot to offer in the coworking realm: we know all about being a community, we are curious, industrious and entrepreneurial. Not to mention adventurous, supportive and all-around bad-ass mountain living folk!

I also wanted to share one of the most powerful moments of the conference for me (up until this point). And that was when we were discussing the definition of coworking.

What IS coworking, exactly? 

It was said that if you are just in the business of selling a desk and WIFI, you aren’t in the business of coworking.

Yes, the desks and WIFI are important. But in reality, we don’t need desks. We need people. Heck, you have a desk at home. Or a kitchen table. Or the local coffee shop. 

Coworking is a movement.

Coworking is the kryptonite of isolation. 

Coworking fosters collaboration.

Coworking accelerates serendipity. (Thanks to Ashley Proctor for that gem!)

Coworking builds community.

Coworking grows businesses.

Coworking creates jobs.

Coworking is changing the world.


My mandate after this conference is continuing to move the coworking movement forward. The Mountain Hub is the first of its kind in the Columbia Valley and I am excited to continue to introduce the concept of coworking to the Valley. We are ready!


Anchor Tenant Wanted!

The Mountain Hub is looking to share its space with another incredible business, startup, non-profit, entrepreneur or freelancer. Become a part of the growing Mountain Hub and reach new heights in your business!

We are renting out the back large office which is ~ 220 square feet and could fit up to four people comfortably. The furniture we have in it can stay or go and we can work with you to create the perfect office space for your business.

$900/month which includes all utilities, high-speed WIFI, coffee, professional cleaner, all Mountain Hub amenities, and more! The cost could also be shared by three or four people, so that would be $300 shared by three people or $225 shared by four people.

As our anchor tenant you get all the perks and amenities of working out of the Mountain Hub:

The Space:

  • A creative and flexible office space 

  • High visibility location right in downtown Invermere

  • One reserved parking spot in the back

  • 24/7 keyed access to the Mountain Hub

  • 24/7 keyed access to your private office

Business Amenities:

  • Business mailing address

  • Receive packages (no signature)

  • Access to state of the art Xerox printer/copier

  • Access to the kitchenette

  • A beautiful and convenient space to meet with clients

  • $150 credit per month for meeting rooms

Marketing:

  • Signage on the outside and inside of the Mountain Hub

  • Your logo on the website

  • Regular shout-outs in our email newsletter

  • Leverage the visibility of the Mountain Hub from foot traffic and events


The private office is perfect for non-profits, professional service providers, creative consultants, business support services, graphic designers, marketers, and on! It is also possible to share the office with other people if you are a solopreneur and want to share the cost. This will be the best investment in your business you will ever make (and hey, it's a write-off!)

Succulents Head South

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Well my friends, it's that time of year again. We are off on our yearly trip to Arizona in order to escape the cold Canadian winters. We are in for sunnier skies, warmer temperatures and a reunion with the rest of our succulent brood.

We have enjoyed lighting up so many people's lives with our presence out front of the Mountain Hub.

When Megan first invited us to live in the front planters of the Mountain Hub we were a tad nervous. What would people think? Us, the rare succulent that yearns for the sun and dry climate, residing in a northern Canadian Mountain town? Would people accept us?

It's safe to say that it was the perfect home. And most of us made it through the summer. 

It's true, we are a man down. Frank, we will miss your dry and prickly sense of humour. RIP.

But all in all, one casualty is a small price to pay for all the lives we touched. And all the lives that touched us. Literally. 

We hope that during our time in Invermere we lit up your life a little bit. And hope to bring awareness that yes, we are real plants. 

Yours truly,

~ Mountain Hub Succulent Gang

 

Dedicated Desks Now Available!

We are excited to announce the launch of our four dedicated desks in a private office which will be rented out on a monthly basis with a 3-month commitment.

There are four dedicated desks available starting September 1st, 2018

  • $400/month for individuals

  • Team rates - please contact

These desks can be rented out by individuals, or by a team. If rented by a team, we can arrange the office and desks in a manner that works best for you and your team members. Simply let us know when getting in touch.

Also, with these dedicated desks also come some new perks that you have been asking for! The $400/mth includes:

  • NEW! 24/7 access to the Mountain Hub.

You are not limited to the 9AM - 5PM coworking hours. Please be aware that we do host a number of events that happen after 5PM and on the weekend. We will add them to a shared calendar so you can schedule your time accordingly.

 

  • NEW! Unlimited access to the two meeting rooms.

Because the dedicated desks are in a shared office, meeting clients and taking calls may be disruptive to your fellow coworkers if they are in at the same time. This is why with your dedicated desk rental comes with unlimited access to the two meeting rooms. We do ask that you utilize them in 2-hour blocks to allow others to utilize them as well.

 

  • NEW! 100 pages of black and white printing per month.

Our standard memberships receive 25 pages of black and white printing per month. Our state of the art Xerox copier is at your disposal!

 

  • NEW! Business mailing address.

You will be able to use the main mailing address to the Mountain Hub to share as your business address, or at least to receive packages!

 

  • NEW! Receive packages (no signature).

Stop worrying about being home for a delivery, or tracking down the local courier to find your package!

 

  • NEW! Signage in the Mountain Hub (outside and on office door).

Promote your business by advertising it on the outside of the Mountain Hub as our "in-house" business member.

 

Also Included:

  • Self serve kitchenette

  • High speed WIFI

  • An amazing community of coworkers.

With these dedicated desks, you are able to utilize the Mountain Hub as your main office (or secondary one). We will be placing your business name and logo on the outside door to let people know you’re “in-house” as well as on your individual door within the Mountain Hub. Also, you will be able to use our mailing address as your primary location of the business and receive unsigned packages at our location.

 

What is a dedicated desk?

Simply put, this desk is yours and yours alone! No one else can use it when it’s not in use and you can leave your belongings behind at the end of the day.

Each desk will have an assigned filing cabinet you can use to lock up your belongings, valuables, and paperwork. With a dedicated desk, you can also bring and leave behind a monitor and other equipment you need for your work.

The dedicated desks are in the private office, so you will be working alongside others with dedicated desks in true coworking style, or if you are a team looking for space, we are able to accommodate your team as well.

The dedicated desks are rented out monthly with a 3-month commitment. After that, you can renew, or move on if you wish.

 

Interested? Get in touch!

If you are interested or want more details, please get in touch so I can give you a tour of the space by sending an email to Megan at megan@mountainhub.ca. The desks are available to rent starting September 1st, 2018.

 

New Membership Perk: Free Hours Included to Use Private Offices

Members now get free hours included in their membership for booking private offices!

Included in each membership level is a certain amount of hours per month you can use to book and work out of one of our four private offices.

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Members can choose from all four rooms; from the practitioner room to the boardroom, the semi-private office or the private office.

And don't forget, your membership also guarantees you 20% off the office rentals. 


Community Membership

  • Now includes 1-hour of private office rental per month
  • $30/month for 1 day of coworking per month

Flex Membership

  • Now includes 2-hours of private office rental per month
  • $100/month for 6 days of coworking per month

Part-time Membership

  • Now includes 4-hours of private office rental per month
  • $150/month for 12 days of coworking per month

Full-time Membership

  • Now includes 6-hours of private office rental per month
  • $220/month for unlimited days of coworking per month 


When using a private office, please be sure to check its availability first using the online booking calendar.

If it's available, book it using the online calendar. 

For members, the system will track how many hours you have used a private office and not charge you for the hours included in your membership.

When you have exceeded your monthly hours you will then be able to rent the office at your member discounted rate. Unused monthly hours do not roll over to the next month.

I made up a quick 2-minute video walking you through how to book your time in one of the offices. This will also be helpful for non-members who wish to use our private offices as well. The only difference is you will be charged the amount due upon booking.

You can view the video here.

Meet Heather Fischbuch: Massage, Aromatherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

We are super excited to announce that Heather Fischbuch from Flourishing Health Services will be offering massage, aromatherapy, traditional Chinese medicine therapies, and reflexology at the Mountain Hub!

With over 32 years of experience in the complementary health field, Heather will be bringing her expertise in advanced massage techniques, and medical aromatherapy to her clients at the Mountain Hub in one-on-one sessions, as well as future workshops and classes.

You can reach Heather at 250-688-0033 for appointments. Also, stay tuned for the launch of Heather's brand new website (created by fellow Mountain Hub members, Samantha Gernhart from Clarity Design & Marketing)!

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The mission of the Mountain Hub is to provide space, ideas, and build community to help support local entrepreneurs and businesses.

In the Mountain Hub, one of our private offices is a dedicated practitioner room with an attached washroom. I am excited to have an in-house health practitioner to bring their expertise and energy to the Mountain Hub. Curious about the practitioner room for your own business? It's available to rent on an hourly or daily bases. Email me to schedule a time to take a tour and learn more about the Mountain Hub.

Friday, August 3rd is Free Coworking Day + Happy Hour!

This Friday, August 3rd is our second Free Coworking Day! Free Coworking Fridays occur the first Friday of every month and our goal is to introduce coworking to the Valley while providing space for people to grow their businesses, networks and client lists.

Come on down this Friday anytime between 9am - 5pm to check out the Mountain Hub, meet your fellow coworkers and even get some work done! This event is open to all, both members and “not yet” members ;)

Then stay for our Happy Hour around 4pm as we celebrate our one month milestone of the Mountain Hub opening its doors. We’ll have beer and pizza for everyone to enjoy as well as a giveaway for a free 3-month Full Time Membership (valued at $660)!

Come on down and show your support for the Mountain Hub while getting to know your coworking community and kick off the long weekend right!

Please note that we will have vegan and gluten-free options available; if you do have any food allergies/preferences please let me know ahead of time at megan@mountainhub.ca.

See you on Friday! 

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Speed Friending Event RECAP

Last night we had our highly anticipated Speed Friending event hosted at the Mountain Hub. Initially conceptualized by Dauna Ditson, this event (a twist on Speed Dating) had people paired up with one another in order to strike that initial friendly connection.

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With a fear that it might be awkward at first, we made sure to have little trinkets and toys at various stations to help ease anxiousness.

When participants first showed up and registered, we had an “Ice Breaker” bingo game in order to help people mingle while waiting for the event to start.

Plus, to provide a little more “liquid” encouragement, if required, our awesome friends over at Taynton Bay Spirits provided delicious samples of their spirits (you have to try the Ginger Matcha tea infused spirit...ooh and the pickled vodka!)

We wish to thank them again for their generous contribution and to encourage everyone to check out their Distillery conveniently located right next to Kinsmen Beach, below the Station Pub in Invermere.

Taynton Bay Spirits

When Dauna and I were initially planning the Speed Friending event we wondered how awkward it would really be. We thought we would have to be pretty heavy-handed in facilitating the event in order to make people feel comfortable.

In order to combat our perceived awkwardness, we concocted little games, chotskies to tinker with, and had pre-written questions for people to ask one another if the conversation ran dry.

But this simply wasn’t the case.

The brave Speed Friending participants showed up open, excited and willing to put themselves out there to meet new people. And meet new people they did!

From the get-go there was no din in conversation. People excitedly greeted one another, enjoyed the drinks from Taynton Bay Spirits and shared authentic connections.

In fact, we even had a difficult time getting the pairs to move onto the next person after three minutes! This was the “Speed Friending” portion. We paired everyone up and timed their conversations for three minutes, at which time they would move on to the next person ensuring everyone had at least three minutes with everyone else at the event.

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We may have been a bit discombobulated in our logistics around this (oh math). But we can successfully say that everyone did, in fact, meet everyone - whether in the timed format, or up at the snack table.

This group of people that came together were incredible and genuine connections were fostered.

We also decided early on to donate any proceeds we made to the Invermere Companion Animal Network. This amazing organization of volunteers has been rescuing, sheltering and rehoming companion animals in the Columbia Valley since 2007. You can find more details at their website: http://www.icanbc.com/.

The reception for this event has been wild. See, even in a small town, it’s easy to stick to our circle of friends. We have our daily lives, work, and routines that keep us in a tight track of continuity with the same people.

As a relative newbie to Invermere, and as a person who has moved around a lot, integrating into a new community takes conscious effort. When you don’t have a built-in circle of friends from grade school, or neighbors you grew up you have to seek out new circles of people and often that can be difficult.

Events like Speed Friending encourage people to step out of their normal circles and meet new people they might not have met anywhere else - whether they are new to town, or not. And I find that exciting! And so did our Speed Friending participants.

Connections were sparked! Friendships were made!

If you are interested in attending a future Speed Friending event, reach out and I’ll add you to our list. 

Below are some additional pictures from the Speed Friending Event.

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How the Mountain Hub Works!

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Thanks for your interest in the Mountain Hub. We have been over the moon seeing everyone’s excitement for our new space!

I created the Mountain Hub to solve my own problem. I moved to Invermere from California just this past January to be closer to family. Thing is, I also work from home. So I was feeling pretty isolated (and cold, very, very cold).

I have worked out of coworking spaces in the past and loved the atmosphere, plus I had a network of friends I could call up and work at their office when I was feeling it was time to get out of the old PJs. I may or may not have worn out my welcome at the Facebook campus. I’m sorry, but ALL THEIR FOOD IS FREE THERE. And they have an ice cream buffet. Okay, I digress.

So, in the spirit of transparency, the idea of opening a coworking space was to solve my own problem.

I wanted a place outside the house to work. And I wanted to connect with other like-minded people.

Now the thing is, you don’t have to be a consultant, digital nomad or “location independent”, sometimes you just want a change of scenery or a place to go where you know you’ll run into someone you can bounce ideas off of.

Maybe you run a small business.

Or are looking to grow your side hustle.

Perhaps you need a place to meet clients and grow your career.

Or (like me) you need an excuse to get out of the house this week.

At the Mountain Hub you can bring your laptop, grab a desk and get to work (if you want ;)

It’s also a place to connect with a community a people that you are likely familiar with (see: small town) BUT haven’t had a chance to brainstorm or catch up with in a long time. And, okay, okay, you can also work out of a private office where you can close the door and get some uninterrupted work done.

Another huge need we saw in the community was meeting space. And bonus, we’re downtown in a pretty convenient location. We have a bunch of options to host your next meeting with a dedicated boardroom with a smart TV, whiteboard, and anything else you’d need to impress.

Now for a little Q&A time....ready? :)

 

Why should I get a membership?

The majority of coworking spaces use the monthly membership structure, including us.

Our memberships are month-to-month and there is no sign-up fee (we hate those). Plus you can cancel anytime. It’s not our goal to lock people into year long commitments because we know, probably more than the average person, that life happens. Coworking is all about flexibility, and our memberships reflect that.

You get to choose a membership that works for your budget, schedule and business. They range from 1 day per month to unlimited days per month. With any level of membership, you receive all the perks our memberships offer. That includes 20% off our rental rates (this is for our private offices, meeting rooms and conference room), as well as access to a printer/copier, complimentary member events, and free coffee/tea (‘cause why not!?)

When you sign-up you become a valued member of the Mountain Hub and our members are everything to us! We want you to make the Hub home. Your participation will be key in shaping and growing the community as well as the facility.

 

What if I’m not ready to commit?

Oh, I get you! That is no problem. You can also pay as you go, with the option to work hourly or daily. Plus we have 5-day or 10-day punch passes that will save you some extra money by buying them in “bulk”. You don’t get access to the member perks but if you happen to drop-in on a day when we are having a complimentary event, you better believe you are invited!

 

Can I meet clients at the Mountain Hub?

Yes! As a member, this is YOUR space. That means business as usual. Meeting clients in a welcoming, accessible and comfortable space is so important to forging that relationship. Don’t forget to offer your client coffee, tea, water or snacks that come complimentary in your membership. We do ask that you are respectful to your neighbors and that might mean you wish to reserve our Paradise Ridge Meeting Room (it’s free to members to use during business hours), or finding a quiet spot.

 

I really prefer working in a quiet office and/or ALONE.

Totally. Some work requires super focus without interruptions. In that case, we have two fully private offices and one semi-private (there’s room for two people to work). Members get 20% the rental rates and they are available to non-members as well. Be sure to use our scheduling system to book them out and check availability.

But...don’t forget to try our hot desks. Hot desks are workspaces anyone can grab anytime and they are in our common area. There is a certain energy or buzz that comes with working alongside other people. I always get so inspired when I’m at a coffee shop or meeting a group of friends to go over work projects. These hot desks are free to members and are always available during our business hours.

 

I want to host a workshop at the Mountain Hub.

Yes! That’s music to my ears. This is your space to create - and workshops are an incredible way to share your wisdom, engage with clients and make some money doing what you love. We have a bunch of options when it comes to hosting your workshop.

Your first step is getting in touch with us. Drop by or send an email to megan@mountainhub.ca and we can start determining your needs. It’s our goal to make our space as accessible as possible to everyone. Our location is super central and our pricing is very reasonable.

Also, did you know that our members get 1 FREE hosted workshop per quarter? If you’ve been a member for a minimum of 3 months you are able to host up to 4 workshops per year at no cost to you. This is our way of supporting our members while providing amazing workshops and education to the community.

 

So, you in?

Here’s the thing. And I’ve been saying this over and over. I can plan and plan and plan until I am blue in the face. But ultimately it’s YOU that is going to help me shape the Mountain Hub. What do you need from the space? How can we help you grow your business? These are the questions we would love answered.

Now, our goal is to open JUNE 15, 2018. We will be posting our membership rates shortly and having an early bird special to sweeten the pot. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us or say, "Hi" if you see us in the space. Also, if you sign-up for our newsletter we will be sure to stay in touch.

Hope to see you soon!

~Megan