All Episodes

September 19, 2016

Jessi Arrington (@JessiArrington) and Creighton Mershon (@Cr8tonMershon) are the founders of Workshop, a Brooklyn-based creative agency, as well as the proprietors of Small City, a new co-working space and home to dozens of independent creative pros.

Alongside their design practice, Jessi & Creighton have grown their co-working experience by taking on more responsibility across three different spaces in Brooklyn. In this conversation, we discuss the oddities and challenges of New York real estate, the financial and logistical efforts needed to run a co-working space anywhere, and a bit about balancing family life with all manner of creative and business tasks.

Catch up with Jessi & Creighton on their websites for Workshop and Small City.

Cover photo by Bekka Palmer

Get The Episode
  • Download The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 92 (MP3, 59:17, 21.5 MB)
  • Download The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 92 (OGG, 59:17, 26.1 MB)
  • Subscribe to Get New Episodes

       

    Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Androidon iHeart

    Sponsor

    Freedcamp, the best free online project management software

    Bandwidth for The Busy Creator Podcast is provided by Freedcamp, Group Efforts Made Effortless.

    Freedcamp is best free online project management software available. By using the built-in functions and additional tools like time tracking, invoices, milestones, file storage, and more, teams can customise the software for the task at hand! The Busy Creator Podcast itself is managed and operated on Freedcamp. Get started for free on Freedcamp.com

    Show Notes & Links
  • In Fall 2007, Prescott ran the Philadelphia Marathon but also discovered that he didn’t know any peers in the design biz
  • Jessi and Prescott in Debbie Millman‘s class at SVA in Fall 2007
  • Jessi & Creighton met in the “New York Design Scene”

    Jessi & Prescott, being young and wild

  • J&C have broadened the definitions of “Design”
  • "A shared word does not mean a shared definiton."

    —Debbie Millman

    Tweet This

    "Design is about intention. We're trying to live a designed life."

    —Jessi Arrington

    Tweet This

  • Parsons, The New School for Design
  • Jessi & Creighton founded Workshop in 2005 (and married in 2006)

    Jessi & Creighton recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary

  • Workshop now practices “in-person experience design”, which encompasses physical spaces, graphics, and time (how a person moves through a place)
  • "I like to think about our projects and ask 'What happens when we press play?'"

    —Creighton Mershon

    Tweet This

  • Rainbow Parade
  • "Nothing like your job to get in the way of your work."

    —business adage

    Tweet This

  • Workshop is currently three partners: Jessi, Creighton, and Casson Rosenblatt
  • TED
  • "Keeping it small has been good for our business but bad for our personal lives."

    —Jessi Arrington

    Tweet This

  • The Hollywood Model, a definition
  • Co-Working, a definition
  • Small City is a converted industrial space in Gowanus, Brooklyn
  • The decor is very un-office-like
  • Big Reuse
  • Brooklyn Beta
  • Comedy Hack Day
  • Before opening Small City, J&C ran two prior co-working spaces, allowing them to become familiar with security deposits, etc.
  • Desks at Small City cost $550/mo. (get yours)
  • "Airbnb is a real estate play."

    —Prescott Perez-Fox

    Tweet This

  • DUMBO, Brooklyn (which used to be a very scrappy, creative ‘hood is now too expensive for upstarts like Workshop)
  • HOW Magazine
  • Different professions need different square feet per employee (call centers need 90; architects need 600)
  • Airbnb
  • One aspect of gentrification is desk workers replacing industrial workers
  • Coney Island, as far as you can go in Brooklyn
  • Popular Science magazine (and its predictions of the future)
  • Will self-driving cars transform commuting, and thereby the suburbs?
  • Sheepshead Bay, Ridgewood, Castle Hill — New York City neighbourhoods outside of Manhattan
  • Jessi & Creighton sold their Brooklyn condo and bought a building in Louisville, KY as part of a future project and for the ability to live in multiple cities
  • Some folks are commuting to Small City from Manhattan and other parts of Brooklyn
  • Commuting is tolerable if you have a nice “work neighbourhood”
  • The Internet of Things
  • ACH
  • Carting Companies, independant, for-profit companies a commercial space must use to collect garbage
  • “Who’s dealing with the trash!”
  • Adobe MAX
  • Prescott’s family comes from the Recycling industry
  • P&L = Profit & Loss
  • WeWork
  • Will co-working spaces offer childcare and other services?
  • "Us being happy parents involves a certain amount of chaos."

    —Jessi Arrington

    Tweet This

  • The Gowanus Canal (not for swimming)
  • Jessi gave a TED talk
  • AIGA & AIGA/NY
  •  Workshop
  •  Small City
  •  Jessi Arrington on Twitter
  •  Jessi Arrington on Facebook
  •  Jessi Arrington on Instagram
  •  Jessi Arrington on LinkedIn
  •  Creighton Mershon on Twitter
  •  Creighton Mershon on Instagram
  •  Creighton Mershon on LinkedIn
  • Tools
  • Quickbooks
  • Google Sheets
  • Station Wagon
  • Found objects
  • Reused furniture
  • Techniques
  • Keep your company small enough so you don’t have huge overhead
  • Look for other ways to keep a network alive aside from conventional employees
  • Use co-working studiomates for accountability and courage
  • Find and reuse furniture or items, especially when found on the street or at flea market
  • Use your existing resources for client events and experiences (no rules against that)
  • Build a culture where people “take out their own recycling”
  • Work up little by little into bigger spaces, which in turn allow you to save more and more money for future use
  • Schedule a day each month to create the necessary invoices
  • Keep separate bank accounts for different areas of operation (client services vs. renting desks)
  • Habits
  • Work to improve stopping and documenting projects and process
  • Keep your company small if you’re not an effective or natural manager
  • Always consider the trash situation following an event!
  • Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

    Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

    Get The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto as a free audiobook 

    Join the Discussion

    Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Chat About The Busy Creator Podcast with Prescott Perez-Fox

    Advertise With Us

    Popular Podcasts

    Crime Junkie
    The Ron Burgundy Podcast

    The Ron Burgundy Podcast

    Will Ferrell reprises his role as Ron Burgundy in his brand new Ron Burgundy Podcast! Each episode has a different theme in which Ron engages in conversation with another notable person on the topic at hand. In true Ron Burgundy fashion, these conversations have a tendency to go off the rails, and we find out things about people we never knew we wanted to know. In season 2, Ron considers a run for President, continues to perform music, and blacks out at work. In Season 1, Ron addressed important issues like bullying and the mind-expanding nature of meditation, and attempted to ultimately answer the question “seriously, what is a podcast?”

    The Daily

    The Daily

    This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

    For You

      Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

      Connect

      © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.