On February 21st, we celebrated the grand opening of MakeOffices at the Wharf. In partnership with 202 Creates and the Washington DC Economic Partnership, we had over 600 people attend our informative panel discussions, experience local activations from leading retailers and DC entrepreneurs, and work out of the space for the day. The day brought together leading creatives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the vibrant DC area community.
We started the day with juices from JRINK, baked goods from the SEYLOU Bakery & Mill, and coffee from the Coffee Bar.
At 9:30, the Journey to Brick and Mortar panel kicked off featuring a powerful lineup of DC entrepreneurs who’ve built successful businesses in our backyard, including Becky Waddell from the Take Care Shop, Mallory Shelter from Brief Assembly, Kate Murphy from Jrink Juicery, Sunyatta Amen from Calabash Teahouse and Café, and Cait Lowry from the Coffee Bar. Maryann Lombardi from the DC government’s Office of Cable TV, Film, Music, and Entertainment moderated the panel.
It was an impactful discussion centered around the experiences of these entrepreneurs and the struggles and challenges they faced while building their business, how they overcame the haters and naysayers who inevitably tried to bring them down, and how they continue to leverage both online, in-person, and in-store interactions to learn more about their customers and build their brands.
“Never allow yourself to be talked down from the ledge if you’ve done your due diligence,” was a powerful quote from Sunyatta that resonated with the audience. A full replay can be found here.
Next, our partners at Brightest Young Things facilitated informative, tactically-oriented discussions on Social Media Engagement and How to Effectively and Non-Annoyingly Pitch Press. Both panels filled our largest conference rooms and attendees came away with actionable ideas to expand their digital footprint through social media and public relations.
Next up, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser honored us with her presence. She made a few remarks about how it’s a great time to open a business in DC and joined us with a ribbon cutting ceremony. We were honored Mayor Bowser joined us to help officially launch our 8th coworking and shared office space in Washington, DC.
Our 2nd panel was “Creating and Sustaining a Creative Life”, and featured an eclectic group of creative thought-leaders and entrepreneurs in DC. The panelist were Peter Chang, Founder of No Kings Collective, Tamon George, Creative Theory co-founder and GQ Insider, Farrah Skeily of Dim Sum Media, and Yasmin Rabod of Femme Fatale. Victor Nguyen Long was the moderator.
The panelists discussed the emerging creative scene in DC and the infrastructure that supports it through coworking spaces, coffee shops, other gathering spaces. They also focused on the intersection of digital and physical communities to be able to interact with one another in real life and not just the interwebs. They also shared their experiences and what to do to and finding ways to overcome creative block and find new ways to stimulate creativity. If you couldn’t make the panel, no worries. A full replay of it can be found here.
Our final action-packed, informative panel was Social Media Marketing and Innovation. The panelists included CAVA’s Meg Schiffman, social media influencer Michell Clark, creative strategist Victor Ngyuen Long, senior account executive at REQ Christina Brathune. Blogger, artist, and consultant Meg Biram moderated the discussion.
The panelists offered their unique insights on to which platforms they use to drive audience development, which ones are emerging, and ways to break through the content noise in social media. Click here to review the panel discussion.
Throughout the day, there were local pop-up markets featuring Shake Shack, lululemon, Take Care Shop, Galley, Territory Foods, and Rich Bars.
Given we worked hard throughout the day, we treated ourselves to happy hour with bites from CAVA, sweetgreen, and Laoban Dumplings. We also indulged in tastings from Sip City and Bring Your Own Cocktail.
Thank you to all those who attended our grand opening. Also, a big shoutout to our partners and sponsors. A special mention goes to Brighest Young Things, who helped us organize the event and ensured everything ran smoothly.
Stop by for a tour today of our new Wharf location to experience the benefits of coworking and the impact it can have on your business.
We look forward to seeing you soon.