Our Interview With Stephanie Mills from Thrive!
In 2014, Stephanie Mills became community coordinator for Thrive in Denver, Colorado. Thrive is a coworking company with two eclectic spaces in the Denver area: one in Cherry Creek, and their brand new Ballpark location. Besides being a coworking space for individuals, the location offers a range of community activities that seek to bring workers together to escape the often isolating process of working alone.
A UNC Asheville grad with a psychology degree, Stephanie is a Buffalo, NY native.The networking, mixture of administration and customer service, as well as people aspect of the community coordinator position at Thrive convinced her to make the more than 1500 mile move to join her family in Denver, and create a new one at Thrive.
What’s the history of Thrive as a Coworking space?
Thrive was started in 2011 by two brothers, Chad and Charley Johnson, who are COO and CEO, respectively. They were in a situation where they worked from home and decided they were interested in Coworking. They started their first location in LoDO (Lower Downtown Denver).
That office grew and about 2 years later they opened the Cherry Creek office that they expanded. Roughly 6 weeks ago we opened Ballpark, the branch that I work at, and we absorbed the LoDo location. We currently have about 85 members and we’re hoping to at least double that, if not more,for the Ballpark location.Currently at Ballpark we represent about 25-30 different companies.
Your website mentions flexible design elements of the office. Can you expand on that?
We function on a bit of a modular system. Walls are to an extent very movable, it’s certainly not an easy process but it’s something we’ve done. We have 2 current tenants who started with 2 or more offices. We were able to take that wall down so they have one continuous office that really fosters their sense of community just within their own space.
It’s nice because for businesses that do grow, they like the community at Thrive and they really want to stay here so we’re able to expand as they expand.
What do you believe makes Thrive different?
It’s a really popular thing [Coworking] especially because we’re such a tech startup center in the U.S. right now. We actually belong to a Denver Coworking alliance and we just finished a Coworking week in June where everybody had a little special event at each location. It’s a great community we support one another, it’s not just about competition, it’s about support because it’s such a big community. I think one thing that sets us apart is the type of event that we’re willing to plan.
We don’t just do happy hours and cook outs, we do educational pieces and workshops as well that are really geared towards the startup business. We also have a lot of fun things and aesthetic elements in the office. We have great things like Kombucha on tap – we like the little touches that make people connected to one another.
How do you personally think about Coworking in general?
I think that there are just so many people who have decided to take business into their own hands, and it’s a really daunting prospect and Coworking is something that can help alleviate your stress and fears. As somebody who did previously work from home, I know how isolating that can be. It’s just really nice to have that sense of community with you and to feel like there’s other people going through what you’re going through.
Any big plans for the future?
We’re always looking to the future and we’re always looking for expansion possibilities, I think that demand has definitely been there and that’s something we want to accommodate. There’s been a number of properties that we’ve been interested in, but we want to launch Ballpark to be the best it can be before we focus on those.
With the Ballpark location just a few months old, Thrive is taking coworking in Denver by storm. For more information about becoming part of Thrive’s coworking community, or simply to see their beautiful aesthetic, visit their website here.