StonesThrow: Our Journey So Far
As we continue to move forward at pace, a time where so much has changed so quickly and without the luxury of planning or much forward-thinking, we have decided to pause and reflect on our own journey so far as a business.
This blog reflects on the StonesThrow experience so far, as individual business owners and as an organisation as a whole. We explain how Jon and I have overcome challenges that we have all faced during the current coronavirus pandemic and we look ahead at what the future holds for StonesThrow.
Where it all began
It all started after we had our son. It gave our life new meaning and a longer-term perspective where we started to think 10 or 20 years into the future - rather than a couple of years ahead. We wanted to offer something meaningful to the community and be positive role models to our children. We have both always worked for large organisations so the thought of creating something new was both exciting and challenging.
We have a balanced approached to our business, each bringing varying skills from past roles to our positions at StonesThrow.
I have always worked with children and their families. I love meeting new people and learning about what interests them. Organisation is also a must for me, as well as juggling several balls in the air at once!
Jon's roles have always been varied but always operationally focused which has come in very handy when setting up the business. He's also great at planning and breaking down the steps needed to reach a larger goal which has helped keep focus on our vision. Jon is a natural 'people person' – that’s one of the reasons we work so well together!
Mission and vision
When we originally began to talk about setting up the business, we spoke about bringing workspace within reach of all, both financially and with the flexibility we offer. It was important that it worked for those who may not need a full-time desk and not just for those who were solely computer based.
The 'customer' has always been at the heart of StonesThrow; we spent a lot of time ahead of setting up the space, networking and speaking with people who could use the space.
There has always been a desire for the space to bring people together and encourage small businesses to support one another. This sets coworking apart from any other workspace. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We have always wanted it to be a workspace where people got the job done. Not a silent library or a social club but somewhere you could have a chat but also leave at the end of the day feeling like you had got things done.
Setting the foundations
Over the last year and a half, we have come a long way on our journey towards reaching our ambitions as a business. We have managed to set the foundations for the space and have begun to grow the offering for members and the wider community.
After finding the perfect premises, located just a short distance from Crowborough train station, we set to work on making the space our own.
Using the brand colours to feed into the design of the space, we put our own stamp on things and brought a breath of fresh air to the building.
We wanted to divide the space in a way that would ensure there were areas that are suitable for everyone, no matter the requirements. We are now proud to offer four additional rooms including a studio space alongside our coworking desks. These rooms can be used as meetings spaces or could be used as private offices. You can view all these rooms in more detail here.
Welcoming the first member to StonesThrow
It was a very special day when we opened the doors to StonesThrow and were able to welcome our first member to our space.
We held a welcome party to open the space and invited friends, family, local businesses and new members to celebrate the occasion!
Adapting to a time of change
As has been the case for everyone, we have had to adapt the business quickly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
When things first locked down, we took a sensible and cautious approach and closed the business for members. It was a difficult decision but the health and safety of our members must always come first. Since then, we have been working to continue to support our members. We have been able to spend some time making improvements to both the physical and virtual offerings for members as well as the wider community.
We have also recently launched the Productivity Hub – designed to give website visitors guidance through lockdown and remain as productive as possible. We have since opened the page to guest posts, publishing articles from other local businesses and organisations within the community to help them amplify their voices.
If you are interested in posting a guest blog to the productivity hub then please do get in touch.
We have also been adapting and preparing for the ‘new normal’ as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the country. We have spent time making adaptations to the space so that our members can work safely within the social distancing guidelines. Our large desks helped make this possible!
As we look forward, post-lockdown and beyond, we are very excited for the future.
It’s going to be a challenge that everyone will have to overcome, but we feel strongly that by sticking to our original mission and vision which set us out on our journey, we will come together with StonesThow members and the local community to pull through these difficult times.
We are always looking to improve our space and make it something that everyone can benefit from, as well as looking at new and innovative ways to enhance our business for the benefit of the wider community.
Community Hub Feature
StonesThrow are now very happy to announce the launch of our new Community Hub page. The page has been designed to bring together our own resources, as well as those of our members and the wider community.