Here at GCUC we are immensely fortunate to cross paths and work with so many amazing people. Through our work, we’ve cultivated a global community of people we think you should know about.
Community of Cultivators is a blog series we created to introduce you to coworking game changers and connectors. Each month, we’ll release new interviews that we hope inform and inspire you.
Back with another interview! This week we are hearing from Charlotte Kirby, Owner of The Village Hive Markham. Inspired by a beautiful heritage building in Markham Village, the desire to own her own business and a visit to a coworking space in Toronto, Charlotte opened the first coworking space in Markham, Ontario in 2016. She had spent some time working from home in past job positions and as a consultant and found it very hard to focus, was lonely, had too many distractions, and not to mention, no one to laugh at her jokes. So The Village Hive was born – a place for entrepreneurs and remote workers to come together and make genuine connections both personally and in business in this tech lonely world. Like bees need a hive, people need a tribe. In 2020, she partnered with a property manager who owns commercial space in the GTA, and our second location, Duncan Mill Hive, was created. In January 2021, their third location, Eglinton Hive at Yonge + Eglinton opened. Keep reading to see her answers.
I am very proud of creating and cultivating a wonderful community of entrepreneurs at my coworking space in the city I live in, but even better in the community where I live. Many of these people who I met through The Village Hive have become great friends and I feel so much more connected to my community (I didn’t grow up in Markham). I love seeing the amazing collaborations that have occurred through introductions at the Hive.We have this special group of people that can call upon each other when needed, who check in with each other, celebrate wins and best of all share laughter. This is so important these days. It takes a village!
I have always (like many others) found it hard to stick to new habits but I am currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and it, so far, has been a game changer. The most recent habit that I’ve started is getting up earlier. 2 weeks in and I actually look forward to getting up. I start my morning with a glass of water and either read or paint (a new hobby – paint by number:) before my family gets up. It’s nice to have some relaxing time before the busy day starts. Now that I’ve mastered, or almost mastered my morning routine, I will make exercise part of my daily routine.
More books! Some people like to buy shoes, I like to buy books. I enjoy reading real paper books, not digital. I have a library of business and health & wellness books at The Village Hive and often refer to them and encourage others to borrow. And I usually have a stack of 5 or more books by my bedside. There is so much to learn and I’m a very curious person. We had an active book club back in 2019 and I hope to resurrect it again this year.
My best advice to someone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur would be to GO FOR IT and join a coworking space and find your support group. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my community. We support one another when things get tough and we run ideas by each other when we need a second opinion or when we are doubting ourselves. Doing it alone, just doesn’t work and it’s just not as fun.