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.
This weeks interview is with Zoe Ellis Moore, CEO and Founder of Spaces to Places. Zoe has built an 20-year career out of being passionate about commercial spaces and how people engage with them. In her role at Spaces to Places, she works with investors, landlords and operators in the flexible office space. Her approach is built on the concept of marketing intelligence – driving value through research-led market insights that make a difference.
She has taken on diverse projects with Spaces to Places so far, from advising investors on the administration of The Clubhouse London to managing all of the marketing for The Boutique Workplace Company; to rebranding Devon Work Hubs for Devon County Council.
I feel the greatest sense of community in the local pubs of Ilminster, United Kingdom. It’s a lovely town in sleepy South Somerset, with a population of just over 5,000 people, and is where I grew up. I moved away after college, but I regularly return to see my family and friends who are still local. And, every time I visit, I make sure to go to a pub. They’re such welcoming places, with a down-to- earth atmosphere, a roaring fire, and people who are completely without pretense. And, because Ilminster is one of those towns that people born in don’t tend to move away from, I always see someone I know. My pub visit is always one of the highlights of my trips back home, and I really enjoy the easy conversation about trivial things with genuine people.
I’ve been listening to The Diary Of A CEO for some time, and would recommend it without question to anyone – entrepreneur or not! It’s hosted by Steven Bartlett, the founder of Social Chain and one of the BBC One Dragons, and features a different guest each week. He records it at his home and doesn’t use a script or come with pre-prepared questions, so the conversation flows very naturally and it has a very authentic feel. Some of my personal favourite episodes include ‘How To Become The Best You Can Be’ with Sir David Brailsford, ‘The Easiest Way To Live A Happier Life’ with Jimmy Carr, and ‘Addiction, Childhood Trauma, and Depression’ with Joe Wicks. It all sounds very intense from the titles, but is a really addictive podcast that offers loads of value.
I’m going to bend the question a bit here and tell you about two mistakes I’ve made, both expensive in terms of money and time. Before starting my current business, Spaces to Places, I had set up two previous ventures. First, there was Social Cinema in The Boileroom, Guildford, which I set up with my husband before quickly realising that we’re both far too passionate to work successfully together while also being married. After that, I tried my luck in fashion by creating a shoe brand (which I’m still very proud of), but this taught me just how competitive the fashion sector is, and how it’s better to stick with what you know best and love, which in my case is people and places. When those businesses failed, it hurt. But, looking back it’s hard not to be grateful for it because it’s what got me to where I am. That doesn’t stop them from being expensive mistakes though.
I’m a big fan of the saying, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”. It has applications in both personal and professional life, and I consider it a really important perspective in both. Especially when working in a consultancy or agency business like Spaces to Places where there are alot of client demands coming at you all at once, it’s important to remember that quality matters and you can’t sprint around trying to do everything at once. This is particularly true in the marketing side of client work, where results take time and trying to rush things only leads to client dissatisfaction and useless spend. On a personal level, remembering to approach things as marathons instead of sprints helps me to avoid burning out. Building a business or a career is a long process, and it’s important to conserve energy where you can to make an impact when you have a chance.