Stop by Catalyst Co-Working on Friday August 3rd and Friday September 7th from 5pm-7pm during Ellensburg's First Friday Art Walk to see work done by local artist Kenneth Johnson. Can't make it? No problem! Come by during office hours from 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday during the months of August and September.
About the artist:
Kenneth has lived and worked in Ellensburg since moving here fourteen years ago. He is self taught and has worked in various media throughout the years currently focusing on photography. Eschewing digital, Kenneth works exclusively with analog photography methods. The group of images represented in this exhibition focus on alternative processes, polaroids, film and gelatin silver printing.
Hooray for Entrepreneurs!
34 contestants registered for the 2018 Enterprise Challenge, several from our very own Kittitas County.
We can't wait to hear all about their exciting businesses. Business pitches are due Friday 2/1 and we will announce the TOP 16 on February 9th!
The Entrepreneurial Spirit is a series of interviews conducted by Catalyst
Co-Working with local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our goal is to give local entrepreneurs some insight and advice into starting your own small business.
Interview with Greg Harvill of Jolt Java
Q: What were the biggest initial hurdles to starting your business and how did you overcome them?
A: My biggest hurdle was skill development. I had never been a barista. So I had to learn the coffee trade, the equipment, and the tools. My second hurdle was inventory control, or as I call it “chasing the inventory”… as you grow you don’t have a predictable consumption and use pattern, my supplier and roaster are in Yakima and I didn't want to compromise my product…there were a lot of frantic late night calls to my roaster.
Q: Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
A: The previous owner gave me a lot of training, and my roaster worked with me a lot. For the first month of business I worked along side a friend of the family who worked as a barista in town for a long time. She was invaluable.
Q: How do you approach marketing your business?
A: It sounds cliché but my favorite way of marketing is word of mouth...when you make great products, people talk about them, so making a great product in a timely and consistent fashion, will get you consistent customers. Secondly we use a lot of Facebook. Luckily my wife has 1000 friends so through parents and kids and coworkers we’re able to reach a broad demographic of people. I have an 8 year old friend of the family that insists on going to jolt because it is the best Italian soda he’s ever had. And we recently went viral on Snapchat with our “Ellensburg Sunrise”!
Q: How do you come up with your signature drinks?
A: A lot of it is happenstance. A customer came and I made her a drink, and then she came back and worked on the flavors with our barista and together they came up with the sunrise. She was actually the first to post it to Snapchat. We named it the “Ellensburg Sunrise” to connect it locally, and thought it would be a fad... its become one of our most popular drinks!
Q: What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?
A: Nothing is guaranteed...but on a more positive note customer service. Again it sounds cliché, but focus on the customer and customer demands...people aren't just coming to you for the product. They come for friendliness, service, and consistency from 5:30AM-5:00PM Monday through Friday.
Q: What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained?
A: As a business owner, recharging comes pretty naturally. If you don’t recharge, your business will suffer, when you are owner/operator you have to recharge at the end of the day. Recharging is organic, its do or die. I also recharge just through the pride of ownership, watching the business grow, and watching the customers who come back everyday to support us.
Q: So you’ve been open for 6 months now. Is there anything you would have done differently now that you know a little more?
A: There isn’t a whole lot. You know, I had done my homework on the property, spoken to the previous business owner. The only thing I wish I had done is researched the age of the assets. I had been going there every day so I knew everything worked...some of the equipment will have to be replaced in a few years.
Q: Is there any advice you could give to someone hoping to start their own small business?
A: Find the passion in the work. I love coffee and am a nerd at heart, you know there are over 1400 chemical reactions that go into the making of coffee...so it was easy for me to find the passion. If you find the passion in the work it will sustain you. Also make sure you have a market. I have friends that have the passion, great ideas and creativity but fail because there is no market. Be patient, work hard, don’t compromise on your standards, and hunker down and don’t expect to get paid for awhile.
Have you been thinking about making the move to eastern Washington? Maybe you vacation in Ellensburg in the summer but you worry it lacks the resources you need to live here full time? Maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of leaving the city, but you’re just not sure where to look to find out how a move like this could benefit you?
Well don’t worry; we’ve done the research for you!
Here are a few of the many reasons a move to Ellensburg might be right for you.
Make no mistake; living in Eastern Washington IS a change of pace from city life, however there are quite a few advantages. Located only 108 miles from Seattle Washington, via i-90 and the beautiful Snoqualmie Pass, Ellensburg is the perfect place for those looking to stay close to the city, but lose the noise and chaos that living within big city limits often brings. The cost of living is drastically lower than many west side cities, with the overall cost of living index for Ellensburg being 97, 13 % lower than the state average!
“Okay, numbers and statistics are great, but what is life in Ellensburg ACTUALLY like? Won’t I get bored?” You might be saying, but guess what: Ellensburg offers a large variety in recreation and entertainment to keep you busy year round, all with that small town charm. There’s always something to see!
Visit Central Washington University’s McConnell Auditorium to see one of the many productions put on throughout the year, or stop by North Campus to hear one of the University’s award winning music ensembles in the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music building.
Take a stroll down Main St. in Ellensburg’s historic district to shop at any of the local book stores, clothing stores, florists, gift shops, or sporting good stores. Visit the local museums and art galleries or stop by any of the local eateries or pubs to rest your feet.
Ellensburg provides the prime location for any fans of outdoor recreation. Gorgeous in any season be it summer or winter, Ellensburg is located just a few short miles away from many beautiful hiking trails and only 55 miles from Snoqualmie for anyone hoping to hit the slopes. Festivals are held year round including Ware Fair, Spirit of the West, Jazz in the Valley, The Kittitas County Fair, and the Rodeo, there’s always something going on!
Why choose Catalyst?
Located only one block away from Main Street, we provide that downtown location that is crucial to any striving entrepreneur. With a renovated facility equipped with the fastest Wi-Fi money can buy Catalyst offers you the perfect place to set up shop, get focused, and crush your goals, with free D&M Coffee to boot! Whether you work from home, or you’re trying to start your own business, Catalyst Co-Working will provide you with the tools you need to succeed.
Entrepreneurs and the Business Incubator Program
Catalyst Co-Working is a service provided to you by the Chamber of Commerce. That means that no matter what package you rent, you gain access to all of the Chamber’s Networking events. We work hand in hand with the Chamber to help get new businesses started. With the Business Incubator program, we can provide:
The Business Incubator is perfect for any entrepreneur trying to live their dream, just ask for an application!
You’ve been thinking about it, so do it already!
Join us in Downtown Ellensburg during First Friday Art Walk as we showcase the work of local artist Samantha Birks Fisher. We will be pouring wine and serving appetizers from 5pm-7pm.
A little bit about Samantha
Samantha Birks Fisher has lived in Ellensburg for the past 6 years after fleeing the West side to raise her family in a more rural location. After receiving her MFA from UC Davis in 1998, her and her husband moved to the Seattle area for 10 years where she showed her paintings locally and nationally while working days as a professional art framer.
After moving to Ellensburg, she took a position at Gallery One as an instructor teaching art to adults who want to drink wine and learn to paint. Her hobbies include running and biking down mountains, scribbling in her home studio, napping in her kids beds , and cooking vegetarian food. Check out her website at sambirksfisher.com.