Happy (Belated) New Year!
The last four months of 2017 were radically eventful for us over at The Study Bar. In this time, Sharon signed a lease on our gorgeous space in Creve Coeur. I had the pleasure of helping to decorate and streamline our setup. It was so satisfying to go from hunching over our laptops on folding tables and using stacks of boxes as storage to enjoying the array of comfortable furniture we have since bought. As we went from bland white walls and old ceiling tile to our signature blue-and-grey color palette, from dingy carpet to beach-wood floors, from dust to shine, it was hard not to be enchanted by the new energy.
It was heartwarming to see the ragtag band of college students, representing various universities in and out of town, find their favorite spot and get lost in their work. Whether it was schoolwork or a passion project that brought them in, every time I saw someone use the Keurig or print something on the 3D printer or move a beanbag around, I was spellbound. It’s working, I thought to myself, not necessarily surprised but joyous all the same. Few things compared to the feeling of seeing something I believed in mean something to others.
I jumped at the opportunity to share about what I did with friends, family and connections I’d made around town. It wasn’t hard to parse a genuinely interested response from the glazed-over wow, great, cool from those who didn’t get it. It was a testament to the strength of our mission that I rarely had to deal with the latter. Nearly everyone I talked to either liked the idea for themselves or knew someone who would. It turned out that a myriad of people involved in school, tech, startup, or freelance work could have benefited from a better place to work--even for just one day a month.
Despite my glowing perspective on our start, I wasn’t immune to personal challenges as I grew into my position. Being someone who was far off from graduating with his Bachelor's, I faced the steep learning curve of the aspiring autodidact. The gaps in my knowledge abounded, but slowly began to fill in and set like putty over cracked plaster.
My inexperience wasn’t always a disadvantage, though, as I learned the newest information and techniques for online marketing, newsletter writing, and the agile development of a startup. I didn’t face the challenge of those with more experience who needed to “un-learn” more obsolete practices.
Like many friends I’ve talked to, I have a good feeling about 2018--both for myself and The Study Bar. I hope you’ll come join us to see it unfold.