Jacqueline Jones predicts her marketing firm, One Degree MMM, will have significant growth in 2018. Part of her success might be due to the dynamic coworking space she shares with other professionals at Forge in downtown Birmingham.
The historic Pizitz Building (120 19th St. N.) is not just home to the Pizitz Food Hall; Forge on the second floor mezzanine offers co-working spaces where freelancers and individual entrepreneurs can work in a fully equipped space without worrying about the costs of setting up an actual office.
Jacqueline Jones’ marketing firm, One Degree MMM, which stands for MUSIC, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, opened shop in 2013. She has been working from Forge since the office sharing concept began in October 2017.
One Degree’s mission is to provide quality marketing services to small businesses, organizations and brands at an affordable cost to create growth.
Nothing cookie-cutter here, no forced template, but a unique vision for each of her customer’s brands. One Degree also plans corporate events, supports businesses both large and small, bloggers, musicians and entrepreneurs.
Location location location!
Jacqueline is excited about the downtown setting. It was the primary reason she chose Forge. Her clients enjoy meeting there and are very familiar with the convenient location.
Jones also chose this space because of Forge director, Kim Lee, who has been a mentor of sorts to Jacqueline.
“Kim has been such a great person along my journey. After I finished the Co.Starters program with Create Birmingham in 2017, I visited Forge before it was complete.
Kim and I bonded because she had gone through the program. We have been supporting and encouraging each other ever since.
When I started looking for space outside my home office, I decided to hold off until Forge was ready.” Jacqueline Jones.
Jacqueline explained that there is a real sense of community at Forge. Working independently but in close proximity to other creative professionals has been a huge benefit.
“We all see each other often and have even become accustomed to our favorite places to sit in the common areas. It’s like going to a job where everyone is the boss. It’s a great community.” Jacqueline Jones.
And then there’s the food!
The Pizitz Food Hall, on the first floor of the historic building, is an eclectic collection of 12 small restaurant/stalls, two full service restaurants and a cool open bar. I asked Jacqueline if she finds the Food Hall a big temptation.
“It is a HUGE temptation! But, I haven’t overdone it just yet. Because I work in the mornings mostly, not many places are open. I try to get down there before the crowd. It’s extremely tempting though.” Jacqueline Jones.
Those who haven’t tried it, might not know that working alone has its challenges. Unlike a traditional job or busy office, it can be hard to manage time and to pace yourself properly. It also can be lonely. Being in a productive coworking setting helped Jacqueline feel more connected.
In her early days of entrepreneurship, Jacqueline noticed her productivity was low because she hadn’t quite wrapped her head around the concept of “work hours.”
“People think of entrepreneurship as free days all day. That’s only the case if your work does itself. That’s not most people’s testimony.” Jacqueline Jones.
Another huge advantage co-working or flex-office space is flexibility. Jacqueline usually works from Forge Wednesday through Friday, early morning till mid-day. She is often on location, or visiting clients, so flexible hours work very well for her.
I asked Jacqueline what 2018 looks like for One Degree MMM.
“2018 looks like growth. Last year, following Co.Starters, my company grew more than I could have imagined. That quick growth, sort of, just drug me along with it. This year I have been able to do some strategic planning and really set some goals for growing my business.Because my focus is on smaller businesses and brands, I have created a wider range of resources for entrepreneurs with smaller budgets. ” Jones.
Beauty of co-working at Forge