Group Work 27

Two Area Collaborative Spaces Harness Imagination and Inspiration

Lemon Collective

Holley Simmons was on assignment when she came across the building that would become the Lemon Collective. A former food writer for The Washington Post, Holley was doing a story on the restaurant across the street. When she learned about the available, affordable space in Washington, D.C.’s Park View neighborhood, she knew it was too good to last long.

“I put out the Bat Signal to all my artistic friends,” she says.

Among them were Kathryn Zaremba, an artist and wallpaper designer, and Linny Giffin, a fiber artist and interior decorator. The trio decided to take the leap and claim the space as a shared studio, where they could practice their chosen crafts (Holley was a burgeoning terrarium enthusiast at the time.)

It wasn’t long before the women realized the building’s untapped potential. They began hosting classes and workshops for the community and inviting other area artists to do the same. Now, two years after they opened the Lemon Collective, both the studio and its workshop calendar are overflowing with activities that run the gamut from abstract painting to tarot card reading.

To ensure the kind of spark and spontaneity that these crafts require, Holley and co. drew on their own unique skills and aesthetics to design a space with, “a lot of personality.”

BUREAU

When Kerra Michele Huerta describes the collaborative space at Washington D.C.’s BUREAU, she says it’s like “cozying up in friend’s loft apartment.” Which might be true if you had the kinds of friends praised by HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens and the “Today” show for their interior design prowess.

As a creative entrepreneur, Kerra Michele had longed for the camaraderie and creativity she missed out on by working solo and from home. So she founded BUREAU, a gorgeous co-working and event space, located in Washington’s Adams Morgan neighborhood to provide a space for like-minded professionals to meet each other, be inspired and get to work. Oh, and maybe sip some champagne, too.

Perks of membership include snacks and beverages, access to interns and conference rooms, free or discounted admission to workshops and happy hours, and, of course, the chance to work in a beautiful space surrounded by talented people.

Kerra Michele stresses that while BUREAU is a lively and social place, it’s also a spot where a person can make a serious dent in their to-do list.

“While the importance of shared inspiration is emphasized, members are always encouraged to work within their own comforts,” she says.

Inspiration comes not only from co-workers but also from the space itself. The bright and funky aesthetic would get anybody in the mood for creativity, and work from local artists adorn the walls.