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  • Writer's pictureMonique Heileson

Off to Camp!

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

It's time to REALLY kick off my freelancing again, so I decided to attend an awesome event this past weekend. I found this event online, hosted by a Collective Chemistry. They are a co-working space located in Pioneer Square downtown Seattle. I was nervous since I didn't know a soul there, I signed up for the whole camp which kicked off with a social event on Friday night. I met up for happy hour with a friend who worked nearby so I could hang out for a bit while I got over my nerves to walk into the event alone. I'm so glad I did! What a fun and welcoming group of people. I fit right in and made a bunch of new friends who make a living freelancing.

Saturday was a full day of activities, discussions, classes and socializing. There were about 30 people attending all day. Some already had thriving businesses and some were brand new at working for themselves. The sessions varied from how to organize a business, handling finances, initiating an LLC, setting short- and long-term goals to effective time management.

One of my favorite activities was setting up my vision board. I found an app so I can review it often. Just looking at an image to remind me why I want to do something gives me a sense of purpose. I picked images of my kids, healthy food, my bike to ride, lots of design-related and self-educating reminders as well.

I've been a casual freelancer after leaving Medicity. A couple of projects with University of Washington, Show & Tell Tees, Granite Curling Club and Evernym have been a good start, but I want to do more. The kids are established in school, and there is time. These discussions gave me so many ideas on how to expand Moneek Multimedia in the 2020's. I have confidence that I can REALLY do this now!

I really liked the workspace too. There wasn't any pressure at the camp to join Collective Chemistry, but I think I will. I hope to go in to work there a few times a month. There are floating workspaces that are 'first come first serve'. I can interact with other freelancers, share ideas and contacts, and finally get to go a downtown office regularly. I'd been working in downtown Salt Lake for so long that I sort of miss it after moving to Seattle.

Post edit: August 2023

Oh wow, reading back on this and what a few years since. I did join Collective Chemistry and remain a member to this day. I went to the Pioneer Square space a handful of times, but Covid lock downs really kept the community from coming together. We had a couple of virtual events. In early 2022 the office moved to Ballard, which is closer, though I haven't actually gone in to work there. I'm more of an 'online' member.

The inspiration from the camp to expand Moneek Multimedia was a huge success. Proof is all over this site. I've had so many new projects, clients and contacts these past 3 and a half years, it's been amazing. Though Covid caused many problems in the professional world, people looking for an experienced designer who was already set up to work remote grew exponentially. I continue to have more work than I know what to do with. It's amazing and I feel very fortunate.

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