I was at Blazing Bagels in Redmond just a few minutes ago and saw these Obama cookies on the counter. I didn’t see any McCain cookies and then Dennis, the owner of Blazing Bagels, tells me that McCain cookies are sold out. “No way!”, I said. Amazing, I thought… until he told me he had ordered 30% more Obama cookies than McCain cookies.  Dennis orders his cookies from a bakery in Seattle.

Andrea Becker, Yellowbook & Mary Benz, thinkspace

We had a successful event last night and had nearly 70 people inside our space.  I want to say thank you to everyone that attended.  Great tasting food was provided by Grand Peking and splendid wine provided by Hollywood Hill Vineyards.  We had all kinds of tasty Chinese food and I wish I had time to eat more food but everyone kept asking me questions about how much debris was recycled during the thinkspace build out, btw, the answer is 98%!  Becky Snyder from Hollywood Hill Vineyards poured 2006 Rattlesnake Hills Cabernet Franc and Syrah.  I tasted the Cab Franc and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Before the holiday’s, I will swing by their tasting room which is open every Saturday from 12-4pm and buy a bottle of the Syrah.

The art hanging throughout thinkspace was created by Drew Stone.  I want to give him a big thank you as we are quite lucky to be able to enjoy looking at his art every day we are inside our space.  His art will continue to hang in our space through the month of November and many of the pieces are for sale!  I also want to compliment Amy Woidtke who has been doing interior decorating in our coworking space, conference rooms, and 3rd floor lobby.  She has added a special touch to each of these spaces.

I’d like to thank the companies that donated the door prizes too: Accents Et cetera, Biznik, Country Meadows, DT Marshall, EcoKind Design, Hollywood Hill Vineyards, Kelly Green, Parnassus Group, and Resort Homeshare.

Click here to view our Flickr stream of photos from the event.

Jacki Pietromonaco, thinkspace & Ulrika Claesson, Edward Jones

Becky Snyder, Hollywood Hill Vineyards

Becky is talking about the 2,200 vines planted in their Woodinville Vineyard

Our next event is November 20th — we’re hosting Green Drinks Eastside at 5pm.  More on that later!

I just picked up another gallon of paint today for the coworking space. I decided to compare the VOC content of Sherwin Williams Duration paint versus Sherwin Williams Super Paint.

Paint Type     g/l       lb/gal
Duration           48          0.40
Super Paint     145        1.21

There are 67% more VOC’s in traditional paint than a low-VOC paint.  That’s a big difference.  Low-VOC paint has almost no smell, though some chemically sensitive people may still notice the VOC odor.  The price difference is about $2 per gallon.

Last night we had the Blog Bling Mixer. We had a good mix of beginner bloggers as well as some expert bloggers.

We wrote down topics on the whiteboard and everyone had a chance to vote for what they wanted to hear and learn about. The first topic was about “Widgets – What are they, how do they work?”. The second topic was “Adding Google Talk to your blog”, that was something that I had the opportunity to talk about.

Winners of the drawings:
• Joe Kennedy – One free week of coworking
• Andru Edwards – thinkspace schwag – Organic cotton t-shirt

Some of the people that attended were: Steve Parnassus and Jason Preston – Parnassus Group; Andru Edwards – GearLive; Monica Guzman – The Big Blog; Joe Kennedy – Eastside Business; Iris Kao – Iris Kao Desgin; Elizabeth Kasprzak – Facelogic; Maureen Nolan – Windermere; Shona Milne – Woodinville Chamber of Commerce; Mike Weisner – Green Point Technologies; Adam Loving – Adam’s Blog.

I hope everyone found some useful information to take back to their blogs!

Companies are making USB Flash drive and housing them in odd materials.  In the span of 24 hours I’m seeing the USB Flash Drives in compressed recycled paper and the strangest is inside sticks.

The one’s pictured here are made from silver birch which are grown in Berkshire, England.  I haven’t read anything about this being blessed by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC certified), so I don’t know how environmentally friendly this is.  They certainly are weird looking.  They cost £17.50 including delivery. There’s more information about these at the Flashsticks website.

Back during the Green Festival Seattle, I found a company called the Sustainable Group.  They sell really cool looking office supplies like the Repocket (shown here in the picture).  All of their stuff is made of recycled cardboard!  It really makes quite a statement when you put your marketing collateral inside one of these folders.

I had a chance to go out to their office over in Ballard and met a few of the people that work there.  They were all very nice and were showing me all the different ways to put my company logo on various things like 3-ring binders, folders, CD jackets, mailers, and labels.  I even got a few samples of these things to which is always fun. 

Any business that is making a statement about caring for the environment and has a commitment to sustainability, should be looking at these babies.  They are guaranteed to make people go ooh and ahh.  Yes, it’s cardboard, but, even that makes me excited compared to the plastic glossy coated junk.

I’ve had a few very interesting conversations in the last two weeks. One is with Christine Blumer, CEO of CRB Consulting and the other is with Lisa Hufford, President of Simplicity Consulting. Both of these women are extremely successful people and have had great work experience at Microsoft. Both Christine and Lisa left their jobs at Microsoft in search of more flexibility. When I talked with Christine and Lisa, I could hear in their voice that they are happy to be to able to spend more time with their families. The other thing that I could see from their expressions was that they are both very excited to be doing consulting work for very company that they left.

As a parent and former big company employee, I can relate and recognize that working for a big company can be very rewarding, however, I think spending more time with family and being a big part of my children’s life is also extremely important. Christine and Lisa are inspired to spend time on what’s important in life. By starting their own consulting companies, they have complete flexibility of their time and schedule. They both continue to be involved with important high-level, relevant, and exciting projects and still be great parents at the same time.

Christine is a member of thinkspace and operates her business inside our space. CRB Consulting provides consulting services which provides Partner Marketing and Sales consulting. Christine has a contract with Microsoft and is handling their event marketing with their partner who happens to be Dell.

In the past, she has tried to work at home. However, when working at home, you can get away with not showering and staying in your pajamas all day. The other thing that can make working at home a challenge is the fact that when her young children see her inside the house they love being with her.  Christine takes off every Friday to spend time focusing on her children.

There is also a emotional and social need that is met by being inside thinkspace. While her home office is set up very nicely, both Christine and husband would rather come in and use the office here instead. Sometimes she has to remind him that this is her office, not his.

Christine says “This space is clean and has a comfortable feeling”. There are other shared office places out there, but, it’s important for her to feel comfortable inside the space. This is a place where she feels comfortable and likes to come to. Other places that she looked may have cost less but she couldn’t see herself wanting to be inside that kind of space.

When asked if there is anything that has surprised you about your experience inside thinkspace. Christine says “one word comes to mind, easy”. It was easy to get setup inside here and it’s easy to ask for assistance, for example, I needed help faxing something out the other day and Melissa quickly helped me out. It was easy.

Ron Sims is using Twitter and I’ve been following him for about one month.  I think it’s really cool that he’s embracing technology as way to communicate with people.  Back when Governor Locke was King County Executive, I volunteered in his campaign office while he ran Governor.  I never really had that close a look into what a King County Executive does day-in and day-out.  By being on Twitter, Ron is providing me and anyone else that wants to follow him a level of transparency into his position as King County Executive.

I was just reading a blog post by Monica Guzman titled “Ron Sims on Twitter? You bet – and he loves it“.  The post was dated September 8, 2008.  He seems to have come a long way in one month.  A politician can have a blog or a Facebook account (Ron Sims has both), but, Twitter takes communication to a different level.  I think that makes it real and personal is that he actually follows people back that follow him.  He even takes the time to respond back to people.

When I was telling a friend that Ron Sim’s uses Twitter, they responded saying you really want your tax dollars being spent on him doing that?  I said, yes, I enjoy reading his tweets and it’s providing me a peek inside what he does as King County Executive.  It doesn’t take much effort to write a 140 character tweet, but, for someone in public office, it can have a big impact.  He’s not wasting time by tweeting about “doing the laundry” or “feeding the dog”.  From one of his tweet’s I read that he was cutting staff and moving out of his Seattle office space in the Columbia Tower to the Chinook and Yesler Buildings.  While he’s not going to be the most popular person after announcing layoffs at King County, his effort to be more transparent is much better than being silent.

Don’t throw your batteries in the trash, recycle them at thinkspace! We are now offering our clients battery recycling. We will accept rechargeable and non-rechargeable, such as D-cell, C-cell, AA, AAA, 9-volt, and button cells.

King County offers local communities Recycling Collection Events for businesses and residents where you can drop off reusable and recyclable materials including batteries, appliances, electronic equipment, light bulbs, clothing, as well as vehicle related items.

If you are interested in battery recycling services in your area go to Earth 911 for more information.  This website offers a recycling search tool which helps you find resources for recycling almost anything!

David Sitlani, from the Law offices of David Ravi Sitlani, initially toured thinkspace in the midst of the build out, dodging construction workers, looking at blueprints and listening to details of this new sustainable/creative office space in Redmond. Having just started his law practice with the main office in Seattle, he was looking for executive office space on the Eastside (Bellevue/Redmond area) that would provide him a professional business identity coupled with conference rooms. As thinkspaces’ door opened in May, David signed on as one of the first Virtual Office clients.

David provides quality attorney services at reasonable rates, which includes dealing with small businesses in the areas of choice of entity, ongoing legal audits/review of legal documents, wills/trust/estate planning and premarital agreements to name a few. He feels ideally situated as a small business attorney because he can identify with his clients’ needs. As a small business owner himself who started his own company, he knows the challenges that need to be overcome. The personal aspect of his practice is very important to him and, after having worked for larger firms in the past, he enjoys the one-on-one time with his clients.

David views thinkspace as the ideal set up for him and for other small businesses just starting out. He continues to be very pleased with his Virtual Office which provides him “an inviting space and allows for a professional appearance without having the overhead associated with it”. The thinkspace staff is front and center to professionally greet his clients and always make him feel welcome as well. Invitations to the on-site networking events are a helpful tool to meeting people and growing his business. Having the opportunity to see the space evolve, he reflects on how this Redmond office space “combines the look of a downtown Bellevue or Seattle facility but with a personable touch”.