It's #MississippiMonday! Who is ready to get this week started? Today we are excited to highlight our awesome next door neighbor, Coalesce! Coalesce is a cooperative and collaborative coworking space located in the central business district of Jackson, Mississippi. They provide access to workspaces, a conference room, fiber wi-fi, a coffee station, and monthly events. The new space has hosted a variety of events including lunch and learns, tech meetups, pitch opportunities for startups, and a monthly social. Read on to learn more through our Q&A with Shannon and Matthew McGlaughlin, founders of Coalesce.
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Q & A!
What/who exactly is Coalesce?
Coalesce is a cooperative and collaborative coworking space located in the central business district of Jackson, Mississippi, with a focus on design aesthetics, a sense of place, and an open workplace for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, project teams, social innovators, and other small businesses.
How did you get started and what was the inspiration to take the small business leap?
The project was born out of the need for McLaughlin Garner Group to have an office. Emily Garner, my partner, and I had been looking for an office for a couple of years. Our event planning, marketing, and advertising firm had grown to the point where home offices were not sufficient anymore.In looking for space, my husband, Matthew, and I spotted a building for sale in our favorite block of downtown, the Spengler’s Corner District. The building, located at 109/111 North State Street, had a dated interior and needed of a lot of work, but we believed the second floor was the perfect home for McLaughlin Garner Group. With the first floor of the building, we wanted to do something a little different, at least different in the context of downtown, by launching a coworking space. The building is over 100 years old and possesses architectural features you do not find anymore. We wanted to capture this incredible and inspiring sense of place and make it available to the creative cohort of Central Mississippi. In working with our architect, Seabold Architectural Studio, we were able to modernize the space while preserving a piece of Mississippi history in the oldest and longest continuously occupied commercial block in the Jackson. How does Mississippi play a role in your business?
One of the challenges we see in Mississippi is the fragmentation and isolation of groups of people, especially in the business community. We believe a meaningful way to combat these two negative forces is to encourage and provide intentional collision points. Coalesce is the manifestation of this objective.
What are your goals for your brand?
When people hear the word “Coalesce,” we want to people to immediately think of inclusiveness, openness, tolerance to new views and opinions, and a community focused work environment.What is your background?
My background is in advertising, marketing, public relations and event planning.My husband, Matthew, is lawyer that represents entrepreneurs, craft breweries and distilleries, and works on community and economic development projects that leverage federal and state tax credits.
Where do you find inspiration?
Our initial inspiration came from our clients, colleagues, and friends, and recognizing that these people wanted a new way to work. Our secondary source of inspiration was the actual building itself. From the 15-foot tin ceilings to the exposed 100-year old brick, it is truly a unique and inspiring space.
What do you like to do when you aren’t at the office.
We are both involved with different groups in the area and volunteer our time to these organizations. However, when we are not “at the office” or volunteering, we generally spend time with our two girls, Tinsley and Tatum, or our friends. Mississippi has so many wonderful recreational opportunities and we love to incorporate these places into our “free” time. We spend time at the Jackson Zoo, Mississippi Museum of Art, Children’s Museum, Natural Science Museum and attend various music, food, and craft beer festivals. We also love to spend time at home, cooking out, running the dogs, working in the yard or simply enjoying at-home time.
What are your favorite places to shop and dine?
(Shannon): 4450, The Paper Place & Toy Place, Bridgette’s, Interior Spaces, Interior Markets, Briarwood Pet Shop, Montgomery Hardware. Saltine, The Manship, Parlor Market, Brent’s, La Brioche, Hal & Mal’s, Bravo! (Matthew): Saltines, Hops and Habanas, The Rogue, and LemuriaWhat are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home?
(Shannon): I love our Southern Hospitality and that there is usually only about a degree and a half of separation from anyone that you meet. We have wonderful museums, shopping, restaurants, neighborhoods, historic districts, and outdoor activities. I love that there is a revamp in downtown areas across the State and that people are revitalizing and reinventing historic structures with modern twists. I love that you can be in the Gulf, on the Mississippi River, or in the Delta within a matter of hours and experience the unique culture of each of these areas.(Matthew): Mississippi is a deeply moving and inspirational place, but a place with many challenges. The State has given us an opportunity to do certain things that we would probably not be able to do in other parts of the country. We are extremely grateful for these opportunities, but more importantly are compelled to ensure other Mississippians have opportunity.
How do you think what you are doing is helping to shape your local community as well as the image of Mississippi?
We feel that Coalesce is building on the energy that downtown Jackson is experiencing. It is drawing all age ranges of entrepreneurial-minded people to the area. These are the people that want to be able to experience everything in one place and you can do this downtown. From the wonderful restaurants, to the historic buildings, to the lush green space, it is all in downtown Jackson. Most importantly, we offer a space that encourages collaboration and growth whether you are a well-established business or just starting out. We bring in special programming that benefits our members. Our goal is collaboration and growth. We look forward to seeing what the future holds.Go visit Coalesce (109 N. State Street) next time you’re in the neighborhood! And while you’re there, swing by and visit us, too (113 N. State Street)!
Like what you see in our #mississippimonday blog posts?! Have you seen THIS Mississippi brand?! Or maybe you are interested in board games?! Check out THIS recent Mississippi Monday featuring a local board game artist!