The Hive Paonia’s New Format (Part 1)

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By:  Hive Founder – Chris Yates
When we opened the Hive 2 years ago, the idea was to create a space that was more than “just an office building.”  We wanted to create a culture of collaboration where people could come together and create things, share ideas, and make a difference.  We achieved that by gaining over 100 members, hosting countless meetings, events, workshops, gatherings of all kinds, and seeing ideas become reality.  It’s been a lot of hard work, and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
If you’ve visited the Hive recently and noticed that the front door is always locked, there’s a good reason.  Originally, we wanted the space to be open during all business hours to create maximum “buzz” and really get things happening.  It worked.  The Paonia Chamber of Commerce moved into the front suite which brought all sorts of visitors to the space all summer long.  Countless locals came to workshops, community events, art exhibitions, and perused our space.
So, what’s the problem?
Last summer, we started hearing the same feedback from many of our members.  “I can’t get any work done here.”   Why?  “It’s too busy.  I feel constantly distracted.”   Yep.  Buzz overkill.   To resolve this, we tried building a second co-working room that was for quiet work space.  Unfortunately, making a room quiet can be more expensive than one would think, and it still doesn’t change the volume level of a half-dozen community members who come to socialize rather than work.  What’s more, is that we noticed the members who couldn’t get work done were the people who invested in full-time co-working memberships and had serious projects to focus on.  The “distractions” were mostly coming from well-intended, highly social non-member visitors, or members of our least expensive plans that enjoyed attending workshops and events but didn’t really need to utilize the space to get work done.
Hmm….  So, how do we serve everyone at once?  How do we provide focused work space and the highest quality experience possible while being open to the whole community?   Answer:  We don’t.
After conducting a financial analysis and surveying many of our members, we realized something very important;  About 80% of our revenue was coming from 20% of our consistent members.  Of the members and non-member community that contributed the other 20% of our revenue, they created nearly 80% of our overhead expense (coffee, increased need for cleaning, internet bandwidth consumption, utility usage, the need for employees to manage everything, etc.)!   The 80/20 Rule is REAL!!!
Now that we know what the problem is, how do we make the change?  How do we make sure that our members receive the value that they deserve, give them the focused work space that they need, while building a collaborative culture that invites the community to participate and holds The Hive as a gem of the town and acts as a magnet for other like-minded freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads?   Sometimes the best answer is the most simple one:
Step 1:  Lock the door  (80/20 Rule)  Only full-time members/tenants and event hosts have front door access.
Step 2:  Only One Membership Option (Attract the people who will be most committed to the business and culture.)
Step 3:  Re-Engage the Community
We are at Step 3 of the plan now.   From Step 1 and Step 2, our membership numbers are way down, but so are expenses.  The members that we see using the space most often are happy, productive, and feel that the space brings them more value now than it did before.  Re-engaging the community will be an educated experiment.  We know what worked before, and what didn’t, so we will now re-open the valve carefully until we have just the right temperature.
Watch our announcements in the near future.  You’ll see things like “Free Coworking Fridays,” a new format for our Coffee and Cocktail Colliders that will allow guest participation, special member events (guests welcome), and more.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this update!   There is more to announce, but not just yet.  Soon you’ll hear about faster internet, sunlight in our Nectar Meeting Room, background music, new perks for members, and a few surprises.  To be continued….

paonia coworking

The Story of the Killer Bees

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How coworking inspired the formation of a rock band
Interview by Hive Member ClaireZane Murphy

brodie logo“Music is undeniably a healing force, it makes me come alive. The world needs more folks doing what makes them come alive. If I have any talent with music, I want to give it away, for other people’s hearts.” – Brodie Kinder

Brodie Kinder & the Killer Bees at Mountain Harvest Festival 2015

Brodie Kinder & the Killer Bees at Mountain Harvest Festival 2015

Brodie Kinder and the Killer Bees, a homegrown Paonia band, are creating quite a buzz in town. Before ever seeing the band live I heard stories about their stage presence, and at this year’s Mountain Harvest Festival I witnessed the band’s powerful connection with their community first hand. This is a one-on-one interview with bandleader and Hive Member Brodie Kinder, taking us behind the scenes of his group’s formation (at the Hive!) and the intention behind their big sound.

CZM: So first of all, can you start with a brief history of the band?

BK: We formed here in town, December of 2014. I’d played in bands before but I had been performing as a solo artist for over a year, with a few duo/trio collaborations, and that winter I felt it was finally time. I wanted a BIG sound. So I started secretly auditioning friends around town. “Hanging out and jamming” was code for, “do you got the chops for my band?” It was a pretty fun process to find the right folks.


CZM: How did you ask them?

BK: Haha, do you want the long or the short version? Well, the first one was Dakin Henderson. He was a Hive member and the videographer of Lost Cabin Productions, and I heard he played keyboard. So we jammed at his house and he was killing it! Later that day I worked up the courage to ask him, “Do you wanna be in my band?” And then same thing with Chris Faison. We would always pass by each other in the halls at the Hive – come to find out he’s a stellar saxophone player! He is the real deal. He melts faces. In fact, a lot of the covers we chose were based on the fact that he could shred on sax. Chris King was also a friendly face walking around the Hive, working for Shadescapes. I found out he was a drummer through Andrew Cranson, who eventually became our bass player and happens to be one of the funniest dudes and best hunting guides on the western slope. And present throughout the whole process was Melanie Jean, my sweetheart, harmony singer, co-writer and now current bass player. She and I met in the spring of 2014 and have played as a duo wherever there’s an opportunity. She only picked up bass last November, but worked hard to fill in for Andrew since he’s guiding this time of year. We miss him dearly. Then lastly, to fill in our horn section, we inquired with the ubiquitous Dave Noe, the man with the Purple Trombone. Turns out he’s one of the sweetest guys and really had what we were looking for. Yeah, so that’s kind of the long of it all. But we got started at the Hive and one day in practice we were trying to figure out our name and someone was like “The Killer Bees” and we were like, “Done. That’s the one.”

CZM: Is that paying homage to the Hive?

BK: Totally. That’s where it all began.

CZM: That’s pretty cool. So a theme that was coming up for me as I was doing some research on your band was that it’s connected with community. Could you speak to how the Paonia community impacts your band? Having your home here — is there a difference when you’re playing in Paonia since people in the community know you in different capacities?

BK: Yeah, it has been quite the community affair. Do you believe in the power of affirmation?

CZM: Totally.

BK: I believe that Paonia is kind of like this laser-focused network of intention and manifestation. If humans were stars, Paonia would be a tight, bright constellation. So it’s been cool to see the community show up to help manifest those dreams and intentions. We were gifted the practice space we have now, in the garage of this AMAZING family’s home. They’ve got a gaggle of kids and it’s been so cool to hang out with them and be welcomed into the family essentially.

I believe music is a form of deep expression that communicates a message. Ever since traveling in this group called Up with People I’ve been wanting to make music that connects people in a positive way. I traveled around with 100 young people from 20 different countries, and after being at a place for about a week doing community service, we performed this big show as a thank you. The message was one of peace, hope, and understanding. So for me, I love seeing the impact of music and being able to give people permission to “shake what yo momma gave ya!” Music is undeniably a healing force; it makes me come alive. The world needs more folks doing what makes them come alive. If I have any talent with music, I want to give it away, for other people’s hearts.

CM: That partially answers one of my next questions, which is, do you have a hope or an intention for the audience to have an experience or connection while listening to the band?

BK: Yes and there has been a lot of positive feedback resonating those intentions. My aim is for people to feel some levity in their life, some celebration, some joy and excitement. After the Mountain Harvest Festival show everyone was buzzing about how good they felt. It was like a group high. I feel like when I’m performing with the band we’re channeling energy. Something magical happens in front of a live audience. You can feel it in the room.

killerbeesCM: Something I noticed is that you have a lot of audience interaction. You’re really playful and you seem really present. What is it like for you to be up in front of an audience and how has that evolved for you?

BK: I don’t necessarily intend for my shows to be funny but there ends up being a comedic aspect because you know, life is pretty funny. And stuff happens. So I try to be really present with what happens. I think it is necessary to interact with the audience. The show is a communion. I could perform to an audience of two people or a thousand, and if I don’t ever acknowledge them through a joke or some interaction then what am I doing? I feel so alive when I’m interacting with the audience. Have you ever seen the Blue Man Group?

CZM: Not live

BK: Well there’s a part where they teach the audience how to rock out. So it’s like first put the fist up, then do the head bang. . . very often, even in the duo shows, we’ll do a song where we make the audience have to do a karate chop. So imagine there’s a pile of bricks in front of you and you have to “HUH!!” (motions karate chop) at a particular spot in the song. It’s a playful thing but the audience gets to be as much a part of the song as the musicians are. There is a magical aspect that turns on when we’re up there. It’s so much bigger than me or the band. It’s pretty cool.

CZM: In the book The Artist’s Way ( the author talks about connecting with spirituality in your creative process. In what way did participating in the Artist’s Way workshop impact your creative process with your band members and perhaps with just yourself as a musician?

BK: Something that I’m still figuring out is my writing process. I think I’m pretty decent at performing and leading a band, but the writing aspect, before I can call forth the intention, that’s where I’m still learning to trust myself. So you know, now I’ve given myself permission to make crappy music until I figure it out! My friend once said that it takes some poop to make a garden (laughter). It gave me permission to suck (laughter).

CZM: Failure is compost right?

BK: Totally. And the morning pages have been a great outlet for that “poop” that can clog your creative flow. Giving yourself the permission to turn off the critic for your own artistic process.

CZM: Awesome. What are some of the most influential teachers who have impacted your creative process?

BK: Being raised in the Unity church — which is more of a practical spiritual community than a religion — definitely influenced me ( Within the Sunday school curriculum we would meditate and be mindful, being accountable for the thoughts and the feelings that we have. We learned that we could actually change our reality through positive affirmation and meditation. And as a teenager you’re like “That’s cool, whatever, this is kind of boring, these girls are cute. . .” but actually the lessons really started sinking in, and I’m so grateful for that. One of my originals, “222,” is an affirmation song. It’s an honest catchy tune and if you embody the lyrics it’s a pretty powerful tool. A simple melody mixed with a mantra makes an impact and a great dance tune (big smile), lyrics with intention.

Another influence growing up was Leroy White, this beautiful old Rastafarian with a long dreaded beard. At our Unity retreats he would perform spirit-evoking tunes with live looping and ambiance. He would sing into my soul, making me feel bigger on the inside. There’s a song I’ve been meaning to cover that he does, “I know what Love is”, as I know it, (singing) “I know exactly what love is, love is both tender and true. Love is a feeling my heart has when I’m being held close by you” (singing ends). It takes you through this whole journey and I just remember bawling my eyes out as a kid.

CZM: Beautiful. Wow, lots of activism, lots of community, lots of connection. It’s really cool.

BK: Same team huh?


Brodie Kinder Live at the Hive, May 2015, Photo by Joanna Calabrese

CZM: Yeah. It’s almost like you belong in Paonia (laughter). So is there anything coming up in the future that you want people to know about? Any cool things happening touring in the next few months that you want to mention?

BK: We’ll be posting more videos from Mountain Harvest Festival, and then there’s a few things happening on the Front Range in Denver. We may squeeze in another show here in town around New Years as well.

CZM: Is there anything that you hope will happen in the future of your band’s story? Any big vision that you have?

BK: Well, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. It would be a dream to be able to play at Red Rocks and hold the microphone out to the audience as they’re singing back the words I wrote at full volume. That would be so cool.

CZM: Wow, what a reflection that would be. Anything else you want people to know about your band that they might not know already?

BK: We may be rock stars in Paonia, but we started out in my single-wide trailer kitchen. Humble beginnings.

Interview by Hive Member ClaireZane Murphy 

The Hive Paonia’s Queen Bee Coworks in NYC!

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IMG_9053Beginning this month, the Hive brings you #BeesAbroad: The adventures of Hivesters coworking beyond the North Fork Valley. To start: Dispatches from the Queen Bee, Joanna Calabrese.

What does the Queen Bee do when separated from its coworking Colony? Buzz on over to another Hive of coworking revolutionaries of course.

I needed a place to work while visiting my sister in New York City, so I Googled coworking spaces. No surprise…there are definitely over 100 in the Big Apple. In the interest of efficiency and ease, I decided to check out a few super-hip looking coworking scenes around the Soho neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, one of my favorite places in the universe.

As I was preparing to go, I realized I had a opportunity to not only do work, but to learn oodles from the leaders of these coworking communities. So I requested a few tours and proceeded to be hooked up beyond my wildest expectations.

Here are highlights from the two spaces that inspired me the most and my “take-aways” for our small-town coworking Colony.


Meet Sarah, Space Captain (Manager) of New Work City

1) New Work City is a coworking space near Chinatown founded in 2008 that is home to around 150 NY freelancers plus occasional visiting day-workers. 30 or 40 people use the space on any given day.


Hardworking folk at New Work City

This place has an epic array of madly creative events for their Members. Among them…Cotivation Sessions, WAMMs, and Work Sprints! Cotivation sessions are small groups of members that meet weekly to set goals and keep each other accountable. WAMMS are Welcome Aboard New Members Meetings where new members and tenured members unite to share who they are, why they joined, what they’re working on, and what they need help with. Work Sprints are one- hour power sessions where members focus on something really needs to get done (i.e. organizing file sprints, cleaning email sprints) to keep each other in line.


He knows what’s up! Not sitting down.


The Space Captain & Queen Bee


Yup. They have a kegerator.

Take aways: We need Work Sprints! And a keg! Also: standing desks.




Fueled Collective is the coolest, most charming and sophisticated workspace Ive ever been in. From the minute I walked in, I felt like casual royalty.
IMG_9154This place, located on the 11th floor of a Broadway skyscraper next to the headquarters of the social media giant FourSquare, is a work hub for just over twenty tech start-ups. There are about 130 people in the Collective who work there most days. The carefully curated décor combines stunning old-English elements (including red phone booths for calls, leather armchairs, ornate antique trunks, and a wooden armoire that opens up into a secret conference room!) with modern flare.


Queen Bee with Fueled Collective “Money Pennys” (Community Organizers) Stephanie & Elliat

Opportunities for snack breaks abound. There’s fresh cold-brewed coffee, a candy bar that’s stocked daily, ice cream cart, freshly popped popcorn, a Vengo digital vending machine, and fresh-baked cookie deliveries. Luckily, I was there on cookie delivery day and I fully indulged in a massive snack attack.

Fueled Collective Members enjoy ping pong in the breakroom, lunch and learns where members and visiting tech-companies share their work, yoga and mediation classes every week, whiskey tastings once a month, and occasional office hours with visiting venture capitalists. There’s a lot of play here, but also an intense focus that only comes with absolutely adoring the place you’re in and people you’re around.




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Take aways: Cold brew coffee. Partnership with the local Yoga studio or teachers. Red phone booths! We’re on it.

Stay tuned for dispatches from our Founding Bee Chris Yates who will soon be #CoworkingGlobal in Europe!

We’re Serious About Our Coffee

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The Hive is home to several coffee fanatics. We therefore consider it a business imperative to find the most delicious black gold out there and acquire the perfect brewing device that will give our worker-bees the best buzz possible.

With this in mind, we recently asked our friends Heidi and Craig, master coffee roasters at Rock Canyon Coffee in Carbondale “What makes the best cup of coffee?” Their response was no words and all action. They showed up at the Hive for one of our Hive Members Coffee Colliders with a hefty bag of fresh-roasted coffee beans (roasted the day before) and a foreign looking metal thing.

That metal thing was the Moccamaster, a new high-tech coffee device that Rock Canyon swears by. It’s signature feature is a special valve that allows the user to control the steeping time of the grounds. It makes a MEAN full-bodied cup of coffee.

The machine has many parts and is not totally intuitive, so Hive Resident Techie and Coffee-Lover Brodie Kinder took it upon himself to create a short “How-to-Video” for our members on how to use it. Watch, learn, enjoy, and visit the Hive sometime to have the Moccamaster experience!

You can order Rock Canyon’s organic fair-trade coffee beans online; They also occasionally deliver to Paonia. The Moccamaster is available for sale online for $200-$300 through various outlets including

What’s New in 2015 at The Hive Paonia?

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hive paonia happy new yearThanks for a spectacular first-year of coworking at The Hive!

As we enter this new year filled with unlimited potential, it’s a great time to reflect on what just happened, what we learned, and how it shaped us.  The Hive took a glorious risk in 2014. When we began, we saw a community made up of amazing people, vast resources, and a surprising cultural separation that created an illusion of scarcity.  That scarcity, we found out, was caused by a lack of communication across invisible lines of separation created by decades of false assumptions about the people that live here.

Our goal was to see what could happen when we smudge those lines of separation, shine a spotlight on the abundant resources that surround us, and find ways to draw very different people together from a place of possibility rather than an attachment to an old story.

Our risk seems to have paid off so far and we have this community to thank for it.  The Hive was named the “Most Exciting and Innovative New Business” by the Paonia Chamber of Commerce, we hosted globally-renowned speakers, room-filling community events, and a wide assortment of workshops to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, and those wanting to increase their knowledge of technologies that would help small town businesses participate well in the global economy.
steve jobs

We have a lot planned for you in 2015!  Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • A new private desk membership option for those who want a fixed space to call their own, but don’t require the privacy of a closed door
  • Opening of the Queen’s Kitchen – a large new upstairs kitchen with workspace and event catering options
  • The unveiling of upgrades to the Colony Room which will include our new digital projector, surround sound, and additional amenities for presenters
  • A new line-up of tech and business workshops, special events, art exhibits, themed “colliders”, community talks, and more
  • Movie nights, where we gather around a film (think documentaries, TEDx, etc.) and host discussions
  • Big improvements to our high-speed internet network and building security featurestedx paonia
  • A full range of member perks to enhance and improve your business and projects in the tech world, as well as special deals and Hive-member-only discounts at area merchants
  • …and we have this dream called TEDx Paonia (more on that later)

We don’t want to be the only ones having fun though.  Post your ideas and requests in the comments below.  We’ll see if we can wave our magic wands and make your wishes comes true!

We have a lot more in mind for the new year and will be sharing more new ideas here soon!  Check back to see what else we have planned and what others want to bring to the Colony!

2015 will be a time of great change and great prosperity.  The Hive is honored to host a part of your adventure!

Intro to Mac Workshop

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The Hive Paonia presents…
Intro to Mac (Apple) Workshop with Apple Trainer Brodie Kinder
Tuesday October 14th, 9-10:30am OR 5-6:30pm in the Nectar Meeting Room
(Two sessions to accommodate busy or working people- Come at the time that works better for you)

Discover the power of your Mac.  We’ll review basics and learn some tricks and tools to maximize the use of your Mac. Come with ideas, dreams, and questions. The 1 hour workshop is followed up by a basic Q&A session

Workshop Admission
Hive Members – FREE
Paonia Chamber Members – $10
Non-Members – $20


Coming soon, iPhone – iOS 8 training. Learn your Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Collaborate with Award-Winning Filmmaker Jordan Schevene in Paonia!


Jordan ScheveneThis week, we are pleased to begin a new endeavor in which we feature one of our members and promote their work while fostering collaboration between them, our members, and the greater community.  Our first featured member is Jordan Schevene of Shevene Films.  Jordan is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and producer, and has been making films for over a decade both locally and abroad.  To learn more about Jordan and his work, take a look at his video blog.

Collaboration:  On Wednesday, July 16th, from 12pm to 4pm, Jordan will be filming interviews with Hive members.  Half-hour time slots for video interviews will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis for members (reservations required).  Jordan will record up to a 30-minute interview with members to find out who they are, what they do, and why they work at the Hive.  He will then edit the videos into short segments that will be used by the members to promote their own businesses or projects, and by the Hive to help promote its members and create a successful, vibrant community.  Jordan will be offering this work as a gift for up to 8 Hive members.  What would it be worth to have a professionally-produced short film about your business, non-profit organization, or special project, that you can put on your website, share via social media, and more?  What would it be worth if the Hive’s web and social media experts then utilized its resources to share your video and spread the word about you?  If you’re a Hive member, all of this is offered to you at no extra cost (limited spots available, so act now!).  If you are not yet a Hive member and would like to become one and take advantage of this and other collaboration opportunities, simply visit our membership page and choose an option that works for you.

Here is a short interview with Jordan talking about one of his recent local film projects:

To learn more about Jordan and Schevene Films, please visit:

How to Build Community (and Chairs)

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On the morning of Wednesday, April 30th, the Hive sent out a call for help to the Paonia community via e-mail and Facebook.  We had 35 new chairs in boxes that needed to be assembled for the coworking room and the pile of boxes appeared very daunting.   With a promise of local pizza and root beer, over 25 people showed up that evening to help with the task of building the chairs.  In less than 90 minutes, all the chairs were built and we were out of food.  This was the first of many opportunities to collaborate in the spirit of giving and community-building at the Hive, and it was a tremendous success!

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who joined us to help.  Special thanks to John and Mary from Back Country Bistro who saved us by preparing a dozen pizzas with less than 3 hours notice when we found out that the local pizzeria was closed for remodeling.  You saved us (and the pizzas were awesome)!!!  Thanks also go to Revolution Brewing for making a mean handcrafted root beer.  It was the perfect fuel to keep those allen wrenches turning.

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