This was written by Jill Lee, Anchorspace Bar Harbor member. As Anchorspace Bar Harbor and Anchorspace Ellsworth share the same values, the message Jill conveys about her experience in Bar Harbor also resonates for Anchorspace Ellsworth. The YWCA MDI provides support for women on Mount Desert Island and beyond and part of their work sponsored entrepreneurs like Jill to get started in Anchorspace. To learn more about their work, visit ywcamdi.org.
My Summer at Anchorspace
This summer was the summer of new things: running a successful fundraising campaign, starting a publishing company, writing a children’s book, printing said children’s book… It was a production that pushed my nitpicking skills, pulled help from any willing friends, required lots of hoop-jumping, and demanded a chipper attitude from me inside and out, rain or shine. And holding my nascent ship in place against the calm and turbulent waters was (quite aptly) Anchorspace.
I was one of the lucky recipients of YWCA’s Anchorspace scholarship for women entrepreneurs: three months of full membership at Anchorspace which included a workspace that was my own 24/7, swanky kitchen privileges, an executive nap suite, and a solid-as-a-stone Internet connection, all in a sunny, professional environment that keeps me motivated from sun-up to midnight (sometimes, anyway).
To many potential and fledgling entrepreneurs on Mount Desert Island, moving twice a year, constantly searching for reliable wi-fi, surviving on convenience food, working multiple jobs, and coexisting with noisy, messy neighbors are all too familiar a story. The ability to pull oneself up by the bootstraps is something to be admired, but that means that for every success story, there are countless others that fall by the wayside. How many times have I wondered how much more I’d get done if my kitchen were always clean? If I had people around to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, and keep me in line? If I had my own office to get myself out of the house every day? How many times had I simply wished for one more handful of sunlight?
Like other idealists, I spent many days in bed dreaming and ideating. Now, thanks to the Anchorspace scholarship, I spend a lot more time doing. I went through the ups and downs of my first-ever Kickstarter campaign, communicated with supporters and colleagues efficiently, and nourished myself with delicious food in the three months at Anchorspace. It allowed me to be more creative than ever and gave me a sounder foundation for my ideas than I could ask for.
With all its attractive perks and facilities, Anchorspace’s most attractive feature is not its high-tech standing desk. Nor is it the updated kitchen, nor the cozy nap room, nor the robust Internet connection. Since joining Anchorspace, I met and made friends with people of MDI whom I would have never met otherwise. We quite literally broke bread together, went on a “company” hike, gave each other business, and at times simply gave each other moral and emotional support. As a new introvert on MDI, I can say that the social scene can be quite mystifying and intimidating. Anchorspace was the perfect way to build a network and to meet people in a totally natural, low-pressure setting.
Thanks to the success that YWCA’s Anchorspace scholarship brought me, I am now a proud (paying) member of Anchorspace. I’m grateful to YWCA MDI for giving me this opportunity and to Anchorspace for existing. I plan to be a member for a long time, eating, napping, and creating.
Ulgul Publishing Company