Today, Deavor was honored to be a stop on the Rise of the Rest Road Trip. The founder of AOL, Steve Case, and his team have traveled to four cities across America celebrating and supporting entrepreneurship. Their mission is to accelerate the “Rise of the Rest” in American entrepreneurship. The team has traveled from Detroit, to Pittsburg, to Cincinnati, and chose Nashville as their final city. Nashville is a booming city of startup communities. “Rise of the Rest” believes entrepreneurs and their companies can change the world. And Deavor does too.
Before Deavor was even complete, Matt Clark was ready to call it his headquarters. Matt understood the vision of Deavor and knew it was something he wanted to be a part of. And with that, Matt became the very first member of Deavor. He understood this place had more to offer than just cool, wooden desks to work at and some coffee to sip on. But when Matt crossed the final t’s of his signature on the contract, we knew he offered far greater things to Deavor than we could even comprehend in that moment.
Matt is the Executive Director of Promise for Haiti, an organization that partners, and supports, a Haitian run hospital that serves 30,000 people each year. Promise for Haiti exists to provide healthcare, education and clean water to Haitians. For over thirty years, the organization has partnered with Comite Bienfaisance de Pignon to make these things possible. Promise for Haiti provides financial assistance, coordinates trips of volunteers to serve, and works with Haitian leaders to maintain self-sustaining operations in the country.
Not only has Matt invested himself globally; he is incredibly involved locally with non-profits here in Nashville. He founded the “International Affinity Group” with the Center for Nonprofit Management. Matt is also a member of the Board of Directors of Rooftop Nashville, an organization preventing homelessness by providing emergency rental assistance to Davidson County residents.
Matt is more than just the dude who always has the killer playlists going, and frequently exercises our unlimited refill policy on coffee; he is making a huge impact in our community and our world daily. We are honored that Matt would chose to do his world changing from Deavor.
It’s here. Deavor, a new creative co-working space in Nashville, is officially opening their Germantown facility to the public on Monday April 7th, 2014 at 7pm in the form of a grand opening celebration.
Deavor is a creative co-working space located in the heart of Nashville, TN. Co-working is a unique style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organization, thus providing a large amount of synergy to take place among the group. Deavor provides the perfect atmosphere for its members to be highly productive, actively inspired, and placed alongside likeminded individuals.
Following the celebration, beginning Tuesday April 8th, members of Deavor will have full access to the facility, pushing the new community into full swing!
We are in the home stretch. Deavor is nearing completion and we couldn’t be more excited. As we swing by each morning to look at the progress, there is definitely some mixed emotions. On the one hand, an overwhelming sense of pride for what we have worked so hard to create as we literally watch each wall go up. On the other… impatient because watching each wall go up is heightening the excitement that in just a few short weeks we will be able to move in to our new home.
I call it a home because like many people we spend the majority of our time in the office and we wanted to create an environment that was as comforting as home can be, while still maintaining the productivity of a creative office space. As each piece of Deavor is finished we see a little more of that home-y feeling we strived for. From the desks, to the lounge furniture, and even the chandeliers; all have this strange pull that you’re in a safe environment that still finds a way to motivate you to do your best work.
You’re the last piece of the puzzle though, yet the most important part. We can tell that something is missing and it’s definitely all the people that are going to make Deavor complete..and not in the way my mom tells me I completed our family 7 years after my older sister was born…because that was an accident and I’ll just have to learn to accept that. Instead, I mean that the only way Deavor will be successful is if the creative energy is there. April 1st friends, mark your calendars.
Each day, I go into work at Fort Houston, a coworking space I’ve been a member of for almost one year now. I walk in to the sound of welders grinding, saws cutting through piles of wood, the scent of a fresh pot of coffee, and some Hank Williams Jr. on playing over the stereo. Avoiding the remote control helicopters flying overhead and the dog running between tables, I make my way past the potter, the jeweler, and the skateboard builder over to Five String Furniture to see how Nate is coming with those table frames he is welding for us. I settle in at my desk with a fresh cup of coffee and a to-do list that needs written and printed for my team. I take it over to Micah, my right-hand man, as he get’s started on the day’s chores. I spend the day working with Micah and managing a handful of other contributing artists around Fort Houston, as well as seeking the advice of other woodworkers at neighboring tables. At the end of the day, we open a couple Yazoos, sweep up, and wind down with the 20 other folks ending their work day here. It’s 8:30pm; the door is locked, the alarm is set, and we are on our way home, thinking of what we get to build tomorrow.
When Kirk presented the idea of Deavor to me, I was beyond stoked. Design an entire office space? That’s a 23 year-old woodworker’s dream. Kirk was very open-minded about the design; it was a blank canvas. Our only limitation was the need for functionality. He said to me, “Instead of asking, ‘What kind of desks do we need?’ ask, ‘Why do we need desks?’”
Early on, Kirk and I visited the future space, went over blueprints, and talked numbers. Kirk had hired an architect and builder to focus on the construction of the space’s interior while I worked on the furniture. We started moving black and white lines around on the computer until we found a furniture layout we thought expressed optimum functionality and flow. I knew the needs; I knew the layout; and I had the budget–it was time to outfit Deavor.
I wanted to be conscious of what was going on in Nashville and what the future held for coworking spaces like this. We had to be ahead of the curve. We had to go big.
So, as I started in with ideas, I realized how many ways I could approach the theme of a space with dozens of tables and countless adornments. However, the overarching theme of functionality kept my vision on track. I kept returning to simplicity -
the best design was simple design. Simple and functional, here we go.
We wanted the vibe to be industrious, but warm. We wanted modern and classic. So we moved forward with prevalent hardwood, steel frames and accents, resulting in a sturdy and minimal design.
Next was wood choice: I decided to use the Nashville native timber Black Walnut. It’s my favorite native hardwood because of the tones and characteristics – the deep purplish brown of the heartwood at its core gives way to the cream-colored sapwood that outlines each slab. As each tree grows, it paints its rings with a smattering of oranges, blues, and blacks. No need for stain with a pallet like that. I’ll let you use your imagination. Maybe even rouse you to stop by.
When Kirk told me Deavor needed to be outfitted by this spring, I knew there was only one way to make it happen. I could not have started, endured, or accepted the deadline for this project without the creative community of a coworking space. Today is the 20th of 40 days of construction for Deavor, and because of Fort Houston we are right on track. From coworking space to coworking space. How fitting is that?
Deavor has been an amazing journey thus far. It’s incredible that this dream and vision from a year ago is finally coming to life. I have learned so much about Nashville and its culture and community through dreaming and formulating this idea.
We started to see the need for a co-working space that fit a community that was super passionate, not only about what they do, but helping others get better and become better versions of themselves. A few years ago I started a company called Gear Seven Creative. We adopted the idea of working at a “community table” that group started to grow as fellow creative friends would come work out of our space. We thought it would be great if we could expand this model, after we had been impacted so greatly by the support and experience of our little co-working space. Which began the journey of Deavor…
Deavor has been the combined dream of an incredible team. Deavor would be nowhere without the support and inspiration from our core team. Charles Miller of First Platoon has lead the brand development of Deavor so well through design, copywriting and web development. Through his work, Charles has accurately presented the heart of Deavor. Stephen Mathew and Connor Carroll, great friends and inspirations to myself, have been great partners as well. From night long talks about the our dreams of Deavor, to thinking about the possibilities of helping and creating an incredible community, to day-to-day tasks of building Deavor, our vision relies heavily on them. Last but not least, my wife Mallory, who has supported us this whole year, and endlessly listened to my crazy dreams :). I am truly honored to be a part of such a talented, creative and killer team.
Deavor is a place where ideas can flourish, dreams can come true, and where community makes an impact. This is the whole idea behind Deavor, and I am so excited to see what this place can do. Deavor’s resources to our members are great, but I am so excited about one specific spot. Our studio/multi-purpose room is going to be a unique addition to our space. The ability to allow our members to harness their craft and give them an tool to create, is so important to us. The studio will be used day-to-day as a space for members to rent and use for photography, video, art, events etc… The possibilities are endless, you dream it, you can do it. To have a space that we can host learning experience opportunities, support our members and expand the community of Deavor outside of our walls has been one of our value propositions from day one. This room is so exciting because it is able to be molded into anything we want, a true dream space.
Come experience it, starting in March.
That’s all for now. So excited for the possibilities of Deavor. Let’s create some awesome stuff.
Co-Founder of Deavor, Creative Partner of G7C