One Year, Five Moments Captured in Photos

It's been an incredible first year for Workshop.

It would be impossible to cover all the amazing connections, productions, collaborations, lessons & celebrations that occurred in the Workshop community over the past year in a blog post.

So we decided to summarize the year using some of our favorite moments, chronologically, captured by photography. 

Additionally, we'd love for you to celebrate Workshop's first birthday in person at our anniversary gathering on March 14, 2015.

Thank you to all who have engaged, attended, utilized, connected, shared & supported Workshop during our first year. We're extremely humbled, grateful & excited for what's to come!



Robb Davidson photographed Halleemah Nash at Workshop before we even opened for business. The shoot came about in a "Workshop" kind of way: a referral from a friend of a friend.

What we learned that day:

1. Good people know good people, and Workshop is truly connected to some great ones. Referrals are essential to community-building.

2. Workshop can be a lot more than just a great shared office. Surprisingly more.

3. A well-lit loft can be an incredible backdrop for a photo shoot. We've since hosted a couple dozen photo & video shoots at Workshop.


Moment #2: Stately Sandwiches Celebration

Photo by  Robb Davidson

Photo by Robb Davidson

In 2014, Kelly Pratt completed one of the most creative edible projects we've ever heard of: Stately Sandwiches. She researched, designed, prepared, photographed and shared 50 unique sandwiches - one representing each U.S. state. She hosted the 50th sandwich celebration at Workshop, and this photo depicts the "deconstructed" sandwich photographs she used to display the contents of each one.

What we learned at the sandwich celebration: 

1. One of our favorite things to do is host an event that represents someone's dream realized. Kelly is amazing, and her uniqueness was evident.

2. There are so many ways to visually & tangibly display a creative idea in a physical space.

3. "The Illinois," our unofficial state sandwich, is an Italian beef sandwich. We have the sandwich's photo on display at Workshop.


Moment #3: Creative Mornings Happy Hour with Dallas Clayton

Photo Courtesy  Creative Mornings Chicago

Kim Knoll of Creative Mornings Chicago approached us about hosting a unique "Creative Mornings Happy Hour" with author Dallas Clayton. It was such a treat to support the lecture series we're big fans of, and one of our favorite inspirational talks Workshop has hosted to date.

What we learned:

1. The intersection of great people, great design, and timeless ideas resonates strongly with our community.

2. Collaborative events are more than a one-time occasion; they can and will lead to ongoing, cascading opportunities and relationships.

3. It's simply an honor to have heroes of the creative world come knocking. Truly humbling.


Moment #4: Photographer Meet-up

We invited the photographers of Chicagoland to hang out with us, mostly because we love photographers. Workshop's photographer meet-ups have become one of our favorite events to host - we've hosted three in our first year, averaging about 60 attendees and all of the fun. 

What we've learned at photographer meet-ups:

1. There's a ridiculous number of talented, thoughtful & creative photographers in this city.

2. We love simply being "that place" - where people come to connect for connection's sake. What happens next is up to you, and is usually good.

3. You can fit about 30 people into a selfie in a 3,000 sq. ft. space.


Moment #5: "Common Folk" Live Music Series Launch

Photo by  Ryn Manby

Photo by Ryn Manby

Last month, we hosted our first live music/storytelling show, the first in a series we're calling "Common Folk." Our ability to utilize Workshop as a gathering place to showcase art & inspirational people has evolved, and we think it will only get better. 

What we learned on Friday the Thirteenth, the eve of Valentine's Day, at "Common Folk" - 'Love Is Scary:'

1. Talent is usually what you see on the surface of deep individuals. We want our community to always experience both the talent and the depth.

2. With the help of some skilled friends, Workshop can produce a live music show worth attending.

3. Impromptu Backstreet Boys covers can really come out of nowhere, given the right opportunity. 



We can't wait to see you in Year Two at Workshop, to experience more meaningful moments together.

Thank you, friends.


Ben Skoda

Workshop Co-founder & Director