Kaare Sola’s experience as a commercial interior designer means her work shows up in corporations in cities like Seattle and Denver, Colorado. But she’d much rather live in a small town.
When she and her partner Cody Olsen moved from Skykomish to the Methow Valley earlier this year, she needed fast internet service to continue her career.
“I had very immediate needs for internet and work space and … figured others would too,” Sola said. Hence, the launch of the coworking space Workable.
At first she was looking at renting a small office for herself, but Workable’s site at 125 Highway 20 in Twisp opened and she and Olsen took the plunge.
“We moved on it quickly,” she said. They spent some time decorating and painting and opened Workable in Twisp in the beginning of October.
For the past 10 years, Sola has built a successful career as a commercial interior designer, working with clients around the country.
“As long as I can remember, I have been rearranging the furniture everywhere I go,” she said. “I really liked that it was this tangible creativity. I loved that and I love people. You can have such an impact on people’s productivity in so many ways.”
Through that work, she’d built up an inventory of design elements and relationships with vendors that made putting together a cohesive office space fairly quick work.
A majority of the design elements were free, Sola said, due to a large amount of waste that’s fairly normal to commercial office design. But she focuses on sustainable design, which means one vendor’s trash was Workable’s treasure.
The carpet, tinged with fuchsia spots, was designed for a vendor’s corporate client before the COVID-19 pandemic. When business closures and stay-home orders hit, the project was abandoned, and the carpet was destined for a landfill. Until now.
The walls are painted with recycled paint and most of the chairs and desks were rescued too — they were owned by a company that was moving to a new office and planning to throw away all its old furniture.
Elements that had to be bought new are also sustainably made, Sola said. Sound-deadening wall panels, and panels in their personal phone booth work spaces, are made from recycled water bottles.
“And they have an adhesive on the back that’s not tested on animals because most adhesives are,” Sola said.
The two sound-resistant phone booth-style boxes are an alternative for people who struggle to work in open offices, or who need a quiet space for a private phone or video call.
“I’ve seen people be in them all day so it’s totally just how your workflow goes,” Sola said.
The booths and a conference room can be reserved by members. There are several desks and a work bench in the main space.
The art on the walls is by local artists and for sale, and Workable offers Blue Star coffee in mugs crafted by local artists in their break room.
Workable has monthly memberships or day passes and is open 24 hours a day. Once a person signs up and pays online, they’re emailed a key code to the front door.
For more information, go to workabletwisp.com.