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19th January 2015..

I don’t really remember that first day. Bit of an exhausted, excited blur..

Probably have little memory of the first year actually – it just flew by, with all it’s newness and excitement and my heart beating out of my chest, and some things going very wrong, and some things going very right…!

And here we are, half a decade later.

Central Business Associates – we are celebrating five years in business, and I wanted to do a little ‘check in the rear view mirror’.


Starting a business like this, making ‘flexibility’ the core concept – if I’d known what that would actually involve, I wonder if I’d ever have agreed to do it!
But I’m so glad I did – making flexibility my key offering has opened up so many more doors, meetings and opportunities that never would have happened if I’d stuck firmly to a plan.
So my version of a ‘plan’ has really been around ideas – and values.

Flexibility, Community & Collaboration – those have been the core values that have helped me make big decisions along the way.

  • We’ve had businesses move in, flourish, grow and then move into their own spaces,
  • we’ve seen businesses collaborate on hundreds of projects, and
  • we’ve made lots and lots of friends – lifelong friends, that we might never have met if this business didn’t exist.

We’ve held events, hosted workshops, created membership programmes. We’ve laughed, and cried, been angry and ecstatic.

We have consistently looked for new ways to help local businesses connect, collaborate and grow.
I am grateful for every person who came through these doors, and thankful for all the lessons that I have had to learn along the way.

Whilst I can’t predict the future, and what the next 5 years have in store for us, I do know that if I learn as much as I have in the last 5 years, things will definitely be flexible, fun and phenomenally interesting! 😁

🥰I could say so much about the past five years, but I think these photos say it better 😍

What collaboration means to me…

I really wanted to take a bit of time to delve in to explain what collaboration means to me –  why I feel it is such an important part of what we do here at Central Business Associates, but also why it is of great importance for us all to learn how to do it, and do it well!

You really do say it a lot…!

I know, I know! I never particularly used the word ‘collaborate’ until I began planning the concept of Central Business Associates, but I found myself naturally saying the word increasingly when I was explaining my business ideas, and also came to realise that I had been ‘collaborating’ for my whole working life! It was actually one of my major strengths, so I started looking more closely at it.
My research found me suddenly seeing the word everywhere  (you know how that happens – it feels like coincidence, but it’s just your brain seeing what was always there, in a new light!), but there were varying ways that it was being perceived and understood. So I wanted to clarify to you what it means to me, and how I use it in this business, so you can understand how it might benefit you, and how you can access the relevant services for you.

Teamwork!

For me – collaboration is about teamwork – it’s about recognising you can’t do it all alone, or more to the point – you don’t have to do it all alone! If we all work together and use our strengths, we don’t have to battle away alone, and try and do the things that we are not so good at (or that we secretly really don’t enjoy doing!). It’s about give and take – for a partnership to work, everyone has to be bringing strengths to the table, or the imbalance will eventually weigh heavy on the relationship. But it’s also not about expecting something every time you give – it’s about the teamwork – knowing that if the other person or people can help you, they will.
Knowing you have a group of people who have your back is an amazing feeling, and makes you all stronger – isn’t that worth pursuing?

Hi Kathryn – Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to talk to me – I know how busy your life is!
You were one of the early Associate Members, and a keen supporter of Central Business Associates before we opened, so I am very grateful to you for that, as well as all the wonderful graphic design work you have done for the business – flyers, business cards, and my amazing wall decals that you recently worked on for me. So tell me more about SteinArt, and about you!

Q1: Business Name?
KATHRYN: SteinArt

Q2: Your name, and position in the business?
KATHRYN: Kathryn Steinhardt, Owner

Q3: Describe your product or service.
KATHRYN: Graphic Design / Desktop Publishing – SteinArt makes your content and your information look great! From business cards, flyers, brochures and reports to info graphics, pull up banners and billboards. Leave it to us, so you can move on with more important things…your business!

Q4: If you had to describe your business using just a couple of words, what would they be?
KATHRYN: Graphic Design

Q5: Why do you do what you do? What made you start, and motivates you to continue with, your business?
KATHRYN: I’m good at it.  I enjoy seeing the excitement on someone’s’ face when they get their job back.  That moment when relief sets in, knowing they didn’t have to spend hours, days, weeks, trying to put something together themselves and it’s still not what they had in mind.  That’s why I do it and what motivates me.

Q6: Where’s your favourite local place for coffee, tea, or your favourite tipple?
KATHRYN: Coffee would have to be Bay Blends in Wynnum, and Tipple would have to be Cedar and Pine, Wynnum.  I like to drink local.

Q7: You’ve forgotten your partners/mothers/BFFs birthday – where’s your ‘go-to’ place that you can guarantee a successful purchase?
KATHRYN: I have to say just a general “gift card” for Westfield, Myer, or Lorna Jane.  When in doubt, adults love gift cards.

Q8: What was your main reason for signing up with Central Business Associates? What does it mean to you?
KATHRYN: I want to feel part of a community, and not feel like I’m alone working from a desk in my house. Coming into Central Business Associates energises me and motivates me.  I love making new connections and helping people connect as well.

Kathryn, thank you so much for chatting to me today – I am delighted that you are enjoying coworking at Central Business Associates, and I am pleased I have you close to hand when I need beautiful, creative graphic design to promote my business!