Last August theCO added four new board members to help provide fiscal and policy oversight to the existing board. One of the most important things about these four new members was their first-hand experience with programs of theCO. Their own personal experiences have helped provide insight in long term planning. Those members include resident CO:member Austin Thompson of Thompson Industries and Random Pieces of Wood. Kevin Adelsberger of Adelsberger Marketing who has been successful in cultivating a small business through theCO. Andre Gist, CEO of BG Safety Systems and creator of “The Lighting Bug” which won theCO’s Best in the West Pitch competition back in 2015. And Beth Wilson of Wisdom House and Jackson Escape Rooms.
Beth and Lee Wilson built an escape room empire by keeping their expenses low and starting small. She credits CO.STARTERS and resources like theCO’s makerspace and mentorship for helping keep their bottom line low and lean in the beginning.
“My husband Lee Wilson and I are the owners of 5 different escape rooms. It seems like a strange transition to go from escape room owner to design, but my role in the business has always been “the finder.” New room, new immersive experience, new things to make it feel the part. So I’ve always been on the hunt for something. When I decided that I wanted to do something in addition to escape rooms I took a lot of the same principles I learned in CO.STARTERS.”
When trying to decide what her other project should be Lee often asked her questions like: “What is it that you want to do? What do you do in your spare time? What can you not keep yourself from doing? See if you can make those things work. “I was like okay, I can really hone this in,” Beth explained. “For escape rooms, I was always trying to source these crazy pieces and along the way, I was running into really great home decor pieces and found myself thinking - somebody could use these. That’s really what Wisdom House started out as, I was already on the road searching for specific things, can I also have an excuse to buy the pretty things?”
Seeing the way Jackson Escape Rooms launched through CO.STARTERS lean business model and Wisdom House being a direct cause of JER made Beth a great addition to theCO’s Board of Directors.
“theCO is really a gift and when you get all of the people together in one room, it's like the step past brainstorming. All of the people who work at theCO dream about what it could be but in these board meetings you hear about how they’re actually executing those big plans. I didn’t realize all of the things that theCO could actually be until joining the board. If you’re just a member here you might focus on having access to the makerspace, or how you can connect with businesses, but you aren’t necessarily going to use Driving Innovation’s mobile units. I enjoy being at the table. All of the all of these smart and creative folks have gotten together and said this is what we want to do and then you get to a board meeting and it’s like this is how we did it and this is where we’re going.” She says, “It is really encouraging. It’s so much more than just a coworking space, but it is beautiful.”
To shop Wisdom House’s unique home decor items, you can follow Wisdom House on Facebook and Instagram at @wisdomhousedesign.