As Santa Maria approves more housing as part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan, new creative spaces are bringing residents a unique set of experiences, including Flow: a co-working space where residents can rent out office space with the goal of bringing people together and forming a professional community, said Flow’s co-founder, Matt Ladin.
Individuals can rent out the space in Santa Maria on a tier-level basis—where people can either use a desk for a day or rent an office space where they can leave their things and return to every day.
“It’s bringing new offerings and interesting things that hopefully expands the capacity, innovation, and creativity to Santa Maria,” Ladin said.
Flow’s been open for a little more than a month and recently hosted a soft opening, held an event with the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce for the Hispanic Business community, and hosted a Halloween wine and pumpkin painting event.
“It’s been a really interesting cross section of early-career entrepreneurs and creatives going up to more established and older people that come into the space,” Ladin said. “We have people taking offices, holding events, meeting there once a month with their company or employees, people just coming from outside the area and doing a day or week pass.”
Co-working spaces like Flow haven’t existed before in Santa Maria, but Ladin said he hopes this will be a place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow and thrive to help cut some of the costs of leasing an office.
“You would have to take out a multi-year lease, put down a security deposit, and be responsible for a variety of bills [among] other things to get yourself up and running. We take care of everything and an all encompassing fee where utility costs are under one umbrella,” Ladin said.
Instead of getting a multi-year lease, Flow has a maximum 30-day membership that allows businesses to have an office space, access to conference rooms, and the opportunity to connect with other individuals in the Santa Maria business community, he said.
“You’re seeing them every day and able to talk to them, it’s a great opportunity for networking, connecting, bouncing ideas off each other, it’s an interesting energy we’re developing,” Ladin said. “These people are working together and building projects and adding value to the Santa Maria community.”
Eventually, Ladin said, he’d like to launch a mentorship program for children and youth in the community at Flow so they can come in and learn from people in the business world.
Along with Flow, Ladin and his partner, the Vernon Group, have launched The Collective: a multi-vendor commercial space in the Skyway Center that will host a coffee shop and cafe, the Mayan Mexican restaurant, 805 Charcuterie, a beer and wine bar, and a dessert and ice cream shop.
He added that he hopes it will become a “social hub” for Santa Maria with live music, entertainment, sports viewing opportunities, and a large patio area for people to hang out. All seven spaces are booked out, they just need to be built. Ladin said he expects all of the businesses to be open in six to eight months.
“As far as the Collective goes, it’s just a … new concept to Santa Maria that is really focused on bringing experiential businesses and a combination of new and familiar businesses in a social hub setting,” Ladin said. “It goes back to: How do we create great experiences and community in that space, and how do we have space for our existing community?”
Find Flow at 1414 S. Miller St., suite P. Visit flowspace.work to see a cost breakdown of office space rental options. The Collective is located at the Skyway Center, 3546 Skyway Drive. Visit collectivesm.com to learn more.
• Free disaster preparedness and emergency response training for teens in seventh through 12th grade starts on Dec. 18. The four-day program will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center—600 South McClelland St. The program is presented by the Recreation and Parks Department and the Santa Maria Emergency Response Team (CERT); the workshops are designed to prepare teens for disasters and emergencies. Program participants will be invited to form a teen CERT club where they can continue to enhance their CERT education through biweekly activities and training. The Teen CERT program is recommended for teens interested in careers related to disaster management, emergency response, health care, public safety, and social services. Its workshops may include graphic visual materials depicting emergency scenarios, including injuries. The realistic approach is designed to prepare teens for real-life emergencies. Parental evaluation of their children’s readiness and sensitivity for such content is suggested before registering at cityofsantamaria.org/register. Direct questions to (805) 925-0951, Ext. 2260.
Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at [email protected].