Small Business Success: Tribe Dynamics

Tribe Dynamics founders Jon and Conor started working at SHARED with a team of four. When they moved-on, they were a team of fifteen. The first few years were challenging, as most early years of a small business are. But they found their footing and started to grow. Since leaving SHARED three years ago, they have had amazing growth and were just named one of San Francisco’s fastest-growing businesses by the San Francisco Business Times. Congratulations Jon and Conor!

From the early days of Tribe Dynamics (and SHARED) in 2013.

Jon stopping by with some of the growing team for a visit in 2016.


Artist in Residence @ SHARED

The Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at SHARED is seeking applications from artists/designers based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We encourage artists/designers working in all mediums to apply. However since work-space at SHARED is shared, it may not be appropriate for all projects. We recommend that you to take a tour of SHARED before submitting your application. Tours are offered Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. Please email for an appointment.

The AIR will have full access to SHARED facilities and in-house expertise for six months. Additionally, the Residency provides opportunities for exhibition and/or related public programming.


Selection Criteria

What we look for in our application submissions:

  • Overall professional quality and aesthetic of work
  • Strength and reputation of work
  • Wide range of media represented among the artists/designers selected


Application Deadlines

July 31 deadline for September – February residencies

January 31 deadline for March – August residencies



Please email the following material to apply to

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume (Not to exceed four pages. Please include education background, teaching experience, awards, gallery showings and/or exhibitions, etc.)
  • Work samples: Email or link to a third-party site (i.e. Vimeo YouTube). Maximum 20 images or 10 minutes of video (10MB total if emailing)
  • Image list
  • Artistic Statement: (500 words maximum) Describe your practice, discussing your discipline(s), areas of interest, and how this residency fits into your career trajectory.
  • Project Proposal: (500 words maximum) Describe the project you want to work on or generate while in residence.

SHARED in Potrero View, June 2014

A little blurb about SHARED in this month’s Potrero View.Potrero_View(2014-06)


Artist and author Marilyn Yu is offering space in her 91-year-old Bryant Street building to fellow artists, designers, and small businesses under a program she calls: “SHARED.” The facility features concrete floors, high ceilings, and natural light. SHARED is a well, shared, creative work-space that also features workshops and events, such as ukelele and sewing classes, screenwriting workshops, and a monthly collage party. Yu moved to San Francisco during the first dot-com boom in the late 1990s. After engaging in the art and urban planning scenes, in 2012 she bought her Bryant Street building with loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, friends, family, and more than a handful of credit cards. SHARED opened its doors last year.


DIY and Locally-Made Trends: Makers Sparking Economic Change

Originally posted on

Making things has become popular again. Technology has brought new tools to enable this. New DIY websites and apps pop up every day. Etsy has over one million artisan sellers generating nearly a billion dollars in revenue last year. New ways to access capital such as Quirky and Kickstarter are available. Events such as the Maker Faire provide opportunities for Makers to celebrate, showcase, and share ideas. Hundreds of thousands of people attend Maker Faire all over the world.

Making not only empowers one with skills and shifts one’s perspective of the world to one of potential and opportunity, it can enable a more constructive trajectory for our economy. The Maker Movement, started in the past decade, encourages people to create, build, design, tinker, modify, hack, invent, or basically to make something. Combined with larger economic trends, this has resulted in new entrepreneurs, businesses, and products.

Starting a new venture is inherently risky. However as the attractiveness of other options diminishes, so does the risk in starting something new. High domestic unemployment, increasing costs of labor abroad, increasing costs of materials all contribute to encouraging Makers domestically.

As our country progresses on it’s path towards becoming a post-industrial, post-imperial power, it is only natural that import-replacement will arise to counter our trade imbalance. Import-replacement is the process by which locals produce a good that was previously imported. For example if we were to produce locally-made bicycles to replace imported ones, this is how it might happen. It would start by people learning how to repair bicycles. Then businesses would start producing popular parts needed in bicycle repair. Eventually businesses would produce whole bicycles. This change can cause a chain reaction, impacting not only the bicycle industry. For example the shop producing popular bicycle parts for repair may also be able to produce parts for other products. Import-replacement of one product may stimulate import-replacement of other products. This builds diversify in the economy.1

With the cost of labor increasing abroad, places of production are beginning to shift. After decades of apparel manufacturing moving south to Mexico and then West to Asia, the trend is reversing. Apparel manufacturers are rebuilding domestic manufacturing infrastructure and training a new labor force.2

This environment is particularly conducive to constructive evolution of our economy. Emeritus professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cyril Stanley Smith, points out that successful economic development has to be open-ended rather than goal-oriented and has to evolve — unforeseeable problems arise and need to be met with improvisational problem-solving. He also notes that historically, necessity has not been the mother of invention; rather, necessity opportunistically picks up invention and improvises improvements on it and new uses for it, but the roots of invention are to be found elsewhere, in motives like curiosity, especially aesthetic curiosity. Metallurgy itself, he reminds us, began with hammering copper into necklace beads and other ornaments “long before ‘useful’ knives and weapons” were made of copper or bronze.3

Valuing and encouraging creativity, equipping Makers with tools to produce and start businesses, and purchasing locally-made products, will encourage constructive economic development. Let’s build a better world together.

1. Jacobs, Jane, Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life, Vintage Books, 1984.

2. ” A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories,” New York Times, 2013 Sept 29.

3. Smith, Cyril Stanley, “Aesthetic Curiosity – The Root of Invention,” New York Times, August 24 1975.

Creation vs Consumption

The holidays are coming up. They are often celebrated by shopping, an annual ritual of the Consumer Belief System in which who we are is defined by what we consume.

What is the Consumer Belief System? Unlike traditional belief systems which are intended to be guides for living, the Consumer Belief System is meant to support industrialization by encouraging the consumption of products. Industrialization is the shift towards an economy of mass-production, distribution, and consumption facilitated by centrally-controlled large organizations. Because mass-production results in more products than people actually need, advertising and marketing becomes crucial to the process. Consumers need to be made to want the products that are produced. It is the advertising and marketing industries that have spear-headed the development of the Consumer Belief System.

In recent years there have been some who, in reaction to consuming, choose to celebrate by not consuming – for example by celebrating Buy Nothing Day on the day after Thanksgiving in lieu of Black Friday. While this is a noble effort, it still focuses on the Consumer Belief System. I believe that it is stronger to define your self in the affirmative, therefore I promote the practice of creation. Practicing creation empowers one with skills and shifts one’s perspective of the world to one of potential and opportunity.

I have taught many people how to sew over the years. The first session in the beginning sewing class the students learned how to thread their sewing machine and do some basic stitches. Initially I viewed this as an unexciting class to learn technical aspects of sewing. I quickly discovered that it was life-changing few hours for my students. The homework from the first class was to make a square, either a pin cushion or a fabric weight. At the second class, students always made some of both. They were so excited to be able to sew something, that they were eager to make things even if they were just squares. One student excitedly shared a story about one of her favorite pillows. It was getting old and worn out. For months she had not been looking forward to the day when she would have to throw the pillow out. After the first class she returned home and instead of seeing all the thread-bare spots on the pillow she saw all the parts that were still good and started thinking about the things she could make from the good parts. This is what I call seeing life with a perspective of potential and opportunity.

It is also important to reclaim one’s creativity because products are not the only things to be industrialized – culture has been as well. Culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, attitudes, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. Over the past few decades massive consolidation and corporatization of the media, entertainment, and art sectors has resulted in a decrease of avenues for expression. Only a small, elite portion of society is able to promote their self-serving structure and ideology on a mass-scale.

I believe that your thoughts create your world. If you are not intentional about your thoughts, then you are living in a world created by someone else. I believe that everyone can be creative. Like everything else creativity needs to be cultivated and practiced. It’s best to start with something simple: making cards, bookmarks, ornaments, wreaths, potpourri. I encourage everyone to practice some creativity this holiday season – to cultivate oneself as well as to create personal gifts for loved ones.

Remember, your thoughts create your world. Make your a beautiful one.

SF Open Studios 2013: November 2-3

Our first Open Studios featuring artists: Ivan Bajinov, Gerald Barnes, Lisa Fernald-Barker, Marianne Bland, Liz Brozell, Kate Farrall, Fuzz Grant, Mark Harris, Rebecca Meredith, Regis Vincent, Susie Valdez, and Rodney Weiss.

SF Open Studios is the oldest and largest open studios program in the country, featuring an annual, month-long art event that showcases over 900 emerging and established San Francisco artists in their studios. Each weekend, art patrons, admirers, and collectors venture out on self-guided tours to see as many SF Open Studios artists and their artworks as possible, in the hopes of finding their next true art love. The event connects collectors with artists for engaging dialogue and a glimpse into the life of the working artist; SF Open Studios simultaneously helps artists build their mailing lists, gain new admirers, and ultimately sustain a living making art.











Data Visualization Fun with Halftone

Data Visualization Fun with Halftone

Global land temperatures were one metric that Paul and Michael (SHARED members) were gathering for a project. For fun they threw this interactive presentation of the data together. It’s beautiful and engaging. Enjoy.

Halftone helps clients manage, design, and realize data visualization projects of any size. Our focus is solving industry specific problems and communicating effectively through visualization and interaction design. Halftone is housed at SHARED.

SHARED is hosting SF Open Studios November 2 & 3

*** July 9th Update: All our Open Studios slots are filled. ***

Want to participate in SF Open Studios 2013 and need a space to show your work? Apply here to show at SHARED.

Please keep in mind the various ArtSpan Registration deadlines: July 1 and September 9. Once accepted to show at SHARED you will need to register with ArtSpan.

Spaces available:

Nine spaces 9’x9′ in the shared work-space. $150 for the weekend.

First floor shared work-space

And two spaces 10’x10′ in the meeting room. $225 for the weekend.


Opening Date: March 1st

We’re in the home stretch. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’re almost there and have an open date: Friday March 1st.

The cabinets have been installed and the counter-tops templated. Now we’re waiting on the counter-top fabrication. Once the counter-tops are installed we can install all the new plumbing fixtures (sinks, faucets, etc.)

In the meantime, we’re installing the interior glass – a couple doors and interior windows to make the space more light and airy.

The lockers have arrived. The new lighting we ordered should be here soon.

To see how far the space has come, below are a couple work-in-progress shots of the second floor coworking space from November 2012 and January 2013.

We’ll be having various opening events that are FREE and open to the public: Happy Drawing Hour (Friday, March 1, 4-7pm) and Sew Good (Saturday, March 2, 1-4pm).

Progress Report

The new cabinets for the kitchen and bathrooms are here. The lockers and chairs have been ordered. The new lighting fixtures are on their way. We’ve replaced the sprinkler heads with new ones.

We’ve hit a little snag in our schedule though. The floors aren’t ready yet and we can’t paint the walls until the floors are finished. This means we can’t install the cabinets because we need the walls painted first.

The wood floor is coming along. We’ve sanded and patched the original wood. The staining and sealing is going slower that planned because of the rain, which makes each layer dry more slowly. It should be done this week though.

We’ve been having trouble getting the concrete floor re-finished. Hopefully it will be done next week. Think good thoughts for the concrete floor.

We’re aiming to open mid-December and have some Trial-Time slots open so people can come try out the space. We’re also planning some events/workshops for those looking for a creative distraction from the consuming during the holiday season.

Progress Update

Work has started and is going well. By mid-November the space should be presentable enough for people to come by again for tours.

Membership application materials are available now on the website.

A couple photos of the space-in-progress. We are starting to remove things that we don’t want such as the carpet. Here’s a shot of a pile of said carpet.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the wood floor underneath is in decent condition. This means we will try to refinish the floor instead of putting in new carpet.

I’ve bought the building – Come Visit!

Today I become the owner of 739 Bryant Street, a two-story concrete and steel building between 5th and 6th Streets in San Francisco. If you have never bought commercial property or property at all, you may not fully understand what a feat it is to have a sale finally close. Even I don’t know all the intricacies involved, but I will share a bit of what I know.

The number of days to close a commercial property sale gives you an indicator of the complexity. For a regular residential property, the sale can close in 30 days. A commercial property usually takes 75. Seventy-five days ago I didn’t really understand why it needed to take that long. Looking back, I can see that even 75 days is a bit tight.

First, during the Due Diligence period, there are many more inspections and items to consider. That phase we made it through on schedule.

Second, we needed to secure financing. I am lucky to have been able to apply for a SBA (Small Business Administration) 504 loan. These loans are for small business owners to purchase property for their business. I may not agree with how our government spends all of our money, but I am thankful for this program. The SBA provides a portion of the funds needed and a bank provides the rest. This means that there are two lenders, who each have their own requirements and restrictions. Meeting everyone’s needs and coordinating all the reports and paperwork was challenging. We had to ask for an extension for this phase TWICE.

Despite the delay during the financing phase, everyone worked extra hard and we were still able to close the sale on time.

I’d like to thank some key members on the team:

  • Jay Shaffer, Colton Commercial, my real estate broker
  • Bill Luza, Objet Design, my architect
  • Katherine Zinsser, Bank of San Francisco
  • Ally Salazar and Kelly Ryan, CDC Small Business Finance

Many more people have helped along the way. Thank you for all your support. Now let’s get on to the fun stuff.

739 Bryant is going to be the home of my latest project: Shared – a shared work space for creative people. Over the next few months, we will be doing some minor renovations. I’m hoping to open in December.

I’m inviting all of you to come see the space before we actually start doing the work. Now is the time to give me some feedback about what you want in a shared work space. I will be showing the space on Tuesday, September 18th 2pm, 4pm, and 7pm. Please let me know what time you are coming – Feel free to invite friends.

The website is up and there’s a FaceBook page (please “Like” us). Membership rates and forms to apply are up on the website. You may also apply for a discounted membership rate. The discounts are limited, so get your application in early if you want to get one.

I am really excited about Shared and I hope you are too. See you on Sept 18th.



Welcome to the website for Shared: a Creative Work Space. The website and the physical space are still in progress. We hope to open December 2012.

Feel free to sign up on our mailing list to keep up to date on our progress. We will be giving some preview tours of the space, so stay tuned.