Cars, buses and bicycles hurry by on any weekday morning, bearing their passengers to this or that office in Downtown. Hidden in plain sight at Tejon and Willamette is Welcome Fellow, a Colorado Springs coworking space that is anything but this-and-that. A cinder-block bench sits outside the front door, partly as a rest for walkers-by, mostly as a hint of the simplicity and resourcefulness within. A front wall almost completely of glass frames the activity inside, inviting a vision of collaboration and opportunity, a window into a creative future for this city.
Welcome Fellow is the latest iteration of an ever evolving idea in the hearts of its founders, beating for the creative community living in what has at times been a creatively dormant city. Starting in 2014 with temporary markets to display and disperse each of their crafts (vintage moto goods, Colorado-branded apparel, and hand made leather work), the three creators of W/F progressed to a Christmas-time pop up shop as a lab to test ideas and to test their relationships, to see what worked here and if they could work together. They discovered a lot about themselves, about this city, about their crafts, all of it now aimed at delivering something of real value, waking this place to its own creative story.
The space is simple, curated, uncluttered, and easy. The walls are largely bare and clean-white which with the monochrome concrete floors promise to the members of Welcome Fellow a clean slate on which to build their own ideas. The members here are genuine co-workers, co-existing and collaborating and co-creating, each with her own gifts, each with his own aims, but all sharing a common aspiration to do great things in and for Colorado Springs.
We need more makers says Jeremy Worley, one of Welcome Fellow’s founders. His contention is that we are all inherently creators, contributing what talents and ideas we have, little by little, all compounding to craft a better future, a changed city.