127 S. Allegheny St. #2 Bellefonte, PA 16823
1 (315) 877-5969
By Serge Bielanko
Centre County's up-and-coming small business movement got a huge boost recently when Studio 1795 opened its doors in downtown Bellefonte. Part coworking space, part community gathering place, Studio 1795 is the ultimate step up and forward from Spring Board, the the Bellefonte area's first co-working space which opened a few years ago and has now shifted direction. And the whole amalgam is part of one collective vision conjured up by Ellen Matis.
No stranger to most doers and shakers in Bellefonte these days, Matis is extremely active in the small biz and cultural renaissance that's seen the town moving in a variety of new directions lately.
"I'm considering myself to be a "community connector" of sorts these days," she says. "I'm now the owner of two businesses here, Hello Social Co. and Studio 1795, and I'm involved with quite a few Bellefonte organizations as President of the Board of Downtown Bellefonte Inc. and a Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce board member."
With Studio 1795, Matis, along with her husband, Sean Yoder, has set out to offer up inspiration and opportunity with a variety of unique services, events, and space.
But, well, what exactly does that mean?
I mean, what the heck is Studio 1795?
Turns out, it's a lot of good things all at once.
"To the Bellefonte community, we offer a variety of things," Mattis explains. "We're a place for freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs to work from a really neat space. We offer workshops and events that the entire community is invited to attend. And we are a private event venue that's bookable on evenings and weekends"
Which means that chances are pretty darn good you will find yourself a reason to visit this place before long.
For the aspiring small business owner (or hard-working college student) Studio 1795 offers hip coworking space for pennies on the dollar of what you'd pay for an office. We're talking the best high-speed internet connection available in a cool environment infused with local art and cozy furniture and all the COFFEE you can drink!; unlimited access to office essentials like phones/ a private conference room/ and a printer; and the opportunity to bounce your small business ideas or questions off of the experienced minds of Bellefonte SpringBoard.
In addition to all that, Matis and company have concocted an impressive list of workshops, classes, and community chat sessions covering a slew of topics. From how to create social media content to how to make a chunky blanket, there's something for almost everyone, I'd say.
"Bellefonte is a really attractive community for young professionals and creative professionals," Matis reflects, when asked what the idea was behind all of this. "They want a home-like place to work, that provides professional amenities, but is comfortable and fun. I think that we provide that, as well as a super inspiring and collaborative vibe."
And as if all of that weren't enough, Studio 1795 is also a place where you can just kick back and celebrate life.
"On the events side, Bellefonte is really lacking in small event spaces to hold private parties," says Matis "Our space is perfect for bridal and baby showers, small cocktail parties and more."
When asked what people should know about this new business right off the bat, Matis doesn't hesitate to oblige.
- We offer day passes, so anyone can stop by and co-work for a day without a membership. Otherwise, memberships are designed to offer flexibility for the number of days per week you want to work.
- Anyone can host a workshop at the Studio. We want to make sure the calendar is full at all times!
- We're now booking private parties. If you're planning a spring baby shower, or want to throw your friend an epic birthday party, you should reach out to the Studio."
So look, as we kick start 2020, there is something a bit undeniable in the air around here, don't you think? Yeah sure, the start of a new decade always has people tossing around the same old cliches. I know that.
"Blah blah blah."
But the truth is, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania- a very old town with a deep sense of understanding about it's storied past- is also a community where people live and work and dream pretty big. And that fact is reflected in this hard-to-explain aura, this excitement in the air theses days up and down these seen-it-all streets. The old and the new are dancing together, people, and that is kind of rare when you really think about it.
It's hard to see any kind of dumb cliche in any of that, right?
Heck, even the name Studio 1795 is a reflection of everything Bellefonte has been before, as well as everything she might be someday soon.
"I thought about the name a LONG time," exclaims Matis. "Like, months long. Eventually, I landed on "Studio" because I thought that word was attractive to creative types, and "1795" is the year that Bellefonte was settled — tying in to our mission to increase community engagement downtown."
And that's kind of perfect.
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