By Natalie Brader
Fairfield CoLab Business Administration Intern
Marla Brader hadn’t heard of Fairfield CoLab and was unsure about how working in the space would affect her work prior to relocating the Fairfield Artwalk offices to the CoLab. When she was first presented with the opportunity to move her office into the space, she hadn’t heard of coworking and didn’t know what to think about it, but she kept an open mind and gave the arrangement a try. Now, she says, she can’t imagine her office being anywhere else.
Marla became the event planner for Fairfield Artwalk in September 2015, though she served as the director’s assistant and a volunteer before taking on her current role. She’s always had a knack for hosting great events, and she’s thrilled to channel her talents for the benefit of the town she loves
Despite her initial hesitations, Marla’s found that the CoLab is the ideal work space for planning and coordinating Artwalk events. She says she’s able to bounce ideas off other CoLabber’s, and she enjoys interacting with all of the kind and helpful personalities who also use the space.
Plus, she says, working in the CoLab is just fun. Marla credits her office mate, Tai Ward, with adding to the comfortable atmosphere. Ward, who is the founder of Big Game Software and the president of the CoLab, always keeps a great sense of humor and a positive attitude, Marla says. She also partners with Adam Plagge, Executive Director of the Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA,) and FEDA’s Economic Project Coordinator Joshua Laraby when planning Artwalk features. Marla’s collaborative approach is a great example of the CoLab’s mission to bring people together to create new ideas. Marla’s work in the CoLab also illustrates the way the CoLab and the broader community are intertwined. Through her interactions with fellow CoLab members–whether that’s chatting over coffee in the morning or talking through the next Artwalk theme–Marla’s positive and friendly presence in the CoLab provides a bridge between the CoLab’s mission and greater Fairfield.
Right now, Marla’s gearing up for the June Artwalk, which will be the first outdoor event of the season. The theme is “Celebrating Community and Culture” and will give people a chance to mingle and enjoy Fairfield in the warm weather.
“Outdoor events mean great music, food, art, and opportunities with the people in the community and visitors from surrounding areas,” Marla said. When asked her advice on how people can enjoy their work environments more, Marla said, “My best piece of advice is to surround yourself with amazing people. It makes your day so much better.”
Natalie Brader is the Fairfield CoLab’s first intern. She started her internship in late March of 2016 and will continue through August 2016. Natalie has an interest in business administration, marketing, event planning and community development. She is currently a sophomore at Fairfield High School and actively participates in high school cheerleading, dance and drill, majorette, choir and is also taking college credit courses along with her core curriculum . Natalie has an eagerness to learn and grow as an up and coming young professional