A few months back, on a foggy March afternoon, I was flipping through Sunset magazine when I discovered Teahouse Studio—an adorable little studio in Berkeley that is home to three innovative and creative female artists, as well as a workshop and a co-working space for Bay Area creative types (or anyone who loves tea, collaborative learning, and conversation).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting this cheery oasis, nestled on sunny Addison Avenue in the heart of Berkeley. I sat down with two of the three Teahouse founders—Stef Renée, a phenomenal photographer, and Mati Rose McDonough, a fabulous painter and illustrator. (The third is Tiffany Moore, who was out working offsite on her life and business coaching work.) These three talented women crossed paths and formed friendships within the Bay Area art scene, while each was working on a creative business from the quiet den of a cramped, solitary space.
They had a dream: Wouldn't it be great if we found a shared studio space where we could work together? And we could build a much-needed local community by offering shared work space and creative workshops in an intimate setting, topped with delicious food? The answers came quickly, and without hesitation or number-crunching: Yes, yes, and yes.
Workshops at Teahouse run the gamut from craft nights, writing courses, seminars on self-care or terranium planting, to an upcoming class called "Books, Business and Boys." The Teahouse ladies say that the studio has been a labor of love. A love that, like any child, has filled them with unexpected feelings of elation—and some of frustration.
But what you feel when you step into Teahouse, what seems to pour from the sun-drenched space, the brilliant paintings, and the cozy setting is a sense of a strong, loving and supportive community—a community that has fueled their own creative businesses, too. "People come here to connect, to be inspired, and to support each other," founder Stef Renée says, "and that feels really good—it's very uplifting."
Looking for a place to hang your creative hat? Here is some more info on the studio:
• Coworking rates and info
• Upcoming workshops and classes
And to find out more iabout these inspiring women, visit them on the web:
• Stef Renée
• Mati Rose McDonough
• Tiffany Moore
(Images: Stefanie Renée)