Meet the founders of Yamba’s picturesque co-working space, Hayley and Michael. Hayley is a professional chameleon, who started off her legal career in maritime and aviation before moving to marketing, while Mick (Michael) is a sports and marketing wunderkind and has managed a number of international events.
When Hayley and Michael grew tired of their city jobs, they knew a couple things for certain. They knew they wanted to be in beautiful Yamba, and knew they had to move with some dynamism, and so they packed up their things and took their city jobs with them to Yamba. After working from home for a little while, they quickly felt the walls closing in around them as they tried to keep their energy high while working from home. Hayley and Michael knew they wanted to work in a space that would inspire them as they walked through the doors at the start of each day, and somewhere they could collaborate and grow with their locals. When frustrations boiled over, they knew they had to do something, and they started Blanc Space Agency back in October 2018.
When COVID hit, as a co-working studio and creative agency, Blanc Space was well equipped to weather the storm, as the pandemic actually created a greater need for their services. Many locals realized that working from home was feasible, and Hayley and Michael were able to provide a quiet, tranquil space for them to get work done without being distracted by children or spouses, as we’ve all experienced during the pandemic.
Even better, they’ve always been committed to a spacious environment without too much bustle, so it was easy to abide by social distancing regulations. They closed to the general public to manage their numbers, and their casual workers started to book in advance to make sure they had a quiet space to work for the long-term. They also moved to use QR codes for sign in and upped their sanitation game above and beyond legal requirements. Although they miss holding big events for their workers, they’ve redirected that energy into running more outdoor engagements with their community.
During COVID-19, Hayley and Mick partnered with the NSW government’s “Saving our Species” initiative, to run their “Caring for the Clarence” project, where they planted 5000 koala and nectar feeder trees in their local area. To plant the trees they contracted locals who had lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, to help their community weather the storm. Their community support doesn’t stop there, as they’ve been actively engaging and mentoring students at their local high school and have launched a weekly safe space for young women at the agency.
The pandemic inspired Hayley and Michael to be much more creative in the way they connect with their community. To provide a getaway for their locals, they recorded a mindfulness series with local yoga teachers, massage therapists and Pilates instructors, which made it much easier for their locals to take a break locally, even if they couldn’t physically get out themselves. Hayley and Michael have undertaken a massive effort to support their community, as many small business owners have, and there’s never been a better time to Go Local First and support our small business owners.