While Angie was at the SBDC workshop she wrote about in her last blog post, I was focused on getting a little work done. Although I don’t want to indefinitely continue the career I had prior to our gap year in a full time position, I’ve been fortunate enough that there’s still some demand for my services in the industry. I worked in the translation and localization industry for almost 19 years, but not as a translator. I worked in various roles on the operations end, including in desktop publishing, and as a department manager for desktop publishing and language services, before moving on to what people call vendor management, which mainly means finding and qualifying (and negotiating with) translators who work as freelancers for projects.
I’m currently working on a project to help find translators for a project being run by a multinational company where many people I know work, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot. The company has pretty well-defined processes and the staff with whom I’m collaborating are all pretty cool. It’s not full time work so I’ve had some freedom to work on our business development too. But, since I was in Pueblo for the afternoon with nothing to work on for that until the evening, I took myself to the library to get some work done on my contract project.
Pueblo has a spectacular main library.
It looks like it’s brand new but it’s about 10 years old I think. I had a hard time finding out much about it but I found these links: http://www.pueblolibrary.org; http://www.azahner.com/portfolio/hoag-rawlings-public-library; http://www.predock.com/RobertHoag/RobertHoag.html
The building is quite spectacular, though I didn’t explore it all. There is Wi-Fi throughout and plenty of comfortable places to sit within reach of power outlets. I was able to sit in a comfy chair in complete peace and quiet for a few hours and get a lot of work done.
Of course, me being who I am, the high point of my visit to the library was a human interaction. When I walked in the door and was starting to orient myself (OK, find the bathroom), I was greeted by a woman who turned out to be the circulation manager for the facility. We ended up talking at length. She and her family are relatively recent transplants, first from southern Washington state, and more recently from Colorado Springs. As well as being extremely proud of the library facility, she told me that she and her family LOVE Pueblo and that there is so much to do there. Angie and I are just hoping it stays a well-kept secret until we get established there, but we keep seeing newspaper stories about how great it is, including a recent story about the great trails out at Lake Pueblo State Park, so time will tell! I ran into her again on the way out and we chatted some more. She assured me that she’d only just come back out to the lobby area. I think she was worried I thought she was stalking me. We’ve exchanged business cards and she told me to be sure to contact her when we get settled. It’s nice to start making friends in a new place!
Part of the reason I went down to Pueblo with Angie even though she was the only one going to the workshop was because we wanted to look at some properties to see if we could find a suitable location for our venture.
We met with a realtor who was referred by my sister-in-law (also a realtor) and she showed us four properties that were in relative proximity to the bicycle touring route that is part of our motivation for locating ourselves in Pueblo.
The first property we saw was a historic building that had been remodeled as a B&B. It had more recently been repurposed as an office building, which sadly meant that many of the one-time, en suite bathrooms had been taken out. In addition, the property didn’t really have a dedicated area that could easily be set up for privacy for the on-site owner/operators. It was a beautiful building however.
The next two buildings were not suitable either. The first was an attorney’s office building. It had been converted from a house and was quite lovely, but had no bathrooms, hardly any kitchen and would cost too much to remodel. In addition, the rest of the lot was almost completely concrete, which would not be suitable for outside space for people to relax after their day on the road or trail. The third house was a converted duplex, but only the main floor was in decent shape and I don’t think there were enough rooms to dedicate as guest rooms. Unless we wanted to live in the basement (which needs an awful lot of work) there would also be no separate space for us. It’s a shame because there was a lot of space there and a second bathroom, but to be frank, I find most basements kind of spooky.
The final place we wanted to see was one we’d noticed when we were in town back in the fall, and it’s still on the market. Even though it would also require some work, and is not zoned perfectly, it is actually as close to what we want as anything we’ve seen so far. I don’t want to jinx anything by saying too much about it until we decide if it’s what we want and if we can make it work.
The house, a lovely Victorian, was set up in such a way that we could probably remodel it to make a separate apartment for ourselves, thanks to an extension that had been built relatively recently. It has a pretty good kitchen, probably enough outdoor and communal space, and a huge garage that could possibly work for storage or a bike workshop or both. The sleeping and bath areas upstairs would also need some work, but it could meet our needs. Now we need to do a lot of research to figure out if we could get the zoning permit we would need to use it as a hostel, and maybe get a contractor to look at it to make sure we can make the changes we need to carry out.
We’ll keep you posted, but for now we have a lot of work to do.