After-work drinks and networking on the roof

Welcome to our summer rooftop sessions!

This Friday we are opening our beautiful rooftop to host an after-work summer drinks event. We invite you to enjoy the sunset and views with casual conversations and informal networking. Drinks and cocktails will be served, a DJ will handpick the music and we will make sure you love our sky-is-the-limit atmosphere. With our rooftop events, we wish to bring together members of the Athenian creative and business scene so they can make new acquaintances and business contacts while enjoying their Friday evening.

Where: Stone Soup roof, 8th floor at Charilaou Trikoupi 18

When: Friday 3rd of July from 20.30

Who will you meet: You will meet local business owners, entrepreneurs, and a variety of professionals from the Athenian scene. 

Stone Soup is organising the drinks together with Locotravel, so let us give you a company background.

Building a business around the things you love

Locotravel was established in Germany back in 2009. The company owner, Sascha Koch, has a background in the travel industry working for Lufthansa and a passion for electronic music. At some point in his life, he decided to combine the two things he loved most, traveling and music and build a business around the two. The Locotravel company grew organically as their client base increased by word of mouth and their network and pool of resources become bigger. 

Sascha Koch from Locotravel

They are managing the travel arrangements of famous electronic music artists like Ricardo Villalobos and Boris Brejcha and support many EU festivals, like the Awakenings and Time Warp. They also work with some of the most famous clubs like Fabric London and Watergate Berlin.

Expanding your business in Athens

The Locotravel team is spread around various EU capitals but the owner Sascha and the administrative assistant Dimitris are operating from Athens and their office is located at Stone Soup

In the Greek music industry, they collaborate with the promoter company Blend Athens and have arranged gigs both in Athens and in Mykonos. Locotravel quickly expanded its business into the Greek fashion industry. They started working together with greek production agencies like This Is Not Another Agency, several magazines, and model agencies like the d models. Locotravel is on a strong footing in the music and fashion industry, however, its operations are not restricted to only these two industries. Locotravel often facilitates business arrangements and traveling for various entrepreneurs and professionals around the globe.

In the aftermath of the coronavirus, they decided to start a new project: Locotravel Holidays. Their new venture is a travel agency specialized for holidays in Greece. They wish to meet all people’s needs. Clients that want to enjoy the sea and the sun, visitors longing to explore the cultural history or demanding customers looking for luxurious holidays. Their business goal is to create supreme tailor-made vacations according to their customers’ wishes and needs. 

The creative industry after Covid-19

The creative industry has been hit hard by the spread of COVID-19 and the economic crisis that has followed. The overall outcome for the industry and the future of creative workers is still unknown. As Sascha points out, music and events will unfortunately be the last to recover from coronavirus. The fashion industry is slowly rolling out its activities again. Local brands have started shooting to promote the country and themselves. They also race to find new ways to reach their customers and sell their products online. As long as traveling across countries is still limited and problematic, there are no guarantees for incoming tourism to Greece. Online marketing and sales are now the big things in the creative industry.

With our rooftop sessions, we want to motivate and inspire the creative industry to start making plans again. Being mindful of-course of all the safety measures that will prevent a COVID-19 relapse. Have a great week ahead, we can’t wait to meet you on the roof!

P2P exchange stories: Sharing, thriving and laughing together!

Running a coworking space is creative and socially engaging work, but it is not uncommon for owners or community managers to experience a feeling of “solitude” while they run their daily operations. Thinking constantly about how to do the best for the community and maintain your partnerships, takes a lot of improvisation and consumes lots of energy. People who join coworking spaces do not often realize that keeping everybody happy is really hard work!

Coworking is all about making partnerships

The minute Stone Soup became a member of the European Creative Hubs Network we became part of a larger family of hubs and space owners. We were able to start connecting and exchanging know-how and experiences. Stone Soup was also lucky to participate in the P2P program exchange and we got to spend 5 days in Malaga, the city that Spanish actor Antonio Banderas was born.

We would like to share with you the highlights of our trip!

We exchanged knowledge

Meeting TLR Stone Soup

When I met Ben Kolp founder of The Living Room coworking in Malaga, we immediately clicked, and our communication and thoughts on the improvement of our coworking spaces were honest and deep. Our interaction made me soon realize that visiting the TLR was the best choice we could have made, as our communities and values are very much alike, and we could validate our successes and reconsider our weak points.


We had new experiences

Coworking space

Our tour in Malaga started with a delicious culinary experience of freshly made tapas and local red wine. We were also amazed by the city’s infrastructure, a small Andalusian city of 500.000 residents, Malaga has a big Technology Park that attracts global companies and has a vivid digital nomad scene. We visited both locations of The Living Room, Soho and Alameda, and it was interesting to observe why certain people would prefer the one to the other. We spent our days coworking at both locations, having meetings with the community, discussing synergies, and helping one another to advance our plans, and avoid making common mistakes.

Building authentic partnerships

George Carey Simos at TLR, Malaga

At the end of the week, we partnered-up to cohost an event at TLR’s Soho location. We invited George Carey-Simos to talk about communication in the digital age. George is a digital strategist, consultant, and co-founder & COO of wersm.com. At the core of his talk was the idea that in our online communication we often take the easy way out, and we often fail to connect because we fail to “speak human”.

We also often forget to listen to what others have to say. In an over-automated, hyper-targeted, analytic world, we neglect the human nature of the interaction, and we forget how to be ourselves, how to be authentic.

As inspiring as his talk was for the online world, we also learned that as coworking space operators we need at times to encourage members of our communities to be more human! To seek out for the social interactions and partnerships that can be found in a coworking environment.

Being authentic is the start, and the baseline for improving ourselves, our brands, and ultimately to share, thrive and laugh together.

We would like to express our gratitude to the ECHN and the Creative Flip project for making this exchange possible. We hope that our new partnerships will add value to the project, and we can’t wait for the next coworking expedition!

In union there is strength

Hey! Do you know the slack community ”Freelance Athens“? If you are a freelancer in Athens you should definitely go check it out! It is an initiative started by two digital nomads, Kim Gillick and Lucy Xu, based in Athens and its aim is to give the freelancers of Athens a nice, tight and functional online community to turn to when they are in need of some support!

Recently, we hosted their first event: “Staying Social as a Freelancer” here at Stone Soup. At the event, Kim and a very active nomad, Nathan Sudds, shared some useful insights and experiences relevant to Athens freelancers, helping the community to expand beyond an online-only presence! It’s been a successful and well organised event moderated and facilitated by Karolina Sieler, who recently joined the Freelance Athens’ team remotely.

Who is Karolina?

Karolina is from Poland and she has 6 years of experience as a teacher and a public speaker in England and Scotland. She used to be a university lecturer and – occasionally – a speaker at conferences all over Europe, until she realised she was craving a new challenge. After exploring new professional options for a bit, she initiated her first business by setting up a community for entrepreneurs, start-up owners and freelancers in London, called FBIZZ Freelancers Hub. She spent 2 years running events for the community, inviting speakers and facilitating panel discussions. She used the community’s platform as a ground for creating a business blog while she took her first steps as a freelancer. Two years ago, she decided to start a new chapter in her life and become a digital nomad.

Being a digital nomad: dreaming it vs living it

“My vision was to start from London and spend 5 years there, then go to Hong Kong for another 5 years, then New York etc. I was dreaming about living the big city life but only after a year and a half in London I realised it wasn’t right for me. Therefore, I decided to keep my work life in London and explore my opportunities in different places, including Athens.”

Being a freelancer may become frustrating and lonely. The reason Karolina appreciates Athens so much is for the vibrant city life that gives you the opportunity to build deep connections with local people, as well as, with other expats. This is the main reason she seeks for opportunities to engage and comes back whenever she is able to.

Karolina’s business and vision

Over the years, she has finally figured out the ideal business model that makes her happy and at the same time supports her financially. Karolina has built her own online platform supporting law students in the UK called 1stClassLLB. She creates online courses and runs a YouTube channel.

Both in London and in Athens, she tried at the beginning to work from home. She soon realised that she was missing the sense of belonging to a community or organisation. She was set out to find a coworking home and to be able to share workspace, initiate activities with other coworkers and potentially work on a common cause. 

Karolina drops occasionally by Stone Soup and has joined Kim and Lucy, to fulfil their common vision, that is to unite the Freelance Athens community both online and offline.  “I am very satisfied with my decision to work from here. Ever since I started I feel part of a big family, plus I witness myself being more productive!” 

The first conference & General Assembly of the European Creative Hubs Network

The European Creative Hubs Network was a 2 year-long project (2016-2018) partially funded by the European Union. The project’s main goal was to unite creative hubs across Europe by forming bridges of communication and collaboration amongst creatives, entrepreneurs and freelancers from different sectors who could share their experience, exchange knowledge and explore possibilities of cooperation.

In Autumn 2018, while the project was coming to an end, the Network that emerged from ECHN started planning their next steps. In order to continue with their vision of bringing together creatives and entrepreneurs across Europe the Network decided to hοld its 1st Conference and General Assembly in Athens, Greece on 11th-13th April 2019. It will be the first official community meeting and the election of the Steering Committee.

At Stone Soup, we are very excited to take part in this initiative and we look forward in meeting everybody in person. It’ll be a great chance for networking and talking about ECHN’s progress and future steps as a newly founded collaborative organization.

Save the date and stay tuned for more info about the event and registration that will be announced soon!