Communiteaoffice's Blog

And We’re Back!
May 19, 2011, 6:56 pm
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Hi folks, so it has been a while, almost a year and boy has a lot happened. We made some strides, we have our certification as a Woman and Minority Owned business which is exciting, we also have our logo (right now it’s the only thing on our website and we’re going to sign a lease tomorrow for a space along Penn Ave in Garfield.

We’re in the process of securing our loans and getting our finances in order but our goal is to be open by August.  We’ll have a new update in a few days!



We have a logo!
July 27, 2010, 3:03 pm
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Almost. Yvette and I met with a friend who is an amazing logo designer and I think we’re so close to having the final logo!  (and then it’s off to the tattoo parlor for us!)

It’s very exciting. Lots of stuff happening this week including getting our loan applications finalized and planning for our site visit from the department of minority and women owned businesses.   We’ve also got a very special event in the works for this fall!!!

Still Trucking
July 20, 2010, 2:09 pm
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Oh the world of loans… what fun. These past few weeks I’ve been investigating where and how to get the best loan. Though admittedly it is not as bad as applying for academic grants. The unfamiliarity of expectations of banks makes everything a little more of a challenge.  We’re hoping to get some applications in this month. We’ve got a final mock up of our logo which is exciting! I can’t wait to share it with everyone! We’ve also got our kickstarter video project in the making.

We’ve been looking at a lot of spaces too. WOW what a range, in price, in condition (in mold and mildew buildup….).  We found a place we really love, knock on wood. Everything is so close we can see it. It’s all so scary and exciting at the same time.  Ok, time to get back to it.

June 28, 2010, 1:25 pm
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So last week was one of those ‘oh god’ weeks. Lots to do and seemingly no time to do it. I think both Yvette and I were riding on a high from our respective trips to the world tea expo, kirpalu, and philly.  Nothing like coming back home to cat hair, grass two feet high, and piles of laundry to make you pause and sigh.

But we were able to get out and do some space stalking. We started on Penn ave and have a long list of properties to follow up on and investigate. We’re really in love with one space but can’t seem to get the owner on the phone to find out what the plan is. There are a few really amazing spaces in larryville too, but is that really where we want to be? We’re both so set on East Liberty.

We’re also two steps closer to applying for some loans, just waiting on some letters of support and then we’ll be ready to hit the ground with our hands out 🙂 And our KickStarter video is coming along well. We took some still shots on Thursday along with some additional video to incorporate with the original stuff Johnny Hero shot for us. Hopefully that’ll get out to the public in the next month or so. Yvette’s friend James in NY is editing.

In other news  my ‘Human Diversity’ course through Chatham starts today, time to put on my Dr. hat. I haven’t held an ‘on the ground’ class in quiet a while, I hope I haven’t lost my lecturing touch.  I also had an amazing meeting with the folks over at ScareHouse ( They continue to inspire and amaze me, I’m so lucky to be part of their team (I’m their admin manager).

I should really start advertising this blog already.

co-working-“Cause working alone sucks”
June 15, 2010, 1:30 pm
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So I wanted to write a post on what co-working is really all about. Co-working is not paying for a desk, a chair, access to printers and office equipment. It’s about the people. It’s about sitting next to someone working on an amazing project that you’ve never heard of before but can’t wait to hear more. It’s about finding mentors, friends, collaborators,  and inspiration. It’s about the energy that is created when passionate people come together. It’s about helping each other, brainstorming, bouncing ideas around and having fun. Cause working alone can really suck, as the folks at IndyHall stated so well. (

In Philly!
June 15, 2010, 12:44 am
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So it’s been a pretty jammed pack week for Yvette and I. Yvette spent last week in Las Vegas at the World Tea Expo and brought back a TON of information about tea. She’ll get on here soon and start tossing out tea facts left and right I’m sure. I now know that Roobios tea is not actually a tea because it is made from Aspalathus Linearis and is anti-oxidant rich and caffeine free. I’m excited to be learning so much about tea, I didn’t really start drinking tea till grad school when I about OD’d on red bull and coffee. Now I find myself reaching for a tea drink over a coffee drink. Anyway.

So while she was in Vegas I was at Kirpalu (  doing yoga, hanging out with my best friend, and thinking about web designs and our logo. We want a really strong website, but not a really high price so we’re doing our research. It’s fun. The logo  has been a journey. We started with some pretty heavily tea centric designs that didn’t quite capture the dual nature of our space. Through chatting back and forth we came to really love this idea of nested squares with a tea leaf in the middle. So we’re working with that idea right now.

Today we drove to Philly, we’ll be here till Wednesday. I am going to go check out IndyHall (, a co-working space out here that rocks. I’m psyched to get in there and see how they run things. I’ve got so many great ideas for tracking usage of paper and ink/time/resources. I just hope what I want to do is actually possible.  But I’ve got lots of hope and never seem to let the word impossible slow me down.

a bit of history
June 8, 2010, 2:09 pm
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Hello world!

We should have started this blog a long time ago so there is a lot of catching up to do. I’ll start from the beginning. My name is Margee and my friend Yvette and I have a dream that we are making a reality, it’s called the CommuniTea Office and is a tea house/co-working space ( co-working spaces are for independent workers  Basically, if you like to drink tea- we’ve got something for you. If you like to work outside of your home, library, and congested/inconvenient coffee house-we’re you’re place, you can rent desk space by the day, week, or month! Store your books, use our printers, photocopiers, faxes, any office tool, we’ve got it. Finally, if you want a place just to hang out and learn cool stuff, come on down (well, we don’t have a space yet, that’s next).

So here’s the story:

I (Margee) came to Pittsburgh from my hometown outside Baltimore in 2002 to pursue my PhD in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.  I found my niche in medical sociology and health social movements and earned my masters in 2004 and my PhD in 2009.  It was hard.

But lets back up a little bit. In 2004 I starting working with Yvette on a project looking at health disparities among veterans. Yvette immediately became a close friend and mentor. We shared many of the same outlooks on life and work. We lamented over the fact that while our work was meaningful, it was not soul filling, we wanted more out of life. Over the course of the years and many conversations we both realized we shared the common goal of one day owning a business. We both wanted to create a space to bring people together.

CommuniTea Office was born slowly, Yvette had always wanted to open a Tea House and I just wanted a space I could hang out and work with other people. I spent my graduate years hopping from coffee house to coffee house to write. I hated working in libraries, they’re far to quiet and I tend to dance in my chair while I write, this was frowned upon. I also enjoy eating and drinking while writing, another thing libraries and labs are not to keen on. So each day I lugged my books back and forth and I found myself wishing there was someplace I could get the benefits of working in an active environment (where I could dance in my chair) but could also store my books and be guaranteed enough outlets to plug in my laptop (and of course a printer would have been nice…).  Then I found out about co-working. Of course other people like myself, coders, tele-commuters, independent workers of all kinds wanted the same type of thing and created these spaces everywhere.   I knew I had found exactly what I was meant to do. I shared my idea with Yvette and we thought, sure, why not, combine a tea house and co-working and we’ve got our dream space.

We started building the business plan informally until 2009, I believe it was around April, over a lunch at the Red Oak cafe in Oakland, when we took the plunge and agreed we could definitely be business partners. It was a big step, but we both felt confident. We had already been working together as research coordinators and dealt with delegation, organization, hiring employees, deadlines, and of course paperwork.  But most importantly we both have the same drive and purpose-to bring people together to promote well-being, creativity, and connection.

So, just as I was finishing my dissertation we began working on our business plan. It was slow going in the beginning as I was dealing with revisions and the multiple hoops one must jump through for the PhD (did I mention it was hard?). We did our research on co-working, on tea, on Pittsburgh. We met with business consultants and talked to lawyers and accountants.  We met with other local business owners and absorbed as much information as possible.

There have been so many little steps in this process,  I wish I had been documenting all along. Small things like getting our business account set up, registering the LLC, building our partnership agreement, working out our operations manual, even getting our EIN tax id.  Each step brings us closer. And so, here is the blog, I plan on updating it with all the exciting new adventures that are coming our way. Just today we got our first prototypes of business cards (most likely we’ll be upgrading). Right now the next big project is getting our website up and running and finding a space.  Oh and we’re working on a kickstarter video to help with funding (oh my god I am so nervous in front of the camera! just wait…)

This week Yvette is going to the World Tea Expo in Vegas and I am headed to Kirpalu for some much needed R&R. When we return next week we’ll be back on the road to Philly to check out some co-working spaces and tea houses.

So keep checking back and welcome to the CommuniTea Office!

Oh, and just for clarity, here is exactly what we’ll be offering:

The Tea House:

Tea-ALL TYPES OF TEA seriously Yvette is a tea master, teaologist, teaist, whatever you want to call it, if it’s tea, she’s on it.

Tea accessories-what’s better than tea than tea in cool infusion weird tea accessory things in all shapes and colors it’s mind blowing.

Catered delicious foods from local peeps.

The Office:

Desk Space- rent it by the day, week, month that comes with storage space, printer/fax/photocopier usage (free wi-fi duh)

Conference/group room space- do whatever you want, it’ll be equipped for it.

AND YES we will have coffee too, but once you taste the tea you’ll forget about the bean.