Ashley Eayre-Brammer helps cultivate community at the coworking space
Our CoLab Nashville members have probably noticed a friendly face at our front desk. You might even know her name — Ashley.
Ashley is the new operations manager for our offices in downtown Nashville. Here’s a little bit about her:
Where were you before CoLab Nashville?
I worked for Bongo Java. I managed the front end of Grins Vegetarian Café and I also represented Bongo out in the community for special events. I was there for the last three years.
What brings you here?
I was looking for a change. The summer has brought a burn out for me just with the restaurant/customer service industry. Even though I was working in management and they kept me occupied with special events and creative things like that, it wasn’t really satisfying. I was looking for something different; I needed something desperately to breathe life back into the creative parts of my brain.
Kailey and I have been longtime friends and the job opening happened at the right moment. She needed someone to help and I just leapt in with both feet.
When did you start?
What is your role at CoLab?
CoLab is growing every year and that’s wonderful. We’re reaching this growth spurt point where we need to focus on reaching the external community in Nashville and continue to network downtown and expand our circles. But we also need to continue to cultivate the internal community and that is what I’m going to do. I’m going to focus on continuing to grow the community by making it an easier and more efficient place to work and making it a fun and exciting environment to be in.
CoLab is turning into a space where people are entrusting us with their livelihood. We want to make sure we provide everyone with what they need to be successful and stay holistically healthy. Inspiration is at the heart of what we do. We want to inspire creativity. That’s the point of it all. To help people breathe and create and challenge their mindsets.
What’s your favorite part about this job?
I like that every day is different. I’m super organization-oriented. My brain thinks in lists and columns and efficiency and logistics. At the same time, I get to be creative and I get to feed that other side of my brain. Ultimately I am both parts, but this job allows me to actually live out both parts every day. I don’t have to choose which part of my brain I’m going to use when I get to work.
It’s challenging me to be more of myself and I think that’s why it feels fulfilling.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
I love music just like every other person in this city. But I really love music from the 40s through the early 70s. The heart of that is soul music — blues and jazz. The female musicians of the time were all saying stuff that wasn’t OK in a typical society for women to say, but it was reality. They started making people think differently until it became a norm. Soul music is my heartbeat.
I also love to garden. I have a vegetable and fruit garden at home. That’s my safe place.
What’s an interesting fact that someone people might not know about you?
My grandmother, who’s the matriarch of my family, was Japanese. My grandfather was in the U.S. Army and stationed in Korea in 1957. He had taken a leave and went to Japan with a buddy to buy gifts for his girlfriend back in Korea. His buddy’s girlfriend was Japanese and introduced my grandfather to my grandmother as a “tour guide.” He fell in love with my grandmother, went back to dump his girlfriend in Korea and came back to Japan and married my grandmother within months. Her parents disowned her and she moved to the U.S. in 1958 and never moved back.
She was such a strong woman and fearless in a lot of ways. She always served as an example to my sister and I to always follow our hearts over what may be expected of us. She threw caution to the wind, followed her heart and chose love.
What makes CoLab so great?
The fact that multiple industries can come together under one roof and create a community.