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New business makes a splash downtown

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Coworking space in use.
Photo by Tyler Jackson | Staff Photographer

A shared workspace for small businesses and entrepreneurs has opened up at 326 N. LBJ Drive called Splash Coworking.

The process to create a coworking space started over three years ago, when San Marcos businesses started to ask for it. Creator of Splash Coworking Carina Pinales said she also needed a shared workspace.

“It was a collection of events that happened, the Main Street program had explored what it would look like to have a coworking space in San Marcos, and I was included in that conversation and then it evolved from there,” Pinales said.

As a San Marcos native, Pinales said she felt she owed a debt to the city. Splash Coworking has been her way of giving back by fostering collaboration among diverse groups.

“I’m really humbled that our space has organically created an environment for multiple communities to come in, feel welcomed and empowered to be here, and have a space that facilitates what they’re needing,” Pinales said.

Creative director of Arrondi Creative Productions Faylita Hicks said Splash will hopefully get students out of their bedroom.

“It will be great for all the people that are running businesses out of their dorm room or out of their apartment,” Hicks said. “It’s important that people know we have a place for them to sell their artwork and handmade goods.”

Pinales, a Texas State alum, said there was a gap between when she graduated from the university and started to look for her career, which was a challenge.

“SPLASH offers that kind of intersection between transitioning from a university setting to the real world, and providing not only the opportunity for that experience, but the relationships and collaborations,” Pinales said.

The San Marcos Cinema Club, which has planned the Lost River Film Festival, has a designated desk at Splash. Club member and finance senior Paul Madsen said Splash has been very useful.

“This is the first time that we’ve had a physical space to meet up. We used to meet at coffee shops or each other’s houses and it was always stressful,” Madsen said. “Splash has allowed us to plan everything out more efficiently and meet up not just with each other, but with sponsors who are interested too.”

The business will host several events throughout the year, including a Ripple Market every third week of the month, prepared by Arrondi Creative Productions. These markets will include workshops, art exhibits, and other creative events.

The markets will be three-day events, starting on Nov. 16 this coming month. One of the upcoming workshops includes a presentation by a Microsoft employee who has spoken nationally about small businesses marketing themselves well.

“It’s really important to learn how to strategize and enhance your LinkedIn profile and get yourself ready for the job market,” Pinales said. “(The speaker) will go over how to market and brand yourself, and that’s invaluable information.”

There are varying levels of membership for Splash, with amenities ranging from an open desk at the front, a private designated desk, to a private office space.

The membership starts at $50 per month for access to the open desk space five times a month, and the price increases as the amenities do. There are also conference rooms, storage lockers, and an artist-like maker’s space.

“This kind of space allows for exploration of what you want to do, and what you’re going to contribute to society,” Pinales said. “If you’re not collaborating or developing relationships, then you’re stagnant in your development, and Splash is a hive for that collaboration.”

Splash also offers a parking lot in the back, which can be a rare find in downtown San Marcos, Pinales said. The lot can transform into an outdoor event location. The business also offers a “flex space” in the front of the building, which serves as a workshop, classroom, or event venue; depending on what it is needed for.

The soft opening of Splash Coworking was Aug. 18, when the company already had several members waiting for a physical location to use. The grand opening was Oct. 18-20, where co-working was available all day for the public to try free of charge, along with a variety of art events.

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