Noticing the growing need for support of local entrepreneurs, Catapult opened its doors in 2013 providing an inspirational, coworking space in Lakeland, Florida. Since its establishment, Catapult has been home to over 100 members of hardworking artists, creators and small business owners working amongst each other – encircled by encouragement and community.
Not only do the members draw inspiration from working side by side, but also from the space itself – a funky, eclectically decorated workspace filled with unique lighting and art installations created from salvaged items by artist and interior designer Robyn Wilson.
We were lucky enough to get wedding photographer and local business owner, Naomi Lynn’s firsthand experience as a member and admirer of Catapult:
“This growing city in Florida had recognized a need to support their local entrepreneurs, giving them the tools necessary to launch into the next level of business and success. Catapult was the answer to just such a need. By providing coworking space at an affordable price, along with perks like office supplies, wifi, mailing addresses, conference rooms, unlimited coffee (hello!) and much more, Catapult quickly became THE spot to work! With more and more members joining, Catapult is lined up to expand their space and bring in more entrepreneurs than ever before.
“I was still in college when Catapult opened. At that time I was doing graphic design work for some of the initial members, allowing me to experience Catapult without actually becoming a member. It wasn’t until after I graduated and launched Naomi Lynn Photography that I started to dream of becoming official. Fast forward to 2016. I had been working from home for a while, realizing more and more how BAD it was for me to be alone all day! My motivation was lagging, and keeping up good business habits was a continual struggle. I was constantly haunted by work which was literally steps away from where I slept. Something had to be done. I jumped the gun and got an office space on the South side of town. I had found a room in a quiet building for a reasonable price and figured it was better than nothing! However, my main problem was not fixed. I was now paying for an office, internet, and utilities but still was all by myself all day long! I felt more stuck than ever.
“It was around that time that I submitted my application to Catapult. Why had I not done this before? Pessimism! I knew how popular Catapult was and how their space was limited, and I just assumed it would be too good to be true to actually get in. However, I submitted the application one afternoon and then forgot all about it.
“Three months later, I got the email. Catapult had sent out a newsletter mentioning an open desk, and I jumped all over it! The membership director, Anna Marie (you can find her under the words ‘fun’ AND ‘cool’ in any dictionary), knew how desperately I wanted a desk, and she had been keeping me in mind after a brief chat about it a month before. She assured me that I was on the list and that she would let me know if I got in as soon as she could! That was a long week, during which I prayed and hoped and waited and nagged (sorry Anna 😉). I honestly had not expected to get the desk when Anna called me.
Anna: ‘Hey girl! Sooooo do you still want that deeeeeesk?’
“Eeeep! I did one of those half happy dances, half spiking an imaginary football! Within a few days I had signed the paperwork, moved out of my old office, and set up Naomi Lynn Photography at Catapult. I now have a space AND an amazing community! For less than HALF of what I was paying before. Wow! Huge change, huge answer to prayer. Words cannot describe my thankfulness.”
“I am so inspired by nature and the effect it has on things”, says interior designer Robyn Wilson. “Nature creates such beautiful patinas naturally. I could walk around a junk yard for hours… all the rust, winding vines… I just love the way that nature takes things back. A lot of the pieces at Catapult Lakeland were pulled out of my favorite junkyard and transformed into beautiful and inspiring pieces… I really love to challenge myself to look deeper and to reimagine old and discarded pieces.”
With the help of a close friend with a green thumb, Robyn installed a “living wall” of lush greenery in the entryway that really breathes life into the space.
From couches, desks, and large communal tables to lounge chairs and conference rooms, a diverse assortment of seating areas are provided for members to choose from.
Robyn made this super cool wall hanging out of scraps of salvaged denim hand-dyed in various shades of indigo. The deer head sculpture was crafted by a friend out of found scrap metal.
This bold, abstract orange art installation was one of Robyn’s favorite designs that she made for the space.
“They are made of the tops of big metal factory bins. The bottom half became tree planters that line the outside of catapult. Our idea was to challenge ourselves to use all of the pieces.”
“The light fixtures are made out of junk found at the junkyard. I especially love the old rusty mattress frame”, explains Robyn.
Naomi Lynn (above) is beyond thrilled to be a member at Catapult.
“All around me there are people busily working away, laughing, drinking coffee, and inspiring each other to keep up the good fight and get back into the business ring”, says Naomi. “I no longer have to work alone, or go to sleep with work hovering over me. I can only begin to imagine the good things this will bring about for Naomi Lynn Photography!”
“The metal tree is made of rebar”, explains Robyn. “I found a huge box of a sign maker’s metal letters at a thrift shop for $5. I thought they’d be perfect ‘leaves’. I love the finished product.”
This leather chair takes “form meets function” to another level. Robyn found it in the trash and then with the help of her team added a claw leg crafted from rebar.
For those who have a dream, a passion, a love for people, or a heart for the community, Catapult is simply the place to be. Catapult
We think every city needs a space like Catapult! We admire their dedication to helping dreamers and doers flourish!