Whether you’re a web developer, photographer, designer or even a branding agency, this could be your new work space. Co-founding partners, Jeff White and Rebecca Cale, are bringing the future of co-working for marketers to Greenville. So what exactly is The Wheelhouse? Well we’ll let the experts do the talking… here’s your exclusive Q&A with Jeff and Rebecca.
360: What is The Wheelhouse?
Jeff & Rebecca: The Wheelhouse is a cowork space for marketing people that also functions collectively as a marketing agency. We have space for 50 people with desks ranging from open single desks, to group desks, to cubicles. We’re located on the Swamp Rabbit Trail on the edge of downtown. We have people here in all aspects of marketing. For instance, we have marketing analytics geniuses, print and web designers, web developers, SEO and Amazon store experts, user experience specialists, social media whizzes, digital marketing masters, and so much more. We all work in The Wheelhouse but, together, we function as one agency—The Wheelhouse Group.
360: How did The Wheelhouse idea come to life?
Jeff & Rebecca: We have both been in marketing our entire careers. We’ve worked in larger agencies and, while we saw the strengths that come along with that, we also saw the bottlenecks. As agencies become bigger and more layers of management are added, it becomes a greater fight to execute the day-to-day necessities to meet client expectations… it becomes more about doing what you can with as few hoop-jumps as possible. As we decided to go out on our own, we asked ourselves if we could come up with a more streamlined model. We knew we wanted to start our own agency, but we’d be an agency of 2 people and would have to form a network of outsourced partners to do the majority of the work, which would be exactly how the majority of traditional agencies function – in no way setting ourselves apart. OR, we could open a cowork space for marketing people and literally surround ourselves with professionals who we could partner with to function as a full-service agency.
The Wheelhouse comes to life continued…
It has worked better than we even imagined. From the beginning, we’ve had a fantastic diversity of members that we’ve engaged in our client work. The concept has also resonated with clients who want the resources of a big agency to get whatever needs to be done, but also the nimbleness and low overhead of a small agency. Within a few months, we have become agency of record for several clients and are working with many others on ongoing campaigns.
360: Why The Wheelhouse? What are the biggest amenities for a marketing professional?
Jeff & Rebecca: The Wheelhouse isn’t for everyone. If you are a larger agency that has invested a lot into the culture of your company and really need to keep it self-contained, then it might not make sense to be here. But if you are a sole proprieter or have a small team and want to collaborate and work with a larger team, then this could be a perfect fit. We have projects that have 7 or 8 different entities within the Wheelhouse working simultaneously on different parts of the same campaign, which provides a very cohesive experience – for us and our clients! Our clients get to enjoy the expertise of individuals who are making a living at their particular niche and, ultimately, get exceptional marketing campaigns without having to manage multiple vendors.
The Wheelhouse amenities continued…
So, what sets us apart? No other cowork space, that we’re aware of, has sales people bringing in business or provides a platform for autonomous operation while functioning as a whole at the same time. An obvious added bonus is sharing the building with Swamp Rabbit Crossfit and Soul Yoga and we’relocated just a few feet away from the Swamp Rabbit Trail. What more could you ask for? At any given time, you can spot one or more of our members taking a call while pacing up and down the trail. It’s such a free and invigorating environment to work from.
360: What’s a typical day like at The Wheelhouse? Walk us through it.
Jeff: I get here at about 7:20am after dropping my kids off at A. J. Whittenburg Elementary School, just a few hundred yards away. I unlock the doors, fix a pot of coffee, turn on the lights and TV, sweep the floors (sometimes), take out the trash, and any other odds and ends that need to be done. Usually by 7:40am I hit the trail, cup of coffee in hand. I spend the next 30 minutes or so walking the trail and clearing my head, thinking through my day. By 8:15am I’m usually at my desk going through emails. By the time Rebecca gets here, I’m ready for some socializing much to her delight. The rest of the day is consumed by taking care of clients, brainstorming new campaigns, status calls, and day-to-day work of the agency.
Rebecca: I get here somewhere between 8:10am and 8:30am – depending on how the first part of my morning has gone at home with the kiddos. I’m still usually the 2nd or 3rd one here… we small business owners enjoy a looser schedule. I like getting to ease into my day, but that usually only consists of grabbing a 2nd cup of coffee before scanning through emails and catching up with Jeff on what’s happened between his arrival and mine. In between those conversations though, I prepare for any client calls I’ll be leading that day and sending out reminders on any deliverables that are due. After that’s complete, I spend the day responding to emails, attending meetings, and executing projects that are in the works. Several days a week, a few of us spend our lunch breaks squeezing in a run on the trail, or sweating profusely in hot yoga. Downward dog!
What’s next for The Wheelhouse?
Jeff & Rebecca: We don’t know. We’ve already had people asking if we’d be interested in expanding the concept to other locations, but we’re just taking one day at a time. Our biggest focus is making sure we deliver incredible results for our clients; but we’re also super excited to see how the members here morph over time as we continue to build a more robust product offering for our shared clients.
360: When you’re not at The Wheelhouse where do you love to go in Greenville?
Jeff: I love food. So, I love to go to various restaurants. But I have 4 kids, so going out to eat is a production. We still do it though. Big fan of Mac’s Speed Shop, Farmhouse Tacos and Birds Fly South, so those are always at the top of the list. Aside from that, I love spending time in my workshop and just playing with my kids. We go to parks a lot, and of course, there’s the Friday night pizza and movie night in our basement.
Rebecca: I love most things about Greenville. I particularly love all the parks and restaurant options (especially those that offer outside seating and/or live music.) The TD Saturday Market is a favorite, along with the Greenville Zoo and Greenville Drive games. My family stays busy and we’re thankful for a city that offers so much variety!
360: Thanks Jeff and Rebecca! Very much appreciate your time. We’ll see you again at The Wheelhouse soon!