Along with her deep liaisons in the neighborhood, Office Manager Nikki Somers brings organization and order to our team. Nikki manages our data, information, and financial systems. She’s part of our outreach to businesses, assists with events, and generally rolls up her sleeves and pitches in. Have a question? Chances are Nikki will have the answer.
Callus is a multi-use space located at the intersection of Jackson Street and 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square. Callus offers numerous areas in their first floor spot, which has hosted a variety of businesses including a vintage clothing shop, art gallery, and barber. Presently Slate Coffee operates out of Callus- serving artisan espresso beverages out of hand made ceramic cups, along with baked goods. Callus’ interior is lined with lush flora, vintage chairs against rustic wood community tables, and an array of antiques collected from all of the world.
Callus opened in their Pioneer Square location in June of 2017. Previously the space was one of many rug retailers in the neighborhood. “The space has really transformed since Callus entered,” Nikki comments. The transformation was intentional on behalf of Callus owner’s Donny Dong’s love for antiques. Dong designed Callus to provide an opportunity for artists and artisans to showcase their diverse products and merge into the market, as well as to be hub for cultural exchanges between China and the U.S. by promoting diverse and region specific lifestyles.
Nikki This Week:
This week, Nikki is excited to speak on the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s second quarter staff retreat. The Alliance for Pioneer Square will be visiting the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, and stopping for lunch at Kaname in July as part of our staff’s regular community outings. “The retreats are an opportunity for staff to take a step away from the week’s work to connect with one another and the neighborhoods and community that surrounds us,” Nikki says. In April of this year, the Alliance for Pioneer Square staff shared a meal at Pizza Pro and explored subterranean Pioneer Square via a tour facilitated by Beneath the Streets . The Alliance for Pioneer Square staff are able to engage with each other and explore the neighborhood during the quarterly retreats, and Nikki says “they also help build morale among the team.” In addition to building morale, the retreats also serve to strengthen the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s connections to partner organizations such as Historic South Downtown (HSD) and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda).
The quarterly retreats are a legacy team building activity that the Alliance for Pioneer Square has been developing overtime. In previous years, staff took part in a longer weekend-long retreat. Despite the varied format, Nikki says the impact is still the same – “the retreats are an opportunity for staff to discuss their current projects with each other, get to know one another better, and then return to work refreshed.”
The Alliance for Pioneer Square has more team building activities planned for later this year. In Q3, the Alliance for Pioneer Square will take a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island while receiving background information on the Washington State Ferry system by a representative from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). In October, the Alliance for Pioneer Square staff will be attending the 2019 International Downtown Association (IDA) conference in Baltimore, MD where we will learn more about emerging trends in urban place management and acquire solutions to apply to the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The Alliance for Pioneer Square will be joined by other Seattle-based organizations at the IDA conference including Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and Visit Seattle.