What is the first thing you look at when you meet someone new? What would be your favorite thing to do if you were alone for a whole day? What do you worry about?

These are just some of the ‘talkieS2M’ icebreaker question-cards made by Esmee Keuren, founder of Fondly.nl. I visited her ‘S2M for Locals’-location ‘het Stadshuisje’ yesterday, and don’t worry; no icebreakers were needed!

In Dutch ‘Stadshuisje’ has the connotation of being a small, little, cozy house in the city. And that was exactly what this was! Esmee doesn’t live here, instead this little house (and its neighbors) is used by artists as studios and workspaces! A truly inspirational place to work for a day, and this is where the story of Esmee, Kasper, Anke Marit and Marjolein starts.

Yesterday morning I got a call from a (rather stressed) Esmee: “I just found out there are three people coming to work at my house! How do I know not more will show up? What if there will be 10 people by the end of the day? It won’t fit!” After which I told her there is a capacity control function in the management environment, luckily that put her mind at ease. But still, three people, three strangers, working at a small S2M for Locals location: that was something I wanted to see with my own eyes! So I got my camera and hurried out of the office.

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To some degree I was expecting to see three people cramped at a small kitchen table, maybe one would be banned to the table in the garden, but alas; this was not the case! The cute little art-studio has a rather spacious downstairs area with an adorable garden (which will soon be totally renovated). Upstairs were four (big) desks where Kaspar, Anke Marit and Marjolein were all working quietly. Anke Marit, a PHD-student in neuroscience, was working on her dissertation and applying for jobs (I understood something related to MRI’s and visual imaging…it sounded really cool!). Kasper, music student, was working hard to complete his last school assignments, hoping to finish them soon so he can enjoy his summer break. Marjolein, on the other hand, was working on her new children’s book, something about time travel to the Middle Ages where all these awesome adventures will take place. When I asked her whether ‘Het Stadshuisje’ helped inspire her stories, she said it did, but mainly because of the prehistoric bathroom located in the garden (check out this video for an explanation;)).

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Four people, four different careers, one workspace and yet another great experience. Want to check it out for yourself? Book a workspace at Esmee’s location, or one of the other ‘S2M for Locals’- Locations!

House with a View– Amsterdam
Sunny Waterfront Villa at Marina– Amsterdam
Peona– Utrecht

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