Alvina Menzies and her journey to 58 Bonnygate!
Hello Alvina – you’ve been very busy recently haven’t you? Tell us about 58 Bonnygate? Where did this idea to open the space come from?
A couple of years ago when reviewing the progress and strategy for my personal community project ‘Enlighten, Cupar’, I talked about my longer term vision as a business Leadership & Wellbeing Coach to bring lots of small local businesses under one roof to work, collaborate, relax and thrive together. Due to lockdown and subsequent restrictions, I found that we had to quickly adapt the services I offered at the physical premises on Bonnygate in Cupar as I could no longer deliver my face to face coaching, therapies and Wellbeing workshops from there. In April 21, we opened a small Crystal and Gift Shop to continue fundraising and shared the shop space with another small local start up business, goZECO – an eco shop & refill station. I was able to support the owner Fiona in an affordable way and when she decided she wanted to grow her business last year, I sent her on a mission to find a fit for purpose space in Cupar. Fiona called me in September 2021 (I was literally just back from an Enlighten, Cupar pop up opportunity in Sook at the Metro Centre with WBS) to say she had found the perfect space but the landlord was keen to rent the whole building and asked if I would like to come have a look?
So I did, completely unaware that I was about to embark on a huge project from scratch that would open it’s doors in less than 6 months! I remember vividly the moment I made the decision though, I was standing in the centre of what is now the beautiful The Ivy Room (our largest community space to rent) looking out to the large garden area and I suddenly had a powerful heart-warming feeling and the vision of a building full of like minded small business owners working together, reconnecting and inspiring each other, thriving together. I could also visualise hosting workshops again, retreats and teambuilding/strategy sessions and events where our community could come together in the space to reconnect, help reduce isolation and support our local community’s mental health & resilience in a sustainable way.
What’s on offer at 58 Bonnygate?
A place to reconnect, to inspire each other and to thrive together. A place for our community to come together.
Our mission is to help re-establish strong bonds of communication and emotion in the heart of our community and we aim to do this by providing a calm, friendly and welcoming space with activities for all ages and abilities.
We have office space to rent, rooms to host meetings, workshops, retreats & events. Oh, and ‘The Garden’ too.
For our small business community –
We have 5 permanent businesses ‘coworking’ together from within 58 Bonnygate;
There’s myself – Alvina Menzies, Leadership & Wellbeing Coach,
ZECO Refills & More (Eco Shop & Refill Station),
FB Massage – Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy
Marketing Life in Fife – Marketing Coach (Who of course helps us with all our branding and marketing!)
Katrina Scott, Intuitive Coach and Energy Healer
We currently have 2 other small businesses working from here regularly one day a week on a long term basis:
- Lynsey Donaldson, Holistic Therapist
- Penelope Fraser, Northerly Psychology
And we are excited to say that we are currently in discussion with other small businesses looking to do the same. This flexible, affordable way of working is so beneficial and the supportive environment we provide is invaluable.
‘The Share’ – we will host a regular ‘invitation only’ event for small business owners to come together, share knowledge and of course find solutions to challenges faced with the intention of building stronger collaborative business and personal relationships.
For our community:
In addition to the small business community we are creating, there are 2 larger rooms available to rent – ‘The Ivy Room’ & ‘The Oak Room’ and 2 coworking ‘home from home’ style rooms – ‘The Lounge’ & ‘The Study’ and to top it off we also have ‘The Garden’ which is south facing, sunny and very calming. Anyone looking to use these rooms are welcome to contact us to book a VIP tour.
We have held a number of workshops open to the public within our first month, hosted by small business owners which have been sold out with many more being booked in regularly.
The best way to find out what is on at 58 or to keep in touch is to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or sign up for our newsletter via our website.
Examples of workshop themes so far: Reiki Sound Journey, Introduction to Mindfulness & Meditation, The Higher Self, Gentle Yin Yoga with Sound Journey, Meditation & Guardian Angel Workshop. We also have Pilates & Yoga instructors looking at the possibility of hosting regular classes here and a few group training and retreat style days.
‘The Fayre’ – we hosted our first community event which was a craft fayre theme and planning the next during the summer which will be themed around Wellbeing.
What does this mean for Enlighten Cupar?
Enlighten, Cupar continues as a personal community project, raising funds through selling crystals and gifts via ‘Pop up’ events and Fayres in Fife, Tayside and beyond, including ‘The Fayre at 58 Bonnygate’! This Wellbeing Fund will continue to be used to support mental health in our community through subsidised holistic therapies and coaching.
We have 2 coworking ‘home from home’ style rooms – ‘The Lounge’ & ‘The Study’. These are bookable by half day or full day as that seems to be the preference of our community at the moment.
We have discussed a membership and an hourly rate option subject to availability with some individuals who are beginning to feel less productive in the extended ‘working from home’ environment, need a quiet space to focus and those who crave an element of supportive social interaction and inspiration.
Again, anyone looking to use these rooms are welcome to contact us to book a VIP tour as our ethos is for the use of the space to be community led – our customers help us define how the light, bright and flexible space at 58 Bonnygate is used to the maximum benefit.
What’s your dream for 58 Bonnygate?
My vision is to create an inspirational and thriving space being used regularly by like minded individuals within our community and surrounding local area. A place to feel calm, creative and revitalized every time you visit whether you are a small business owner, a member of our community or a visitor to Cupar.
We hear that there is a garden at 58 Bonnygate? This sounds amazing for meeting with clients, what will the garden space be used for?
We do have an extensive area which we have creatively called ‘The Garden’! This space can be rented for use as an extension of the internal rooms for meetings, retreats or teambuilding days for example. When not in use in this way, our co-working community are more than welcome to work ‘al fresco’ and be inspired by the beauty of nature that surrounds us.
You recently were on the panel for one of the Women’s Business Station FasTRACK sessions, how did you find this experience?
It was an absolute pleasure to join the panel for FasTRACK, it was so inspiring to hear all the participant’s business ideas and really feel their passion and enthusiasm for their products and services. I’ve only managed to meet with one individual so far for follow up support, Karen Kinloch from the Radiant Reiki Room, but very much look forward to catching up with the others when they are ready.
You’ve been a member of WBS for some time now, what benefits have you found from being part of our community?
I have been aware of the services and support offered by WBS for a few years now and joined as a growth member last year. I have attended a few online networking events however one of the most beneficial elements for me so far has been meetings in person and getting to know the WBS team and of course other members, the opportunity to meet and get to know likeminded women in businesses across multiple sectors is invaluable. The other benefit I would say was the opportunity to participate in pop up shops for Enlighten, Cupar fundraising at Sook in St James Centre Edinburgh and Metro Centre Newcastle and of course the two weeks at the very first Dundee Winterfest in Slessor Gardens.
We’re so proud and excited for Alvina for jumping on this opportunity and creating such a warm and inviting space for everyone to enjoy! To learn more about 58 Bonnygate, please visit here.