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Hopefully you picked up a few lessons about sharing in kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Especially when it comes to sharing business space, tools and expenses. With some help from SFMade three jewelry businesses, Corey Egan, Sharon Z Jewelry and Luana Coonen just moved into a light-filled studio in the heart of Union Square and they’re like three peas in a pod. Here’s how they make it work:

1. Start communicating early and often. Before the crew had even moved into their space they had an equipment list, design esthetic and a layout. “Because we had so many conversations beforehand it really removed a lot of the emotion and stress of moving,” said Luana.

2. Leverage technology tools. To get an idea of who had what equipment before they moved in together they used Google docs which helped to eliminate redundant equipment or tools. They also each created their own ideal layout using Homestyler and then compared each layout (turns out they weren’t so different) to come up with the final. Pinterest boards were useful for determining decor and a design style. Splitting the bills is made easy using Splitwise.

3. Create time to manage your space, not just your business. Most entrepreneurs barely have enough time to manage their businesses, let alone a new space. So carve out some time each week just for working on the studio. They’ve built furniture together (equity sweat, as Sharon puts it), added wall shelves and even constructed a pulley for hanging bikes.
4. Showcase your work collectively. A vintage flat-file cabinet sits at the front of their studio, the first drawer featuring a few pieces from each collection so visitors can get an immediate introduction to each designer.

5. Co-locate if you can. On the 5th floor of 833 Market Street almost all the studios are occupied by jewelers or folks in the jewelry industry, making it very convenient for the ladies to get quick tips or advice from other businesses. Now we just have to find the floor filled with chocolate makers.

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