Working from home was making it difficult for both Bryan Reynolds and Jeff Marsh to find the right balance between time with their young families and their careers.
Reynolds and his family own Anthem Coffee and Tea in Tacoma and Puyallup and Elements Frozen Yogurt and Juice Bar; Marsh owns his own photography business — jobs that require diligence and focus.
Marsh would work from home, but with two young children in the house, his time would often become occupied holding his children or he’d get sucked into doing chores around the house.
“I love holding her or helping out my wife,” Marsh said. “But it would pull me away from what I needed to be working on.”
So the duo decided to open Citizen’s Creative House, a collaborative work environment, which Reynolds says will help like-minded professionals who typically work from home or coffee shops have a space where they can come to focus.
“We both have realized how important a few hours of uninterrupted time to focus on work are,” the 33-year-old Reynolds said. “It’s all in the pursuit of balance and being present when you’re at home.”
While Citizen’s Creative, located at 2102 E. Main, Suite 203, is Marsh and Reynolds’ first business they’ve opened together, it marks the fourth business for Reynolds and his family.
Janie and Larry Reynolds, Bryan’s parents, helped the Puyallup native open a then-Forza Coffee franchise at the current Anthem location in Puyallup.
“At the time, downtown Puyallup was in a depressed economy,” Bryan said. “The odds were stacked against us. The Pioneer location was rated as ‘C,’ but we fell in love with that spot. People knew they needed a coffee shop, but they didn’t have it.”
The former Forza franchise that the Reynolds owned was the family’s first business any of them had owned, but the 33-year-old quickly grew out of the challenge of owning a franchise location within six months.
“Right when we opened, we were the number one store,” Reynolds said. “We knew the five-year franchise deal was coming to a close, so we decided to open our own.”
Opening their own coffee shop was right up Bryan’s alley, as his passion is building businesses and building teams of people, and showing his community what he calls “heroic hospitality.”
After making the huge financial risk to open their own business, Reynolds says his family had no choice but to be successful. On Nov. 11, 2011, Anthem Coffee and Tea opened its doors to the community.
Prior to opening Anthem, Reynolds and his family were confident in opening their own business after experiencing success with Elements Frozen Yogurt and Juice Bar.
“(Opening Elements) was really the first step in doing our own thing,” Reynolds said. “The project gave us confidence to move forward — it was a huge hit. We were the first frozen yogurt shop south of Federal Way. We were printing money.”
As more frozen yogurt shops have opened, the Reynolds have felt the effects.
“We sustained our business and just kept rolling with the punches,” Reynolds said. “Now we’re Elements Frozen Yogurt and Juice Bar.”
While Reynolds says he’s the face of the businesses his family owns, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t experienced the highs and lows that come with small business ownership.
“I’ve failed a lot, but I’ve failed forward,” Reynolds said. “Without risk, there’s no reward.”