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Midland Living Magazine

Connection, Community and Opportunity

Brian Davis, Darrell Dunton & Joe Aylor

written by leah c. williams | photos by jacqueline davison



Three local entrepreneurs, Joe Aylor, Brian Davis, and Darrell Dunton, came together with a vision to offer something that Midland so desperately needed: a hub for entrepreneurial workspace and connection. Individually, they offer the unique perspectives and diverse talents that brought Second Story Coworking to life. 




 


After attending a coworking conference in New York and learning about the benefits coworking can bring to a community, the partners brought valuable information and education to build into their own concept specifically designed to help the West Texas community. Second Story is a home for small businesses in their beginning stages, individuals thinking about starting their own business, and out-of-town professionals needing a place to work during the week. Second Story is a place for small businesses to grow, thrive, and prosper with the long-term goal for individuals and businesses to continue growing and eventually expand out of Second Story, creating more space for new businesses and entrepreneurs. 




 



The name, Second Story, was born from the concept of each individual discovering their calling and passion in life, which becomes their second story. As fate would have it, the coworking space ended up on the second story of the Midland Tower Building, facing the new and upcoming Centennial Park, even after the name of the business had been established. Opened in July 2019, Second Story Coworking has become a popular entrepreneurial hub in the Permian Basin. 





 

Second Story is a home for small businesses in their beginning stages, individuals thinking about starting their own business, and out-of-town professionals needing a place to work during the week.


Since opening their doors, Second Story has become a home to various professionals and small businesses that represent 13 different industries. When Kelly McKinzie was given the task to move to Midland and help open an office for a Houston based company, he immediately began to search for an office space upon his arrival. On Kelly’s first visit to Midland’s newest coworking space, he was introduced to owners Joe Aylor, Brian Davis, and Darrell Dunton. Within the first hour he met another three business people and sat down to have a beer at the kitchen bar. That afternoon Kelly experienced what people in coworking spaces all over the world are realizing: workspace without connection and community is just an office. Workspace with connection and community equals opportunity. 





 



Chauny Shivers with Favor exemplifies the coworking community of Midland. She accepted a job with an Austin-based delivery service and quickly began making her mark on the company. As they strategized about expansion, they quickly saw Midland as a breeding ground for opportunity, and shortly after solidified a delivery contract with HEB for their home deliveries. This presented the company with a problem that Chauny needed to solve: Workspace. The challenge was addressing how Favor would train the number of runners needed for this massive expansion and opportunity in West Texas. Her answer was simple: Coworking. The flexibility of the workspace allows her to train 30 runners at one time in shared conference rooms designed for teaching and training. Favor’s presence at Second Story also provides exposure for them to hundreds of business professionals who would not have known about the company otherwise. Chauny has since become one of the company’s most dynamic and energetic employees and has grown the local runner service twice as fast as their projections. Kelly and Chauny’s stories are just a few of many experiences that Second Story has facilitated and continues to do so for individuals and small businesses. 



 Kelly McKinzie



Kelly experienced what people in coworking spaces all over the world are realizing: workspace without connection and community is just an office. Workspace with connection and community equals opportunity.



The effort to support and help business owners doesn’t stop at providing shared workspace, Second Story also sponsors the Midland Chapter of 1 Million Cups. As a program of the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups works with entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. 1 Million Cups is a nationwide organization with over 200 chapters that is volunteer-run and offers a weekly collaborative meeting over coffee for any business owner. Brian Davis became involved with 1 Million Cups at the Frisco chapter and wanted to bring it to West Texas. Coincidentally, the mission of both 1 Million Cups and Second Story aligned together, making it the perfect fit to host the Midland chapter at Second Story. Any business owner can attend the weekly meetings, and does not have to be a member of Second Story Coworking.




 Chauny Shivers




Being true to the Second Story vision, the partners employed Kylie New Designs, a local space designer to create a premier, modern workspace focused on comfort and productivity. They have also partnered with small local businesses such as Palace Coffee, Tall City Brewing, and Fonte to provide unique amenities to members. 




 



The founders of Second Story believe this business goes beyond a co-working space; they believe that the community from Second Story will lead to creating positive change and growing the small business community in the Permian Basin. †

To learn more about Second Story Coworking and their vision, visit www.secondstory.co
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