Rapid City business owners who need a professional office for meetings or a quiet, private place to work have a new westside haven. Support Office Solutions co-working space opened this week at 2218 Jackson Blvd, Suite 5.
Support Office Solutions started two years ago as Andrea Maestas’ virtual assistant business. It’s now expanded to include the new co-working space, which Maestas believes will increasingly become a local need.
“The pandemic has kept us all inside for months. With restrictions being lifted, people are ready to get out and meet each other face-to-face again. Small-business owners have done a great job using tools like Zoom to connect with clients. They seem to be ready to get out again and interact in person,” Maestas said.
Public places such as coffee shops may lack privacy for professionals to meet prospective clients, she said.
“Co-working spaces are not that popular here or well-known in Rapid City, but with the population growing and people moving here from out of state, I think this is a needed service,” Maestas said.
The co-working facility offers three fully furnished offices, four hotspots that can be converted into space that accommodates up to 20 people, and two conference rooms. Support Office Solutions is open for small-business owners, freelancers and students.
Maestas will celebrate the opening of Support Office Solutions at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday with a ribbon-cutting and tours.
“Our co-working space offers a great alternative to meeting in your home or at a busy coffee shop, where it is often noisy and is not very private. Amenities include wifi, shared printer, scanner, fax, paper shredder, office supplies, a receptionist, free coffee, tea, and snacks. All you have to do is bring in your laptop and do your best work,” she said.
Those who need co-working space for just a few hours can pay a drop-in fee; there’s a special rate for students. Those who want to use the space on a more consistent basis can choose from three tiers of membership. Maestas also has event pricing for individuals or businesses who want to hold classes, networking, training or other functions at Support Office Solutions.
“It’s very flexible. You don’t always have the same office (each time you come in) but in every office there’s a desk, a chair, all your office supplies. I supply everything,” she said. “I wanted to make each spot somewhere I’d want to work every day. It’s a fun kind of place to be.”
Because Maestas hopes Support Office Solutions will become a networking resource, members can be listed on its website, supportofficesolutions.com. Non-members can be listed for $40 a year.
Inspired by one of her daughters, Coast Guard veteran and artist Elizabeth Adams, Maestas also is using Support Office Solutions to spotlight the arts community. The previously blank walls are now a pop-up art space, Maestas said, and currently 20 artists have their work on display.
Three times a year, Maestas wants to host open house receptions to encourage the public to meet the artists and see what’s on display.
“It’s all local artists. It’s amazing the talent I have on these walls,” she said.
Support Office Solutions is the latest chapter in Maestas' multifaceted career that’s taken her around the world. She served in the United States Air Force from 1983 to 1990 as a Russian cryptologist linguist in Greece and in Germany, where she watched the Berlin Wall come down in 1989.
After her military service, she trained and worked as an interpreter for the deaf. Several years later, Maestas became a grant writer for The Heard Museum in Phoenix and eventually started a grant-writing consulting business, The Grant Mother. She'd vacationed in the Black Hills and enjoyed it, so in 2010, she relocated to Rapid City. In 2019, she launched her virtual assistant business, Support Office Solutions.
Maestas still owns and operates The Grant Mother and the virtual assistant division of Support Office Solutions. She also owns West River Medical Billing, which provides medical billing, coding and credentialing for health care providers in South Dakota.