We spoke with Monica Auslander, a registered dietitian, about running her business, Essence Nutrition, in a shared office space in Miami.
Her office space is in the Midblock building, near Miami's high-end Design District.
I lease a desk in Büro Midtown for my nutrition business. It’s in the glass rotunda of the mixed-use Midblock building near the Design District, with its high-end stores. The area is gorgeous and just so cool. I leased the space a year ago because there’s not much room in my apartment for a desk, a file cabinet and administrative papers. I also wanted a mailing address different from my home address.
Butterfly marks the spot
Mine is the last desk in a row along the windows on the second floor with the acrylic butterfly logo on the windowsill. I chose a butterfly because my business focuses on transformation and metamorphosis, and nothing expresses that like a butterfly. It’s also gender neutral. You’d think noise might be an issue in this space, but people are respectful. If anything, I’m the one making noise. I’ll talk to myself and say, “I have to remember to send that email,” and so forth.
Organized yet whimsical
My husband’s cousin is an artist in Colombia, and striped legs are her motif. I stuck the decal on my laptop just for fun. That’s one of the perks of having my own business — if I want to do something frivolous like this, I can. At the same time, I like things organized; I get upset if they’re not. I also keep a small mirror close by because I can’t have food between my teeth when I’m talking to a client.
A laptop decal is a reminder of an artistic relative.
One on one
I pay extra for 20 hours a month of conference room time. Occasionally I FaceTime with a client at home in the morning, but I also wanted a professional space to see clients in person. The staff at the reception desk greets people and has them wait in the reception area. Then the person at the desk summons me, and I walk the client to the conference room.
On the hot seat
Asking a dietitian what she eats for lunch is a loaded question. Büro has two pantries here with a refrigerator, so I might bring leftovers from a vegan restaurant, with some feta cheese and arugula tossed in. There’s free coffee, tea and water, but I often bring my own green tea.
Fake food and more
I use rubber models of fat, muscle and food items when teaching clients about nutrition and body composition. The portion sizes are helpful as reminders. It’s easy enough to grab the models from the windowsill and go to the conference room.