Creative space at Haven


Haven is a coworking space in Vineyard Haven that was co-founded by Alexandra Bullen Coutts, Makenzie Brookes, Marquetta Drakes, and Nevette Previd in 2018. Aside from being a cofounder of Haven, Bullen Coutts is also executive director of ACE MV, a community education and training organization for lifelong learning and peer and mentor-based support. According to its website, Haven is a collaborative community of creative professionals, with a goal of advancing the social, professional, and civic contributions of their members. As a freelance journalist, author, and full-time mom, Bullen Coutts wanted a space to work that wasn’t her couch or kitchen table.

And Bullen Coutts isn’t alone. According to data collected by the Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative, 28 percent of Islanders are self-employed. The more Bullen Coutts talked with other work-at-home people, the more she realized they all needed a place to work and a space to follow their creative and professional pursuits.

“We began as a very informal collective,” Bullen Coutts said. “It started as all women who came together to create a shared workspace environment. We didn’t want this to just be a space where people came in and put headphones on, though, but a place where people could come and work, but also interact with others.”

In order to make this vision come to fruition, however, people had to know about it first. “I was terrible at marketing, so I finally sat down and made business cards and a logo. Ironically, the cards came in the mail the day before the COVID shutdown. The tagline I created said, ‘Let’s work together,’” Bullen Coutts laughed. “Luckily, our landlord was very supportive, and we were able to keep the space during the shutdown.”

When entering Haven, there is an immediate sense of calm. The 770-square-foot space is homey and cozy, yet professional. Haven amenities include desks and chairs, secure lockbox access, high-speed internet, wireless laser printer/scanner/copier, office supplies, conference space, and bottomless coffee, tea, and seltzer. Plus, it’s beautifully quiet.

Sonja Josephson is the coordinator of Creative Collective at Haven. The Creative Collective focuses on workshops, events, and classes. An example of a program running under Creative Collective at Haven is “The Artist’s Way Circle,” a 12-week program based on the popular book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The program helps participants reconnect with their inner artist or creative self through weekly activities, reflections, and practices to help them work through their creative challenges.

“Before COVID, I had already wanted to work out of Haven. In my notebook, I’d even written down that I’d like to work in a shared space,” Josephson said. “I was coordinating the International Baccalaureate program at the Charter School, and I was also doing program coordination at the Aquinnah public library. So I was building the perfect skill set to show up at Haven and begin to coordinate some programming under the umbrella of Creative Collective.”

Josephson envisioned Creative Collective as an opportunity for people to gather together and focus on creativity, inspiration, and wellness-related topics. “So far we’ve had a couple of circles running out of here. It’s been lovely so far. ‘Exploring Human Design’ is up and running, and we’ve also had a ‘Sound Bath’ meditation,” Josephson said. “The focus of these offerings is personal development and self-discovery. Though I’ve programmed out of libraries, and have an educational background with ACE MV, this is different, because this is something people do on their own time, but maybe haven’t had a chance to do it with other people.”

Haven has a few levels of membership. “We created membership structures that we’re always playing around with,” Bullen Coutts said. “We want to create an affordable place, because it’s so hard to find space on the Island, and there are so many creative people here who could use a space.” Currently, Haven membership consists of three levels: Dedicated Desk, Floating Desk, and Haven Community Membership. Prices range from $40 to $300 a month.

Haven member Wade Simmons says that belonging to Haven has been a very positive experience for him. “I’m a software engineer. While working here, I can focus and get things done without distractions,” Simmons said. “I have a home office, but if I’m home, I’m going to clean the house. Haven is also close to my daughter’s school, so I can drop her off and pick her up easily. I’ve been coming here on and off since 2019. It’s quiet, and it’s nice to say hi to people and still get work done.”

Bullen Coutts and Josephson are continuously striving to cultivate a positive experience for Haven members, and exploring new ways to do so. “I’d love to hear from people who may have ideas for events or classes here,” Josephson said.

“It’s the simple things, like having a tea station,” Bullen Coutts said. “I used to joke that because this space was once a yoga studio, there is good energy here. It’s hard to explain how cozy and nice it feels here, so we try to bring people in to see for themselves — imagine themselves here. We’d love more people to be able to experience it.”

Haven is located at 517 State Road in Vineyard Haven. To learn more about Haven, visit To sign up for a free trial day or a tour, fill out a form at