Meet 2 Coworking Community Members Specializing in Social Impact & Graphic Novels

Did you know that Brooklyn Creative League was one of the first coworking spaces to open in the United States? As we’ve grown and evolved over the years we’re *so* gratified by all the amazing members we’ve come to know along the way–those who have been with us from the start and those we’re just starting to know.  It’s been a while since we’ve featured some of the awesome people who comprise our space, so we’d like to introduce a couple of our amazing members.

Ashley Rafalow of Square Roots

Ashley Rafalow is the Director of Impact at Square Roots, an indoor farming company with farms in four (soon to be five) states: New York, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Square Roots’ mission is to responsibly bring fresh, locally grown food to people in cities all around the world. Ashley’s job falls under the “responsibly” piece of the mission: “My job is to ensure that we’re maximizing our social and environmental impact.”


Given her broad job mandate, Ashley’s day-to-day work cuts across the entire organization. “Impact work is highly cross-functional,” she notes, “so I engage with folks across the business, from production to operations, finance, and marketing. I’m looking for ways we can do better and then helping to bake best practices into our operations.” Working for a startup can be a grind, but Ashley finds the work extremely gratifying, as her company is a leader in a new and rapidly growing field. 


Ashley is one of our newer BCL members, having just joined in January of 2023. So far, Ashley has greatly enjoyed the BCL community vibe. “I live in the neighborhood and it’s fun to have a proper workspace with everything I need, right in my backyard,” including some of her favorite lunch spots. “I like Collective Fare for bowls and Pecks for sandwiches.” 


If you see Ashley around, be sure to say hello. She and her husband, Nick Mindos (also a BCL member), are expecting their first baby on St. Patrick’s Day! Congratulations to both! 


Kyle Sim of ForGibness Books

Kyle Sim has been a member of BCL since September 2021, when BCL helped him realize his dream of finding a home for his amazing collection of rare and vintage comics and graphic novels. Following the move to Clinton Hill, Kyle has transformed his personal collection into ForGibness Books, a library that he plans to make available to the public. As ForGibness’s curator and chief librarian, Kyle oversees the library, making sure things are organized properly, adding new titles to the collection, and visiting used book stores! ForGibness currently has over 200 titles in the collection. 


Kyle greatly enjoys what he does, which is why he does it! “I’ve been reading graphic novels and comics since I was a teenager,” he says. “I love any excuse to revisit a book.” Some of his favorite holdings are vintage LGBTQ comics. Revisiting old titles, Kyle notes, is “like catching up with an old friend.” 


Kyle is also an aspiring book critic. With a robust collection of books and a deep knowledge of comic history, Kyle could be the next Lester Bangs, but for comics. You can find some of his reviews and essays on his Instagram page, @forgibness. 


Something you may not know about Kyle? Apart from his love for comics, he also creates music under the name Missing White Girl. He curates a style of sample-based music known as plunderphonics that not a lot of people are familiar with. He recently wrapped his first major project. You can find him on Bandcamp and Spotify! 


When asked what some of his favorite parts about BCL are, Kyle says, “Well, Erin and Neil are just delightful, they put me at ease. It’s nice knowing that the people running BCL are passionate about all the different projects people are working on, not just trying to make a buck.” And though he doesn’t tend to get out much for lunch (he claims to live on Clif Bars), when he does go out, you can find him at Putnam’s putting down some cheeseburger spring rolls. 

We look forward to bringing you more member news and project updates. Want to share projects, accomplishments, and advice with our community? Reach out to Neil or Erin!