Member Profile: Ariana Montanez

Member Profile: Ariana Montanez
 
Where are you from?
I’m from East Los Angeles, California
What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?
There is a rodeo that happens once a year and is very popular.
 
What is your current occupation?
I’m a UX (User Experience Design) and UI (User Interference Design) for Image Conscious Studios in Boston, Massachusetts. I work on web design for companies that are looking for a site that is more information-based, such as a restaurant.
 
Above is an illustration part of a series created by Ariana for an internal marketing project
 
What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about? 
I’m currently excited about two different projects. The first is a client website for a law firm. The firm truly cares about their clients and the owner is very involved in the community, where he does things like teaching previously incarcerated people. The website will also involve the firm’s ‘rethinking of the law model’, something super cool to be a part of. The second project is an illustration project for the company I work for, Image Conscious Studios. It’s all about me and my travels, but it essentially is for our clients to see how we are inspired and the work we do.
 
Biotech Company website Ariana helped create. Check it out here: f1oncology.com
Why did you choose to work from Prague? 
I was just excited to live anywhere abroad, and heard great things from people who had previously visited Europe. I was looking for a city that had a lot of things to do, had great architecture, and was beautiful.
Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?
I really wanted to be more productive because I can get easily distracted at home, and to leave the house to get work done to truly ‘call it a day’ was what I was looking for. I also wanted to meet more people and felt that joining a workspace would be the best way to do that.
Why did you choose Locus in particular?
The community and all of the events that are offered. I love that Locus is not centered around networking, but about building a sense of community.
 
What best describes the kind of location-independent work you do?  
I’m location-dependent when I’m working back in Boston, but I would say I’m Nomadic until I return home.
Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?
Productivity is much lower outside of the workspace, and I can be more productive here. There are a lot of distractions outside of the workspace and working from home makes you feel like hermit because you almost never leave.

How have you overcome those challenges?
Joining Locus because I do not have an office here in Prague.

What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)?
The events have been great. I’ve gotten some good takeaways from them, such as one of the last events about Happiness with David Papa.
 
What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague, from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?
 I’m very affected by the environment that I’m living and working in, so it’s great to be here in Prague where I appreciate the beauty and architecture.

What is a fun fact about you?
I never read the news. I occasionally listen to NPR’s 5 minute daily summary, and if I’m feeling like it, occasionally part of the Morning Edition, but that’s the extent of it. There’s so much else I’d rather focus on, and I’d rather not spend time learning about the latest negative thing that happened. I do love podcasts though, especially ones that center around specific topics. Some of my favorites are: Two Guys on Your Head (super quick explanations about how our brain works), The Leap (stories about people making radical life changes), and Science Vs (tests different fads or concepts against science, i.e. “True Love”)

If you could use one word to describe Locus, what would it be?
Welcoming!

Buy, sell, trade, give in Prague: Best options for English-speakers

Buy, sell, trade, give in Prague: Best options for English-speakers

Looking for the best online to buy, sell, trade, or give away stuff in Prague, but don’t speak Czech?

  • Don’t use Craig’s List.
If you hail from the U.S., you might have noticed that Craigslist has a Prague page. You might also have noticed it is basically dead. Not worth your time.
  • Don’t expect the best prices.

Since the English-speaking market is much smaller than the Czech market, prices are less rational. Some used items successfully sell for more than they would cost new. Others don’t sell at all at a fraction of the price that they’re going for on Czech-language markets.

  • If you’re buying (not selling), and you’re looking for new (not 2nd hand), scroll to the bottom header for some recommended options.

The best English-language 2nd-hand online shopping tools for Prague:

The popular mobile app is widely used here. For finding nearby goods to buy and sell, it’s probably your best option. As long as you install the English-language version you should be able to create posts to sell or find what you want to buy quickly and easily.

 

Facebook has a handful of English-language groups just for buying, selling, trading, and giving away used goods in Prague. Here are four of the largest groups:

If you have a Czech-speaking friend (or are a wizard with Google translate) …

The biggest markets for buying and selling in Prague are, unsurprisingly, Czech. If you’re looking to buy (not sell), Google Translate is probably all you need. Many, perhaps most, Prague-based Czechs speak English, and at the very least they’ll be able to use Google translate themselves or have a friend to help.
Here are three of the biggest Czech-language online markets for buying and selling used goods (followed by one for good karma):
     
SBAZAR.cz is run by one of the great Czech website creators. They built seznam.cz, the last search engine in Europe to outperform Google (until recently). They still have the best local map site (mapy.cz; at least for certain overlays), and by far the best site for finding a place to live (sreality.cz). SBAZAR is their used-goods marketplace and it’s likely the best there is.
    
Bazoš.cz is a popular alternative to sbazar, and may have a larger market share with the younger crowd.
     
aukro is the Czech Republic’s answer to ebay.com. As with ebay, you can find and sell both new and used items, and you can do it either as an auction or with the “buy now” option.
   
Looking for freecycling (people giving away free stuff as an alternative to throwing it away)? VšezaOdvoz is the Czech Republic’s first freecycling website. While it has a much smaller inventory and less traffic than these other sites, it’s a great option for giving away things that you don’t want to money for, or for finding great junk to fill your closets with. Coincidentally, it was started by a former member of Locus!

Not selling and just want a great place to shop online?

If you’re not committed to buying used, heureka.cz is a great shopping aggregator, and definitely the go-to site for finding the best prices on widely sold products.
For digital electronics, I prefer  czc.cz to their larger competitor, alza.cz. Though alza.cz has a much wider inventory (they sell household items like refrigerators or vacuums, not just computers and accessories), czc has competitive prices on the goods they both sell. It is also more convenient and has better customer service. Twice in a row alza kept my payment for large-cost items after I had returned them (until I caught it in my bank account and complained). Most importantly, czc has a drop-off store location just around the corner from Locus Workspace. And the shop makes returns or warranty repairs easy.
Finally, many of the usual international shopping sites work fine in Prague:
  • Amazon will ship without import taxes as long as you use a European version (e.g., the British or German sites) and make sure they’re not shipping from outside the Schengen zone (or at least that the seller knows how to get around customs, as many of the Asian companies that sell on those platforms do).
  • Alibaba’s non-bulk alternatie, AliExpress, is a great way to shop for bargain items.
  • Google Shopping works for the Czech Republic as long as you have your location settings right, and works much the same as Heureka (though Heureka works better in my experience).

Locus Workspace member? Use our buy, sell, trade Slack channel

If you’re a Locus member, the best way to sell your things might be to another member. We have a Slack channel devoted to just that purpose, and there’s no easier way for both sides to come together than if you work in the same coworking space.

Have your own favorite or see something that needs correcting in the above list?

Please leave a comment!