All words: Avalon Swindell Jones
All photos: Jeff Martin
After touring WeWork‘s Chinatown location, I’m determined to become an entrepreneur just so I can work there (P.S. Thanks to our BYT/WeWork Dream Work Giveaway Sweepstakes-YOU CAN. ENTER BY COB THIS FRIDAY-What are you waiting for?). It is SO COOL and absolutely gorgeous, so don’t hate me if I use those words a million times to describe it.
So what exactly is WeWork you ask? It’s a space where startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs can work, whether it’s in one of the offices or at a labs desk. WeWork provides many benefits and services, like affordable healthcare plans, wholesale pricing on credit card processing, Zipcar discounts, and office amenities, including free coffee and beer (now you’re really interested). There are locations across the U.S., each having their own feel and personality. Most importantly, they allow dogs. One of the reasons I don’t want to get a dog is because it will have to mope around at home while I’m gone from nine to five; WeWork understands my dilemma.
If your dog isn’t your muse, the tables at WeWork Chinatown are meant to inspire. They feature unique books (including a manual for how to build a treehouse), games, and conversation starters. I feel like I could’ve wandered around for days making new discoveries. The art hanging on the walls is stunning, funny, and different all at the same time, fitting perfectly in such a unique environment. Another work of art is the Flavor Paper wallpaper. It is seriously hypnotizing, and one day my future home will feature ALL of it. Who knew fire hydrants and parking meters could go so well with a floral pattern?
WeWork inhabitant Chiara, who works remotely for SAI Programs, worked from home for two months before she decided she might go insane if she didn’t go places and see people. She now has an office at WeWork with perfect natural lighting coming through her huge windows that make her space look twice as big. While Chiara loves the communal aspect, Alex and Daniel, who are software engineers, like having their privacy. Alex said, “We like how we can close the door if needed because we didn’t have that option before.” Even with doors shut, the sense of community still thrives due to glass doors and panels.
If the workers want complete privacy, they can head over to one of the many phone booths. Once inside, you can shut the curtain and flip the switch for the “On Air” sign, so distractions are completely eliminated. There is also a Buddha in each one, if you just came for a few minutes of peace. If that’s not enough, there is a forest room, with beautiful tree wallpaper and brown and green pillows thrown around, so it’s just like relaxing on a forest floor. Inside, you can work on your laptop, take a nap, or even attend one of the weekly meditation classes.
Kallie, who is the community manager, discussed how many barriers have been broken down since the space opened in February. “People from different companies will get together to work on projects. They’re all doing something they love,” said Kallie.
WeWork Chinatown will open two more floors in April, which will include more private offices and and a roof-top patio (!!!!). The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) will be taking over one floor; this is huge for WeWork because it shows that this collaborative community is appealing to even bigger organizations. And you know if the ASID wants to work there, it must be BEAUTIFUL.
I really love the idea of WeWork. I could totally see the whole idea behind it taking over the world, and companies of all sizes inhabiting a space as one big, happy family.
P.S. Here’s another reminder that IF YOU HAVE A BUSINESS IDEA AND ALL YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS A SPACE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN-enter our +WeWork dream workspace sweepstakes.