In July of 2008 I started a co-working space here in DUMBO that over the years has grown from a 4 people space into a 50+ creative force called Studiomates. With our office building going condo, this beautiful chapter is coming to an end.
Over the past 7 years I have learned so much about what it takes and most of all, what defines a thriving co-working space. I believe in keeping the community small and carefully curated. I believe in balancing out the trades and skills of that the community members bring to the table. To me, a co-working space is about community, about being surrounded by folks that are talented at what they do, passionate, kind and low in ego. Being around my studiomates elevates my game. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my studiomates. They made me feel safe and gave me confidence in moments of doubt. They pushed me when I needed to be pushed. And they were able to connect me with accountants, lawyers, printers, you name it when I needed it. The value of a likeminded community like Studiomates is hard to put into words.
I gave the next chapter of Studiomates a lot of thought and am thrilled to announce that 17 of us are moving to a new space in Boerum Hill in beginning of April. We are taking a floor in The Invisible Dog in Boerum Hill, joining the impressive artist community Lucien Zayan has so masterfully curated over the last 5 years.
The new space will have a lounge, a full kitchen, phone booths, a conference room. We are going to feel so grown up! Yay! Construction is starting mid February and move in date is end of March. Doors will officially open on April 1st.
We are currently taking applications for the remaining desks. (If you’re interested, apply quickly, the desks are almost all gone. Psst… Developers are high on our wish list!)
At this point we are Studiomates, starting April, we will be FRIENDS.
So glad to hear you’re able to keep this “creative community” growing! I loved reading the piece, not just from a perspective of endurance, but also what it takes to grow such a place. The details involved were really inspiring. Thank you!
Jan 21st, 2015 / 10:18 am
Such a great name. And Lucien is the awesomest!
Jan 21st, 2015 / 10:31 am
Jan 21st, 2015 / 3:08 pm
This makes me so jealous that I don’t live in NYC. :) Sounds like a fantastic iteration!
Jan 21st, 2015 / 5:27 pm
A curated co-working space really is the best. I hang out at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, and it’s been so fantastic for my business and me personally. Congrats on your move from StudioMates to Friends.
Jan 21st, 2015 / 10:40 pm
And it’s only like fifty bucks more than my rent! I could move out of my room and in to a desk… Smh this represents everything that’s wrong with Brooklyn. You couldn’t just charge normal outrageous prices like 350/mo for a desk, you have to go to the extreme and price out your best candidates. I’m a developer but I will NOT be applying.
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 7:49 am
Awesome, I think it will do good!
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 9:38 am
It’s like makeshiftsociety in Brooklyn. I wonder if Manhattan has one like this.
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 10:17 am
By the way $350 a month is a lot.
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 10:17 am
Wait, it’s $650 a month!! Outrageous.
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 10:17 am
@Jee, @CrownHeights, Yes, $650 is a considerable amount of money. I understand that. If I could only charge $350 I would. The difference between FRIENDS and other co-working spaces that charge $350 is that these are dedicated desks. I keep the community small, on purpose, which results in higher desk rental prices. Sure, I could sell 60-70 memberships, but then people would have to float, you’d never know where you sit, you can’t leave your stuff there AND it would become impersonal. I don’t believe in that kind of environment. This goes beyond $ you pay for a desk, this is your membership into an amazing community and network. I can understand that is is unattainable for some. Also, Boerum Hill has considerable rental prices. This is not about making a quick buck, this is about creating a ‘happy place’ a community for creative types.
Jan 22nd, 2015 / 11:26 am
@swissmiss – How high has turnover been at Studiomates in the past? Looking at potentially relocating to NYC in the coming year and We Are Friends sounds like it would be a perfect place to settle in.
Jan 23rd, 2015 / 4:19 pm
So excited for the new chapter. Lucien and The Invisible Dog is amazing.
Jan 23rd, 2015 / 4:48 pm
Congrats Tina!!! Having a space in that neighborhood is a huge boost for the area. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to assist!
Jan 28th, 2015 / 4:00 pm
This is looking like one amazing place with all the essential ingredients of a modern and well equipped office. Many congratulations Tina, may you thrive and grow here more than ever!
Jan 31st, 2015 / 8:56 am
Tina, you are such an inspiration. I am looking at starting a co-working space here in the Southern tip of Africa & your advice & approach is awesome. Thanx for the inspiration.
Wish I was in NYC too! xxx
Sep 23rd, 2015 / 2:24 am