The home office crammed into the corner of a bedroom. A table at the local coffee shop. A seat in the back of a library. For fledgling entrpreneurs, workspace options can be limited.
Amy Kemp recently launched her own public relations company, Mountaintop Media, but without a permanent office, she sometimes has to improvise.
“I’ve done a lot of work in coffee shops, but it’s not always the most professional place to have meetings or make phone calls,” Kemp said.
Julie Landon, who recently started her own baking company, Bun in the Oven, said she understands firsthand the challenges of working from home.
The two women believe there’s room for another possibility.
Kemp and Landon recently joined forces with Wendy Basey, a business consultant and owner of Biz Bolts online, to open the county’s first co-working space.
“They are young and tech savvy, and at just the right age to do this,” Basey said. “They’ve both already started their own businesses for crying out loud.”
The new business, located in Frisco, is slated to open Oct. 1.
“We are offering a co-working space with all the amenities of a corporate office,” said Basey. “It’s not a new concept. There are probably 17 in Denver. The difference will be the size and the setting.”
The co-working space will give startups, entrepreneurs, business owners, students, corporate workers and visitors a place to work and gather.
It will feature community/group areas, self-service café, individual workstations, small offices and conference room space.
Downstairs will feature open, flowing work areas, while the second floor will allow for private and semi-private work areas, including private offices and a conference room. A kitchen will also be provided for tenants.
All the office furnishings will be modular, allowing for them to be moved or re-arranged for whatever the customer requires.
It will be housed in the confines of what is now the Buffalo Mountain Gallery in the 700 block of Granite Street in Frisco. In fact, some of the pieces of art from the gallery will continue to be displayed and for sale, and will help decorate the co-working space. The framing shop will continue to operate in part of the building.
The first co-working space was started in the United States in San Francisco in 2005. As industries and working lifestyles have changed they’ve gained in popularity, popping up in resort mountain towns over the past few years, including Durango, Whistler and Steamboat Springs, as well as Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a couple in the Lake Tahoe area.
Basey said this will differ from the large conference and work spaces in local resorts.
“Breckenridge and Keystone offer huge conference work spaces,” Basey said
“But this for more intimate, personal needs,” Landon said. “If you need a space for 20 employees. OK. We can do that. Or if you need an area for just one or two, we can give you a professional space to work.”
“We have a lot of professionals in this area who have that entrepreneurial spirit and who can take advantage of a space like this,” Basey said.
It can also help break the self-employed out of their home office environment and into the bustle of a shared space.
“It can help you make contacts with other professionals and share ideas and learn from each other — this can help strengthen our community,” Julia said. “Or if you work from home you might want a space to work where you’re not crammed in the corner of your living room with kids crawling all over you.”
It would also cater to people who are on vacation but still have to devote some time to the office.
“There’s a term for it I just heard called ‘coworcation,’” Kemp said. “ Say you still want to travel with your family, but you also have work to do. You can come here and spend a day or half a day or however long you need. This way you’re not having to work in a vacation condo or resort, and can come work in a professional environment.
“This is the future of working. It’s not being a cube monkey stuck in a cubical from 9 to 5 every day.”