We’re happy to welcome The Fellow Coworking into the Proximity network! Based in Manhattan, KS, The Fellow Coworking is a 3,800 square foot center for coworking, a variety of events, and a place where an eclectic group of workers join together to hang out and get stuff done. We asked co-founder, Josh Hicks, some questions about their space.
When did you open your coworking space and what enticed you to do so?
My wife and I started dreaming about a shared workspace in the fall of 2015, when we were both working from our home as photographers, but didn’t know coworking existed until early 2016. We brought a few partners on to help us launch what is known today as The Fellow Coworking. Our grand opening was April 22nd, 2016 after a grassroots, 8 week, complete building renovation. Our main goal of opening was to serve as a professional, creative workspace… to get work done.
Tell us about your space. How big is it? What kinds of amenities do you have? What sort of quirks make it special?
We have 3,800 square feet, including 6 private offices, 1 conference room sponsored by JNT Company, several nooks, a custom phone booth, kitchen, and open spaces with 5′ desks to spread out and be productive on. Our amenities are the Proximity 24/7 access via phone app or PIN pad, private mailboxes, all-purpose printer, fiber wifi by WTC, private parking, endless coffee, and a full set of educational workshops. These workshops include Marketing Monday, business financial courses, and hands-on creative workshops like video production and logo design. Our biggest quirks are our creative design throughout our space, and our diverse membership full of incredible human beings that interact like family.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
My favorite thing about operating a coworking space is the people we serve and the passions they bring with them. We have members from all around the world working here. From local doulas to Silicon Valley remote tech workers, to an Ireland based horse breeding blood test company, to florists and photographers, our members range from age 21-65 and are my favorite part about the space. When you get to know each of their stories and why they are in Manhattan, or specifically The Fellow, it makes coming to work every day a pure honor and joy.
What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
There are so many favorite stories within our membership. One of my favorite consists of a sub-community made up of women. One female member had just moved from New Orleans for her husband’s new job and was working remotely from home. Only a few weeks into their new house, she came for a tour and signed up the same day. Our space had only been open for a few months. Now, over 2 years later, she has come to work almost every day of the week and recently had her first child, with another member assisting as her doula. Many other female members surrounded her from day one and many go to lunch together, coffee dates, and continue to support one another. From entering a new city and feeling lonely, to being fully embraced by a community and thriving…this is the definition of why we started The Fellow.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
My biggest advice is to be flexible. Listen to your members. Provide what they need, big or small. Give them “ownership” of the space. Let them move furniture around, make it feel like it’s their own. Focus on your members, and you will see success.