The first of its kind in Waco, Texas, we’re so dang excited to welcome WacoWork into the Proximity Network! With beer on tap, a full-on photo studio, and some of the best murals around, this is a coworking space that you simply can’t miss. Here’s what space owner Caroline Thornton has to say about this beautiful place to work!
When did you open your coworking space and what enticed you to do so?
We opened in April of this year. We knew Waco was starting to grow and that Texas as a whole was seeing a massive influx of people moving from California to Texas. We saw the different groups of innovative and creative people in town start to take shape, yet they didn’t have a place to call home as far as work goes. We opened WacoWork with the hopes of creating a physical space for family: individual to have a place to gather, create, work, and celebrate. Waco did not have a coworking space and we wanted to be the first on the ground to set the tone for why coworking is valuable to everyone who chooses to dive into it as a community member.
Tell us about your space. How big is it? What kinds of amenities do you have? What sort of quirks make it special?
Our space is a little over 5,000 sq feet. It is in an old 1920s renovated building, but much of the character and beauty is still intact. We are in a part of downtown that is being revived and WacoWork is one of the first on the block with this new life. We offer so much considering coworking spaces did not exist until we came along. Everything from bottomless coffee, beer on tap, an in-house photo studio (YES), event space, a 20ft whiteboard wall, and a rad community of individuals who didn’t know each other before and now function as one working community.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
My favorite part about WacoWork and coworking spaces is the community that comes along with it. It is unlike any friendship or group I have been apart of prior. You get to know people of different ages, races, religions, professions, etc and become friends. You hang out with some of these people outside the walls of the space and others not, but everyone seems to genuinely have an interest in one another, what they are working on, and who they are.
What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The most surprising and unexpected thing about operating a coworking space has truly been how fun it can be. Who knew work could truly be SO enjoyable? From weekly happy hours, to being a part of a podcast society and book club, to walking to lunch with fellow members. This place gives me life and so much joy.
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
I love the story of our member Meg who joined before our doors opened and as she was finishing her Masters of Social Work. She had a burning desire to start a non-profit of resources for people who are caregivers. Once our space opened she made so many connections with other coworkers who helped her create a website, a logo, and even became members on her board. SO neat. Coworking at its finest.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Look to other spaces who you admire, meet with as many people as possible who have started and run coworking spaces, and pick their brain. People are more willing than you’d realize. Also, find the best coworking platform (Proximity all day every day, hands down) before you open. This can be a key for early success.