Proximity is excited to introduce you to Shared Luxuries! Shared Luxuries is a coworking community in Washington DC with a focus on the building industry, serving independent interior designers, contractors, and creatives who mean business. See what Anna Gibson, CEO, and founder of Shared Luxuries has to say about her space!
When did you open your coworking space and what enticed you to do so?
Shared Luxuries just opened up! We are still in our soft opening stage, but ready for all the awesome designers and professionals from the building industry to come and work from our space. This is a long time dream of mine, I started to envision the space over six years ago. Back then still working for another company, I was already thinking ahead of working as an independent designer and knowing I will need a space to meet my clients. In addition, I was dreaming of a space, where I can build a community of design and building industry pros to come work, connect and collaborate.
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 small, but grand on amenities and benefits to our members. When we did our survey, we found that most designers prefer to work from home, but looking for a space to bring customers and connect with other industry pros. Most coworking spaces may offer a desk and a place to meet, but Shared Luxuries offers our industry pros a vast library of materials that designers and contractors can use during their meetings. We offer access to our exclusive accounts with vendors, giving them buying options they didn’t have before. In addition, our events are geared toward the building industry and offer a variety [of topics], from construction and design to business development classes. Our space also comes with our very own mascot, Oliver the Shitzu.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
Meeting other designers and contractors and building our community. I love connecting people and helping them expand their businesses. Sitting in the space, chatting about how best to grow a business (or even start one), gives me warm and fuzzies. The opportunity we have here is massive and we are looking forward to sharing those with our members.
What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The amazing coworking community in my area. I have reached out to other coworking owners, they are a wealth of knowledge and always happy to help and share info. We were very lucky to connect with owners of other local coworking spaces that helped us every step of the way, answering questions from insurance and legal business related, to day-to-day operation related questions.
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
One of our recent members is a carpenter that specializes in custom moldings and built-ins. He was excited to find our space and not only does he now connect with many designers and general contractors that seek his services, but he enjoys the access to the custom cabinet lines we carry to help him serve his customers better. From business to the community, Shared luxuries is a place to grow!
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Being the residential side of the construction industry, I really didn’t expect the build-out to take so long. Pack your patience, and make sure you know as much as possible about the building management before you choose your location. I also highly recommend working with Proximity! I looked around for a while, but the customer service is hands-down the best in the business. I was able to have the registration website up and running in less than a week, with plenty of guidance from their team which was the most valuable and time-saving route I could have picked.