The Proximity Network is continuously expanding, and today we are welcoming The Oak House. Located in Canton, Georgia, The Oak House wanted a way to bring people together and meet the needs of the community. By utilizing a building that sat empty most of the week, they were able to create a coworking space. We caught up with Brian Cain, the director of The Oak House, to learn more about what makes this coworking space so unique.
When did you open your coworking space and what enticed you to do so?
The Oak House opened in September of 2018. The Oak House is a ministry of Oak Leaf Church and serves as the way we use our building between Sundays.
Tell us about your space. How big is it? What kinds of amenities do you have? What sort of quirks make it special?
The Oak House is 4,400 square feet with four meeting rooms, two auditoriums, and a lobby. We have gig internet speed and an unlimited, full-service coffee bar. We renovated a 100-year-old building and turned it into what the community told us they needed; a place to work.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
My favorite thing about operating a coworking space is that I get to connect with the community. We do a lot of events in our space and I enjoy getting to know everyone.
What has been the most surprising or unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The most unexpected thing about operating a coworking space is finding the hidden communities that exist in your space. We have a large contingent of adoptive parents.
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
My favorite story about a member would have to be that we have an organization called One Need (http://oneneed.org) and they help to meet monetary needs in the community (think crowdfunding for needs). They have helped dozens of people with thousands of dollars in our local community.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Biggest piece of advice is that you HAVE to know your “why” when you open your space. Opening a coworking space just to open one may be financially viable, but it will never be fulfilling.