Co-working spaces have certainly disrupted the realm of conventional offices in recent years. As a helpful solution for the growing number of small businesses, freelancers, and independent consultants, most have come to encompass the quintessence of a corporate office with the added comforts of a personal one. Well-designed and aesthetically-charged, these shared workspaces come fully equipped with cafeterias, bars, and even a spot to get pampered.
Enter this light-filled office, situated in Long Island City, home to a group of five ultra talented female entrepreneurs and a design scheme that incorporates a start-up decor staple: Ikea. While it wouldn’t quite qualify as a the traditional co-working space, it certainly draws on the characteristics of one.
“We were all looking for space around the same time, and we all work without co-founders, so we thought how fun it would be to work in the same space and bounce ideas off each other and find power in numbers together,” says Nicole Najafi, founder of Industry Standard.
From a design perspective, the space embodies a no-frills approach with a minimalist feel that somehow manages to complement the respective aesthetics of the diverse brands. Apart from the curated vignettes—showcasing the latest from each brand—beautifully displayed about the office, one would be hard-pressed to guess that the space is shared.
In the mornings, natural light floods the office, fitting right in with the serene ambience established. High ceilings, a whitewashed exposed brick wall, and an abundance of natural greens all contribute to the laid-back atmosphere.
After having moved into the office last June, Najafi and team went to work decorating the space. Creating an efficient workspace that would fuel their creativity was of the essence. In the center of the room, a makeshift packing table, made by way of pairing four of Ikea’s Linnmon tables—a versatile and budget-friendly solution to a standard conference table, which often entails a higher price tag.
The Long Island City office is more of a home base for the five women. Najafi, Peet, and Eva Goicochea, founder of Tinker Watches, split their time between there and The Wing, the spot where the three first met.
Yi-Mei Truxes, founder of Bembien—the purveyor of summer’s quintessential It bag (pictured above), which undoubtedly made various cameos in your Instagram feed—also calls the office home. And then there is Georgia Hobart, founder of Hobes, who splits her time between NYC and Australia, where has has her office and studio. Every once in a while, when the stars align, all five are in the same city, catching up over coffee and working hard to further the mini empires they’re in the midst of growing.
The collective these women have established is nothing short of inspiring. The support system that stems from it is one, but the opportunity to collaborate and grow is simply incomparable. Plus, being able to work with four of your close friends is definitely a work situation we can get behind.
On the benefits of sharing a workspace, Najafi calls on the fact that there is an opportunity to “work alongside smart women who support and inspire each other.” And as for the challenges? “What to order on Seamless. Honestly, it’s really hard sometimes.”