So we did a thing.
Our consultancy has been based out of my basement for the last six years. Yeah, I know, sounds half rate but the reality is in this modern age we can work from anywhere, and there was really no need for the overhead of a leased office space. I work with a close group of designers and other consultants, spread out across America. Technology allowed us to share files and video conference.
But the reality is, especially in a creative field, there is a lot of value in having people physically near by to be able to bounce ideas off of each other, or ask opinions of. There is a whole aspect of a rewarding work environment missing if you work solo, no matter how nice your office is. Also home offices carry a lot of inherent distractions that are less work related, and more cat or grocery shopping related.
In late summer of this year I texted a friend and collaborator of mine and basically said “I gotta get out of here”. We had been knocking around the idea of getting a co-working space for some time and the time had finally arrived to make it happen.
So, fast-forward to October 1st and four (not just two) of us have moved into Meraki House Collective (M House for short). We each maintain our individual businesses but by working together in the same engaging and purposeful location we get so much more benefit than even if we had just rented a basic co-working space or joined some pre-arranged flex office space. We shoot to spend about seventy percent of our time on our core business and thirty percent on collaboration, development and exploration. While it has only been two and a half months, the space and our collective is exceeding expectations.
Flexible, purposeful spaces: There are a variety of work environments at M House that are conducive to doing great work. Two former offices have been turned into a library and a conference room. A generous main space allows for larger collaboration and ideation. There’s dedicated work space for traditional work in the loft area. In the warmer months, a large deck beckons outdoor conversation and gatherings. There are spaces and places to be quiet, and others for when you need to make a little noise. No matter the need or mood, M House has the answer when it comes to spaces to connect or work.
Delightful experiences: We got most of the furniture from Facebook Marketplace, or from home and some of it we made ourselves. The landlord did a fantastic job painting all the walls and refitting the kitchen and bathroom. Yes, there are traditional things like computers, a conference table and printer, but there are also crayons, whiteboards and a cork lined trend wall. So far, most of the art on the walls, we made ourselves. Plants help clean the air and soften the spaces. It’s a space for people to come together for fun, creative collaboration.
Guest friendly: Visitors are one of the best things about M House. People are excited to see us here, and they love being in this space. We take pride in what we are building and it shows. We are very purposeful in the space, it’s fittings, and beyond the physical space. We want M House to be a safe place to imagine, ideate and create. There is good energy here and it is shared with guests via the space, and our positive approach to having meaningful conversation. This is a place to feel renewed, productive, and it is a place to solve problems.
I’ll post more in the future about our businesses and how we are collaborating, but for now below is a visual tour of our space.
Chris Weigand is president of Chris Weigand Design, LLC, a boutique retail design consultancy located in the (Peninsula) Richfield, Ohio area, halfway between Cleveland and Akron. He has over 23 years experience designing engaging retail experiences that delight guests and help communicate wonderful brands every day at retail. Contact Chris at 330.858.8926 to find out more and discuss your design needs.