CoWorking is Catching On in Frederick Md
In today’s economy, there are a growing number of entrepreneurs every day. More people are finding themselves displaced in the usual places of employment, and make the decision to take their talents and build something for themselves.
Technology has brought on an era of collaboration that more and more business owners are finding valuable. The sharing of physical space is one aspect of that collaboration, as well as the sharing of ideas and skills and creative energy. Much like the Business Guilds of pre-industrial days, business collaboration is a growing trend. It is growing in Frederick Md, just like it is all over the country.
Coworking and Collaboration Are More Than Buzz Words
As Frederick Md sees its second coworking space open in a year,
it is evidence that the City of Frederick is growing up. I had the opportunity to interview Peggy Richman, the owner of the Business Factory of Frederick, located on the corner of 8th St. and East St. Next to Uncle Ralph’s Cookies… ahhh you say, now I know where it is🙂
An unassuming space from the outside, the huge 9000+ square foot office space has much to offer, lots of space and flexibility, and above all, lots of collaborating potential. There are several rooms for various purposes, all collaborative in nature. Many tables have wheels for maximum flexibility.
There are also several premium spaces, for private office space. The “Boiler Room” serves as a conference room. The Kitchenette is available to all members, restrooms, copy room, wi-fi and coffee, of course… all the amenities one expects in an office.
What really strikes me as unique about the Business Factory of Frederick is the large open Seminar Room; 6000 square feet of flexible space is available for classes, workshops, and any large meetup. This space is the location of the monthly “Last Friday” social hour networking events, and the quarterly artist expos with receptions, and much more.
Check out the video tour of the space:
Video credit: Brandon Highland
You may notice several signature touches about the Business Factory of Frederick space: Orange and Blue, the colors of Adventure and Social Communication, respectively. Sock monkeys hanging around… yes, work should be fun, according to Peggy. And you’ll notice many repurposed and recycled items: a chicken feeding tray/turned card holder; a painted industrial spool/turned table; industrial carts… and many items salvaged and second-hand.
Art & Entrepreneurship
Peggy is uniquely interested in offering space to artists at the Business Factory of Frederick, and not just displaying their work. Peggy sees that artists are very much like entrepreneurs, both in their ability bring something from concept to reality, and in their willingness to take risks. Artists and (other) business people really have a lot in common to warrant collaboration and sharing.
Peggy’s first job out of college was in the art business. She lived in Germany and set up art shows for a gallery. She was able to see the business side of Art, and has carried those early impressions into her plans for the Business Factory.
Business Ideas Germinate
The idea for the coworking space first took seed in Peggy’s mind when she was working with non-profits, trying to find new, creative ways to do fundraising. She had a thought one day that having a space to meet with other fundraisers would be a collaborative plus for non-profits. And you know how it is with ideas… they germinate and sprout roots and grow into full blown plans, sometimes not even what you had in mind when you first started the thinking process.
Peggy’s idea sprouted. A creative space for sharing blossomed into the Business Factory of Frederick.
Exactly one year ago, Peggy was visiting Affinity Lab in Washington D.C. and firmed up her plans. Charles Planck, an entrepreneur who helps start-ups get established, and one of three co-founders of Affinity Lab, has become a mentor to Peggy.
Frederick Has Room for Two
Like all coworking spaces, the culture at the Business Factory of Frederick is unique. I’ve written previously about Cowork Frederick, the first Coworking location in Frederick, which opened in the fall of 2012. Naturally, people want to know the similarities and differences between the two places. The truth is, people have to visit the two spaces to see for themselves… but they are quite different.
***I found it refreshing to discover that Glen and Julia Ferguson, owners of Cowork Frederick, met with Peggy Richman and discussed their similarities and differences. They acknowledge that the spaces have some things in common, but that there are many more differences. Where the Cowork space is geared towards independents, freelancers and telecommuters, the Business Factory of Frederick is more attractive to multi-person businesses, artists and some who require personal space or premium offices. Yet they both foster collaboration.
Yes, Frederick is growing up and has room for two. If you’re interested in collaborative, coworking space, you’ll want to tour both spaces and see for yourself the culture and the “vibe” of both.
About Coworking Culture
Some words that come to mind: Synergy, Collaboration, Community, Inspiration, Membership, Shared resources, Creative support… Starting a business in today’s economy isn’t the same as it was two decades ago, or even a decade ago. Social Media has ushered in a new attitude about sharing and connecting. Coworking brings those ideas into real life, and creates a unique culture everywhere it’s established.
801 N. East Street, Suite 6A
Frederick, MD 21701
(Entrance via 8th Street)