Company Culture

Old Goucher coworking space opens design bookstore

Co_Lab Books is entering the scene with a holiday pop-up. The shelves at the front of the coworking space are now stocked with books and gifts.

Inside Co_Lab Books.

(Courtesy photo)

A coworking space in Old Goucher is now home to a design bookstore.
Shelves that were empty when Co_Lab Baltimore opened in 2016 are now filled with books on art, architecture urban planning and design. For last-minute holiday shoppers, some small gifts, games and chocolates are also available.
It’s the soft launch for Co_Lab Books. Now in holiday pop-up mode, the store is open on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 19-20, as well as Saturday, Dec. 23. The store will open more officially in January 2018.
Co_Lab Baltimore owners Megan Elcrat and Philip Jones, who helm architecture firm 33:Design, talked about plans for a design bookstore when the coworking space initially opened.
Elcrat said the idea to open a design bookstore was part of an old business plan that grew out of a desire to create ways for architects to engage more with the community. Situating the store in the front of the space can provide a direct connection to the neighborhood in Old Goucher, she said.
After renovations got to the point where they could open the former school uniform factory for coworking, Elcrat and Jones set out to gather inventory for the bookstore. Elcrat said they took time to select the books and items in the store that would make it a home of one-of-a-kind finds. Some of the tenants at the coworking space and others have also contributed suggestions. While bookselling is now big business online, Elcrat said a design bookstore with one-of-a-kind offerings retains IRL appeal.
“A design bookstore is a very particular thing that you really should see in person,” she said. “Some of these books are really beautiful and I think they deserve a brick and mortar space,” she said.

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