Call it coworking-ish.
Old City Collective, a self-billed coworking alternative, officially opened up shop in late October on the 200 block of Race Street. The 900-square-foot space, founded and owned by photographer and entrepreneur Laura Eaton, is trying to put a boutique spin on the concept of coworking.
“Due to our intimate size, we offer a unique alternative to coworking,” Eaton said in an email. “Our members occupy the entire space as their own during their reserved time.”
Eaton, the company’s sole employee, said the concept is designed for businesses that require a more private environment like photography or audiovisual studios. There are currently four members in the space, mostly in the creative industry.
In order to reach out to a larger community, the entrepreneur said she’s entertaining the idea of “Coworking Wednesdays,” where the space can take on a more conventional coworking environment by hosting multiple members simultaneously.
Old City Collective is actually a rebrand of Soiree Philadelphia, a similar coworking-ish space for wedding planners founded in 2010. But on October 26, Eaton officially opened up shop under the new model in a play to reach a broader audience.
If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s the old location of The Hive, the coworking space for women that closed at the start of the year.
At Old City Collective, some of the usual perks of coworking hubs are there: high-speed internet, storage spaces and an online platform for booking spaces. Membership is $350 a month and the only limitation is how many appointments the calendar will bear.
Eaton said there are regular mixers and networking sessions to exchange ideas and updates, to give that feeling of community.
Old City Collective’s existence strikes us as another sign of coworking’s popularity, in which companies are branding themselves as an alternative to the industry rather than just calling themselves an office for rent.