Soapbox: The Value of Co-Working Spaces...

Mercury Studio in downtown Durham, NC! When my wife and I moved into a 500 square foot studio six months ago it didn’t take long before we realized that, as much as we loved the vast reduction in living space, we needed a different space to work in. When the small space that you eat, sleep and play in is also the space that you create and work in, you often can feel the walls closing in. Or, at a bare minimum, you at least feel the need for a change of scenery.

At first we thought we’d seek refuge in our favorite coffee shops or even the library. But we both found that when we went to those places, that focus quickly became an issue. Distractions were abundant and those spaces in general were unpredicable at best. So when public spaces didn’t pan out, we ended up looking at alternatives. It was around then that Mercury Studio here in downtown Durham, NC found us. We saw a Tweet about a local writing workshop being held there, so we signed up an went. We didn’t know it was a co-working space at first and, furthermore, we didn’t know what to expect.

The night of the workshop we walked in and were immediately greeted with smiles and folks eager to give us a tour of the space. There was the café area near the front door that had ample chairs, tables and comfy retro couches and chairs to sit in, a kitchen with a sink and fridge, two bathrooms, a coffee and tea section (with an über fancy burr coffee grinder), lockers for members to put stuff in, a space specifically for artists, individual desk areas for folks who needed their own space and a larger area in the back for folks to have group gatherings (that could also be rented).

Mercury Studio in downtown Durham, NC

Basically, something for everyone.

And that, with the combination of the awesome fellow creatives that are members there, completely sold us on getting a membership. There’s a really wonderful energy at Mercury that makes you feel like creating. It helps you focus. And when you do take a break to talk with other members there, you almost always come away more inspired than when you arrived. All members here are creatives in some way - photographers, web developers, yoga instructors, accountants, freelancers of all kinds, writers, published authors, social media gurus… the list goes on and on.

It more than accomplished what I needed from it as well. I wrote a huge chunk of a novel there (which I have since finished), have launched client websites there, created many-a-blog post, edited video, attended parties, gallery openings, crowd-sourced funding events, live music, movies screenings….

It seems cliché to say that it’s AMAZING, but it really is!

What started as us taking a chance on a place that we had a hunch would help us give more to world, ended up being a lot more. Up until then we had never even thought about co-working spaces. Now, going forward, I can’t imagine living somewhere that didn’t have this as an option.

So if you are on the fence, or are simply seeking a better environment to do what you love, I definitely recommend seeking out a co-working space. They are a popping up everywhere now. If you live near downtown Durham, NC and are looking for a coworking space, come check out Mercury Studio and if your are looking to donate to something exceptional, be sure to check out their indiegogo campaign they started recently.

They are trying to make everything they do, even better!