Feature Article: People Issue
9 to 5
Living in a town fueled by the creative and tech industries, Austinites are used to seeing CEOs working from coffee shops and likeminded creatives sharing east side industrial spaces. Over the past decade, co-working has gone mainstream, and collaborating offices spaces are popping up across the nation. Austin is home to more than a dozen of these spaces. We popped into three — Vuka, WeWork and Chelsea Laine Francis’ weekly Caffé Medici meet-up — to find out just why locals are ditching the traditional office for a new way to work.
Tim Angelillo — Sourced
The international co-working chain WeWork opened its Austin site at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue earlier this year. Tim Angelillo has worked out of the space since it opened and it’s where, two months ago, he launched his company, Sourced. Thebusiness delivers all a party host needs – ingredients, tools, dishware — to make and serve craft cocktails. For Angelillo and his new business, the various startups that work out of WeWork have provided invaluable information; one member even advised him on how much equity he should be offering in each round of fundraising. The energy, he said, is hard to eclipse. “Not everyone in there is making a craft cocktail,” said Angelillo. “But everyone in there is literally making something.”
Zoe Schlag — UnLtd USA
Each day, roughly 75 people work beneath Vuka’s vaulted ceilings in South Austin. The space predominantly attracts companies trying to make a social impact, like UnLtd USA, founded by Zoe Schlag. The company mentors new, socially minded organizations by helping them access capital and resources during a one-year fellowship. Schlag is one of a four-person team that, in her words, has ͞unofficially claimed the standing table.͟ One of the companies UnLtd USA is currently mentoring, PenPal Schools, also works out of Vuka. This makes scheduling, Schlag said, easy. Another advantage? The space’s proximity to Mellizoz Tacos. ͞I get “The ’04 with no beans on corn every time,” said Schlag.
Chelsea Laine Francis — Freelance photographer
Whereas WeWork and Vuka own space in Austin, Francis borrows hers. Every Tuesday night, the photographer hosts a co-working group at Caffé Medici on West Lynn Street. It’s almost exclusively women (the group’s hashtag is #atxcoworkingladies, though they say men are welcome), many of whom are bloggers, graphic designers and photographers. Francis first discovered the power of co-working while living in Virginia, “I was a community manager for a co-working space called TOOLRY,” explains Francis. “I had heard of co-working before, but I didn’t know how incredibly beneficial it was until after I started my job there.” After moving to Austin with her husband earlier this year, Francis quickly ingratiated herself in the local creative community. For her, hosting the co-working nights is an extension of that community. “I love the fact that on any given week, I see someone from the group hire another member of the group to further their business.”
Read more from the People Issue | December 2015