This blog post is part of a series about Coworking around North America & is sponsored by The Network Hub. To learn more about The Network Hub, visit www.thenetworkhub.ca.
This week, we bring you a fairly new coworking facility founded by Chad Ballantyne: The Creative Space – a casual and laid-back place with a level of professionalism that is perfectly suited to bring out creativity, productivity and discipline while still including camaraderie. “The idea was to have a place where people can relate, collaborate and create,” he says. Nestled on Dunlop Street East by the water in Barrie, Ontario, the space is in a prime location for business start ups and entrepreneurs.
And like any coworking space, TCS includes the basic fundamentals: a meeting room, kitchen, bathroom and high speed internet. But the atypical placement of a foosball table in the middle of the room ensures a relaxed atmosphere. Fitting, as coworking spaces are meant to relieve some stress from the home office.
Since the launch early last year, Chad has gathered almost twenty full time tenants: graphic designers, a photographer, children’s worker, public relations, social media marketer, web developers, writers… and the list goes on. The wide range of tenants gave us a bit of insight on how TCS is helping their business run smoothly.
A business developer finds TCS very stimulating and healthy, adding that it provides a level of professionalism when talking to potential clients.
“I’m able to work but love that I can ask for help, suggestions and opinions,” states another tenant. “I have people around to ask a question or get help for a problem I have searched tirelessly for the answer to. I also am able to give back with my advice, experience and business savvy.”
In a space that is social and open, productivity increased and networking was made easier as referrals were made out of the office. “I had no one to bounce ideas off of working in an office. Now I parade my clients happily though our bull pen of creatives working away quietly or loudly depending on the moment.” For that reason, coworking exists. It relies on a team of people who make work social. Simply put, this is what coworking is all about.
“I’ve made a lot of new contacts, and I am constantly meeting new people. The interesting part is the way that many of the independent businesses collaborate, refer, and piggy-back off of each other in a way that consistently generates new clients and projects for almost everyone who enters the space.”
One tenant stated that working independently doesn't provide an opportunity to ask questions or learn from others. And perfectly rounded out that TCS is not just a workplace but it’s a learning space.
Though a year of business has passed by, TCS’s one year anniversary was April 9th to be exact - the potential for the space is still a goal. The team hopes to see a working pod for 3-4 coworkers to interact and work. The expansion of TCS is always on mind. “It would be great if it could keep expanding as I really enjoy the creative environment and learning from others.”
The possibilities of the Creative Space are vast and endless. They believe that the coworking model will guide most of the businesses in the future. “When you think of all the positives to it, our clients are happier, we are happier; we have bigger bottom line results. How could it get any better?”