This NYC Coworking Space Is Designed For Women Who Need A Little Room For Themselves
The number of coworking spaces has increased in recent years as individuals have become increasingly mobile. Nicknamed the future of work, many of the initial shared spaces were male dominated. And now the females are taking the lead by creating private social clubs to meet, work, relax, and experience. Maison, an attractively design space located on the Upper East Side was created for women who need a little room for themselves.
Curated by fashion blogger Ashley Wu, Maison is designed to serve as a home away from home and free of an agenda. The 3,400 square multi-purpose space is located on the second floor of a mixed-use building fashioned with several areas to write, work, read, or just catch up with friend at a place other than an overcrowded coffeehouse. With Wu’s relationships with brands including Maison Louise Marie , Sundays, and Lord Jones, expect a heavy style and beauty influence within the space.
We recently reached out to Ashley Wu to learn more about Maison, and why women need a space of their own.
The Social NY: What encouraged you to open Maison?
Ashley Wu: Maison was inspired by my own personal need for a space like this. Something close to home, multifaceted, with a community of women who are in a similar place in our lives. When I had my second child in 2017, working from home became more challenging. Bouncing around from coffee shop to coffee shop was unpredictable and unsatisfying. I knew so many women who would benefit from a place to catch their breath, work, or grab coffee and relax and none of us wanted to travel for it. I had designed my work life to be flexible, and so that I could be around for drop off and their activities, so proximity was very important to me when thinking about where Maison could be.
TSNY: Why did you decide to launch this venture now?
AW: It certainly wasn’t in my plans to start working on Maison with a brand new baby at home and a 3-year old. But, sometimes the universe has other plans for you! I knew that if my friends and I needed a place like Maison other women did too. And if I didn’t do it, someone else would!
TSNY: How is Maison different from other members clubs?
AW: Maison is the only members-only club with moms in mind. Our partnerships and programming reflect this demographic. And we are the only community-minded club on the Upper East Side. Also, we don’t define ourselves as by just co-working. Many of our members have very traditional professional lives with offices of their own but still desire a place to go that gives them enriching programming, like-minded members, or a place to curl up to read a novel. And of course we have members who lead very non-traditional professional lives and need a place to work regularly, and we have members who choose not to work. Maison fulfills something for each type of member by having this much functionality in one space.
The other important distinguisher for us is our design. I worked closely with Lubrano Ciavarra, Ronen Lev, and Laurie Messman to create an elegantly appointed space. I wanted Maison to feel as warm and comfortable as your friend’s beautiful home. We also worked with local makers so that they were represented in the space. You will find Volk Furniture, Ladies & Gentlemen, and Allied Maker among other Scandinavian-inspired pieces throughout.
TSNY: Who is your target audience or who do you see joining Maison?
AW: We welcome applications from anyone, but Maison was designed for women, and more specifically, mothers. Because the idea for Maison came from a personal need – I created a place I would have joined had it existed. I’m a mother and wanted a place that was multipurpose, flexible, community oriented, and enriching. Before we opened I believed most of our members would be from the Upper East Side, where we’re located. If you’re a mom with a flexible work schedule, being able to put in a few hours of writing or emails close to home seemed ideal. But we have interest from applicants all over New York: downtown, Brooklyn, and Long Island City. It doesn’t surprise me that this member profile exists outside of the Upper East Side, but it did surprise me people are willing to commute for the Maison experience within this demographic.
TSNY: What type of events do you have planned for Maison?
AW: We will have ongoing events and special events. Our ongoing events will include monthly workshops with Brooklyn Crafting Co where our members will have the opportunity to learn how to embroider, cross-stitch, and knit. We will have regular meditation with a fantastic partner we hope to announce soon! Many of our partners like Daily Dose, Intelligent Nutrients, Club Monaco, will give our members complimentary food tastings, mini facials, and host culturally relevant panels at Maison. Later in April, we have a Talks and Tonics event with Clean Market founder Lily Kunin and a beauty event with Sundays.