Women-focused co-working space opens in Fulton Market
Women who are looking for a co-working space focused on their needs, while giving them opportunities to meet and network with other successful women in the City of Chicago can now visit The Wing, 811 W. Fulton Market.
The Chicago location of The Wing is the sixth location. There also are spaces in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and three in New York City. Other planned locations include Boston, Los Angeles and London.
The Wing, which launched in 2016, is the brainchild of Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan. The aim was to create a space with a nod to the women’s clubs during the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
Visitors can let the compass guide them through the 8,600 sq. ft. space to the rooms.
“What is great about this space is that it draws inspiration from the city,” said Yasmin Shahida, communication associate at The Wing.
The space and its designs has a nod to well-known Frank Lloyd Wright. There are also more muted tones in the space.
Personal spaces were designed to provide a refreshing, relaxing atmosphere. There is a pump room where nursing mothers can pump, as well as a refrigerator to store milk.
“The space is designed to be a beautiful, comforting space,” Shahida said. “It exemplifies how thoughtful we are about spaces for women.”
There is a beauty room that has hair products, including Carol’s Daughter, for visitors to use. “We have everything you can ever want “Shahida said”. We tried to be as inclusive as possible.”
The Chicago location was the first space designed by in-house designer Laetitia Gorra.
There are phone booths for those who want to make phone calls, as the quiet room prohibits making phone calls to provide users with the ability to work without distractions.
“Everyone of our phone booths is named after fictional characters who are women,” Shahida said.
In the Chicago space, there are phone booths named after Miss Piggy and Lucy Ricardo. There are also conference rooms that are available to rent.
“Conference rooms are named after real life women connected to Chicago,” Shahida said.
The conference rooms are named after Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, and Ida B. Wells, a journalist, suffragette and civil rights activist. The wallpaper in the conference rooms are a nod to Chicago, with a Chicago style hot dog, The Bean sculpture, Wrigley Field, and Fulton Market motifs.
“Our art is something very special to our spaces,” Shahida said. “We find local women artists.”
All of the spaces have a grand room where people can sit, either at a table or on couches. There is a large color-coded library, with books curated by Women and Children First. The space can be used for speaking engagements, book clubs, movie screenings and early screenings of television shows.
If you’re hungry, the Perch serves food from a menu that includes dishes that are exclusive to Chicago, created by Chicago chefs. Sarah Grueneberg and Adrienne Lo are just two names whose dishes are featured at the café.
“It’s really a good array of things. It’s women creating a space for women here. We know what we want to eat as women,” Shahida said.
The proceeds from one of the dishes goes towards the Silver Fork program.
“Impact is a really important part of what we do,” Shahida said. “We want to make sure we’re being very thoughtful.”
Memberships are available. For more information about The Wing, visit the-wing.com.