When it comes to the creative class—artists, designers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and the like—every lifestyle choice is a reflection of who we are. From the clothes we wear to the coffee we drink, we reveal our individual interests, aesthetics, even our values. So it makes sense that considering how we work also comes into play in our professional lives.
Whether freelancer or full-timer, CEO or start-up, we’re all exploring new ways to work, collaborate and feel good about what we do. For creatives looking to network, stay inspired, and perhaps just a reason to get out of their pajamas and be more productive, coworking provides that community, collaborative energy and a sometimes much-needed push to pursue your passion.
In Downtown LA, cowork spaces have been around for several years as a place for mobile workers to plug in. But only in the last couple years have a few new hot spots sprung up that seem to be the talk of the town everywhere we go. Here we take a look at three that just might have something for every creative type. Plus, they each offer free day passes or tours to test the coworking waters and see where you feel most at home:
830 Traction Avenue, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Motto/Mission: A place of possibility dedicated to activists, artists, entrepreneurs, freelancers and impact professionals using their work to create a better world. Anchored by a physical place in the heart of the Arts District in Downtown LA, the Hub offers members access to 4,000 square feet of creative industrial space to work, meet, learn, collaborate and play; a curated community of values-aligned individuals and companies; and custom programming and events focused on personal and professional development.
Opened: September 2012 (the original Hub started in London in 2006, now in over 30 cities)
Founder: Elizabeth Stewart is CEO and Co-Founder of Hub LA, also recently named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People and Forbes’ Female Founders to Watch
Users: Everyone from experts in crowdfunding and entrepreneurs in clean tech to designers and consultants in corporate social responsibility.
Most standout feature: Hub LA is a Certified B-Corp focused on social change and social enterprise. It’s also part of a network of 30+ Hubs around the world from San Francisco to Johannesburg to Sao Paulo and Milan, each locally owned and run but with a shared vision.
Cost: Cowork memberships range from $25/month to attend events up to $450/month for unlimited use of space 24/7. Pricing for private desks and offices vary.
1275 East 6TH Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Motto/Mission: Work better… Work together! The Unique Space is a fresh, modern workplace in LA’s Arts District. With our roots firmly planted in community, we are the home to innovation, creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship! We offer private offices, as well as co-work space.
Opened: December 2013
Founder: Founder and Creative Director Sonja Rasula. Recently named by Los Angeles Magazine one of LA’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Women, Sonja is best known for Unique LA, the world’s largest made-in-America shopping event that she started in 2008. Then, in 2013 she started CAMP, a business conference for creatives at campgrounds in Big Bear, California.
Users: “A design-savvy community of makers, do-ers, and dreamers.” At a glance at the tenant directory, you’ll see most businesses are design focused: style blogger DesignLoveFest, packaging design blog The Dieline, and The Yellow Loft graphic design studio are among the tenants. According to Director of Operations Christopher Heynen, “everyone collaborates in some way or another at The Unique Space, both tenants and co-work members. A lot of ideas and collaborations sprout informally, whether during our weekly Happy Hour mixer or just around the space as people are cooking lunch or brewing up some Handsome Coffee. It is really fun and inspiring to watch.”
Most standout feature: Grab ‘n’ Go fleet of Linus bikes for coworkers and tenants to borrow, a fully-equipped kitchen, an arts/design and entrepreneurship resource library and lounge, a beautiful boardroom that can be booked for meetings and presentations, and a rooftop terrace.
Cost: Cowork memberships start at $35 per day, but you can stop by for a 5-day trial for free.
If you are ready to sign up after that, new members enjoy a special introductory rate: Part-time: $125 for 10 days for your first month, Full-time: $250 for your first month.
1933 S. Broadway, 11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Motto/Mission: We are the dreamers, the creators, the makers… A workspace collective for creative businesses, makers, and entrepreneurs, Maker City LA is housed on the 11th floor of The Reef in Downtown Los Angeles. Our mission is to foster a hotbed of innovation that serves, inspires and supports the artists, designers, thinkers and makers of Los Angeles.
Opened: October 2013
Founders: Ava Bromberg, SVP of Business Development for The Reef and Sharon Anne Lee, Founder of CultureBrain
Users: Everyone from fine artists to tech nerds. Tenants include CultureBrain, a think tank, studio and academy – its focus is studying culture, trends and creativity. Illuminode – interactive LED illumination for fashion, brands, events, artists, architects and beyond – works with other in-house brands like Alfalfa Jones Designs. Cross-pollination is encouraged.
Most standout feature: Soundproofed film, photo and podcast studios, private edit bays starting at $25/hour. Plus, The Reef building will welcome TechShop to the 1st floor this year. According to Ava, “Our aim with The Reef is to help provide creative businesses the tools they need to be successful, all under one roof. We have spaces for creation, exhibition and commerce, and tens of thousands of retailers and consumers look to our building as a resource for new products and ideas. TechShop is a fantastic addition to our creative habitat.”
Cost: Cowork memberships start at $35 for a Flex Lounge Day Pass or a Mobile Membership for $100/month.
Written by Shannon Flaherty Randall