This is one of the scariest, most exciting things we’ve ever done.
This spring, we’re opening a new office in Montreal. (That’s obviously not the part that’s exciting though).
This won’t be just another office. Up in the clouds. Disconnected. It will be a space just as much for you as it is for us.
I used to be an independent designer. I loved the freedom to work from anywhere. But anywhere was never really anywhere. Finding a spot other than my home that felt good to work from was like playing Where’s Waldo on expert level.
Even once I found a place I thought was good, I’d waste half an hour trying to connect to the Internet only to have it go down half an hour later.
I’ve sat elbow-to-elbow on old squeaky chairs that felt like they’re leaving splinters in my ass.
I’ve stumbled on what I thought was the perfect place only to find there’s only one outlet plug (that’s already taken). Or that they close in an hour.
I get it. Coffee shops and restaurants weren’t meant to be good places for work.
But independent professionals aren’t left with many other options.
While these issues make working from home my default choice, I enjoy having a place to switch things up. And for all the freedom you get from working at home, spending every day alone can make you feel like you’re stranded on some desert island with only your dog or cat to talk to (if you’re lucky).
We can’t help it. We’re hardwired to feel good around people. Especially people we feel a connection toward.
All of these are factors we considered while laying out the plans for our space.
The Crew Cafe & Collective will open in April 2016. It will be part coffee workspace open to anyone. Part members-only workspace. And part office for Crew.
The space is split into sections, each optimized for the different parts of the creative process.
A dedicated space of toys for your mind including books, art, photography, magazines, and games to help spark your next idea.
Individual workspaces designed to limit distractions for optimal periods of intense focus. Relaxed seating, coffee/drink delivery to your seat.
A space to step away and get your mind off your project. Ever wonder why your best ideas come to you in the shower? Your subconscious is a better problem solver than you. We’re creating a dedicated space to let your mind work while you relax.
Not only is this is a place to do work, it’s also a space to meet interesting makers you might like to work with. 20 monthly memberships will be open for top local makers and companies working on positive impact projects across many different industries including design, film, tech, publishing, architecture, fashion, and music. You’ll be part of this community, which means immediate access to input from talented peers who offer different perspectives and help make your work the best it can be.
Every chair, light, song, table, and bean bag in this space is only being chosen if it helps you get into a good creative flow.
You can’t schedule creativity. So our space will be open to members every day. All day. (We haven’t finalized daily operating hours yet for the public cafe area but it will be open daily and late).
In addition, we’ll be hosting a curated selection of events to stir your mind. Movie nights, writing/design workshops, hackathons, meetups, artist showcases, dinners, and office hours with top local makers and founders in the city.
After months of searching for the right space to make this concept work, my co-founder Steph found a gem. A first floor, 12,000 sq. ft. (A third bigger than the Apple Store in Montreal), 50 ft. ceiling space in the heart of Old Montreal.
When we first walked into the space, it was so epic we didn’t even think we could rent it.
As we saw place after place, nothing came close.
The feeling was different than anything. The building has a personality. And behind it, a history.
The space sits on the ground floor of the first “skyscraper” in Canada (22-stories, not bad for being constructed in 1928) and was the original headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. This building was made at the start of the industrial revolution—an unmatched period of economic growth and impact in history. Now, with the space turning over to us, during the development of a new economic revolution—the connected economy—we hope to help this space play a significant part of this new era.
We want this to be the best place to work from in the world.
Whether you want a comfortable space to work or you just want to grab a coffee, we’ll be here.
360 Saint-Jacques. 24/7.
We’re opening April 2016. Subscribe here for updates.
We’re accepting a limited number of Patron Sponsors to be involved in supporting the space and community. If you’re interested, email us here.
More behind-the-scenes details: