“Your car is a reflection of who you are. Where you live reflects the life you want to lead. The same goes for your coworking space.”
David and Ashley Brown are the co-founders of Good Space, and David took time to talk with us at Coworks about their vision, execution, and the future of their UK-based coworking operation.
This American couple chose Queen’s Park, London, for the headquarters of their business. They also chose it for their home, their children’s schooling, and their community. That’s why the Queen’s Park community is essentially the brand of Good Space.
“We live a four minutes walk from our office,” Brown explained. “My daughter goes to her primary school at the end of the same road. Our boys are a little further away, but not much. And we started effectively in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. No one wanted to use transit, we were told not to leave our area. But unlike many people, we could continue to live our lives without feeling like we were missing a lot. Everything we need is a short walk away.”
The pandemic was a challenging time to launch any business, but the result has been a different way of life that many people are unwilling to give up as the return to work takes shape.
“You can live your life in a way that is super flexible. The downside of working from home is just that: you're stuck in your house. You've been looking at the same wall or your partner or husband or wife or flatmate or children are making noise. Or you can go ten minutes away and have a working location. We’ve all gotten used to it. We have some people that come and go from Good Space throughout the day. It's just an extension of their living situation.”
Speaking of extension, the next location is in the works. It’s called Groundworks and is based in the Chiswick area of London. The Browns know it won’t be a matter of ‘cut and paste.’ It is a completely different community in which their coworking space fits.
“London is a massive city, but it's really a city of villages,” Brown noted. “There's all these little hamlets connected by transit and other things, but it really does feel like each is insular and unique. So it wouldn't make any sense to bring what works in Queen’s Park to a different spot in the city. It wouldn’t fit.”
The members of Good Space in Queen’s Park reflect the area — they are in north west London, and therefore represent many creative and artistic lines of work.
“We tend to attract people that work in media, television, and fashion. But it's broadly a community of creative industry folks. And they are people that control their own destiny, so to speak. So whether they're a solopreneur or freelancer or owner, they're running small businesses.”
This is why the Good Space brand isn’t something the Browns will force on another community. Instead, they will build a more organic, community-informed coworking operation that reflects the neighborhood, the people, and the spirit of the locale.
“We aren’t going to replicate Good Space in a different neighborhood. That neighborhood has different dynamics than ours, so we need to provide something slightly different. Our brand simply needs to reflect that.”
The selection of Coworks software to run their operation was driven by that same need to simplify.
As Brown explained, “what I did not want was a lot of extra features that I was never going to use. I didn’t want our software to make it harder for our members to understand what was happening, and then increase the price because we were trying to do too many things. We wanted something simple, something attractive, and something that just worked. So we chose Coworks.”
As the world continues to find a new way to return to work, Ashley and David Brown will continue to forge new ways to serve unique communities.
“I have this place that's better than a home office and better than an actual office. It's kind of somewhere in between. It’s a Goldilocks type of workspace. It’s just right.”