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Beehive Coworking Puts Vintage Twist on Modern Office Space

CHICAGO – Beehive Chicago is shaking up the alternative workspace scene in the Windy City with a model that puts a vintage twist on modern office space.

Located at 2958 W. Carroll St. in Chicago, Beehive Chicago describes itself this way: A home for your home-based online vintage business. Rent studio space by the month or by the hour, and get your business off the ground … and out of your house.

It all started when Robyn Witt and her partner Joe Moore were struggling to find a space big enough to house their antiquing business, Take 2 Vintage, according to Chicago Grid.

”We knew there were other dealers who were battling with the same issues; lack of storage space, not having a comfortable space in a central location to which they could invite customers to shop and could focus on working away from the distractions of home,” Witt says. “We talked with some of the vendors we felt shared our vision and level of commitment to vintage and growing their business, to see if they’d be interested in sharing such a space, and Beehive Chicago was born.”

As the story goes, Witt found a core group of vintage furniture, clothes and knickknack sellers looking to share space and swap ideas.

“Stuffed in a warehouse on the West Side, Beehive Chicago is now home to nine vendors,” Chicago Grid reports. “The group splits the $2,200 a month rent, plus utilities and maintenance fees based on square footage, giving them rates lower than they would otherwise get.”

A coworking space like no other, the group isn’t as focused on business networking events as it is on its vintage goods. In December, Beehive Chicago held a Vintage and Handmade Holiday Market where Chicagoland residents could drop in and do some early Christmas shopping. And in addition to business start-up type classes, Beehive Chicago holds events like Dabble Class, which is essentially an interior design 101 training.

“We share dedicated photo space as well as an area to pack and ship to fulfill online sales. These are amenities which can easily be offered to other vintage vendors and small companies around Chicago who are also struggling,” Witt says.

“We want to offer support by holding forums and meetups for people to learn about this particular business and share their own experiences, as well as learn about topics which all small business owners need to know; marketing and social media; taxes and inventory management, to name a few.”

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About the Author

Jennifer LeClaire

Jennifer LeClaire is a veteran business journalist, editor and new media entrepreneur with a strong niche in real estate and technology. She works from a home office on the beach in South Florida. You can reach her through LinkedIn.

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