The movement of the sharing economy started in the early 2000’s and has evolved into a broader range of platforms. With technology, the ability to work remotely affects a far larger amount of people. So it makes sense that people are looking for more variety in their chosen work places. I personally have a list of places I love to go based on mood or what I need to get done. Therefore, I was thrilled to add Craft, Austin’s creative hub for DIY, to my list of places that inspire.
Back to Kindergarten
Remember back when you were little and you got to play with paints and glitter and made a spectacular creation/mess? Then the teacher would help you clean up or you just walked away and went to take a nap? Well Craft essentially is kindergarten all over again minus the nap. As they put it, “where you go to be a kid. No kids allowed” haha. The owner, Eli started Craft back in 2013 because she was tired of buying so many craft supplies when all she needed was a little. You can walk in and pay $10/hour to create to your heart’s desire. As Eli found out, occasional crafting is an industry which is why it’s relevant to Austin’s coworking community. Most people don’t consider themselves as creative so it’s less of a commit than to buy $$$ of craft supplies, only to figure out you’re not all that great or you don’t like it. Craft allows you to dip your toes without the financial commit. The staff are also super helpful to teach you how to use everything there too!
Work + Play = Success
I sat down and talked with Hannah, Craft’s manager, about how they started offering coworking space. Just like many businesses who started based on the sharing economy, they found that often times their space was not being utilized throughout the day. That’s when they decided to open the space up for events and coworking. One story Hannah talked about was when a CIA agent spent here afternoons doing her work there and took breaks to make creative cards! Two clearly different activities illustrate the benefits of working different parts of our brain. As Hannah mentions, being creative is “equally as important as working out.”
Outside of being one of the best places for a first date as mentioned in the Austinite Magazine, Craft is a perfect way to add that work life balance. Based on the article, Inside Your Brain: When You Have a Creative Idea, “flashes of insight are those aha-moments when relaxing our mind, and without thinking methodological and logically, we are coming up with significant solutions…Studies have shown, that we are actually thinking differently when we have a creative moment like that, than when we are coming up with routine or logical solutions.” It may sound counter intuitive but if you have an important decision to make or you’re stumped on a particular challenge, busting out the crayons or digging through Craft’s largest stamp collection in Texas may be your answer.
Who Should Go
As with any coworking space, each space caters to a different set of personalities and goals. I honestly feel that everyone should at least visit even if a month of coworking isn’t right for them. There’s no harm in some occasional crafting! For those who are committed to actually coworking for the full month or more, I’d say that flexibility is the key word here. Since Craft is still figuring out what works for them, their coworking hours available tend to depend on events booked. Therefore it makes a lot of sense that the cost is reasonably at $60/month. If you’re looking for a place buzzing with people and to network, try another place. But if you’re looking for a quiet space filled with inspiration and possibility then head on over to Craft!