There are over 30 coworking spaces to date in Austin and likely more to come. With so many options out there, it’s difficult to make a decision on what fits your work and lifestyle. Each have their own flavor and audience and finding the right one takes time.
I recently went to the opening of MELD coworking earlier this month. I’m normally hesitant about new spaces but was recommended by a handful of people from The Society of Women Entrepreneurs in Austin. I figured I’d give it a try since our remote team had been head down and working out of local coffee shops. It was time for a change.
I was immediately met with a smile from Kay Dee, the owner and a long time freelancer. She walked me through the area and explained how the idea of MELD started. As a freelancer herself, she struggled with finding a space that was comfortable, affordable but also conducive to getting things done. Her personal experiences helped her understand the pain points that freelancers and the growing WFH community go through.
One of the most appealing options that MELD offers is such a variable plan. You’re able to choose from packaged plans anywhere from 2 days a week to unlimited or a packaged punch card. Kay Dee explains how as a freelancer, one of the biggest perks about your job is your freedom. So why restrict freelancers to just one area? I think she’s completely right about this as I struggled with committing to just one place and often found inspiration in different areas. MELD’s plans allows you to work in several areas without breaking the bank.
The coworking space expands on this theme by providing different areas with different ambience and functions. This reminds me a minimalist view of the White House in San Francisco, “where every room has its own style and pieces of decor and furniture collected of different characters.” I particularly appreciated the 2nd floor, corner wing of the house which is purposely without music. It’s designed for those who are wanting to get work done and to be in their zone. One of the hardest parts about coworking spaces is that you get to know the community and your efficiency starts to slow down. Meld’s emphasis on spaces creates a safe place for those needing to work without feeling pressured to socialize.
Who Should Visit?
MELD coworking is located just North of the University of Texas so you’d imagine that it attracts a lot of grad students and artists in the community. Since it’s so new it’s hard to pinpoint the culture just yet. Their site states that it’s “built for the digital nomad, we host a community of small business owners, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers.”
If you’re looking for a place to build your network and find a community, you may be better served at other locations. However, if you’re looking for a quiet place that provides several functions within one home, MELD is a great option. One of my favorite things about MELD is that it’s situated in the Heritage neighborhood and blends in with it’s architecture of older homes in the community. Their tagline is “work from home away from home” which makes sense in it’s choice in space. It also appealing that it’s walking distance from Trudy’s and Spider House, great places to eat and also study if you want a change in scenery.
It wasn’t too many years earlier when there were few options outside of coffee shops and libraries. It’s wonderful to see so many different options in community and work spaces in Austin now!