With a park on each side and over-looking a canal, Founder is a bright, light, new co-working space in Palmers Road, East London.
Waving behind a big glass door stands Samina Raza, 27; she opens the door and gives a warm welcome. A big window is filling out the front of the two-story office, and the place is a jungle of plants. “My partner is from the country side.” Raza explains.
Her business partner’s, Thirzie Hull’s, background from the countryside is not the only reason they have so many plants located in and around the building. Both of them think it’s important to care about the environment and to offer their members organic food. Raza said: “I would like in the future to have compost and to make a farm; a mushroom farm, and to compost beans, because mushrooms love that. We would love if the members could be a part of that too.”
In the last few years co-working offices have become more and more popular in London. Co-working is a style of work that involves a shared working environment. Often areas with an independent activity, usually the people using the offices are not employed by the same organisation.
The Founder has 24 desk spaces to offer, and at £160 a month it beats the average price for a desk in Tower Hamlets by £40. This price includes all business rates and bills, and the 24 hour use of their storage, meeting room, post room, and kitchen with the added benefits of a herb and roof garden.
After working together for three years in another co-working space, Raza and Hull knew that they wanted to open their own space in the heart of Tower Hamlets. So they took a loan to pay for the property and, following a hard start after launching in the summer, they now get several calls every day from people wanting an office space.
Raza thinks that many of the co-working spaces in London are usually basement offices or too expensive. Therefore they wanted to do something different. She said: “I think we’re pretty different from those and I feel like we did something original.”
She added: “We have a more relaxed feeling and a low price, and it’s an atmosphere that’s about personal growth, a balanced work-space, and a place where it’s calm; where you can create.”
With a vision of being environment-friendly and organic, most of their furniture is reclaimed, antique or made in London, but Raza later confesses that they had to buy some of the interior at Ikea. She said: “We worked hard with making it nice, but it didn’t cost more to do this than to go to Ikea.”
With the major increase in co-working, Founder just bought another office that they wish to open as soon as possible, but they want to keep it small. Raza said: “We chose to be a small company because it’s a nice dynamic; people work in teams and are in different stages. All these people working in different ways make a nice culture.”
If you’re interested in a renting a desk space at Founder, click here for more information