Coworking has been around since 2005 and ever since it blew up worldwide. Our history with Sarnia Coworking goes back to when we first opened the doors to our first business: TMRRW INC.
Opening up our doors
Starting up our company had a lot of overhead costs when we rented a studio apartment 2 years ago. With 5 founders, we all had to contribute a large chunk of cash to just stay afloat.
Our biggest expenses were:
- Photography Equipment
All this was before we could pay ourselves. We felt like this was a step back from growing our business the way we want it to. Instead of growing, we were being held back by overhead. Luckily, something came to light that changed the way we’ve seen everything.
A big space with big opportunity
Shortly after we moved into our office, we were introduced to a massive 8000 square foot facility at the top of Taylor’s Furniture. The space had nothing. There was paint on the floor and the walls, the lighting was awful and it looked like it was vacant for years. It used to be a furniture store.
Inspired, our creative director Liwordson Vijayabalan took the lead in creating a Sarnia coworking space where entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals can grow and scale their businesses.
- Interior Designers
- The owner of Taylor’s Furniture
All to further inspect if something like creating a Sarnia coworking space was even possible. With lots of hurdles to jump over, it was absolutely possible…
But with a lot of work.
We’ve worked hard on this project. We couldn’t have done it without the community. Shortly after we had the idea of starting a Sarnia coworking space, Liwordson contacted the Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership to see if it was feasible. Li and Ted from SLEP went to visit some of the main people who contributed to some of the largest coworking spaces pushing the industry forward. Such as Innovation Works and the Centre For Social Innovation. They met with Lina Bowden. She gave some powerful insights on starting a Sarnia coworking space and some of the jumps we need to go through in order to do it.
Our lease started to run out. So we went full throttle on the development of a new office. Using the knowledge we have received from mentors and advisors, we started development of the top floor of Taylor’s Furniture to create Sarnia’s first coworking space. Almost immediately, the place was packed full. You can read the article by the Sarnia Journal here.
The Sarnia Journal brought us lots of traffic to the work we have put in the last year and a half. We filled up fast. So we decided to expand our coworking space to the side entrance of the Taylor’s Furniture building. To hype Sarnia up, we posted a social media post saying “Sarnia coworking is coming soon”. The post went viral in the Sarnia-Lambton community. More outlets started to cover our efforts. Such as:
In less than a month, we plan on opening the doors to everyone and experience Sarnia coworking at it’s finest. Our history has been a long one but it has been worth it to serve a community we are passionate about.