In 1983, London lost its only live animal market, bringing to a close centuries of tradition dating back to the Huguenots. At Club Row Market you could buy dogs, cats, birds, chickens, snakes, gerbils, guinea pigs – even monkeys and lion cubs could be found there. George R. Sims described the scene in the early 20th Century: “On Sunday nothing but bird-cages are to be seen from roofs to pavement in almost every house. At first you see nothing but the avenue of bird-cages. The crowd in the narrow street is so dense that you can gather no idea of what is in the shop-windows or what the mob of men crowding together in black patches of humanity are dealing in.”
These days, you won’t find exotic birds or lion cubs for sale on the streets of Shoreditch, but you can find a new home for your business in Club Row Collective: a gorgeous new coworking space which, coincidentally, is (quite literally) a stone’s throw from the Hubble office.
(Special offer, during July and August, all memberships at Club Row Collective are half price.)
Situated in trendy, fashionable Shoreditch (2 minutes walk from Shoreditch High Street overground station), Club Row Collective makes for an enviable collection of spaces. Carefully preserved original features remind us of its peculiar history as a Victorian warehouse, used for the storage and sale of exotic animals as pets. You will not have worked anywhere quite like this.
Keith, creator of Club Row Collective has taken great care to consider potential clients’ needs – the light is excellent and plentiful, with a fetching skylight bathing the basement in precious natural light.
It’s clear that Keith’s vision of open plan spaces, natural buildings and a personal touch just work: he hasn’t had an empty day in any of his properties for ten years.
Office manager Branca is wonderfully hospitable and has already added a “club” edge to the space, garnering special partnerships with local businesses to their clients’ advantage (discounts and special deals abound).
We caught up with Keith to find out more about the local area, and the ethos behind the brand new space.
How does the creative flavour of the local area affect the space?
“You definitely create the space that reflects what’s immediately around you; it didn’t feel right before, then suddenly you have all these exciting things happening around you in the area, in Redchurch Street especially, and this felt like the perfect time to launch our collective.”
The building is amazingly well preserved – how does that affect clients that work here?
“I’ve been doing properties for ten years, so I’ve got a bit of an eye for it now! It’s about the building feeling natural and preserving how it’s meant to look. The red brick, the iron supports, they add to the natural feel of it. If you’re going to own a warehouse as attractive as this, it’s got to be tasteful.”
Who do you hope to see working here?
“Well, you hope that people will feel your influence on the space – upstairs we have permanent, residential desks, and downstairs we’re hot-desking. Perhaps we will see people moving upstairs after being downstairs; maybe they will have met their perfect business partner here! Young Internet startups, creative and media industries are a fantastic asset of East London and we’d love to see them here, with others.”
For first timers, what are the advantages?
“Working from home is going to stump you creatively. By coming to this type of space, not only are you getting to add an exciting address to your business, meeting clients here, but also it’s who you can mix with. Collaboration is hugely important to what we’ve created here, especially with the mix of industries around here. Nothing is closed off, and the openness of everything adds to these creative ‘collisions’ that happen constantly – we want to force people to interact in a new and interesting way.”
What sells your space over the competition?
“We’ve priced ourselves competitively, and we want people to know exactly what they get when they see it here. Also the size of the space – it’s small enough to keep it personal, quiet, focused. Above all we pride ourselves on customer service, which is of course essential. We see ourselves as redressing the balance between great client care and a hugely desirable, fashionable location. One should never compromise the other. Also the contrast between the creative and transient downstairs area, and the more established, permanent upstairs space gives us a unique slant on workspaces. We want people to love being here!”
To book a viewing or to find out more about Club Row Collective, you can call or send a message via their listing on Hubble.
As a special offer, during July and August, all memberships are half price.