Finding a comfortable, quiet space to be productive can seem impossible. Local coffee shops are excellent starting points. But seats are not guaranteed and noise levels are always changing. Share workspaces are great, but they’re not cheap, and usually require a commitment. Though home offices are popular, they’re not ideal for meetings, interviews, or inspiration.
A Unique Solution
Virginie Glaenzer, an entrepreneur, introduced a brand new concept to the downtown New York City scene! Her idea was SoHo Places: a unique SoHo workspace solution for freelancers struggling to find a place to gather and work.
“When you’re a freelancer, sales professional, or just working from home, there are particular challenges when it comes to holding client meetings and working remotely,” Virginie explains. “SoHo Places is a simple concept. It’s a quiet place where you can reserve a comfortable seat for one to four people. For $5 to $6 an hour, you get coffee, high-speed wifi, and a place to work.”
Virginie was born and raised in France. She moved to San Francisco in 1999. She co-founded and ran two tech startups, and was involved in other ventures during her time in the Bay Area. Eventually, she shifted from sales to customer experience. Out of this new passion came the idea of SoHo Places. Her inspiration came from the book I Am Keats, by Tom Asacker. It was about listening to your inner voice – and Virginie’s was expressing a strong desire to create an environment for freelancers and remote workers that would help them stay focused and productive.
Virginie wanted this shared space to be more than just seats. She wanted it to be a place where people could feel motivated and inspired. With the Paintzen team, she began conceptualizing a mural on one of the interior walls. “Part of the experience is to feel a sense of focus and jumpstart creativity. Everything is designed to enhance that feeling: from the comfort of the seats, the sound masking technology, to the colors we chose.” She wanted to get away from standard white walls and bring something unique and beautiful to the space.
The final design was of the New York City skyline. Virginie wanted to mirror the life and vivacity of downtown Manhattan. She told us, “Looking at the mural reminds you of when you arrived here in New York City for the first time.” Virginie worked with our team of mural artists to bring her vision to life. Paired with her sound-canceling seating booths, paintings from local artists hanging on the other walls, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, this mural helps to create the perfect ambiance.
“The entire experience was extremely smooth,” Virginie said. “I only had an image in my head, and both the team and the painters were able to capture the essence of my vision and create it.” She describes the new space as feeling peaceful and relaxed while promoting focus and productivity. “We’ve been open for just a few days, and people are walking in, asking questions, eager to stay! They leave feeling accomplished, and more importantly, excited to come back.”