American offices tend to have a reputation of following the same bland general layout of cubicles and a boring working environment. At OKC's 1219 Creative, however, workers are surrounded by artwork as they share building space with an art gallery that hosts monthly events.
1219 Creative is a unique creative workspace that was the partnership between The Golding Group, a strategic business growth group and Art Fusion Studio, a gallery that focuses on the art of blown glass. Kyle Golding, the building's Creative Curator and Marketing Director, says the idea for the space came about when he was seeking nontraditional business real estate for The Golding Group.
"We wanted something different, a place where people could meet, interact and collaborate," he explains. "We wanted to be surrounded by people, traffic and the energy that comes with that. The building owner Rick Bewley purchased this space because his artist workshop/showroom backs up to it and the front space is perfectly suited for a gallery. When I told Rick I was looking for a space to work and be creative, he offered to partner with me here. We both had the same vision for how it should operate."
1219 Creative is comprised of two large suites, four small offices, a community conference room, kitchen, and a six-desk co-work area to accommodate individuals or organizations of various sizes. The north side of the building is flanked by a 140' wide colorful mural painted by Oklahoma artist Yatika Starr Fields, and provides a bright contrast to the bare trees that surround the property during the winter months.
The Co-Work desk space at 1219 Creative is perfect for very small businesses or freelancers, providing free WiFi, 24/7 access, and use of the conference room. Desk space is rented via affordable month-to-month and includes a desk, chair and storage cabinet. Golding says this area has proved popular with marketing, graphic design, and other creative individuals.
"A lower investment of desk, chair and cabinet instead of building walls or cubicles allowed us to keep cost down and make the space affordable and accessible," he says. "The vibe is cool, relaxed and very creative. Most of the offices are occupied by businesses that started in the co-work desk and graduated to an office once their business became successful enough to afford more space. We see that as a huge success of the co-work process."
The art gallery has been a successful way of showcasing the space to the public, while getting involved with the local community. Most shows have featured pairing the work of an up-and-coming artist with a more established pro. With its flexible space, the gallery can accommodate various forms of art.
On occasion 1219 Creative has also hosted pop-up shops, or a temporary retail location for local craftsmen and artisans that wish to rent the space for one week and sell their handmade goods to the public. The 1219 Pop Up Shop is usually open on the first week of each month.
Whether one is looking for an inspiring place to conduct business or is interested in art, 1219 Creative offers more than the usual office building.