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Hood mentality: Woolf Works in Joo Chiat

SINGAPORE — It’s Business 101 to open where your customers are. But these days, it isn’t enough to only have a great location. Instead, it’s also about collaboration, community, and how your neighbourhood further inspires your enterprise. We check out three new enterprises whose addresses are very much at the heart of what they do.

SINGAPORE — It’s Business 101 to open where your customers are. But these days, it isn’t enough to only have a great location. Instead, it’s also about collaboration, community, and how your neighbourhood further inspires your enterprise. We check out three new enterprises whose addresses are very much at the heart of what they do.

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MOTHERS UNITE

If you’re an enterprising woman who lives in the east and is looking for some office space, you might want to check out one particular Joo Chiat shophouse.

Here you’ll find Woolf Works, Singapore’s first women only co-working space, which New Zealand-born Michaela Anchan set up after a fruitless search for an office of her own.

Barely three weeks old, the space’s name was inspired by author Virginia Woolf, who once wrote that a woman needs money and a room of her own to write fiction. Anchan chose Joo Chiat for its laidback and family-friendly vibe. “I liked that it was outside the city, outside the box. I was looking for a space with a different energy compared with those located in industrial areas or in the Central Business District,” she said.

Mother-of-two (ages five and one), Anchan also believes that the East Coast neighbourhood was a catchment area of likeminded, budding “mumtrepreneurs” who might require a quiet space away from home and kids to work on personal projects.

That is why besides having monthly rates that range from S$200 (for weekly access to a communal desk) to S$600 (for unlimited access to your own desk), there’s also the flexibility of dropping in to use its facilities for S$50 a day.

Anchan also loves the idea of working with other nearby businesses. For example, just below her unit is the much-loved Bread Project, which caters for events held at her conference space. She’s currently working with zumba studio Flyte (they promote each other’s brands and the latter offers discounts to Woolf Works members) and she’s exploring the idea of bringing in services such as pedicures and manicures into her space “so ladies can accomplish everything in a day outside before returning home”.

“There are so many ways local businesses in the same area can work together and I’m excited to get started,” she added.

Woolf Works is located at 176 Joo Chiat Road.

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