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Whether it’s at coffee shops with wobbly tables, on your sofa while your roommate watches that same anime again, or, like the PressureLife crew does, in the back of some bar, we’ve all made the best of bad locations when there’s work to be done.

Let’s face it, not everyone gets to chew the fat in the boardroom from Mad Men or the Hall of Justice. With Beauty Shoppe’s co-working office space poised to open its doors early this August at the historical Seymour Building on the corner of Detroit Avenue and W. 26 Street, locals now may have the next best thing in the heart of Cleveland.

Photography: Lexy Ribar

“In the beginning, it was just an experiment,” explains Founder Zach Ciccone. “Beauty Shoppe came about from our desire, as friends and family, to bring about a generosity and a sense of authenticity to the workplace and our own work lives.”

Feeling that modern work environments often lack the personal comforts that allow for true ingenuity and productivity to blossom, Ciccone spearheaded the creation of highly user-attentive workspaces that would come to define the Beauty Shoppe franchise.

Starting in Pittsburgh’s historic East Liberty district, the first building that the group bought and remodeled to their ends was originally an actual beauty shop. “We were able to salvage the windows of that very first space,” Ciccone says. “It had ‘Beauty Shoppe’ emblazoned on the windows and we decided that it would be our company name. We felt it reflected the beauty, subtlety, and nuance of our work in bringing locals together. It also speaks to company’s commitment today, which is to community and honoring local history. I find the Seymour Building to be awesome. Our whole philosophy of taking under-utilized or desolate or abandoned space and turning it around, it’s something that really reflects what the community is up to.”

The Beauty Shoppe ethos is more than just a mission statement. “We took a deeper dive, Ciccone explains. “We talked to retail owners, coffee shop owners. We observe people working in coffee shops. We talked to directors of real estate. Everyone’s talking about the future of work and the convenience and flexibility for their employees and themselves. We’re all more productive when we have more flexibility in how we go about doing our work and where we do it. We think broader.”

This wide contemplation sees Beauty Shoppe breaking the mold of public work spaces less than 10 years from its inception. “We consider ourselves a lifestyle brand,” Ciccone continues. “We consider ourselves a hospitality company. We create friendly workspaces that are hotel lobby meets your friendly coffee shop meets a super accessible workplace that has traditionally not been available to individuals in small companies.”

This cross-platform approach is typified in the inclusion of Foyer, Beauty Shoppe’s food and beverage café that welcomes guests from the lobby of the Seymour Building. “[Foyer] is a public lounge space where we hope to celebrate local artists, people who need a pop-up space, or have a lecture or host their own program,” Ciccone says. “They can come in and do all that here.” Ciccone was quick to share the credit on Foyer. “Our lead designer, Morgan Stewart, she’s a hospitality person, she comes from that world,” he clarifies. “She put her heart and soul into the Foyer concept. What they’ve created is super fresh with a lot of local sensibilities. We’re sourcing our food and products from local vendors.”

Ciccone has a clear vision on shared work spaces, but  goes further, delineating what sets Beauty Shoppe apart from the concept from which is was originally birthed. “For many people, it’s not just a workplace,” Ciccone states. “For students, it’s a place to meet people and think about your career, think about mentors, and the kind of industries they want to move into. For many small businesses who are not venture backed, who don’t have major investment, it’s a space where they can continue to grow their company.”

Much of the innovation that Ciccone touts falls under Beauty Shoppe’s proactive inclusivity. “We really want this product and these spaces to be seen as open to all; priced and designed and programmed to be open to all,” he says, a sentiment that’s echoed in Beauty Shoppe’s tiered memberships. “Members can select from a range of options based on their needs. There’s a new way that people need to think about the way that they consume professional space. We think that the subscription model makes the space more accessible. For us, it’s providing a variety of price points to access that space, whether you’re a full-time, tenured consumer or someone who already has an office or a space at a university, but just wants to attend an event or use a conference room. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access these.”

Ciccone does not see Beauty Shoppe’s latest Ohio City venture as the beginning and end of the group’ involvement. “We hope to be involved in many local and citywide conversations—from universities to chambers of commerce—to understand how best we can play a role in facilitating new relationships in local government, business leaders, and policy leaders in the city,” he claims.  

Beauty Shoppe’s integration into the community has already begun with Foyer opening earlier last month and will continue as the public work spaces are set to open the first week in August, with memberships starting at $175 and additional discounts for students. With an abundance of artists and innovative entrepreneurs across the region, along with Beauty Shoppe’s proximity to the Downtown business district, Cleveland may soon find itself getting down to business in the next best thing.

  • Content Strategist, novelist and prolific roustabout who drinks entirely too much coffee. You can find him on Twitter @therealadamdodd

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