Given that I’ve been at this WAHM life since 2006, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that working from home has benefits and some drawbacks. The more that I start transforming We Sow We Grow and Houseful of Nicholes, the more I realize that I need space to do these things without the distraction of motherhood and wifehood sometimes. Full focus is necessary and, to be honest, interaction with other boss women doing boss things is welcome.
I’m currently a Chicago ambassador for The Wing and I’m here to share my thoughts on the space and encourage you to check and see if The Wing is available in your area.
What IS The Wing Exactly?
The Wing Chicago is located almost exactly on the corner of Halsted & Fulton in what used to be an area folks weren’t exactly too excited to create wide-open co-working spaces. I’m so glad that people could see the same beauty in the area that I did back when my grandfather used to take us on tours to share what blue-collar companies held residence in.
Membership to this women-focused social club costs roughly 185 dollars per month, with a year-long membership requirement. Bringing your grand total to $2220. If you would like to be able to use any of the other Wing locations around the world, you can pay $250 per month and have at it! Each space reflects everything there is to love about the city that it’s located in, and the talent surrounding it.
The space is BRIGHT. And not offensively so. Each time I’ve entered, I’ve felt rejuvenated and ready to get down to business. Of course, with the winter season upon us, I do start winding down about 3 pm, but with the space available to me 7 days a week, I have no excuses not to be productive before then.
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Each Wing location has open working space, with chairs that fit short and tall, slim and full-figured alike. Basically, they know that no woman is cookie-cutter, therefore they aren’t either. There is a quiet room, which I feel would be better used if there were doors shutting off the ambient noise that wafts through when the space is busier, but noise-canceling headphones are perched on the window sills for the member use.
Four private use phone booths are available for those conversations that you may need to take on speakerphone, or webinars you may have to participate in. Members are asked to spend no more than an hour in those spaces to keep it open to everyone.
If you think that’s awesome, you need to see the bathrooms. Stay with me. With private stalls, a beauty room with hair products for every type of hair thanks to a partnership with Pantene, a pumping room with supplies that are sanitized immediately, and a shower, you’ll feel like you’re someplace between a spa and a work retreat.
The Perch is the in-house cafe of The Wing and while the food and drink are amazing, it can prove to be a drawback when people are looking to join. One of the more stringent rules of The Wing is that no outside food or drink is allowed. My Pepsi loving heart breaks at this, but I can understand the reasoning behind it. It does get pricey if you are working several days from the location. All of the food is locally sourced, and has several items that are from female chefs from around the city. I had one of the best self-created salads ever, and I’m not ashamed about the sheer greediness of this statement. I’m going to have it again.
This by far is my favorite part of my membership. I was just able to attend the Black Member Brunch on a Saturday, and my soul was filled. We were able to network, talk and eat the best maple bacon I have had the pleasure of having in a long time. There are also book clubs, general member chats – the most recent being about race and the conversations around it – and movie viewings. Most of these are free with your membership, but there are some special events that do cost a bit, and those are well worth it from the schedule that I’ve seen.
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I walked away from this brunch having several connections for We Sow We Grow, including ways for me to partner with the youth of Chicago, and to increase the knowledge of black women in agriculture specifically. This year has been full of SO MANY DISAPPOINTMENTS, but because of those disappointments, little magic like this has been happening. Almost unbelievable, right?
Meetups like these are what makes this space so special. When people are in a space where they feel comfortable, magic happens.
If you are financially able to commit to bettering yourself in this way, I wholeheartedly suggest you join The Wing Chicago. It’s worth the investment in yourself and your business, and you might even surprise yourself by all of the connecting that you’re able to do.