[Updated 2/3/15: Creative Union closed its doors at the beginning of 2015.]
If you had to sum up Somerville’s professional world in just a few words, creative and entrepreneur would be pretty high on the list. And while building your own business can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be isolating to work from home, but too expensive to rent an office of your own.
That’s where Creative Union, formerly the Design Annex, comes in. It’s a new co-working space specifically designed for creative professionals in the heart of Union Square, which happens to be the center of Somerville’s innovative entrepreneurial economy.
When the Design Annex was facing a potential shutdown, one of its members, art director and designer Iliana Rabago asked Union Square Main Streets Executive Director Mimi Graney if she could take it over and do a rebrand of the space.
Now, Creative Union is focusing on the “intersection between designers and creators and entrepreneurs,” said Mia Scharphie, who works at the space and has been assisting with the relaunch. “Somerville has that sweet spot of creative professionals.”
The Creative Union founders gave the space a facelift after being inspired by all of the Union Square Main Streets posters that have been created over the years for various events.
“It was the most exciting thing I saw when I walked in here,” Scharphie said of the brightly colored designs. “They explore the vibrancy of Union Square itself.”
There are seven designated desks and four to eight flex desks available at Creative Union and all of them will be populated by people working in creative industries. Potential members should contact Creative Union to schedule a time to see the space and chat with the founders.
“We’re not just another co-working space, we’re resonating with local businesses,” said Scharphie, a landscape architect by training. “People seem to be excited about it.”
Members get Wi-Fi access, use of a bright kitchenette, a conference room and other smaller spaces, like a second floor lounge area with great natural light. There’s also the potential to use the space for parties or openings and the benefit of member events for networking, sharing ideas and getting inspired.
“There are different options for where people might want to be working,” Scharphie said. All of this is available starting at $349 a month for a designated desk and $250 for a flex desk, though discounts are available for multi-month purchases.
And of course, you can’t beat the location. Creative Union is located inside the former Police Station above Brass Union at 66-70 Union Square in Suite 103.
“We’re a constellation in the creative work happening in Somerville. We’re in the heart of Union Square,” Scharphie said, adding, the city is “open to collaborative, creative spirit and entrepreneurial spirit without sacrificing enjoying life. We’re excited to get involved in the kinds of things that are happening here.”
P.S. Creative Union is hosting a launch party on Sunday, October 19 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Entrepreneurs, creatives and anyone who loves Somerville are welcome to check out the new space!