Co-working Meets Culture at Warehouse Eight
Hidden away in La Fuerza Plaza is this happy gem of a coworking space.
In my search to understand a bit more about the nature of startups, innovation, coworking, and new business, I visited a new coworking space in La Fuerza Plaza near Magallanes Station in Makati. It was pouring, and my uber driver dropped me off in the wrong place, but after trekking through a small river, I entered into a plaza filled with designer furniture stores.
I eventually find Warehouse Eight. There is a sunny looking little storefront with a cafe inside. I was expecting a large office space, so I entered hesitantly. There is an upstairs, and I after much asking and a little wandering, I meet Kayla Dionisio, one of the 4 members of the Warehouse Eight team.
The space has been open for almost a month, and is still trying to build a community while being so new. Inside the expansive but homey office space are many large private offices and meeting rooms, a flexible coworking space, and small exhibits of people’s products.
Talking with Kayla about the vision for Warehouse Eight and where it might fit into the already existing coworking spaces in Manila, she told me that she wants to cater to startups with “culture”. La Fuerza Plaza features a lot of design related businesses, and Warehouse Eight wants to thrive on that vibe. Kayla said that all are welcome to rent space in Warehouse Eight, from startups to small business owners and artisans who want a place to showcase their work, the hope is that the space will help build a network, and eventually will go beyond just business services like HR and Legal, but will also provide programming catered to what the startups in the space want and need.
The space currently hosts small teams (one to three people max usually) and freelancers, but it’s only been a month, so as awareness grows . I’m excited to see where Warehouse Eight will go. There is going to be a launch party at the space on July 29th (which everyone should check out to listen to live music, and see some of the groups working in the space) where they will showcase their Artist in Residency Program, which hopes to host artisans and people who create and offer them space to create in. What struck me about this was that they don’t charge the artists for the space, but instead would take a commision from their sales.
Kayla is Filipino, but studied in Singapore. I asked Kayla about how she viewed the startup and innovation ecosystem in the Philippines. She said it’s not nearly as developed, which can only make sense as the Philippines is a developing nation, but that the Filipino spirit is entrepreneurial. She said Filipinos are always trying to think of ways to add value, to package things in a new and exciting way to make things better fit for the consumer. Even something as simple as selling peanuts or flowers, Filipinos will try to package it so people want to buy them.
After talking with Kayla more formally, we headed downstairs and I had a delicious mocha coffee and a double chocolate cookie while we chatted with some other on the team. Warehouse eight is a place where I feel like people can be creative, and that’s really cool. A highlight of my visit was “The Grass Room”, a meeting and/or relaxation room with a turf floor where you cannot wear your shoes. To me, that seemed to sum up Warehouse Eight: earthy, organic, inspiring in many senses of those words.
PS: Check out the launch party on July 29th!