Co-working sounds like a high-tech concept. Folks sit hunched around their laptops, earbuds in, collaborating remotely with people they may never actually meet.
Nope, says Luke Scott. That’s not it at all. Co-working is all about being together, with other intriguing folks, in a space that is not an actual office.
Luke should know. The 1991 Staples High School graduate — whose real gig is owner of MadisonMott, a funky, kick-ass branding, advertising, digital and social media agency– also created, developed and runs B:Hive. That’s the cleverly named 5-year-old co-working space that’s helped bring great energy and creativity to downtown Bridgeport.
Luke just opened his 2nd co-working Hive. This one is in an even more cool, fun space: the old Sasco Mill, straddling the Westport/Southport line.
Over the decades the historic structure morphed from a cider mill to a yarn shop. Now it’s ready for its 21st century turn.
Owner Gerard Bernacchia had been looking to convert part of his building into a co-working space. David Cusa of Peoples Bank connected Gerard with his Staples classmate and longtime friend Luke.
Things moved quickly. Designers Madeline Rhodes loved the interior space. She worked with tech director Jordan Rabidou and creative director Marcella Kovac (Luke’s wife). Their design brilliantly blends features of the mill with the demands of technology.
There are 2 levels — both bright and airy, all equipped with high-speed WiFi.
When Luke gives a tour, he starts on the street level. He shows off the big individual desks, conference rooms, private phone booths (for cell calls), printer, storage space and kitchen.
It’s an inviting space — perfect for folks who work on their own but find a home office too limited and/or distracting, and crave just-enough contact with other human beings. (The business connections made with other co-workers is worth the monthly fee itself.)
But when Luke takes visitors downstairs, the Hive really hums.
There’s a long communal work table. Just beyond, large windows look out on a spectacular Sasco Creek waterfall.
If that doesn’t inspire you, you deserve your miserable fluorescent-lit cubicle.
The Hive opened just before Thanksgiving. The first co-workers, Luke jokes, were a great blue heron and white egret.
Humans quickly followed. They include writers, advertising and PR pros, an event planner, an apparel businessperson, a media consultant and a non-profit executive.
There’s an intriguing mix of ages and backgrounds. Right now, women outnumber men.
Among the features and amenities they enjoy: 24/7 access; free coffee and snacks; guest visits; access to the Bridgeport B:Hive; onsite printing; networking and social events, and mail service.
Oh, yeah: Kayaks and bike sharing.
And an Airbnb upstairs (for guests).
Luke is a huge Bridgeport booster. That’s where he opened his first co-working space — just around the corner from his MadisonMott agency.
But he also loves his home town.
He’s excited to bring his 2nd Hive to the beautiful mill and waterfall on the Southport border.
And proud to offer a co-working space that is Westport’s latest buzz.
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