Coworking communities are shared workspaces where individuals work alongside each other in a shared environment. Providing more than just a physical workspace, they also offer a supportive environment where individuals can work, network, and collaborate with others, which helps lead to increased creativity, productivity, and even personal growth.
Aligning with similar businesses can create a stronger market presence, attracting more customers. However, you don’t have to be a similar kind of business to create a strong coworking community. Sometimes diversity of expertise can bring new ideas and opportunities into the mix.
Coworking is an important opportunity for businesses to build communities and innovate their business models. Come behind the scenes and meet some of the Mornington Peninsula locals that are adapting, innovating and demonstrating excellence through working together and creating connections with audiences and customers using the strength of collective appeal.
They opened their (roller) doors back in 2014, initially as a gallery for emerging creatives filling a much-needed gap on the Mornington Peninsula. Since then, the Mornington industrial precinct-based hub has evolved into something much bigger, with private studios for creative business owners, two gallery spaces and a courtyard area.
Founders Kristy, Joel and Josh are siblings who grew up on the Mornington Peninsula. The original factory was family owned, and together they came up with the vision to transform it into The Nook — a place creatives could come together to work alongside like-minded people. This was something that siblings felt the Mornington Peninsula lacked at the time – something that surprised them, as it was teeming with creative talent. An opportunity emerged with the recognition of this gap.
Not far away, Mornington based Co.Co Place is home to graphic designer, building designers, seafood farmer/marketer, e-commerce businesses, digital marketing experts and a finance broker among other professionals and small businesses who hot desk, this ‘mixed bag of lollies’ creates a dynamic community of like-minded individuals who feed off the atmosphere founder Stef Boadle, has worked hard to create.
Boadle describes coworking as a more effective way of networking, being more closely exposed to opportunities with other businesses as they arise, something from which valuable professional relationships are easily formed.
When two businesses organically start working on a project together or develop an idea to collaborate a new service or product line, this is the stuff goose bumps are made of.
In response to the high costs associated with establishing brick-and-mortar storefronts, a collective of artisans has banded together to create a shared space. Featuring the best of handmade products, discover locally made homewares, artworks, skincare, jewellery, clothing, candles and furniture. What sets this space apart is the presence of the artists and makers themselves, who work in the store. This allows visitors to personally engage with the creators, learn about their inspirations, and gain insights into the materials and designs used in crafting each item.
By pooling resources for both rent and labour, these small businesses aim to promote locally crafted goods of the highest quality.
Cook Street Collective (CSC)
An artist run collaborative gallery in Flinders, established in 2011 and originally conceived as a space to showcase emerging and mid-career artists and makers. Their carefully curated space has quickly gained a loyal following. The collective is now home to 15 artists and makers who have a permanent space in the gallery.
Co-Owner Sophie Perez told us that the process of making art can often be quite isolating and that artist may find it difficult to take the leap into the business of art as it is tricky being both the creator and the one who works to make the sales.
By working together, artists are able to share the management of a space and create an even stronger reason for customers to visit through the diversity of total creativity.
Rita & Frank Creative Studios
The space was launched in January 2020 after co-owner, Rondelle Douglas needed to get her own business ‘Rondelle Designs’ off the dining room table and back out into a commercial space. She was passionate about creating a range of spaces for other local creative business owners and employees as well who wanted to have a dedicated workspace to really focus and grow their business and/or skills.
By embracing collaborative ways of working together, these businesses have activated the Peninsula with new creativity. As we think, spend and recommend local, these shared workspaces show us that together we can keep our community thriving.
Content reviewed and updated February 2024
The Mornington Peninsula is home to great businesses doing great things. To showcase some of these we have pulled together a series of case studies on local businesses delivering excellence and innovation. Learn how these talented businesses have identified opportunities and found solutions, as they share insights and lessons learnt. Read on to discover ideas that may help your business.