new year, new office? the co-working space you need to know about
What do you get when you cross a co-working space with a private member’s club? No, the answer isn’t some cheesy Christmas cracker joke, but rather BOTI’s fabulous new home – Comarketing.
And we’re not alone in seeking out a flexible office space – co-working has been enjoying a boom post-pandemic. Covid obviously pushed loads of people to work from home and led to a permanent change in how many companies operate, with lots of staff and freelancers looking for a different, better alternative to traditional work environments.
And, let’s face it, for many people, it can be hard to get inspired when you’re working on your own at home all day or, if you’re anything like us, procrastinating with spring-cleaning the house. Working with like-minded people is a great way to get some fresh ideas and inspiration especially in January, which can be a bit bloody miserable and lonely.
So let us tell you a bit about our new home. Despite its name, Comarketing is a supportive space for all creatives, media and digital entrepreneurs – we’ve met everyone from screenwriters and animators to architects, women’s fashion labels and e-commerce specialists in our time in the space. It’s a great community and, in true Brighton spirit, it’s a breeding ground for collaboration and connection, with members regularly sharing expertise and services.
So what’s the story behind Comarketing?
The space was the brainchild of ad agency founder Jim Lewcock and operations director Christian Mealing. It opened in June 2020 (the 11th to be precise, which, coincidentally, is also Christian’s birthday) with a rather less busy launch party than planned: Covid restrictions meant that just six people were legally able to attend!
Jim and Christian met at Jim’s agency, The Specialist Works, and together created flagship offices around the UK and in satellite offices in Europe. Their London HQ happened to have some spare capacity, so they invited clients and suppliers in to rent desk space, unintentionally kicking off a coworking environment and sowing the seed for Comarketing.
Although they had other office sites in the UK, there was no base for businesses to work from in Brighton, Christian’s adopted home town. They chose the east of the pier location in Kemptown for their new office site, not only because of all the energy and investment being poured into the area – hello, Sea Lanes – but because of its “authentically Brighton” vibe. And it didn’t hurt that there were (and still aren’t) any other places like it in the area.
And now, with expansion plans in full swing (and a London Farringdon office opening this spring), the company’s overarching aim is “to provide a central Brighton hub for all media, creative and digital brands.”
So why did we choose Comarketing as our office?
More than co-working
But what makes it stand out from the other co-working spaces in Brighton? Well, first of all, it’s more than just a co-working space, elegantly bridging the gap between your average flexible office and a private member’s club. You can’t simply pop in for a day’s work. And trust us, this is a good thing as it means you get to know everyone who works here and we reckon this is what helps to create the special vibe that Comarketing is known for.
That, the welcome and the ongoing service; this is one of the areas where Comarketing really comes into its own. Christian’s aim is to provide a “personalised, six-star service” and we can tell you that the team are overachieving here.
If you’re looking for somewhere where your business growth will be supported in fun and authentic ways and where the owners use their wide networks to encourage deep connections, you’re in luck! And we’re going to come at you with a dated reference now, but bear with us: if you’ve always wanted to go to an office-equivalent of the bar where everyone knows your name (look it up), you’ll love it.
Yep, there’s none of that cliquey-ness that we’ve experienced elsewhere here – we’re happy to report that we’ve never felt we’ve missed the cool kids’ memo – and everyone is genuinely very friendly. Oh, and if you’re a fan of dogs, you’re in for a real treat as it’s home to a whole host of canine cuteness (not least the resident BOTI dog).
The coffee machine is excellent! Ok, we’re being slightly flippant, but come on, coffee is important and although we’ve no plans to stop buying brews at all of our favourite indies, it is nice to be able to make a really decent cup in the office, too. There’s none of that instant crap here, you’ll be pleased to know. Instead, the beans are provided by Comarketing’s friends Craig and Phil over at the excellent White Cloud Coffee.
And it’s not just coffee either, the company works with heaps of different local and independent brands so they’ve got the best possible products in all of the communal areas. As well as White Cloud Coffee, this means Tea Pigs teas, a variety of delicious cakes and Lovingly Local candles. Happily, you can help yourself to all of those tasty foodie treats for free (there’s also a tuck shop that you can buy chocolate and other snacks from).
The gorgeous spaces
We should have mentioned this higher up really because all the areas have been so beautifully designed – a collaboration between Christian, Jim and Layered architects. The first thing you notice when you enter the office is the huge mural of the Pavilion in the kitchen, setting the tone for the brilliantly Brighton space.
“The space embodies a colonial vibe with boutique faded glamour and ornate elements throughout,” Christian explained. This is a thread that runs through the whole space, from the lush green Garden Room to the basement Casino Bar with its velvet banquettes and opulent styling. Perfect for post-work Friday night (or any night really) drinks!
Their commitment to local
As proud supporters of independent local businesses ourselves, we love Comarketing’s fierce commitment to the local economy and community. They support brilliant local charity Martlets (we’re hoping for an office Shaun By The Sea) and they regularly collaborate with local causes they believe in.
They’re also heavily invested in the much-needed regeneration of Rock Place – it’s about time this area got a taste of the freshen-up that much of the rest of the city has already seen and it’s finally happening.
Christian says: “We’re proud to be part of the wider regeneration projects going on around us and look forward to the benefits this will bring to the city.” So do we!
Yes, there’s even more exciting stuff to look forward to: next year, they’re opening a new space on the other side of the street, increasing the amount of working spaces by 100 and adding more event areas, client apartments, food and drink options, and a members’ only rooftop. Sundowners, here we come!
And this spring sees the opening of the team’s new London co-working space, right next to Farringdon station (so perfect for those big city meetings). Taking inspiration from the Industrial Revolution and Farringdon’s history as the capital’s first-ever tube station, it’s being designed as a home from home for London’s creatives. This means capacity for up to 75 businesses, new meeting and event spaces, and, of course, a roof terrace. Happily, Brighton members can work from there too.
The need to knows:
- There are full-time permanent residents’ desks for those who want a fixed desk (from £325/month) or you can opt for a hot-desking membership from two days a week (from £99/month).
- The current site has 75 desks with a good mix of members and residents
- There are several meeting and event spaces, which can house anything from five to 50 people and, as a member, you get a discount on any bookings.
- If you join, you’ll also get a membership card that entitles you to carefully selected discounts at popular local businesses (this comes in very handy for the aforementioned coffees)
You – hopefully – know us by now; we only shout about the places we genuinely rate, and our new Kemptown home is well worth us raising our voices for. So if our typically romantically disinclined selves (just ask our other halves) have written a love letter to an office, you know you’re on to a good thing.
Try it out for free
Fancy checking it out yourself? The team have kindly offered us a limited selection of one-week passes for people to come in and give the space a try this month. We’re particularly excited about this because these passes are exclusively available to BOTI readers! If you’ve been umming and erring about trying out a co-working space, then this is a great opportunity to get a proper feel for the office and all it offers without committing yourself.
All you need to do is email email@example.com with the code BOTI23 and they’ll get you booked in!
Comarketing, West, 2 – 5 Rock Place, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1PF