By Kevin Collison
The old warehouses of the West Bottoms are home to a variety of unique, entrepreneurial ventures and the growing co-working trend is among them, this one geared toward women.
Megan Adams launched Firebrand Collective on the second floor of a historic warehouse at 1101 Mulberry around the corner from Blade & Timber last spring with the idea of making it a collaborative, comfortable place for women to work.
“When I was working as a photographer, I worked a lot alone at a computer,” she said. “I started meeting with other female entrepreneurs and we felt there was a lack of community.
“The idea of building a place where women could come to work was an attractive one.”
On a recent morning, her 7,000 square-foot space was quiet, the sun shining through the big windows on the old wood floors, comfortably spacious with plenty of natural light and rough timber beams.
it’s not on the scale of bigger co-working operations such as WeWork or Plexpod, but that’s not the goal. There are currently 15 members including web developers, graphic designers and consultants, all women.
Not that men are excluded.
“We do female-focused co-working,” Adams said. “It was a vote of the members, but it’s not female only.”
The rates are $149 per month for what’s called a hot seat, where members have a place to work but can’t keep anything there. For $299 per month, a member has a dedicated desk and secured storage.
Both the hot seat and desk options provide members with a key card for 24/7 access to Firebrand seven days a week. There is a more limited, community membership for $75 that allows access five days a month.
Business hours for visitors 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Included in the membership is wi-fi, coffee and other beverages, snacks and access to a printer. There’s also a meeting room for larger gatherings, privacy booths and a kitchen.
Adams is planning a renovation next month that will include installing air conditioning and making aesthetic improvements to the space. When finished, she said Firebrand Collective will be able to accommodate 70 people working at any one time.
One other great feature is Firebrand’s location. It’s close to Blip coffee, Fletch and Blade & Timber.
“If you’re going to have a neighborhood community in the West Bottoms, this is where you come,” Adams said.
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.