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Meraki in Cambridge

Nicola Peacocke

It was while working on her laptop at her favourite local coffee spot, that Susanne Lorenz first conceived the idea of opening a co-working space in Cambridge.

At the time, Susanne was juggling her online virtual assistant business with family life – all while living in a caravan whilst her and her husband built their new family home.  Having the flexibility and freedom within her work life was essential to her, but not having the right working environment when she needed it was starting to take its toll.  And she could see by the number of other people working in cafes around her that there was a real need for a shared working space.  She also knew that the pressure was on and if she didn’t take the plunge, then that someone else would beat her to it.

After joining forces with like-minded friends Emma-Louise Sinclair and Rachel O’Reilly, Meraki opened its doors in early 2017 – but not before many hours of planning, finding the right space and then giving it a complete overhaul.  Let’s just say that the previous tenants hadn’t left it in a work ready state. After a summer of creating a fresh and inviting space, they now offer a place for home based business owners, freelancers and everyone in between to come and hang out, be inspired, get stuff done, meet others, connect and drink good coffee!

Meraki, a word from Greek origin, captures both the essence of these three ladies and the working space that they have created. ‘To do something with passion, absolute devotion and undivided attention.  To put your soul into something, to put a little bit of yourself into it’.  And this is also the culture that they hope to build within the space.  A place to inspire and be inspired.

The team at Meraki all know how important a work life balance is.  They also understand that while working from home can help you create this balance, sometimes working at the kitchen table is just too hard!  With this in mind, they have designed options to suit everyone’s needs.  A permanent desk for those ‘full timers’ of you that don’t like anyone else in your chair, a hot desk for those of you that want to pick and choose a desk as your mood takes you, or even a casual desk for those that don’t want to commit to anything full time.  Holding a Meraki membership provides you with just about everything you need to get your stuff done, feel good about it and go home.  This includes wifi, a desk lamp, a well equipped kitchen and coffee machine and 24/7 access so you have the flexibility to get your stuff done no matter what time inspiration hits. Find out more here.

Susanne is an (and Emma for a period of time before resigning to concentrate on her other business ventures) Executive Committee member on the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and Meraki have recently become strategic partners of the chamber.  The local chambers mission is to connect, represent and support business in the Cambridge and Waipa region, driving business growth, success, vitality and prosperity.  This mission also translates into the vibe of Meraki.  They have created a board room which comfortably holds up to 20 people and can be hired by the hour.  It is a great place to bring a group together for meetings or training sessions, as the Chamber have found out by using this space for their committee meetings and chamber events. For the more personal and intimate meeting, there is also the 1:1 meeting room offering a relaxed yet private space.  This room is also available by the hour or for longer periods by arrangement.

The future is a bright one for Meraki as more and more people embrace the advantages of hot desking.  It’s innovative, it’s cost effective, and it’s collaborative.  Look out for the launch of Meraki’s Monday morning ‘Mocktail hour’ – a chance to fight the Monday morning blues, Friday afternoon drinks, and ‘Get S#&t done’ hours – an hour of focused work alongside others doing the same thing.

You can find Meraki upstairs at 32 Victoria Street, Cambridge.  Call past between 9 – 2.30 or enquire to hello@merakiworkspace.co.nz