I had the pleasure of visiting one of the neatest places I’ve ever been to, especially in Dallas! It’s called WELD and it’s a collaborative work environment for Dallas-based creatives, photographers, and productivity/community buffs.
You’d be tempted to call it a coworking spot and I’ve definitely visited tons of coworking places, especially in Atlanta, but this is different – you might even be tempted to say that it’s categorically different.
It’s the brainchild of a collective bunch led by Austin Mann, a world-traveling photographer, but even as I spoke to him 1-on-1 I could see that this wasn’t about him and his vision but about rather how the collective vision of many creatives birthed this project into life.
You see, all the art, all the design, all the pieces of furniture, and even the coffee experience (and it’s a darn good one) was created uniquely by the residents. As Austin said it,
I just wanted them to go all out and make it their own. Lots of people say that but we actually wanted to do it. This is their space and you’ll see their fingerprints all over it.
As a result you’ll see a touch of one person’s design-love all over the walls and the caffeine experience, as I mentioned before, is from a local enthusiast who crafted the area tailored to their unique vision and experience.
It’s all community-led, community-driven, powered, and naturally financed. In just a few short months they are on track for fully booking out the entire space. This is a dream-like scenario for any new business, especially a brick and mortar.
And of the studio space for photographers? To die for. I’m not in that space but this was like a dream come true. It’s a win-win for everyone as costs are lowered for all those who want in and the space is not mediocre; it’s world-class.
I just walked around taking photos from my iPhone (although you’ll see a few from their own lenses) and just making mental notes of how this is what a creative and collaborative work environment is all about.