In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace.
Gelman first envisioned a place where women could stop in and freshen up in the middle of a long, busy day in New York City without trekking back to their apartments or lugging all of their beauty products with them. The concept later morphed into a contemporary women’s social club, a gathering place for women with common values. In fall 2016, the first location of The Wing opened its doors in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood. A second location, which opened in SoHo a year later, is three times larger than the first.
Its third location, located in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, opened its doors in February 2018, and spaces in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Seattle, Toronto and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, are in the works.
In addition to a women-only policy and colorful furniture, which have become fixtures of The Wing at its first two locations, the Wing in Dumbo offers more amenities for women seeking a space to work, workout and address basic needs throughout the day.
It now functions as part coworking space, part event space and part social club for women, and members have individual reasons for gravitating to it. Maybe they don’t want to bro out over beer pong, or they seek the benefits of a male-free zone for interpersonal connection. Whatever the draw for a particular member, Wing states that its mission is “to create space for women to advance their pursuits and build community together” -- an open-to-interpretation catch-all that encompasses the three categories above.
Although The Wing famously has a long waiting list, the Brooklyn location is still adding members. “We do rolling membership,” Gelman says. “We don’t want to open at full capacity, because we want to get a sense of how the space is used.” Membership costs $2,350 a year for access to one Wing location and $2,700 for access to all locations.
Click through the slideshow for a tour of The Wing’s new space, which features a vintage photo booth, a podcast recording room and a prime view of the Brooklyn Bridge.