We like good ideas – especially when east London’s involved. So, we tracked down the co-founder of Forge & Co, which is a beautiful new rental work space in the heart of Shoreditch with the aim of bringing people from various creative agencies together. We grilled co-founder Cymon Eckel about this new way of working, his favourite east London spots and why sourcing local produce is important to the business.
Why do you think this new working style of renting spaces rather than having permanent offices is so popular at the moment?
It suits modern working and economics. Start up or established companies are in flux these days; they need to expand or reduce subject to their workloads and business. They need to be able to reach out instantly to other like minded people, co-working facilitates this.
What sort of companies and people do you guys hope will take up the desks in Forge & Co?
Well, we already have a mix of content publishers, online music retail, fashion and graphic designers, architectural practitioners & PR. We are close to getting full all via word of mouth, so a community is building another community.
Image: Forge & Co
Why did you two choose to have a hangout space as well as an office space? You could have gone for one or the other, so why go for both?
Because our social and work lives are virtually one of the same. Networks are an established part of our lives; my children are more networked than me due to mobile technology, we all answer emails far too late into the night.
People now make lifestyle choices about their working life; we are simply trying to provide another opportunity to do so.
Are you guys thinking of expanding the concept to any other areas of London? Or do you think this is something that would only work in east London?
Good question. There are numerous co-workspaces at various price points from Ladbroke Grove to Mayfair to Haggerston. There is a spirit in east London of which co-working fits within – it’s very social and open to ideas.
In brief yes we are trying to expand; to be able to create spaces between which you can travel and host your work life is our big goal.
Image: Forge & Co
The ingredients used in the cocktails and food are locally sourced. Why was that important to you?
We are keen to support, reflect and have local people take part in our space, although an overused term, “responsibility” is a growing theme, as our children and world develop it’s becoming the norm. There’s no reason not be part of that.
Cymon Eckel, you’re already part of the east London landscape thanks to founding successful ventures including The Griffin and XOYO. What keeps bringing you here to east London?
People, ideas, productivity and opportunity. You can still get up thinking there’s one day in front of you and it turns out another way completely.
What’s your favourite spot in east London on a sunny day? What do you do there?
The Canals over by Victoria Park, walking, looking and being amazed by the depth of history social and otherwise.
Have you got any advice you’d like to pass on to an east London tourist?
Just keep walking and exploring, go to the canals.