People at work at The Hashtag in Downtown Fresno.
When Kayla Pendleton graduated college, she found herself moving to San Diego, where her first job involved her working remotely. It was a difficult setup for Pendleton.
“I was really kind of isolated, I didn’t know anyone and I was having trouble working from home in my new job,” she said. “It was a small team and I didn’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off of or anything.”
Pendleton began to look for a private office when she stumbled upon the idea of coworking, the concept of a professional office setting where memberships can be given out and offices and conference rooms are open to professionals. From there, she discovered Hera Hub, a space geared towards women.
Pendleton said that upon joining Hera Hub, she started to become more productive, and described the experience as “game-changing.” After moving back to Fresno, Pendleton wanted to create a similar place to Hera Hub. After two years, she created Her Space, which opened in November.
Her Space is one of two coworking spaces that have opened in Fresno since last year — the other being Root Access Hackerspace. While their target demographic and clientele are different from Her Space, Root Access co-founder Andrew Runner said that their function and purpose is largely the same, with his partner Derek Payton adding that the ultimate goal of Root Access is to “help people build cool things.”
Root Access and Her Space are only the latest two coworking spaces in Fresno. Since Bitwise cofounder Irma Olguin, Jr. opened the first such space in 2011 — the tech-oriented Hashtag — there have been several to pop up.
“Creative people and especially people getting their start can’t afford a traditional office space to do your best work, Starbucks is not the best place to be,” Olguin said.
Unlike Starbucks or other coffee shops, there isn’t a constant sound of espresso machines hissing and beans grinding. Runner added that unlike Starbucks, coworking spaces have the advantage of office and working equipment that would otherwise be unavailable. Root Access, for example, has a 3-D printer among its equipment.
Olguin added on that a coworking space, unlike a coffee shop, has the possibility for the “collision of different kinds of talent” that makes collaboration possible.
Coworking spaces will often have a certain niche to attract specific clientele. Root Access, for example, is geared specifically to people who work on computer hardware, while Her Space aims at women in business. Carley Feil of the Hashtag said that this has led to collaborations not only within the spaces, but also between them.
“It’s really fun that we get referrals from other spots all the time,” she said. “We make the connection between workspaces all the time, which is awesome.”
Coworking Spaces in Fresno
Address: 7543 N. Ingram Ave. No. 106
Run by: Kayla Pendleton
Target clientele: Professional women.
Also includes: Printing, Internet, office space, conference rooms, mentorships, photography studio, and crafting and project room.
Address: 2125 Kern St.
Run by: Carley Feil
Target clientele: Tech community
Also includes: 24/7 access, parking, wi-fi, PO box, printing, and tenant lounge access at Bitwise Industries.
Root Access Hackerspace
Address: 1476 N. Van Ness Ave.
Run by: Andrew Runner and Derek Payton
Cost $59/month basic, $29/month for Discount Hacker package (students, public servants and military, people with disabilities).
Target clientele: Computer hardware enthusiasts, crafters and builders.
Also includes: Internet access, 3-D printing, store, classes, electronics lab, crafting studio, and wood shop.
Address: 1060 Fulton St. No. 916
Run by: Sevak Kachadurian and Matt Tymn
Cost: $75/month basic package.
Target Clientele: Professional entrepreneurs
Also includes: printing, Internet, 24/7 access, private phone booths, bike storage, start up events, front desk service, etc.
Address: 2915 Tulare St.
Run by: Justin Kamimoto
Cost: Sliding scale (works with nonprofit budget)
Target Clientele: Nonprofits, community leaders
Also includes: Rental space, Internet, conference rooms, free parking, printing, event planning, fundraising, personal and professional development workshops, and printing.