How can small companies “grab a toe-hold in the world’s largest, hottest markets?”
That was the question Tom McCarthy was puzzling over in 2015, after forming his own contract furniture rep firm and looking at Manhattan showroom spaces running around $55 per square foot.
In the midst of his search for a showroom space, McCarthy crossed paths with Neelam Brar, who was creating a co-working space in need of furniture. The two began talking about her vision, and McCarthy said, “I can help you create that.”
Location New York City, New York
Sales Rep Contact Information Tom McCarthy, Tom McCarthy Associates
The result is District CoWork NoMad (shorthand for the site’s “North Madison” neighborhood). Not only is this the flagship space for Brar’s co-working business, which she plans to expand in many cities and countries, it also serves as the workspace and showroom for Tom McCarthy Associates and their izzy+ products, which furnish the 7,500-square-foot space.
“It was a perfect partnership between my company and Neelam and izzy+’s product,” said McCarthy, who has a long history of working with izzy+ in various direct and indirect sales roles. “Neelam’s vision for District CoWork really speaks to izzy+’s thought leadership around how work is changing and the types of workspaces that can best support that change.”
For instance, a Nemo Bar near District’s main entry creates an instant 3rd Space with a standing-height worksurface—a casual place people can migrate to when they want an alternative to their desks. Beyond the Nemo Bar and kitchen area is what McCarthy calls a “Day Work Space”—a flexible area that serves as a work space by day, but can be quickly transformed to support events and parties by night.
“It goes back to one of izzy’s original philosophies, NOTDOT” (No One Thing Does One Thing), McCarthy said. “By using the Dewey Flip-top tables there, they can easily roll them out of the way without taking up valuable space.”
Allison Roon, izzy+’s Director of Design, said the neutral colors and “modern-but-timeless” look of the overall space furthers its flexibility.
“By choosing materials that blend seamlessly throughout the space, Neelam created a setting that can be rearranged in all kinds of ways without disrupting the overall aesthetic and making it look like something was out of place,” Roon said. “With co-working design in general, it’s smart to stay pretty simple to allow for a variety of user-preferences and maximum flexibility for the future as needs change.”
Brar said high end design, flexibility, and choice were all key to creating District.
“The goal was to build a space that’s much more hospitable than your typical office—something that’s more like a hotel,” Brar said. “We like working with izzy because it’s not just ergonomic, it’s also very design oriented. The ability to have high-end furniture and design is important. It allows people to be comfortable and to work longer.”
As a dynamic showroom for izzy+ product, District lets McCarthy observe how real people use the furniture and the space, taking advantage of the variety of options they have for working, meeting, and relaxing.
“People really do move throughout the day, working in different areas and seeking variation. The way Neelam designed the space encourages that,” McCarthey said. “Using a co-working space as a showroom has been great. It’s not just about showing specific products, it’s about showing spaces that support new ways to work. The space helps us do a great job of explaining the izzy+ point of view.”