Auburn entrepreneur Brian Redfield found working by himself to sometimes be lonely and uninspiring. So he wanted a place to work while being around other people.
That concept inspired Redfield to create RAD Locals, a coworking network. It includes RAD Cowork, a space housed in the fourth floor of the Phoenix Building on Genesee and South streets, and RAD Workshop, a maker space on Osborne Street where people can build projects.
Coworking, Redfield said, is "a group of self-employed remote workers (and) entrepreneurs that can gather together and do their daily work tasks in a shared environment."
Redfield, who also runs graphic design and brand strategy business Totum Design Co., has been an entrepreneur for over a decade. The "RAD" part of his business's name references the radical, outside-the-box thinking he believes entrepreneurship requires, he said.
RAD Locals currently has five members, and Redfield uses RAD Cowork to work as well. People can sign up for different membership models based on how much time they need to use the space, whether it's a few times a month or throughout the week. The space allows like-minded people to get work done in a peaceful environment while also providing encouragement and suggestions to one other, and "share in each other's successes," Redfield said.
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"It's kind of one of those things you just experience, and if it's the right fit, you know it," he said.
The space includes multiple working stations, each with a chair, desk and electrical outlet, as well as a large table for collaborative efforts. Amenities such as Wi-Fi, water and coffee from Simple Roast Coffee Co. in Auburn are included with membership. There is also a break room with a small kitchen that acts as a coffee bar, and a meeting room. Redfield said the maker space on Osborne Street is an area where someone could make projects like candles, chairs or signage. Tools are provided, and Redfield can be there to facilitate.
Redfield said he took time to find the right space for RAD Cowork, which he found at the Phoenix Building. He said he appreciates the wide windows of the area and the view of Auburn it provides, adding that it had "the right vibe" he wanted. Redfield said people who have been using the space live nearby, and the space has created a community of sorts.
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Don Kasper, president of the company Ecorithm, uses the space at the Phoenix Building three times a week. He lives in Auburn despite his company, which helps find energy savings in commercial buildings, being based in Santa Barbara. So he's familiar with coworking, he said, and has a coworking space in New York City he also uses. He said he's glad such a space is in Auburn, and that being a member of RAD Locals has increased his productivity.
"It was just a better alternative. At home, I have to compete with people mowing lawns, a lot of distractions, a little dog," Kasper said. "What RAD Locals offers is a place to get away, having an office environment without the upkeep and the headache that comes with owning or renting an office yourself."