Parent Founds Manayunk Coworking Company That's Kid-Friendly

Aliza Schlabach hopes to establish an independent workspace off the ground for parents who work from home.

Working from home has it's perks. Household chores can seamlessly fit into your day and sometimes, you can keep your PJs on. However, it lacks the water-cooler camaraderie that develops in offices—let alone the benefits of bouncing ideas off of coworkers.

In Manayunk, Aliza Schlabach seeks to build a coworking environment where people from a variety of industries can come and work in an community office space. Additionally, she seeks a space that kid-friendly and founded Juice Box—a coworking club for parents.

"I wanted to create a loving, professional environment without that isloation you get from working at home. How great would it be to have a support system, and also a place for your kids?" the mother of two said.

The idea of coworking is fairly new itself. About 600 entities have sprung up around the United States over the past few years. Organizations vary, but essentially the idea provides communal office space available at cost. Renting space isn't new at all, but coworking revolves more around the community it creates. Think potluck dinners.

Schlabach worked as a freelancer before founding Juice Box. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Phoenixville and is looking to move to either Manayunk or Ardmore. She the Main Street area was ideal for a club for working parents and their kids.

"We looked on the Main Line at first, but real estate was kind of expensive and boring. Manayunk can provide cool, artsy spaces with a variety of buildings," she said.

Currently, she's negotiating with landlords to find a Manayuk space for Juice Box (originally called Coworking for Parents). She hopes to open by the fall or winter.

Members would receive access to traditional workplace amenities like desks, printers, and meeting rooms. Where Juice Box will differ comes from establishing childcare services for members, as well. So mom and dad can work and be near their kids at the same time.

People can join in a variety of ways, and membership packages would fit parents needs for work and childcare.

Schlabach wants the coworking community to become part of the Manayunk community, as well. She said she will support local businesses and is willing to partner with whatever entities are interested. Additionally, she's looking for equipment or school supply donations for the "family-oriented, entrepreneurial community."

In the meantime, Schlabach is building her community. On top of a newsletter, she regularly holds meetups where people can work together—often at the . The next meetup is July 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info on Facebook.

Find out more information on the group's website or Facebook page.

Editor's note: An earlier version incorrectly listed where Schlabach is from and has since been corrected.


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