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Meet Mariah and Erryn Cobb of Homiey in Humboldt Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariah and Erryn Cobb.

Mariah, Erryn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The idea of starting homiey was driven by our desire to create a space for the community to gather. Having lived in the Humboldt Park area for several years, we noticed that there are not many gathering spots in our neighborhood. This causes residents to go outside of the neighborhood, trekking to nearby Logan Square or Wicker Park. The idea of a hybrid coworking/event space/art gallery came about as a collaboration of our interests and skills. A small business owner himself, Erryn often was looking for a place to work outside of the office and often wished he didn’t need to leave the neighborhood to do so. A former CPS teacher for 8 years, I was looking for a career change, while still desiring to make a positive impact on the community. We love hosting gatherings in our own home and so opening homiey really seemed like a natural step. Our name is a play on homies, like your neighbors and friends, and homey, like the feeling of being comfortable and at home. We imagined a place right in the neighborhood where people could come to work, hang out, eat, listen to good music and just enjoy each other’s company.

Has it been a smooth road?
We just opened this past October and things have been going great so far! The initial start-up phase was definitely our most trying, as we did 99% of the build-out work ourselves. A little blood, a lot of sweat, some tears and about 100 gallons of paint later, we were ready to open our doors! Although we initially expected the coworking side of homiey to be the main business, we have been pleasantly surprised to find a high demand for our event space rental as well. Adapting to this change has been probably the biggest adjustment we’ve made to the business along our way so far.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the homiey story. Tell us more about the business.
Homiey is a multifaceted space, serving as a coworking space, event venue and art gallery. We are open during the weekdays for our members to use as a shared office space – from popping in to work for a few hours or the day, to meeting with their teams, to taking a conference call in our back conference room. We provide all of the comforts of home (think coffee, kitchen, printer, and couch) without the distractions. We also rent the space out for private events in the evenings and on the weekends. We have hosted a myriad of events in the six months we’ve been open – ranging from birthday parties to baby showers, graduation celebrations to bridal showers and wedding receptions to pop-up shops. We also occasionally host our own events, like supper clubs, which are free to our members! We currently have work by four local artists gracing our walls and are planning another summer showcase with new artists coming up in July.

We are proud to have created a welcoming, vibrant space on a fairly empty stretch of North Avenue. In a city as diverse as Chicago, it’s great to be able to provide a service to people from so many different backgrounds. Many people have thanked us for opening up and we can’t wait for more neighbors to find out about us so we can be a resource for them as well!

What sets us apart from others is our pricing. We really wanted to be accessible to people in the neighborhood and set our rates accordingly. Since we ourselves are part of this community, we sought to make our space approachable to everyone. The space itself is also pretty unique. It’s a bright, funky space – perfect, really, for doing anything that you’d want to do at home. Only bigger. And better because you don’t have to clean it.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Coworking spaces are becoming much more plentiful worldwide and across the US. We are seeing more and more neighborhood spaces in Chicago opening up as well, rather than just being concentrated downtown in the loop. This is due, in part, to the rapidly growing rate of remote workers, startups, creative professionals, etc. and the transient nature of those who can essentially work from anywhere with Wi-Fi. We’ve also noticed coliving or social living residential spaces being developed, which prioritize common areas to foster interaction. We anticipate coworking and coliving spaces continuing to grow and expand into the foreseeable future.

Pricing:

  • Coworking Hourly Pass – $5/hr
  • Coworking Day Pass – $15/day
  • Monthly Coworking Membership – $100/month
  • Event Space Rental – $75/hr (week night)
  • Event Space Rental – $100/hr (weekend)

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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