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Work and school unite on Asbury Avenue in OCNJ

Work and school unite on Asbury Avenue in OCNJ

Caitlin Quirk knows how to stay current in Ocean City.

First, she founded Bowfish Kids.

Then, she opened a coworking space above Bowfish Kids. Now, she’s looking to recreate her success- but with a twist.

Caitlin is creating a coworking space for Ocean City kids. 

“My space would be bookable and private. The library… you don’t know when the last time they cleaned or how many other people would be in there,” said Caitlin. 

The need made sense to her; she’s familiar with middle school kids from her store. Once she started collecting survey responses, she realized the need was much greater.

“For me, in my head, the demographic was middle school. We sell to the age. Through my survey, I realized that everyone who replied had their own needs. There’s going to be more space needed than my 500 square foot space,” said Caitlin. 

Caitlin is working with OCNJCare.

“The idea came out of just having the empty space and wanting to help the community because we’re seeing there’s a pretty significant need for kids not going back to school. I put out a survey to parents,” Caitlin said.

So she began reaching out to other businesses. 

“Once we get the survey back from business owners, we’ll rate each business on what demographic age would be good for them. I have a plan to put the spaces on the website plus what amenities come with it,” said Caitlin. “Spaces will be rented out in four hour time blocks. Kids can come and either have a tutor meet them or have a parent come sit or have a parent come by themselves.”

She’s still developing the idea. 

“I know I will be offering my space. When I started the idea, it seemed easy. It seems like people are less interested with kids working by themselves than with other kids.”

The school district’s plan is in place but is subject to change. This works well for Caitlin’s co-working space idea.

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“As of right now, the schools are opening but at 50 percent. You’re on an O or C team. You’re only in school two days a week max. Wednesday is virtual for everyone.”

The original plan for the space above Bowfish was strictly for adults.

DriftSpaces is a co-working space. March 15 was supposed to be the opening. We’re at max capacity. You can purchase monthly or day passes. We’re completely sold out of desks but might still be offering day passes. With DriftSpaces, there is no long term commitment. You don’t have to stay longer than a month,” said Caitlin.

In staying relevant to the current situation, she knew she had to do something, both for her business and for Ocean City kids. 

“Kids are in the back in the salon (at Bowfish). It was our bread and butter in the winter. We’d do four birthday parties a week back in there. We’re trying to figure out how to make up for that,” Caitlin said.

For more information on Bowfish and Driftspaces, please visit www.bowfishkids.com and www.driftspaces.com.

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