Catch the drift
Drift in, drift out.
That’s the phrase owner Caitlin Quirk uses to describe her coworking space, DriftSpaces, located at 956 Asbury Avenue, second floor. It’s a quiet place stocked with snacks and coffee for those who need to get work done outside of their home or office. When available, day passes can be purchased as well as monthly passes, the latter of which grants 24 hour access to the space. With many people still working from home, it’s a popular option for those who need a change in scenery to do their work.
“I wanted a name that wasn’t taken and embodies living by a coastal shore and the feeling that [the space] could transform. It’s a play on drifting along or driftwood.”
Caitlin introduced the concept to the coastal communities.
“When I was starting, this concept was very foreign especially to this area. The pandemic was the best thing that happened to the space. Everybody is working remotely in some capacity.”
Caitlin isn’t new to owning her own business; she owns two businesses in the retail space downstairs – Bowfish Kids; a children’s store and Bowfish Studios; a place where kids can be transformed into mermaids, sharks, dragons, fairies, and unicorns.
Coworking spaces can be found mainly in cities. South Jersey is no different. It makes sense; people congregate around cities and they need a place to work without the overhead cost of a traditional office space.
“There’s a coworking space in the Cherry Hill Mall. We’re the only one on the coast,” Caitlin said.
DriftSpaces was originally a residential apartment.
“I’ve been working on developing this space since 2018. I had to go through the permit process and we had to change the zoning,” said Caitlin.
Then, they had to gut the place completely.
“It was difficult. We were set to open in March of 2020. We had sold 80 percent of the desks that we had. We had a full launch on March 1. We had everyone set to move in on March 15 and then that didn’t happen. Then we got pretty lucky and found a long term tenant who took over the space. They had occupied it until this past March,” Caitlin said.
If you become a member, you have the perk of being able to leave your office setup at DriftSpaces.
“Our memberships are for space. You get a dedicated desk. People bring their phones and leave their monitors. They get 24/7 access to the space, which includes weekends. You get internet, coffee, and a quiet place to work. We also provide fruit and snacks for our members. It’s the flexibility that you only need to stay for a short period of time,” said Caitlin.
While DriftSpaces is also available to buy a day pass, they are currently full.
“Right now, we’re full. We have some openings starting in September. We feel very lucky. It’s been really great since we launched. I think especially now people have the opportunity to work wherever they want, Many are choosing the beach,” Caitlin said.
DriftSpaces is flexibly used by members in all walks of life working all sorts of jobs. Amenities include internet, shared kitchen space, and a quiet pod that can be used for audio recordings.
“My favorite thing about the space is that we have such a wide range of people that we see on a day to day basis. We even had a podcaster come and use our pod one day. It’s definitely all over the place. We’re seeing a big uptake in the traffic because of the summer.”
DriftSpaces was designed as a flexible space. The furniture is moveable so that guests can transform the space according to their needs.
“During the day it’s a coworking space but at night and on weekends it’s an events space. It works really well for events. We’ve had several private events. We’ve had networking events, but have a rehearsal dinner booked in September, bridal showers, and baby showers.”
Overall, the pandemic helped DriftSpaces.
“I feel very fortunate. It was hard in the beginning but the pandemic was a good thing for us,” Caitlin said.
They are now booking members for the off season starting in September. Also in their plans? Expanding their space.
“We are planning on expanding. We have things that we’re working on for 2023,” said Caitlin. “We’ve already outgrown the space and there’s definitely a need in the area,” Caitlin said. “I feel very fortunate. Everyone in the community is really great.”
Find this story and more in our August magazine.