It’s hard to believe, but as of October 1, Common Desk is officially 7 years old! And to celebrate, we wanted to recap some of our favorite memories made and accomplishments achieved since we first opened our doors back in 2012. So kick up your feet and buckle in for a quick little joy ride back in time with us:
October 1, 2012 | How and where it all started:
We’re really proud of our roots, because they happen to be planted in one of the coolest, strangest, and most unexpected neighborhoods in Dallas (and probably Texas as a whole). We’ve always been a brand that likes to go against the grain of what’s expected, and that stems all the way from our very own Founder and CEO’s personal affinity for doing the opposite of what most would say is the “logical” option.
“It’s crazy to think that in 2012, most of Dallas had never heard of the term ‘coworking.’ When I quit my job in commercial real estate to start a coworking space, my real estate buddies thought I had lost my mind. Coworking at the time was nothing but a hippie startup fad that was seen by many as a concept that would only work on the West Coast. To make things even weirder, we decided to to stay away from the more affluent neighborhoods and business districts and plant our roots in an area of town with a rich history, a ton of personality, and a serious upside: Deep Ellum.”
– Nick Clark, Common Desk Founder & CEO
Common Desk opened with a set of amazing founding members (which we still honor by incorporating special founding member perks into all Common Desk openings!), and our community has been growing, evolving, and thriving off of the foundation laid by some amazing professionals who were willing to give this whole “coworking trend” a try.
A timeline of growth:
As a company, we went from slowly expanding in one location year over year to now gearing up to open almost a space/month in 2020. A lot can change in 7 years, huh?! But that kind of momentum doesn’t come from just anywhere, and it definitely doesn’t happen over night. For us, gaining momentum happened (and is actively still happening) by way of a ton of late night work sessions, a lot of cost-engineering to make something happen on a dime (the fun of being bootstrapped til 2018), and pouring time into establishing strong relationships with our members, our neighbors, and landlord partners. We’ve put a lot of elbow grease into our approach to growth, and now, sitting here at 7 years, it’s so fun for us to look back and see how that hard work paid off!
Here’s a little snapshot of how we’ve grown and what we’ve accomplished up to this point:
The best of times:
Countless memories have happened over these 7 years, and we could write novels that filled entire coworking space book nooks recounting them all. We’re sad we can’t fit them all here, but here are a few staff memories that have happened over these past 7 years:
“One of my favorite memories at Common Desk is biking to Plano in honor of National Bike to Work Day and also the quintessential “Bike to a new Common Desk location” day. A group of about 8 of us were crazy enough to make the 35 mile trek all the way from CD-Deep Ellum to the future home of CD-Plano. We met at the OG Common Desk at 6am, and we set off. We jammed to #Dannysboombox the whole way there, and we made it to Plano hooping, hollering, and feeling like we’d just landed on the moon. After a tour of the space, 5 of us were crazy enough (with the help of a few mimosas) to bike all the way BACK to Dallas. We took a few roadies for the drive back, and by 4pm, we were back. I went from biking a max of 11 miles at once to biking 70 in one day, and it’s still one of my favorite memories here to date. Who knew biking ridiculous miles with coworkers could be so fun?!”
– Megan Kaye Marti, CD staffer
“One of my favorite Common Desk memories happened last year, when some of our token Deep Ellum members, Speck, dressed up as me (the Community Manager), Becca (the Host), and Julio (the Spaceman) at the time. They walked in, not only just in costume as all of us, but also completely in character. They each did our roles–greeting members, giving tours, fixing the space, and even setting up printing. It was the most amazing show of community and fun, and was just the most classically CD thing ever!”
–Katy Klefeker, CD staffer
“I’ll never forget the first year I was a Community Manager at Common Desk – Oak Cliff. Our annual Thanksgiving Potluck was shortly after I had started, and I had no idea how to carve a turkey. Fortunately, our community rocks, and some of our members helped me figure out how to carve a turkey and time out cooking perfectly. It ended up being one of my favorite community events to date, and I’m still close with the members who helped make that lunch happen!”
– Alaethea Hankins, CD staffer
“My all time favorite Common Desk memory is when we had our all staff meeting and then went and partied the night away together to send off our CD mom, MaryClaire. I love that we all stayed out as if we didn’t have anything important to do the next day even though we knew we had to get up and go through a real life work day.. We danced, broke some heels, hugged a lot, and laughed the night away!”
– Jade Mauldin, CD staffer
“Before I started working at Common Desk, I was recruited to be an extra set of hands for what we now internally called “Hell Week of 2016.” The team was only 6-people at the time, and on top of running 2 locations, we decided to run a coworking pop-up at Startup Week, then end a crazy week with none other than hosting BodyCon out of Deep Ellum. Even working ridiculous hours, seeing everything from startup pitches to painted bodies in a workspace, I knew I needed to be a part of this culture. We might not host BodyCon anymore (or weekend-long outside bookings as a whole), but I’ll never forget how fun (and ridiculous) that week was.”
–Trent Oswalt, CD staffer
“My favorite memory was during the first expansion that Common Desk ever had. I wasn’t on staff yet, but me, Nick, and Arturo (a previous Common Desk staffer and OG artist), worked all through the night. We turned an empty storage area of Deep Ellum into a functional 20-person dedicated desk area overnight. We put a massive dumpster in the middle of the space and just went to town to get it all done before the members got to work at 7am. That was the first thing I ever did for Common Desk, and 5 months later, I officially came on staff full-time; I’ve been doing random projects and overseeing our facilities ever since!”
–Julio Mendez, CD staffer
The past 7 years of Common Desk history are ones that we’ll truly never forget. All those long workdays (and worknights), happy hours, one-off events, member outings, staff parties, holiday festivities, crazy ideas, and big dreams have brought us to be the company we are today, and it’s with these under our belt that we’re gearing up to have the biggest year we’ve had yet in year 8. Cheers to the next 7 and to all the good Common Desk times to come!