Why We Rented an Office in NYC and Gave it Away for Free

Shopify Partner Studio: Coworking Space in NYC

What makes the creative industry so uniquely powerful is the abundance of support and encouragement that can be found between its members. Whether through feedback, collaboration, or idea-sharing, creative professionals thrive when exposed to others who think as creatively as they do. It’s a characteristic that is integral to the success of the industry and is fundamental to online design communities like Dribbble and Behance.

It’s this sense of community that we, at Shopify, love and admire about the creative world.

For the past few months, we’ve been working closely with Jeffrey Zeldman — founder and publisher of A List Apart — to create an environment that will help foster this sense of community even further. An environment where creative and like-minded individuals can come together to interact, collaborate, and build lasting relationships.

Together, we decided to launch the Shopify Partner Studio — a creative coworking space located at Zeldman’s Madison Avenue office in New York City. And we decided to give access to the space away for free.

What exactly is the Shopify Partner Studio?

The Shopify Partner Studio is a co-working space where six creative professionals from the ecommerce industry will come together to work on client projects, grow their technical skills, and get shit done. It’s an experience like no other where designers, developers, copywriters, and creators of all types will receive the resources and support needed to kickstart their freelance careers — and it’s an experience we’re excited and proud to be part of.

“We know the problems that prevent freelancers from getting their business off the ground,” said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s Chief Operating Officer. “That’s why we’re creating a freelancer studio to help launch successful client-based businesses in the ecommerce space.”

Not only will our residents get access to beautiful office space in downtown Manhattan for a three-month period, they’ll also receive mentorship from Shopify leadership, key members of our development team, and industry icons including Jeffrey Zeldman himself.

It’s through these candid interactions that we hope to build a greater sense of community between a few local designers, developers, and creatives striving to accomplish the same goal: creating amazing things with Shopify.

Meet the Shopify Partner Studio residents

We’ve selected six creative professionals from New York City to work side-by-side in the Shopify Partner Studio. We loved their stories and wanted to share a little bit about each of them with you.

 Mark Perini

Web Developer and Social Media Consultant

Shopify Partner Studio: Mark Perini

Why he’s excited: I'm excited to learn some new skills/get some new ideas from my fellow partners and to see how other people are doing business on Shopify. I'm also looking forward to having people to bounce new ideas off, and build strategic partnerships with.

What he’s working on: I'm building a ton of sites right now. One that I’ll be working on is pinpaper press, which I’ll be integrating with a Pinterest app — I think it’s going to make some waves. I’ll also be working on a few more wholesale shops!

 Portfolio: http://iceesocial.com/

Steven Chu

Visual Experience Designer

Shopify Partner Studio: Steven Chu

Why he’s excited: Being in space with great talent, resources, and a chance to show off what we're made of!

What he’s working on: I’ll be building some Shopify sites for my clients in the fashion industry. I’ll also be tackling a number of other projects that span from branding to execution of digital assets, and even some projects that have a live on-the-streets component.

Portfolio: http://stevenchustudio.com

Ashley Livingston

Freelance Web Developer & Blogger

Shopify Partner Studio: Ashley Livingston

Why she’s excited: I'm most looking forward to working alongside (and hopefully collaboratively) with the other freelancers and entrepreneurs in the Partner Studio.

What she’s working on: I'll be developing a few Shopify and blog themes targeted for infopreneurs out there who sell digital, or handmade, artisanal products.  

Portfolio: http://ashleythedeveloper.co/

Ty Shaikh

Freelance Web Designer & Developer
Shopify Partner Studio: Ty Shaikh

Why he’s excited: Learning about cutting-edge ecommerce strategy and design principles from business experts and more experienced developers.

What he’s working on: Over the next three months I’ll be completing two Shopify projects. One is a client project for a startup record label. I will be designing a custom front-end on Shopify and helping with the initial ecommerce and social media strategy. I’ll also try to work on a personal project that involves bringing a book publishing company into the digital age with a Shopify storefront and third-party fulfillment services.

Portfolio: www.tyshaikh.com

 Adham Foda

Freelance Designer and Developer
Shopify Partner Studio: Adham Foda

Why he’s excited: Collaboration. I’ve built a network around fashion, music, and design, but I’m looking to add other like minded thinkers — in terms of professional skill, not just personal interests.

What he’s working on: During my time at the Partner Studio, I’ll be working on multiple Shopify stores of all shapes and sizes.

Portfolio: http://foda.farm/the-harvest/

LaKrishia Armour

Copywriter and Creative Marketing Consultant
Shopify Partner Studio: LaKrishia Armour

Why she’s excited: I'm looking forward to building relationships with the other members in the Partner Studio.

What she’s working on: I'll be working on a project called BeautyShock.Me, an email magazine showcasing the freshest indie beauty brands & owners. And, of course, copywriting for product-based businesses.

Portfolio: http://lsarmour.info/

Stay tuned for more details about the Shopify Partner Studio

We will be regularly sharing updates about the Shopify Partner Studio and our residents’ journey through our blog and Twitter account over the coming weeks. If you want to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in NYC, you can also follow the conversation on Twitter.

What are your thoughts on the Partner Studio? Would you like to see something similar offered in your hometown? Let us know in the comments below.


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