I was breathless when I first walked into Huckletree Clerkenwell. Whether that was from the excitement of finding a place where I could be myself, or as a result of the 27 steps I’d climbed to make it that far, I may never know. What I can say for certain is that I’m not the only one who’s come back to climb those stairs again and again, and there’s a good reason for that.
That first visit was the day I met Gaby, Huckletree’s CEO, to learn about her vision to bring inspiring creative entrepreneurs together in London. While I waited for my interview, I caught snippets of conversation in the corridors. The kind of conversations that made me want to jump in and ask a million questions. My curiosity was on overdrive, which is hard to avoid when the front door talks to you and the plants in the entrance are – no word of a lie – growing upside down.
The place is designed to intrigue.
“From the moment you approach Huckletree from the outside, you can sense that there’s something different about this place.” Jonathan Baillie-Strong of TechLondon.io, CoHome, OuiShare, SoftLayer, IBM, FoundedUK and Spectacular Stays.
It’s been a long time since that day and I’m now – despite being thousands of miles away – irreversibly biased. So, instead of boasting about all the cool features of the beautiful little space where Huckletree was born two years ago, I want to paint a picture through the eyes of our community (who are probably equally biased, since it’s just as much their place as mine!)
Claire is a fellow writer, though to group her with me doesn’t do justice to her expertise. On a tough day, she was my go-to listener. When I accidentally locked myself in the building that one time, she was the person who came to my rescue. And when The Good Brownie Co turned up on a Thursday afternoon to fuel the last leg of our week, she was the first person I’d call. I feel confident in assuming that she and my lovely successor, Marielle, share a similar bond.
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We’ve always wanted Huckletree to be a diverse community, Claire was just the first freelancer to take the leap with us.
“When I walked in, my gut told me it was the right place. It was airy, sun-filled, and had a friendly atmosphere. I was sold.” Claire Read, Freelance Writer & Editor
It was that friendliness that won Jenni over too. The first time she visited, we were sampling meals from a new food-on-demand startup so we shared lunch while talking about the digital platform she’s designing to amplify the voices of people with learning disabilities. She’s been climbing up to Huckletree Clerkenwell ever since for the ‘contagious buzz of energy and ambition.’
With Shoreditch now open, Clerkenwell has found its place as a hub for the freelancers and smaller teams in the Huckletree community, which makes it feel like a family. The shift means that we (especially Marielle, as Clerkenwell’s Community Manager) can focus on relationships between individuals, which our sharing economy insider, Jonathan, tells us are kind of important.
“The relationship with the community managers provides the foundation of what makes Huckletree so special – relationships built on friendship, trust, collaboration and mutual understanding.” Jonathan Baillie-Strong
If you’re a freelancer, startup or lonely founder looking for inspiration, support and good company, we’d like to invite you to come and experience coworking at HKT Clerkenwell for yourself.
Marielle’s and the Hubble team are holding an open day on Thursday, 19th of May. Everyone is welcome! But please register so she can make sure she’s got the time to give you the attention you deserve!
As Claire says, you need to follow your gut when finding somewhere to work so there’s no substitute for making the journey up those stairs… but I’m told there’ll be cold beer and a smiley welcome waiting at the top.