What do you do when you work in Orange County and live in the San Fernando Valley with two school aged kids at home?
You open a coworking space on Ventura Boulevard.
Well, yes. But Judy Santos, effervescent founder and CEO of OfficeSlice in Sherman Oaks, wasn’t out to start a new business. Not yet.
“For a while I worked out of my home. And, for a while it seemed to work.” says Judy. “But it became harder and harder to deal with distractions,” she adds.
Judy scouted out the area for serviced office space that would allow for more concentration, and keep her close to home. But the local serviced offices were too expensive.
And, while a coworking space seemed ideal, the closest one Judy could find was in Santa Monica, not much of a commute improvement, if any at all.
So Judy did what so many successful entrepreneurs do; she identified a gap in her community and filled it. With a coworking space.
Over two years later, OfficeSlice is thriving. Located in a prime area of Ventura Boulevard, near two major freeways, OfficeSlice is home to an assortment of other like-minded professionals – many, like Judy, with kids at home. And, as competitors slowly start to emerge, we asked how she plans to compete.
“By not trying to compete,” she says. At least not in the traditional sense.
Her “secret sauce” appears to be her ability to attract a diversity of loyal tenants; all professionals in different fields under one roof. They use each other’s services and refer each other within their own business networks.
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And, having made the “top 100 coworking centers in the U.S.” list, by all accounts, it’s working, and working well.
Recently Judy joined the ABCN independent network of owners and operators to continue her growth and expand her reach. “We are excited about working with Judy and OfficeSlice and welcome her into the ABCN community,” says Frank Cottle, ABCN Chairman and CEO. “Judy has created a dynamic space which has all the makings of an ongoing success in the San Fernando Valley. We look forward to helping her continue to grow and prosper.”
So now that Judy’s OfficeSlice has taken its place among coworking spaces with staying power, we thought it fair to get her “take” on the future of coworking.
“I think we will continue to see a shift away from those stodgy executive suites full of homogenous guys in suits. And you won’t have 50 attorneys in one space. You will have a couple attorneys, a PR person, a financial person, etc. Sort of like a BNI group.
“Everyone working with each other and looking out for each other.”
She just might be right.