As co-working spaces continue to pop up and disrupt the working world along the way, The Wing has set out to disrupt something more specific, the working world of women.
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The Wing, founded in 2016, is a co-working and community space created by women, for women. At the moment, the company has four locations across two states, New York and Washington D.C. More locations are in the works, with a San Francisco location to be opened in October and plans for clubs in West Hollywood, London, Toronto, Seattle, and Chicago.
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The Wing isn’t made available to all women (yet), only ones who can pay. Wing members, referred to as Wingers, pay $215 a month for access to just one location of their choice. These locations are beautifully designed, which is the likely reason for their mile-long wait lists. The Wing’s spaces feature shades of millennial pink, color-coordinated bookshelves in a women-author only library, as well as unlimited access to events that include Hillary Clinton as a guest speaker. The Wing, being the first of its kind and dedicated to creating a safe space for all women also provides lactation and beauty rooms for its members. For many, $215 a month may seem hefty, but when you compare that to WeWork ($400 for a desk), an obvious competitor (they actually took notice and helped The Wing go through their series of funding), then it is an absolute steal when you take in account all of the female-friendly accommodations.
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Now let’s get into The Women behind The Wing. The two female founders, Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman, were already pretty accomplished before adding entrepreneurs to their resumes. Kassan’s experience stems from fitness startups. She was the first employee at a New York boutique fitness studio, SLT, which now has 12 locations. She quickly climbed the ladder and became their director of business development. She then moved to ClassPass, where she focused on growing the studio network of the young startup. Kassan now oversees the daily operations for The Wing.
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While Lauren tends to fade into the background, Audrey Gelman is definitely the face of the brand. Gelman, who used to work in New York Politics, served on different Democratic election campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. She was also a senior VP at a political consulting firm, SKDKnickerbocker, which she ultimately left to start The Wing. Gelman got the idea of The Wing after running to and from NYC and WDC and not being able to have a place to refresh – or even just to change clothes (she cites Starbuck’s bathrooms as one of her favorite dressing rooms). Thus, The Wing was born.
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The Wing is flying at full speed. With plans to open numerous locations in the short future, creating an app for their Wingers to keep them connected beyond Wing walls, and with the first printing of their new magazine, No Man’s Land, the world of women is their oyster.