By Susan E. Campbell
Lake George native Monika LaPlante has opened a site in Saratoga Springs for people who need a work or meeting area, but don’t want the burden of their own office.
The Worker’s Club has space that can be rented for a day, a year, or anything in between. At 3 Franklin St., the business has a modern, comfortable environment in Suite 4 of the historic building, two blocks off Broadway.
“I am from Lake George, where many families owned businesses,“ she said. “I was surrounded my whole life so it was in my head to start my own.“
With a degree in environmental science and two masters degrees, LaPlante has had a position in New York City as an assistant data manager for an environmental non-profit group. Three years ago she moved back to the area and continued to work from home.
“A nonprofit builds up community, but I found I was not connected to tech people in this area,” she said.
Starting a business where she could establish such a community was the solution for both her business and personal goals.
“There may be more money in a bar or a restaurant, but that is not enough giving-back,” she said. “Or doing an e-commerce site may be cool, but not fulfilling.”
As she considered her business options, she did not want to hire people. She wanted a place outside the home to do remote work for her nonprofit employer.
LaPlante began working with Amy Sutton of Roohan Realty to locate enough square footage to provide desk space, individual suites, a lounge area, conference room and kitchen. LaPlante “fell in love with” 3 Franklin St., she said. “There are 3,000 square feet of parquet floors, wood paneling, cathedral ceilings. Our location provides more parking than Broadway and it is less congested.”
The Worker’s Club opened Nov. 4 and LaPlante had a launch party Nov. 14.
The cost of sharing space at The Worker’s Club varies. She offers a single-day pass or a monthly membership at three levels.
The first level is open seating. For $350 a person is entitled to 24/7 open seating at any available desk, a computer monitor and HDMI cables, use of the conference room and concierge services by LaPlante herself. Clients bring their own laptops, cell phones and office supplies, which they take home at the end of the work day.
The next level offers reserved seating for $500. This includes all the same benefits as the first level, but no one else can use that desk for the month.
For $750 per month, clients have a private office with a door that locks. “These are small offices, as people really do not need a lot of space,” LaPlante said.
The suite was completely open when she leased it. A designer and high school friend from Lake George helped with the layout and with defining the furniture style.
“This is a historic building and there are restrictions,” she said. “Originally I wanted art deco, but the space required more Great Gatsby.”
Customer demand will dictate how the space will flow for the maximum 25 users, she said.
“We will see how we use the space,“ she said. “The community will determine that.“
Learn more by visiting www.theworkersclubny.com.
By Susan E. Campbell