A nexus is defined as a connection or series of connections linking two or more things. Which is why it’s the perfect name for Nexus Co-Work & Event Space.
This single organization is where the following elements all converge:
- Open hotdesk-style coworking spaces
- A coffee shop and catering business
- An auditorium for events
- A preschool
- Meeting rooms
- Community giveback programs
- Outdoor event spaces
- A future podcast/recording booth
Every aspect was purposely selected and developed to bring the community together in a small town just outside the sprawling metropolis of Charlotte, NC.
“People in Charlotte have a lot of options when it comes to coworking,” shared Kristine Sickels, President of Nexus Project, the umbrella organization. “But not so much the folks outside the city. Now all kinds of business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, and organizers can use this space and stay close to home.”
Chris Brown is the Founder of Nexus but that’s not his only title. He also goes by Pastor Chris. Which is quite fitting when you think of how a pastor is also at the center of an organization with a mission to bring people together, deliver connection and build community.
“Being called ‘founder ‘makes me sound a lot more important than I am,” Brown joked. “But I kept seeing problems that needed solutions, so I did something about it.”
As he considered those solutions, Brown wondered, “What if we could all come together and create a community that also did good for the community?”
That sounds perfectly logical for a church. But coworking?
“One of our challenges was with a church space to begin with,” explained Sickels. “The fact is, church buildings are only used for their purpose about 25% of the time. It was important to Chris and the team that the building do as much good for as many people as possible. We believe that trends in churches are shifting towards a more local approach. And we are working to create an environment that serves our local community well.”
It seems like such a simple question: What did their community need?
They needed event space.
Local organizations always needed a stage for presentations, productions, and educational opportunities. The Nexus auditorium serves that purpose 6 days a week and then hosts church services on Sundays.
They needed a place to work.
As everyone who worked from home in the last year can attest, the kitchen table is not an ideal office. Even those with a designated work space struggle to delineate between work and home life when the distance is a single door. And small businesses often can’t afford the overhead of leasing and outfitting office space. That’s where the Nexus Cowork desks come in and meeting spaces come in.
They needed childcare.
Even before the pandemic, it was painfully clear that local working parents needed more options. The onsite preschool enables them to earn a living while keeping kids safe. And during the lockdown, Nexus welcomed even more children with a scholarship program and helped with the unprecedented task of remote learning.
They needed refreshment.
If you think coworking, you think coffee. But Brown and Sickels didn’t want to be in the coffee business. The Collective Cafe is embedded in the space but runs as its own business, serving caffeine and treats, but also catering for larger events onsite.
They needed a way to give back.
Three nonprofit organizations not only call Nexus home, but their work is baked into the membership model. Nexus donates a set amount of membership dollars, and members can even designate which of the three they prefer their portion to go to.
The model of Nexus CoWork & Event Space has been so effective, the Nexus team has been approached to put it in place for other churches. But their roadmap is still taking shape, with more locations a strong possibility.
In the meantime, Sickels chose Coworks as their coworking space management software for many of the same reasons they choose to do most things: community and collaboration.
“As I looked at options, I saw so many platforms had a lot of complexity to them. We’re not a property management company; I needed a specific solution for coworking. Coworks is intuitive and easy to use, but still robust, giving us all the functionality we need. Plus the team is open to feedback, and added some new features we’re excited about.
In particular, we can now have outside organizations book space with us through our website. It saves so much time, streamlines the process, and lets us expand our revenue options. There is a lot of openness and support for us.
Coworks helps unify communications as well. We share all our news, event schedules, and updates through the app for our members. And of course they can book the space they need whenever they need to do it. They aren’t waiting on emails or voicemails to confirm. It’s great for all of us.”