Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself
When I first launched SocietyX, it was a trifecta of all the things I loved most: sports, music, and community. Through the relationships I developed while running my sports and entertainment relocation company, The Rosemark Group, for over a decade, I saw a missing gap in the marketplace.
So of course I decided to add another adventure to my plate. For so many artists, NYC has everything but is missing one key factor to a comfortable life: affordability. I knew many creatives who struggled to afford a space where they could both live and do their artistic work. I had the idea to create a co-working space for those in the creative arts, complete with affordable studio space, regular performance opportunities, and a comfortable environment for artists to work and network within. Its name was SocietyX.
After the idea and the clear need for this took root, in January of 2020 we set out on our mission and launched to test our concept on 14th & 9th in the meatpacking district of Manhattan.
Of course, we all know what happened two months later. Faced with the reality that in-person co-working spaces were not the venture to get into in the midst of a global pandemic, we pivoted quickly to a digital marketplace where our members were able to execute their creative passions and teach people all over the world what they loved.
That pivot ended up being the best thing that could have happened to SocietyX. The truth is, as much as I loved testing our physical concept, I was burning out and running so fast, if we hadn’t had to close our doors I’m not sure it would have been sustainable. Being forced to rest and take a break, I was allowed the time and space to re-evaluate a lot about my life, my goals, and how exactly I could best support my communities.
I was forced to take several steps back and rethink some of the core questions about SocietyX: What is our mission, really? Who are we, and what problem are we trying to solve? My original thesis was solving the lack of creative workspace affordability and giving creatives, freelancers, and small business space to create and profit from their goods and services. But was it possible to create that sort of space virtually?
I took some time to think more about what the creative community needed in these times of uncertainty. After lots of trial and error and a few months of neither the hosts nor I making any money and wondering if the venture was doomed to fail, I realized the gap that SocietyX was meant to fill.
As a lifelong NYC resident, I was exposed to thousands of options of how to spend my days. I could walk down my street and come upon a pottery studio, gym, and jazz club on the same block. That, of course, is not the same for everyone. One of our amazing community participants told me that she’s two hours away from a major city — if she were to go to take a class that would mean the cost of gas, tolls, parking, and food, not to mention the cost of the class itself. The time and money she’d need to spend finding a class was often not worth it. But through a virtual weekly class offering, she could do all of that from the comfort of her own home, all while making and fostering lasting friendships.
Weekly scheduled classes offered at a more affordable rate than any of our competitors was the answer. Our site opened up a door to a world that many people had only dreamed of, and were now able to have access to every week. In the midst of lockdowns across the world, people could find community, learn something new, and have a reliable activity to look forward to every single week.
Suddenly, I had thousands of people across the globe counting on us for community, education, and inspiration. Through my research, I learned that:
- Being creative is actually the basis of human life — we are meant to be creative creatures. When we don’t have access to our creativity, our feelings of fulfillment suffer.
- 30 minutes of creativity a day is equal to that of meditation and fitness because of its benefits to your heart, immune, and blood pressure.
It became clear that creativity was more important than ever. If we were going to survive the hardships of the pandemic, creativity was vital.
Things started moving fast. I was approached by the New York Times and Eventbrite asking if they could do a write up and feature SocietyX’s classes. I felt like I was finding my purpose, and everything was falling into place.
Cut to the summer of 2021 — a feeling of hope was permeating the air for the first time in eighteen long months, and the last place people wanted to be was tied to their computer screens any longer. We needed yet another golden idea to provide creative community spaces in a way that no company had ever done before.
Back to researching, back to reading. This period of time was incredibly isolating and lonely. It felt like we were moving forward but somehow still stuck in the same place we’d been since spring of 2020.
At this point I started really thinking about how much we as humans need each other, and how much we all had lost recently. The internet allowed us to be more connected than ever, yet we were desperate for face-to-face, human-to-human connection. Yes, the SocietyX platform of classes was a great resource, but I needed to look a step further: How and where do humans bond? How do we connect with people and create lasting communities? I equated it to dating: I much preferred meeting someone in real life and feeling that connection right away than swiping the hours away on a dating app.
Was there a way for SocietyX to both provide connection from afar and in person? I decided there must be.
And then I did something I never in my life thought I would ever do: I moved to New Jersey. Isolated and alone, I started trying to find people through my building’s amenity resources. But no one was ever at the dog park when I was or working out in the same area of the gym as me. So I got to thinking: this is what’s missing. Bringing the experiences we all crave right to our homes, virtually as we had been doing, yes, but also in person. SocietyX needed to be in residential buildings.
And there it was: SocietyX became the premier marketplace that connects communities and individuals through interactive creative experiences, fulfilling individuals’ needs for collaboration through the internet and in the comfort of their buildings’ shared community room. We’re living in a hybrid world of meaningful digital and physical experiences, and SocietyX was perfectly suited to cater to them both.
Our virtual marketplace gives freelancers, creatives and small businesses the opportunity to monetize their passion. Residential buildings and management companies that partner with us achieve fast lease-up rates and strong resident retention and satisfaction. And attendees get access to purposeful community engagement. It’s a win-win-win.
This relaunch is a really special time for all of us, and as you can see, it’s been quite the journey to get here. I’m truly thankful for it all, and in the grand scheme of our potential we’re just getting started. As of January 2022 SocietyX has integrated into 92 buildings nationwide and counting, and hosted classes for over fifty thousand participants worldwide.
So if you’re ready to meet your people and unleash your creative potential, come along! Get to know our hosts, read our stories, and jump on board this roller coaster ride of our journey. We can’t wait to meet you!
Check out our creative oasis CLICK HERE