New coworking space opens in downtown Gaylord

What’s happening: A new co-working space has opened in downtown Gaylord. Sharing a building with the Gaylord Area Council for the Arts Gallery, the Fourge Coworking Space celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this year.

Why it’s important: Fourge offers budding entrepreneurs, freelance and remote workers the opportunity to get out of the house and set a routine, meet and network with other isolated workers, and gain access to meeting space, high-speed internet, and other amenities.

“In our area, access to high-speed internet can be an issue. It can be spotty; people are working from their hotspots and weak connections,” says Jessica Kane, co-owner of Fourge. “The internet access here is especially great for virtual meetings and jobs that are data-intensive.”

How it started: Kane, who has worked remotely since 2016, first started kicking around the idea for a Gaylord co-working space when she met a fellow remote worker in 2018. She then started the Northern Michigan Remote Workers group on the Meetup website in 2019, organizing happy hours, cross-country ski trips, and other adventures in the area before eventually launching Forge with co-founder Allison Boatman.

How it works: Fourge offers different membership options, including a full-time membership with 24-hour access to the site, part-time membership that provides access two days per week, and day and week passes, ideal, perhaps, for vacationers needing to steal away for a few hours of work. Amenities include high-speed internet, two meeting rooms, coffee and tea, and donation-based printing services. Professional workshops are expected in the future.

A creative partnership: In sharing a building with the Arts Gallery, Kane hopes Fourge members welcome a little inspiration from their artistic neighbors.

“With the Arts Gallery being right here, it really allows our members to be surrounded by all this creative work made by local artists. I hope some creativity percolates in our members,” she says. “I think a lot of people can benefit from creativity in their personal and professional lives.”

Fourge Coworking Space is located at 125 E. Main St. in downtown Gaylord.