A buzzy new concept at the Domain is hoping to wake up Austin’s coworking scene. On June 27, workspace/coffeehouse Craftwork Coffee Co. announced it is now open in the new Flatiron building at 10727 Domain Dr., Unit 100.
Originally founded in Fort Worth by Georgetown native Riley Kiltz, Craftwork was a response to a growing problem in America’s increasingly remote work force — isolation.
Kiltz at the time was working in international real estate, a job that required frequent travel and only rare in-person interaction with coworkers. Even though he describes himself as “one of the more introverted people I know,” Kiltz soon found himself seeking out coffeehouses to ease loneliness. He soon realized his colleagues were going through the same thing.
Seeing the trend toward communal coworking spaces, Kiltz opened the first Craftwork in 2016. Since then, the company has added one location each year. The Domain outpost, however, is the first for the Capital City.
Although Craftwork has plenty of competition in the Austin coworking arena, including the ever-growing WeWork, the company distinguishes itself by crafting a more intimate experience. Whereas some coworking giants can take up 50,000 square feet or more, the Domain location is modestly under 2,500 square feet.
“The challenge [of the bigger companies] is that you might get lost in the crowd,” president and chief development officer Trevor Hightower tells CultureMap. “Our smaller footprint creates and fosters a community.”
One of the main ways of doing that is the coffee shop that welcomes workers at the front door. Hightower says it “energizes the space.”
“The heartbeat of Craftwork is the specialty coffeehouse,” he continues, saying that the baristas play a large part in setting the tone. “We both hire for and train [employees] to deliver a personalized experience, a human experience.”
Though the company takes its coffee seriously — it opened its own roastery in April 2017 — it also aims to take out the snobbery. One drink size is offered for all the options and drip coffee is ordered by numbers.
“It’s not about us showing off to our customers,” says Kiltz.
Approachability is the buzzword when it comes to other spaces as well. Designed by 97w Studios, the working areas are warm and comfortable with options for a more social atmosphere and private nooks for deep work. Private workspaces are also available and conference rooms can be rented at an hourly rate.
Those interested in the Flatiron Domain location can check it out on July 25, when Craftwork is hosting a public grand opening event with coffee, live music by Phil Luna, gift cards and swag, and food by Domain Northside neighbor Doc B’s.
A special founding member rate of $300 per month will be available until the end of August. Membership perks include dedicated workspace, WiFi, free specialty coffee, 24-hour access, and access to other locations.
That last part may come in handy for travelers as Craftwork continues to expand. In 2018, the company announced ambitious plan to grow by 15 new facilities by 2021. Although neither Kiltz nor Hightower would spill the beans on the exact locations in Austin, they did hint that the Domain office is just the beginning.