Just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of M Street in Georgetown, The Wing offers women of the District a space to work in no-man’s land.
The Wing – a co-working space exclusively for women with perks and amenities for its annual members – opened its doors Thursday in a 10,000 square-foot office building at 1056 Thomas Jefferson St. NW. The shared space offers a variety of areas for working, a cafe, an all-female author library and an art gallery featuring female artists.
The D.C. spot is the company’s fourth location – and first venture outside of New York City – but new spaces in Toronto, London, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles were announced last week.
Co-founder Audrey Gelman said the idea for an all-women’s work space was sparked by the women’s clubs that existed in the early 19th century. During that time period, female social clubs existed for those who were turned away from all-male clubs, and were then transformed into meeting spots to fight for women’s suffrage and abortion rights, she said.
“What we wanted to do is resurrect that concept for modern women,” she said. “The difference between women a hundred years ago and women today is that today, women have jobs and work.”
The Wing is housed in a deceptively large space with multiple floors and rooms to work and connect. The space was once home to the first female-owned architecture studio in the U.S. With a palette of pinks, minty pastels and deep burgundy decor, the spot hosts an aesthetically pleasing ambiance for working.
“The difference between women a hundred years ago and women today is that today, women have jobs and work.”
Upon walking in, guests are greeted with walls covered in custom-made wallpaper, featuring colorful illustrated busts of female figures like Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American woman in the U.S. Cabinet, and Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress.
A flight of stairs leads to the merchandise shop – the only part open to non-members – which features accessories like bags that say “league of unusual women” and t-shirts that read “boys beware.”
Past the merchandise, you’ll find several different working spaces, including a library, single-person work booths named after women like Bella Abzug – a leader of the women’s rights movement – and several conference rooms. Members can lay back on plush, pink velvet love seats or plop down with a laptop at communal tables and bleacher-style seating with colorful cushions. There’s also a variety of woman-produced art chosen by Lolita Cros – a New York City-based art curator – that hang side by side.
The Wing currently has two membership options – the single location option grants members access to one location of The Wing and its amenities for $2,350 a year, while the all access option grants members access to all of the Wing’s locations at $2,700 per year. This annual fee is paid on a monthly basis, making it about $200 per month.
A membership to The Wing includes access to a color-coordinated, 2,000-book library of all-female authors, a beauty room decked out with straighteners, curlers and complementary products from high-end brands like OUAI Haircare and Chanel, a lactation room and a meditation room.
Members also gain access to speakers and events in the space. Upcoming events include topics like the “Healing Power of Women” with NPR’s Michele Norris and poet Cleo Wade April 14 along with “The Women Covering the White House” with Annie Karni of Politico and Kristen Welker of NBC April 28.
Toward the back of The Wing, the Perch Cafe offers a variety of food and drinks from various local woman-owned food purveyors. Dishes exclusive to the D.C. location include the Perfect Union, a grain bowl with sweet potato, quinoa, feta, spinach and chickpeas ($14), and the Mumbo, with jerk-roasted chicken, wild rice, garlic spinach and sweet potato, topped with Capital City’s mumbo sauce ($14).
In addition to food, The Wing’s cafe serves up sumptuous cocktails like the Notorious RBG ($13) with vodka, orange, lime, sage simple syrup and cranberry. If drinking on the job isn’t your thing, coffee and JRINK cold-press juices are also available for purchase.
Gelman said she appreciates the discourse that surrounds women-exclusive places, but stands by the idea that these types of places are “vital” because they offer more than just productivity for women workers – they empower them.
“We are really excited to present an alternative of the amazing, positive, collaborative output that you put when you create space for women,” she said.
Membership applications to join The Wing are available to anybody who identifies as a woman or non-gender binary as long as they are 21 and older. Gelman said she hopes to make sure The Wing is an “eclectic space,” with applications already coming in from women across different careers and backgrounds.
“I think that it’s an amazing space both for women who are in college and especially when you get out and you really miss the aspects of college that help, like a glue that holds community together,” she said.
The Wing is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends.