There’s something distinctively comforting about the estrogen-dominated space of ladies’ nights and girls’ trips.
Realizing how underrated ladies’ nights are, 29-year-old Audrey Gelman – a New York City-based entrepreneur – launched a modern day women’s club called The Wing.
Offering yearly and monthly memberships, The Wing is a female-focused space that is part social club, part co-working studio and part blow-dry bar.
Really, what else could you want?
Located in NYC’s Flatiron district, the stylish, feminine looking office opened its doors earlier in October to an exclusive list of 300 members.The 3,500-square-foot space features a co-working lounge filled with communal tables, a café, salon, and locker room.
Gelman has managed to attract some seasoned business figures as investors, including SoulCycle founders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, AOL cofounder Steve Case, and Equinox CEO, Harvey Spevak.
While Gelman and partner Lauren Kassan – who was head of business development at fitness startup ClassPass– gives the concept a modern spin, the idea of a women’s club in New York City is, of course, not new. As Fast Company reports, back in the 1930s, there were over 600 such groups in New York City and 5,000 nationwide. Given Gelman’s social circles (her wedding was featured in Vogue, to put things into perspective), don’t be surprised to see some famous faces grace The Wing, along with other well-connected females of various backgrounds. As one of Lena Dunham’s BFFs, she is said to be the inspiration for the Allison Williams’ character, Marnie, on Girls. Gelman actually played the new girlfriend of Marnie’s ex on season two of the popular HBO show.
welcome boxes headed your way 🚴🏽♀️💨 A photo posted by The Wing (@the.wing) on
Like many of my girlfriends in media, public relations and in the growing freelance economy, Gelman’s hectic schedule used to mean eating, meeting and changing on the go throughout the day.
“For a while, I belonged to a gym just so I could use their locker room and shower—I never worked out there,” she says. She’d change in Starbucks bathrooms and pretend to be a guest in hotel lobbies when she needed WiFi. Now, some of Manhattan’s finest pavement pounders won’t have to – and they can leave with a professional blow-out too. The application process is designed to reveal personalities, with questions like, “who is a complicated woman you admire?”, “Which fictional TV character is your spirit animal?” and”Which TV show do you hate that everyone else loves?”
Members are well connected, on the move, and from a variety of professions, from those clocking in long hours at entry-level jobs, to well-known, seasoned professionals.
They represent women from their twenties to their seventies. Notable members include Birchbox co-founder Hayley Barna, BuzzFeed chief counsel Nabiha Syed, stylist Stacy London and punk rocker Meredith Graves. Yearly fees cost $1,950, while monthly costs $185 a month.
Safety in numbers #debatenight A photo posted by The Wing (@the.wing) on
The Wing also organizes creative networking events that speak to women from a variety of interests and professions, several of which are open nonmembers.
The Wing is now at capacity, with a growing waiting list. Given the instant success, the company is already considering opening a second location in New York and to expanding the women’s club to other U.S. cities.
Hopefully, a similar concept will make its way north of the border, like the idea of using empty restaurants as workspaces.