When it comes to fostering creativity and finding a co-working space to get those creative juices flowing, Kendall might be the last place that comes to mind. But the team behind 1FiveTwo is here to change that conception.
The intimate, loft-style warehouse, tucked in the Kendall Park Commercial Center, opened in the summer of 2017. On a whim, locals Xavie Fernandez, Ariana Teran, Bause Mason, and Zac Richardson hoped to fill a creative void in the suburbs. The multipurpose workplace, whose name is a nod to SW 152nd Avenue and 152nd Street, debuted as a rental space for events such as photo and video shoots, listening parties, and studio time. "We saw there was a lot of that in Wynwood," Fernandez says, "and not in Kendall."
From there, the space evolved and the team began hosting various public gatherings, including movie nights, game nights, and live music performances. Although those events aren't happening as of late, the founders say they plan to bring them back this year. But Kendall creatives searching for a suburban co-working hub can look no further than 1FiveTwo's free weekly Tuesday-night Workmode sessions.
It's no secret that students, freelancers, and creatives often seek spots like coffee shops and libraries when looking for a workspace. But hearing a vanilla bean Frappuccino being ordered for the 13th time in an hour can damage the psyche. And if you ask someone what they think of your mixtape, they probably won't react kindly. Workmode is a free weekly event aimed at connecting locals and building a network similar to those in other creative communities such as Wynwood.
"[To get work done], we would go to Starbucks or someone's house... or our friend's studio in Wynwood," Fernandez recalls. "So to have access to something like that here has been nice for ourselves and the rest of the community."
Teran says creatives from across South Florida — from West Palm Beach to Little Havana — make the trek to West Kendall for the community co-working opportunity. "It makes us feel great knowing that people from the other side of town are coming to our side of town now," she gushes. "It really makes us feel that we are kinda doing something right."
The cozy confines of Workmode embody the feeling of working with close friends in the comfort of your living room, decked out in Christmas lights and equipped with free Wi-Fi, couches, a work table, and games. Workmode takes place from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by Nightcap — a postwork session for guests to relax and give one another feedback — from 10 p.m. to midnight.
But if one thing is apparent when speaking with Fernandez and Teran, it's their passion for Kendall's creative community.
Mason, Fernandez, and Teran are also behind Backroom Sessions MIA, a roving music showcase that presents local visual and performing talent. It was at a meeting for Backroom Sessions where the three conceived the idea for 1FiveTwo and became acquainted shortly before signing the lease.
In the past, 1FiveTwo has been the venue for Backroom Session MIA's show Acoustic & Poets as well as the hip-hop showcase Explicit. The crew is gearing up once again for the next Explicit, scheduled for Saturday, February 9.
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Plus, 1FiveTwo recently hosted its new bimonthly pop-up open-mike night, Traveling Scene, at Crafty Beer Market's headquarters.
"We pride ourselves on being adaptable for whatever the community needs or wants," Fernandez says. "[1FiveTwo] is a safe haven in Kendall for people to come out and really be themselves."
Workmode. 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays, followed by Nightcap from 10 p.m. to midnight, at 1FiveTwo, 12236 SW 132nd Ct., Kendall; facebook.com/1fivetwo. Admission is free.
Backroom Session MIA: Explicit. Saturday, February 9, at 1FiveTwo. Tickets cost $10 via backroomsessionsmia.com.