Craft House Client, Maison, Featured In Town & Country
The new space for women to work, connect, and relax.
By Maggie Maloney, Town & Country
Calling all New Yorkers: meet Maison, the new members-only club for women that will open in February 2019.
Maison, which will be located on the Upper East Side, will serve as a place for women to work, connect, and relax. The renderings of the space reveal a blush-tone sanctuary that includes a retail space, communal tables, and kitchen, all of which is being expertly designed by the interior design team at Ronen Lev and architect Lubrano Ciavarra. We chatted with the founder of Maison Ashley Wu about creating the new club, the importance of indulgence, and why Maison is so much more than just a typical co-working space.
What inspired you to open Maison?
Lack of options nearby! I have worked from home for the last five years, and when I had my second child last summer it became harder to be productive from home. I knew that many of the women in my life, working or not, were looking for a place to spend some personal time. Waiting for tables at coffee shops or wishing for warm enough weather to walk around the reservoir is frustrating when you only have a couple of hours to spare. Then, I started to think about what a person might want from a space beyond co-working. When I started my family, my interests didn’t disappear, but the time and space to indulge in things beyond work did. Maison will strive to be a place where passions, pursuits, downtime, quiet time, can coexist.
What's the goal of the club?
I started Maison to satisfy something that I have not found on the Upper East Side. The idea that women, especially mothers, want a place to work, socialize, be exposed to new ideas, discover a new brand, may surprise more traditional mindsets. Maison is not about escaping your life; it’s about giving you the time to enjoy it even more. I’m speaking as a mom, but I really believe when you let a person prioritize themselves even for an hour or two a day, it will be a good thing for everyone else in their life.
How did you design the interior of the space?
I worked closely with our architects from Lubrano Ciavarra, and my designers Jessica Wilpon Kamel and Christina Akiskalou from Ronen Lev, and Laurie Messman from Two Blu Ducks to bring this vision to life. Laurie did my apartment and Jessica is a friend whose aesthetic I have long admired, so together, they were able to draw from their conversations and experiences to create something incredibly personal and elegant, but warm and approachable within the space. We mixed modern Scandinavian designers with local makers like Allied Maker, AVO, and Volk Furniture.
How is Maison different than other members-only clubs?
For the Upper East Side, it’s the first of its kind. While some old guard members clubs live on as do a couple of traditional co-working spaces, there is nothing filling the gap for those who want to work and indulge off-duty.
What is your favorite feature of the club?
There are quite a few! We have some really great partnerships with brands from the beauty, lifestyle, and wellness spaces. For example, Grown Alchemist, Ladies & Gentlemen, Bkr, Daily Dose, and the Real Coconut. I’m really excited to have carved out a little bit of retail space inside the club. I have worked in fashion my entire New York life, and I’ve always wanted the opportunity to support the brands I love beyond my own closet purchases. I hope it will bring a sense of discovery to Maison’s members too.
Who do you foresee joining Maison?
We are a club open to everyone, but I imagine our membership will be mostly women from the Upper East Side. I do anticipate that Maison will appeal to mothers, and I’m very happy about that!
I think as the workforce goes more remote and people travel to meet clients, and catch up with friends all over the city, a base for gathering in any neighborhood is ideal. My spirit woman is Jane Birkin who I believe possesses characteristics of a potential Maison member—curious, discerning, stylish but has outgrown the need to chase trends.
For more on Maison, including information on membership, visit their website here.