Pittsburgh Technical Council

Beauty Shoppe Turns Office Space on Its Head

Beauty Shoppe Turns Office Space on Its Head

Article Published: March 3, 2014

The Beauty Shoppe is not an incubator. It’s not just for startups. 

And, it’s not just tech. 

So, what is it? How about a complete culutre shift in how we work?

That’s what Founder/Partner Matt Ciccone thinks and Partner Rabih Helou completely obsesses over.

“It’s about working better and living better,” exclaims Helou. “We’re a place for Pittsburgh’s bread-and-butter businesses.”Makeover

By bread and butter, Helou means small companies like design firms, architects, consultants, anything employing a small number of people, but which are ultimately representing the true areas of economic/employment growth.

The duo also sees the Beauty Shoppe as a place where large businesses can find an advantage. What better way to access what’s on the leading edge of innovation than getting a team out of the buttoned-up skyscrapers and into the streets?

With a background in real estate and nonprofits, Ciccone started The Beauty Shoppe a few years ago more as an experiment, knowing that there was an unmet need for flexible office space in Pittsburgh.

“We often grapple with whether we are a real estate business. How do we disrupt office space?” says Ciccone. “How do we make real estate look like Google Apps?” 

The Beauty Shoppe disrupted the market by allowing super flexible and affordable monthly agreements. It is always open and available to members, seven days a week, 
24 hours a day. 

The Beauty Shoppe has worked hard to design an inspired and functional place for its members. It’s complete with locally designed fixtures, tables, art, and a diversity of spaces and amenities.

This mix of amenities and culture first drew Helou to The Beauty Shoppe as a member.

Describing himself as havinga history of“cosmopolitan promiscuity and rootlessness,” Helou came to Pittsburgh from Washington DC. He utilized The Beauty Shoppe as his professional home base. Helou and Ciccone had been friends, and started brainstorming The Beauty Shoppe’s future. They ended up developing a shared vision and formalized a partnership to execute.  

“This is an example of what happens when you sit across from someone!” exclaims Helou.

Currently more than 100 people/businesses are using The Beauty Shoppe, according Helou. It takes no subsidies and has tripled its membership. “Someone had to do this for the small guy,” said Helou.

So what does the future hold? It’s tough to answer. Helou and Ciccone explain that The Beauty Shoppe will continue to evolve to address members’ needs and demands. Could this concept be scaled to other locations? Sure, says Helou, but there’s no rush. 

Ironically, Helou and Ciccone said The Beauty Shoppe made a name for itself by tearing down walls and creating super flexible space. Now they are addressing member needs by creating more formal office spaces on Beauty1what will be its expansion to the third floor at 6101 Penn Avenue, right in the heart of East Liberty.

Despite the addition of some new walls, Helou assures Pittsburgh that The Beauty Shoppe will stay true to providing just the kind of space people, students and forward-thinking businesses need on flexible and cost-efficient terms.

Soak it all in at www.thebeautyshoppe.org.

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