Hive Orange is the brainchild of Prue and Andrew Swain. As the name suggests it’s a place where busy bees (read business people) can work from a professional, chic shared workspace. It’s function not only provides office space for those without one, it’s where collaborations, creative thinking and business deals can be made to happen. Equipped with everything you need to run an office, Hive is already proving a popular place for those professionals wanting to get things done. It also provides a stellar environment for board meetings and business events. Prue shared her Hive journey with the Central West Mum’s team, here’s what she had to say.
Tell us a little about your family and how long you’ve been in Orange?
“I grew up in Warren, NSW, I have been living in Orange for 12 years, after moving to Orange from Sydney for love with my now husband, Andrew.
We have 3 children, Wally, 6 Alfie, 4 and Dottie, 2.
We live on a farm that has been in the Swain family for 140 years, it is a very special place and we are extremely lucky.”
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your project Hive?
“A friend of mine had moved from Sydney and was struggling to find professional workspace in the CBD of Orange, combined with the fact that my husband was local, and I was somewhat semi local, people were always asking me if I knew someone who did this or that. Here the idea for Hive Orange was born! Having all these people in and using the one space, that are doing interesting things-this is where I could facilitate connections. It was also about having a lovely space to work. We spend so much of our time at work, why not make it feel like you are in a beautiful home where you feel safe and warm?”
What makes Hive a really special place in Orange?
“Because it is the happiest place to be! We have surrounded ourselves with great people doing great things! This creates beautiful energy within the space, you can feel it, it feels so good. And we have pink floors, who doesn’t feel happy when you have pink floors?! A lot of us miss being in here when the weekend rolls around.Especially post COVID, I think everyone realises how important human interaction is.”
How exactly does Hive Orange work?
“Very simply, if you are in need of a hot desk, meeting room, boardroom, or training room, you simply book online at www.hiveorange.com.au, you will receive access to the building via your email, a simple swipe of your phone at the front door and you are good to go! Hive Orange is open to anybody and everybody, we have such a lovely mix of people wanting to use the space.”
What’s your advice to other business owners who have an idea- but don’t know how to make their vision a reality?
“Perfect your idea. When it is time to execute it, execute it and nail it.”
How do you balance your work and family life?
“Luckily, Hive can be completely run remotely, I am only a phone call away! Generally, with one said child screaming for attention-I think everyone understands though-We are all trying to do the best we can. Slow cooker and the dryer have been my best friends in the past few months, I’m more than happy to adapt to my new way of life. I do however love being at the Hive, I love hosting, I love the social interaction, I love having a giggle in the kitchen with all our beautiful Hivers, I go home at night with a warm heart.”
What were four things you learnt with all the planning and construction for the Hive?
“There are A LOT of hoops you have to jump through to complete it! Respect your tradesmen, they are the masters! A strong relationship with your husband is really handy too, especially when he is one of the tradesmen! When all else fails, a Good Eddy ham and cheese toastie will sort you out!”
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt from this project?
“Trust my gut!”
What has the response been to the Hive and who is your main customer?
“We’ve had a great response, I love the gawkers, I love the drop ins who have loved seeing how we transformed this building into what it is now, especially as most Orange locals have a story to tell me. I’ve heard of the days when they got a pie from Kelly’s bakehouse, or vintage handbags from Vinnies, no one has actually come forward to tell me they remember the mechanics workshop (although that was in the 50’s!). We were very lucky to get this building, I feel we are only custodians, it was extremely run down and needed a lot of love, I feel most proud of Swainy and I for that reason- it will now happily stand for another 100 years!”
Check out Hive Orange here!
Facebook: Hive Orange