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The Wing cofounder Lauren Kassan starts her Wednesdays with therapy

Family time is a priority on weekends, and during the week, Kassan juggles meetings, flu shots, and dinner with friends.

The Wing cofounder Lauren Kassan starts her Wednesdays with therapy
[Photo: Kayana Szymczak/The Wing]

Since Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman launched The Wing in 2016, the women’s coworking space and social club has attracted a high-profile set of members and fans—not to mention ample attention from the media—and has raised more than $117 million in venture capital funding. The Wing is on track to have 15,000 members by year-end and many more in the next year: Earlier this year, The Wing unveiled a location in London, its first space outside the U.S., and plans to have a total of 20 locations by the close of 2020.

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In Fast Company‘s “Day On, Day Off” series, inspiring founders, creatives, and business leaders share the details of a day on the job and a day off the clock—if there is such a thing. When we spoke, Kassan walked me through a recent day in the office and a Sunday spent with her son and husband, complete with a family-style Italian dinner.

Day off:

7 a.m. Sunday is a very family focused day. I think my son, Quincy, wakes up earlier, but he doesn’t start to really call for me until 7 a.m. So I get to sleep in until then, which has not always been the case. I think we’ve trained him well. I brush my teeth and wash my face, and then go on my New York Times app for a little bit. I usually take 15 minutes in bed before I even get Quincy. I bring him into my bed and give him a bottle, and we read books together. I also have started to give him a little TV in the morning, which he really likes. So we spend an hour in bed hanging out and reading books and watching TV—just cuddling and relaxing.

8:30 a.m. We just moved to Brooklyn Heights, so I’ve been ordering bagels from this place called Montague Bagels. While we wait for it, Quincy and I take a walk to a coffee spot around the corner, Joe’s Coffee. It’s a nice two-block walk, to get him some fresh air in the morning before we go home and get back into bed to eat the bagels. We try to be a little lazy on Sundays. We lived in Little Italy before, which was a very busy neighborhood. Moving into Brooklyn, we have a bit more space and parks nearby and places to walk around. In the mornings, we’ve been discovering the neighborhood. It’s just a calmer, more relaxing weekend in general. We’re kind of enjoying being homebodies.

10:30 a.m. I walk to an SLT fitness class and listened to my podcasts on the way there. I actually used to work there. I was their first employee and did all their business development, focused on their operations and expansion. So it’s always nice to go to the new spaces and still be a customer there. While I work out, my husband hangs out with Quincy and takes him for a walk. Then we go to Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo and to the park near there. We pick up some groceries and go home to make lunch.

1 p.m. My son goes down for a nap, and that’s when I get organized for my week ahead and go through my emails and schedule. Saturdays are my offline day, so I really don’t check emails; on Sundays, I start to wind back up. My cofounder Audrey and I have a sort of weekly ritual on Sundays where we send each other our goals and priorities for the week. It’s what we use to hold each other accountable. We’ve been doing this since we started the company. We have a close relationship, and now that she’s on maternity leave, it’s a great way to be really aligned.

3:30 p.m. Quincy wakes up—luckily he takes a two-hour nap, which is really nice. Sometimes we have playdates in the afternoon with friends, but this Sunday, it’s just us as a family. We just hang out and play Legos and games.

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5 p.m. I like to do a family dinner on Sundays, a 5 p.m.-style dinner. There’s a great Italian spot a few blocks away from us [called Noodle Pudding] where we have some pasta and red wine. I highly recommend it. I’ve gone there multiple times a week since moving a month ago.

7:30 p.m. We go home and give Quincy a bath—he loves his bubble-bath time—and got him ready for bed. He goes down by 7:30 or 8 p.m. And then I hang out with my husband Alex and have a glass of wine.

8:30 p.m. I take a bubble bath and then watch my new, most recent show obsession, which is The Morning Show. And that’s my night. By 10-10:30 on Sundays, I try to go to sleep. It doesn’t always happen.

Day on:

7 a.m. I’m pretty consistent the whole week about my wake-up time. During the weekdays, my mornings are really for Quincy and I. So I usually spend that first hour with him. It’s kind of my favorite hour of the day. Sometimes if he’s watching TV for a little bit, I’ll start to check my email and multitask next to him—a habit I’m trying to break. We sort of get ready together. He hangs out in the bathroom with me; we brush our teeth together.

You learn how to multitask really well with kids. We have a caregiver who comes everyday when my husband and I leave for work. We’re incredibly, incredibly lucky—she’s part of our family and truly amazing. So she comes Monday through Friday; the weekend is our family time, and I’ll have a babysitter come in in the evening if I go out or anything like that.

[Photo: Emily Gilbert/The Wing]
8:30 a.m. On Wednesdays, I have therapy, which I do religiously. I feel very lucky to be able to do that. Everyone in our office goes—it’s very critical to have that outlet. So I go to therapy at 8:30 and spend my hour with my therapist, and then I come into the office around 9:30.

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9:30 a.m. I start my mornings by sitting down with my assistant. She prints out my to-do list every morning and what I need to review for the day. We go through my schedule and any emails I need to check that I haven’t yet responded to. She and I have a really good system, and I would not be able to do this without her. [While Audrey is on leave], I’ve taken over some of the areas she is more intimately involved in, so it’s definitely changed the number of meetings I have and the folks I’m interacting more with on a daily basis. But [we] talk quite frequently even though she’s not fully back in the office. We just have the relationship where we’re in constant conversation.

10 a.m. I started with a monthly finance meeting where we sit down with our finance team and our CFO runs us through our P&L and our budget. I then got on a call with one of our investors—Jess Lee, who’s on our board. She’s a partner at Sequoia and led our last round of funding. We have a really great group of investors who are just an incredible sounding board; Jess and I touch base regularly on different things. We’re going through our goal planning process for 2020, so we talk about best practices and what she’s seen with the companies in her portfolio. We then have somebody in the office giving flu shots. So I get a flu shot and then proceed to feel like I have the flu the next day.

12:30 p.m. I order lunch to my desk and catch up on email. I’m not a big go-out-for-lunch person. Because I’m very effective and efficient with my time, I actually prefer to eat it at my desk or in a meeting, while multitasking.

2 p.m. We have a long meeting with our product team. Our tech teams go through our roadmap of new features that we’re launching—what they have have in their pipeline for the next quarter and what we’re rolling out. And then I finish the day with a meeting with our HR team. At the end of the year, we do our performance reviews and check-ins. So I met with them to talk through the process and communications, to get really organized and prepared for that.

We have an incredible team that’s accountable for so many different parts of the business, but both Audrey and myself are still really involved and have our hands in different areas. For me it’s around operations, real estate, and design, so I tend to be in a lot of meetings and one-on-one conversations with different team members.

7 p.m. I try and go to dinner with friends once a week, to catch up with girlfriends. I go to Cafe Mogador with a few of my close friends who I’ve known forever. I sometimes have to cancel it, but I try and do it once a week.

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Because I go to dinner, I don’t get home in time to put Quincy to bed. My husband hangs out with Quincy and puts him to bed. Waking up with him and putting him to bed is something I look forward to for the whole day, but I think it’s really important to be with friends and have fun and talk about life outside of work.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.

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