After the initial hotel phase, nothing beats the right home office as an early toe in the water platform for away game entrepreneurial fixtures, especially in emerging markets. Any artist or ground up adventure capitalist looking to escape comfort zones and expand experience will tell you that. Use a hotel to find a suitable location, then hunt down the best available home office in that location.
Flagship Product: Istanbul Penthouse Studio
The first iHomeOffice in central Istanbul just off Taksim Square was discovered in 2017 and completely refurbished during the pandemic to iHomeOffice specifications. It has a je ne sais quoi that makes it a refreshing place to work or play from in short or medium term bursts, and is well placed to welcome a new wave of flexible workers without borders once economies and countries begin to open up again.
The first iHomeOffice, all good to go.
First Development Phase:
The first aim was to come up with an interior design with an international feel and a local flavour, that could be replicated in other emerging market cities like Istanbul. International iHomeOffice staples that can be found in any major city around the world are IKEA and Apple, with quality local brands blended in. Some materials, like marble and ceramics, are high quality, good value and easy to find, others like antique wood or even wooden skirtings not so available. The other part of the first phase was working with local artists, featuring their work, and giving them their own iHomeOffice website page. One job of an artist is to inspire entrepreneurs to make money so that they can buy their art
iHomeOffice was created as a brand to add value to an Istanbul property portfolio that had to be sold back into the market before the brand really had a chance to do its job. The first iHomeOffice interior design was more a traditional Turkish Ottoman style restoration of apartments in historic buildings with international home office custom in mind. The apartments themselves were the works of art, going at prices that compared favourably with other historic city centre districts, especially in more developed economies. Apart from iHomeOffice branding for short term lets to foreign customers in the business, diplomatic or aid worlds, the apartments were to serve as home offices for other brands. But by the time those brands were ready, follow through investment hadn’t arrived, and the property portfolio was eventually sold back into the market, piece by piece.
Brands can be consumed like bottles of wine. The cheaper ones are best drunk soon after they’ve been bottled, whereas the better quality grapes from vintage years mature and improve with age. The digital revolution was changing work practices at a rapid pace from fixed to mobile, and office to home office, and iHomeOffice just looked younger and better as it sat on the shelf getting older. By the time the pandemic came to accelerate those trends, it was ripe for the drinking.