I first heard about Tadah when it was still 'only' an online magazine with interviews of mothers they loved, articles of things to do (with our without kids) and recipes they had tried out. All in all, an inspiring platform where you could easily lose track of time because everything was so interesting to read. I then stumbled again upon them when they launched their crowdfunding campaign to partially finance their latest idea: Switzerland's first coworking space with daycare. Fast forward a bit less than a year and the space has opened its doors in Fall 2019. Tadah is now proudly offering not only the most beautiful work space and daycare, it also hosts a lot of interesting events from writing classes, PR tips or portrait sessions for your CV to cooking courses and much more.
After working there a few times and renting their room to photograph Salut Kidswear's mocassins, I felt this was a story worth telling on this blog. Thanks to the Tadah ladies who all agreed to answer one question. I hope you will enjoy reading this post and I can only recommend to go try out this beautiful space!
Sarah CEO, Co-founder and front-woman
Anne: When I first heard of Tadah and its idea to combine a coworking space with a daycare I was like “OH, this is brilliant and is definitely missing in Switzerland”. As a start, could you please tell us the concept behind Tadah and how the idea was born? What were / are the challenges?
Sarah: The idea started with a problem. All of us are mothers of small kids and at that time, we were all working in different fields that required a lot of flexibility. But flexibility and childcare are two things that, until now, did not really match. There was one thing we realized through many interviews and discussion we had over the past few years for our online magazine Tadah: work and parenthood are hard to reconcile in Switzerland. And to manage this balancing act between family and job is often painful. That’s when we stopped only writing about it and started developing a solution. Our vision? Make reconciliation possible. The challenge was to join two systems that worked perfectly fine for themselves, but had never coexisted before: a coworking space and a daycare. To find investors was our first challenge - but we succeeded. Now we need to make sure, that everyone who likes the Tadah idea (may they be parents or not), use this space and come work here. We also aim to convince companies that working remotely is a positive thing and that there is a real alternative now for their employees to combine family life and a career.
Julia Co-founder, responsible for Design and everything visual
Anne: You’re the creative brain in the Tadah team. There is a lot of studies that show that the environment we work in affects our work and its outcome. Could you tell us about the visuel concept of Tadah? From branding, to interior design including colors (why yellow?), materials and feelings you want to convey through the space and its visual identity?
Julia: Tadah is a brand that wants to transport happiness and energy. That's why we chose yellow – a bright but strong color that inspires. Dark gray makes the brand grownup and self-confident and builds a contrast to the yellow. The two secondary colors dark green and light rose transport values like sustainability.
The brand was first set up at an online level with our magazine. Then came the challenge to bring the brand values into space. We found the perfect partner for the interior: with the high quality furniture of Kinnarps we could bring sustainable materials in earthy colors into the space. You can find a lot of wood, felt and fabric that make the atmosphere warm and welcoming.
The overall concept is that the members should feel like at home. Instead of having one chair multiplied there are chairs in different colors to avoid a corporate look and feel. Like at home we have different areas where you can be productive depending on your personality and mood. From single tables with stand-up function for focusing, a community table in an open space area, a cafeteria for networking, a cosy sofa area with a library for a relaxed working environment, a hut to withdraw and a hut so have a nap (perfect for parents ;)) and two phone booths for private calls. We also thought about a cabin for pumping milk or breastfeeding. The auditorium staircase is the heart of the space and welcomes to sit and overview the space, to have events and workshops held in a newly and inspiring way. And we should not forget the plants – they are very important for the work environment as they improve the efficiency and health of our members. We want to inspire our members and make their outcome and work significant. That's why everything in this space is just beautiful.
Klara Co-founder, responsible for finance, HR and IT
Anne: There is no doubt that a coworking space and company like Tadah requires a lot of financial resources, planning and man-power. Could you tell us a bit more how Tadah’s team structure is built, why are there only women in your team? And why was it important for you to have an advisory board?
Klara: We are all about teamwork and feel that everyone can bring valuable input to every area of the business no matter their title and background. Thus, we believe in a flat organizational structure where everyone can be a shaper of Tadah.
Why only women? I guess currently the pain point regarding compatibility of family and career is greater for women. All four of us founders felt unsupported in our desire to have it all - time with our kids as well as a fulfilling job. For the positions within the kids space and for the role of Community Manager we received copious amounts of applications - nearly all of them being from women. Probably due to the nature of the job (child care) and the job sharing position offered for the community manager.
We strongly believe in the value of utilizing one's network. Asking for input and advice from different people who are pros in their field is not a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge in our eyes but instead the smart thing to do - this is why we have an advisory board.
Diana Co-founder, responsible for advertising, PR and collaborations
Anne: To partially finance this coworking-space with childcare, you decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign on wemakeit. This was one of the biggest campaigns ever done on this platform. Tell us how you’ve set this up and how crowdfunding was a good match to launch a project like Tadah.
Diana: We just did what we do best: Collaborate with great partners. Interviewing so many mothers for our magazine in the last two years, (‘our mothers we love’) meant that we had a lot of people who supported our crowdfunding campaign - we also had cool brands we already collaborated with for our magazine who offered amazing goodies. Thanks to our online magazine, we started the crowdfunding campaign with a big community. Through the Tadah online magazine we already had over 3000 followers on instagram, 1500 newsletter subscribers and more. So we didn’t start from scratch. And the people who supported us on wemakeit could really get nice products in exchange. A win-win situation for all of us. But not to forget: we only had this support and success because people really thought ‘we want to support this idea, we need this!’
Asha Community Manager
Anne: As a professional networker, you probably get a lot of feedback about Tadah. How do people react to the space now that it’s been open for a few months?
Asha: What I hear the most is that people are happy to come here to do their work. It’s a place where you find like-minded people. It’s totally up to you if you want to interact and share with others or just stay on your own. We get a lot of compliments about the interior and all the details we have focussed on. Apparently it makes it easier to work in a beautiful surrounding. And even if there are lots of people at the same time in the coworking space, the respect for each and everyone is shown by keeping the noise level very low.
Melanie Community Manager
Anne: You’re in charge of customer service, you make sure everyone is happy and gets their question(s) answered. But one question that remains unanswered to me is: why Tadah? Tell us the story behind the name.
Melanie: Ha! That was one of the first questions I asked during the job interview. I thought, there MUST be something behind these letters, something like This is Awesome Dude! Applause & Hooray. But it isn’t. It’s really referring to the term someone says when he or she happily presents the result of something great: 'tadaaaah!'. The best thing: Even the youngest ones remember our name, so they annoy their mums and dads at home with 'can we go to tadaaaah pleaaaase?' or just 'Tadah!'. Mission accomplished.
Fabia Director Kids Space
Anne: When I first visited the kids’ space, I thought 'OK, I want to be a kid again and spend all day, every day here'. Tell us about the concept behind the space: why is it important for Tadah to have a visually nice and inspiring space for kids? And what educational philosophy are you guys following and teaching at the Tadah kids’ space?
Fabia: I think it is a bit more important for the parents than the kids to have a nice looking space. For the kids it’s more important not to be overflown with sense-stimulations. That way we wanted to give them enough room for their own fantasy and thoughts. It is also important that the space is flooded with light to create an open atmosphere. But what’s even more crucial for the kids is to have constant and empathic people who take care of them.
Our philosophy is to let each child develop at its own rythm. We support them in their development by reacting to the signals they send us. Our main sentence is 'help me to do it myself'. We don’t tell them what, when or how they have to do things, we simply give them the room and materials to reach their goals by themselves.
Mirjam Caretaker Kids Space
Anne: I have heard that kids love it so much at the Tadah kids’ space, that they don’t want to go to their regular Kita anymore :) Could you share with us how kids have reacted to the space and how it is for you, as a caretaker, to work here with children?
Mirjam: The Kids in general showed an open and exploring reaction when they came in for the first time. Of course the toys and the whole infrastructure in the space are new to them and it’s in a child's nature to want to explore everything. I realized as long as the parents were here with them it was all 'wow'. As soon as the parents leave it’s different from child to child - some say goodbye easily and some need a bit more support. It also depends if they're experienced in being with people they don’t know like at daycare or with a nanny. But that's what makes working here an interesting challenge because you have to read all the small signs a child sends you if they feel comfortable or not. And my job is to react to these signs the right way. But in general I love my work here, the atmosphere with the whole team is great and very positive.
group picture by Julia Cebreros
Thanks Sarah, Mirjam, Fabia, Asha, Diana, Sylviane, Klara, Julia and Melanie for your thoughtful answers and your time.
If you're curious to visit and try out the space, here are a few helpful links: