“When you are on a farm, it is a lot of people working extremely hard, but it was a family atmosphere,” Rainey said. “It got [me] to thinking: ‘How can [I] bring that farm-type atmosphere, farm-type work ethic, farm-type environment [to Georgetown]?’”
Rainey opened Co-Work at Bob Rainey Farms, which is named after his paternal grandfather, in September. The business offers a shared office space geared toward independent, self-employed or freelance professionals and has month-to-month memberships that give access to desks, a sitting area, a conference room, Wi-Fi and a full kitchen. Co-Work also holds after-hours community and private events.
“When I saw these people working on the farm, it was a lot of work, but they had fun doing it, and then they would come together,” Rainey said. “That’s what I want people to do here—have the ability to work but also a place to enjoy after-hour events and play and see families interact.”
Rainey moved to Georgetown in 2010 after serving 13 years in the Army as a combat engineer and began working remotely as a research associate for the Army Corps of Engineers at George Mason University in Virginia.
In 2012, Rainey and his wife, Lisa, joined friends Clint and Chandra Anderson in opening the CrossFit 355 Gym. Rainey said he also hoped to find space to launch a consulting business focused on engineering and research. Rainey said he sought a space to hold meetings with clients but was unable to find one that was within his price range.
After finding a suitable location for the gym—which included an adjacent building that was too large for his consultancy—Rainey decided to turn the extra room in the building into a coworking space. He said his turn toward coworking was motivated by his own struggles in finding a location to open his business.
“I thought maybe there’s a way I can help other small businesses that are in my position,” Rainey said. “[I can] help other small businesses not experience as many challenges.”