Wow Factor: PureWow’s New Office at 1261 Broadway


PureWow's lobby, which uses matte black wallpaper from CB2.
PureWow’s lobby, which uses matte black wallpaper from CB2.

Any digital media company that calls itself “PureWow,” should have an office space that seeks to impress.

PureWow—a site that targets older millennial and Generation X women looking to “elevate the everyday” and touches on everything from fashion, health, cooking and travel—has seen explosive growth in its readership. Since launching in September 2010, the company has grown to reach more than 5 million readers per month across multiple platforms; enjoys 2 million monthly uniques and has watched its audience increase 500 percent in the past 12 months.

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In order for the company to continue its ascent, it needed to relocate to a space that would accommodate for this exponential increase in readership and new hires (the company plans to balloon from 35 employees to 50 employees by the end of 2015); its office at 1140 Broadway between West 26th and West 27th Streets in the Flatiron District would no longer do.

Ryan Harwood, the founder and chief executive officer of PureWow, had an idea of what he wanted out of his new office, starting with finding a new space in close proximity to the old one.

“I think [Flatiron] is probably the hottest area for [media],” he said. “We wanted to stay here.”

One of PureWow's conference rooms.
The “Chuck Bass” conference room. All of PureWow’s conference rooms are named after characters from Gossip Girl

Mr. Harwood also wanted to keep the open floor plan format that helped foster synergy at the 1140 Broadway office.

“It’s very collaborative and lends itself to the speed of the industry,” he stressed.

PureWow ultimately landed on the sixth floor of 1261 Broadway between West 31st and West 32nd Streets, a mere five blocks from its old building. It will move into its new, 5,354-square-foot home on April 13.

Mr. Harwood turned over the task of designing the new office to Mary Kate McGrath, the site’s editor-in-chief, and Homepolish Interior Designers’ Shelly Lynch-Sparks & Justin DiPiero. The team wanted to keep things light, bright and consistent with PureWow’s brand. Ultimately, the three opted for a neutral palette, with white, black and gold accents.

“It has the feminine feel that you get when you read PureWow,” said Ms. Lynch-Sparks, who added that Ms. McGrath, who shared a Pinterest board with the Homepolish team for inspiration when designing the office, has a very sophisticated aesthetic.

“Mary Kate brings the brand to life,” said Ms. Lynch-Sparks. “She definitely went in knowing what she wanted and what she wanted the space to look like. She wanted it to be elevated and elegant.”

Because CB2 partners with PureWow, almost 100 percent of the space, from the wallpaper to the lighting fixtures, is from the contemporary home design store.

“Nothing is stuffy. Everything is beautiful and welcoming,” said Mr. Di Piero.

Ms. McGrath described the look as “classy” and “polished.”

“[It’s like] Amy Poehler plus Design Within Reach,” said Ms. McGrath. “It’s definitely a space that our male CEO will be comfortable in, but it’s feminine as well.”

Feminine, classy and polished—but the space is also multifunctional.

“We’re a small company that produces a massive amount of different types of content. Over the past year or so, we’ve become known for our video content, which is beautiful ways to elevate your everyday, from how to cuff your jeans to how to make a bed without even getting out of it,” said Ms. McGrath, who said that PureWow will use the space for shoots. “This new space with the three wall windows offers us this amazing natural light.”

The office is also designed to entertain; Ms. McGrath stressed that she was looking for a place where women could gather for lunch, networking events or cocktail parties.

“Wonderful women should know wonderful women. We’re a company that’s really based on relationships,” said Ms. McGrath. “Having this beautiful space [will make it easier] to have amazing women in the digital space come together.”