Member Mondays: Eleven Hundred Agency

This week we decided to interview the lovely, Claire Ayles, co-founder of Eleven Hundred Agency. Having recently, in the last ten weeks, started her own business with business partner, Mike King, we decided to find out more about what the two of them have been working so hard on since launching! Happy reading.

What are you working on while you are here at BDCWorks?

In January, Mike, my business partner, and I launched a new company, Eleven Hundred Agency. We are using BDC Works as our base as we get things rolling. Eleven Hundred is a PR consultancy which specialises in helping technology companies and professional services firms such as lawyers and accountants, boost their brand awareness in the market via the press, by creating marketing material and over social media platforms. So, that’s how I’m spending my day.

[Angeliki: How has it been since January, has it been going okay?]. Yes! We launched in January with two clients and in the ten weeks since then we have won two further clients so we have doubled our business! Our work is split between client servicing – helping our clients get in the press and raise awareness – and pitching for new business.

How did you get into this field of work? Give us a brief history of your journey to where you are now.

I have been working in technology PR for about 18 years. I’ve worked with Mike all that time, indeed, I used to work for his company. Eleven Hundred Agency is our chance to do it again and start a new brand company. It’s all about being our own bosses! When I graduated, I really wanted to work in communications so I started off working at BT in one of their communications teams and then I left that and went and worked at a University and helped with drafting brochures, organising events and that really steered me into working for PR. In 2000, I applied for a job in a PR agency, which I happened to get, and happened to be for Mike. Here we are 18 years later! At the time, the technology scene was massive and I haven’t turned back since!

Why did you decide to join a coworking space?

We wanted a proper business address with high quality facilities because we have clients who want to come in and meet us. We didn’t want to be a completely virtual organisation so BDC Works allows us to have an office and all the trimmings that come with it but with the flexibility of not having to sign a long term lease. That kind of commitment is a massive risk when you are just starting out; you don’t want to plunge yourself into debt from day one when you don’t have to. We looked around lots of coworking spaces, including the big, well known ones. We found they were very corporate and although they had fantastic facilities, when we came to BDC Works, it just felt different. It felt much more informal, people were friendlier and we felt it was a place where we would be happy. We based the decision on happiness rather than commercials. Also, I love being in the Business Design Centre – I find it to be such an interesting facility and I love Angel too!

What is your favourite thing about being in this coworking space?/What is your favourite story/memory/experience of being in BDCWorks?

That’s quite difficult because I haven’t been here for very long! But I think just the general vibe, everybody is very friendly but not in your face friendly or distracting you from doing your work. People can get on with work and team that runs BDC Works can’t do enough to help us.
What is something you are extremely passionate about?

I’ve just started a business so there is no room for anything else (laughs). At the moment, I am even dreaming about work. Apart from that, I am a massive sports fan, I cycle and run quite a bit. I have two fabulous daughters and a very supportive husband, so I try to spend as much time with them as I can.

Give one quote that you try and live by on a daily basis?

If you work hard, you will be rewarded. I truly believe that you get out of life what you put into it and you can’t expect things to just land on your plate and you will be successful if you keep plugging away!

Thank you Claire for the opportunity to interview you and congratulations on the success of your new business! We love having you in the space and look forward to watching you grow.

To find out more or if you are interested in Eleven Hundred Agency, see their contact information below:


Phone: 020 7688 5202




Member Mondays: Andrew Fleet

Another Monday, another wonderful member! This week we decided to interview Andrew Fleet, a member of ours who is always in and out of our space busy on the shows and busy doing what he does best. We sat down with Andrew (over a warm cup of tea) and found out all about who he is and what he does! Happy reading.

What are you working on while you are here at BDCWorks

Basically, I am just covering the logistical movements on the events which the BDC handle in the venue. So technically, I am making sure all the clients are happy, making sure all the freight arrives at the right time, liasing with the clients, seeing what their requirements are at the end of the show and then at the end of the show, we pack it all up and ship it to anywhere in the world it has to go. [Angeliki: Is it difficult dealing with all the different clients?]. To be honest, the easy bit is dealing with the clients, it’s the fun part really. It is very difficult when the client isn’t happy but if you do a good job and you do the service, it’s all about word of mouth, that’s how we get business at the end of the day.

How did you get into this field of work? Give us a brief history of your journey to where you are now.

I grew up in the shipping industry. A lot of my family were in the shipping industry and I decided I wanted to do something different that put my knowledge within the shipping industry out there. I joined a company called Beck and Pollitzer and at the age of… very young with a full head of hair (laughs) – I ended up in Beijing and never came back. I spent a year and a half in Beijing doing exhibitions. That’s how I learned the business and got into the industry. It’s one of those industries where you either love it or you hate it. If you love it, 30 years go by but if you hate it, you are out within a week. [Angeliki: What was Beijing like?] It was different. Compared to now, you wouldn’t recognise it. Total culture shock but very interesting.

Why did you decide to join a coworking space?

Mainly because I moved to London and we needed a place to work here. We joined the coworking space because we handle all the exhibitions and freight for the shows here. I was a bit unsure at first – we usually have our own offices. Our main office is in Cambridge and actually I quite enjoy it. I can float in, float out – the best thing about it is how flexible it is. For me it’s good, we may actually consider bringing another person in. [Angeliki: Yes, I see you are on your own here]. Yes, that’s because I live here. Everyone else lives out in Cambridge where the offices are. For me, it’s great in London, I can run around and have meetings here. The BDC Works unit works well, the office space is great, especially for us. If you on site, people can find you and believe me, people do find me (laughs). Im able to generally keep an eye on everything and make sure it all runs smoothly.

What is your favourite thing about being in this coworking space?/What is your favourite story/memory/experience of being in BDCWorks?

I find it quite interesting, especially the chatter you hear. The sales pitches from the one guy, the other guy is keeping very quiet and whispering, it’s quite fun really. It’s very different. [Angeliki: I guess it’s interesting to see how other people do and run their business?] Yeah, it’s very interesting. We all learn from each other which is great.

What is something you are extremely passionate about?

I sail. I sail big boats. I have sailed from Fiji to the South of France. My passion – I would like to do the Oyster sailing around the world but that’s not going to happen for a while. [Angeliki: That’s amazing, why not now?]. Unfortunately, I don’t have time. I’m probably going to do it in stages. I’ve done the Med as well, it’s cool and it’s fun. This is why I work hard. [Angeliki: I guess it’s work hard, play harder]. Laughs. The harder I work, the luckier I become.

Give one quote that you try and live by on a daily basis?

Oooh. That’s a difficult one. I think it changes every hour (laughs).

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle as with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” ~ Steve Jobs

Thank you for a fantastic interview, Andrew and for giving us some insight into what it is that you do!

For anyone that is looking for a professional logistic service for exhibitors, broadcasters, sports events and music touring – see their website and contact details below.





Telephone +44 20 8508 2224

Coworking: A Newbie’s Perspective

Before I share my story with you all, I thought it would be best to give some context. My name is Angie and I am the new intern at BDC Works. Having never stepped into a coworking space, walking through the doors of BDC Works was an interesting experience for me. Coming from South Africa, the idea or concept of coworking is quite foreign and new to my ears.

My initial perspective on a coworking space was simply just a place where you come in, work at your desk and go home at the end of the day. A place that is simply just away from home and allows for the ability to be more productive.

Boy, was I wrong. This space is so much more than that. I have only been working here for a few weeks and I have found myself in a world of coworking that I didn’t even know really existed. Not only is this space a place to work but it’s a space to network, collaborate and be apart of a much larger community. Friendships are even formed – this was recently shown to me on a night out for drinks with the BDC Works members (felt like I was part of a family).

So, although I am still new to all of this, I thought I would write about my experience of how to make the most of being in a coworking space – especially as a newbie.

The most important thing I have realised is that a coworking space is a community. It is a space in which members interact, share their stories and experiences and most importantly, share their skills with one another. This was something that fascinated me the most. How incredible must it be to work in an environment with so many different people that are able to teach you things that might benefit your own business? This is exactly what a coworking space offers. Not only can they teach you things but you could possibly be involved in a collaboration. Whether you need a new website to be created, advice on your social media or need a photographer – there is someone here who you could collaborate with. They say the world is your oyster – I like to think BDC Works is your oyster, if you are a member of course.

However, that’s not the only thing. The Majority of the individuals that work in this space run their own companies, work on their own and are self-employed. Most of whom if they weren’t here, they would be working from home. Instead of working from home by themselves, they come into this space and meet new people, make friends, have people to chat to during their coffee break and like I mentioned earlier, a visit to the local pub is a bonus too.

Although a foreign concept to some, the idea and vision behind a coworking space is one that is far deeper than what meets the eye and I feel so lucky to have been introduced to my first coworking experience through BDC Works.

Fancy seeing for yourself? Pop in for a visit or have a free trial day – we love welcoming new people.

Email for more information.

Sharing Is Caring in Islington, Angel

As I sit at my desk eating lunch- staring at the screen and not achieving anything, I realise that eating alone is the worst and I started to ask myself why sharing food and not eating alone brings so much happiness.

Not just to me, but others also.

This morning, I decided to put this to the test and fed BDCWorks. Turns out, however, they think I am a feeder and not good at helping them with their waistline.

But hey, this way we got to share food, have discussions and make things work.

I believe it stems from when time began and food brought people together. It was a bonding ritual and a way to bring communities together. It works in the same way as having Family dinners- why is this important?

I read this article the other day that states ‘Technology is a negative influence on us because it separates individuals from reality’.

We all get so fixated on technology these days that we forget what is actually important. Take time to reflect and discuss and talk.

I put this to the test and went out  to my favourite Tapas restaurant in Angel-

La Farola

Classic with a modern twist and if you like Charcuterie then this is an absolute treat.

Their chefs use only the highest quality authentic Spanish food and organic ingredients, combined with fresh local produce, to create menus that will instantly transport you to their sunny homeland; accompanied by an equally impressive range of wines, arranged into drinking styles to assist your selection.

The menus will make your mouth water (as I try not to dribble at my desk thinking about it).

Charcuterie and Picoteo dishes start at £3.95 and include one of my favs- Padron Peppers.

Perfect for sharing there and a great way to try as much as possible on the menu there is a great array of meat, fish and CHEESE!

Get me to Spain already!

Maybe because I am sociable I like to do this.

However, on the flip side some of us are just greedy, really hungry or just like Joey from friends.

“Joey doesn’t share food”

If that’s you- you may relate to this BuzzFeed article I found – it made me lol.

If you can’t remember the last time you shared a meal – get involved and see what happens or just pop in to BDCWorks – we have loads of food.


Valentine’s Day in Islington, Angel

We are well on our way into the month of love and soon approaching the official day of declaring love, Valentine’s Day! We all know the way the quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach so good food, drinks and deals are always the perfect way to go.

We thought we would try help you out with some ideas on where to take your loved ones this Valentine’s Day by speaking to our local community restaurants and pubs to find out what they have planned for this special occasion.

So, here are a couple of restaurants and bars based in Islington, Angel that are offering some special deals and celebrating with you! Treat yourselves!

Galley London

Galley is offering you the choice of going out or staying in (nice way to keep it romantic and cosy).

Fancy getting dressed up and going out? Book ASAP for the Valentines Day Seafood Feast.

  • An incredible menu including starters, main meal and dessert. Click here to go to their website where you can download the menu:
  • £60 per person, minimum of two people
  • Book now before they sell out (if they haven’t already)!

OR fancy staying in, keeping warm and ordering in?

Galley is offering a luxury delivery service for loved up Londoners, of their Valentines Day Seafood Feast with Freixenets Cava through the Deliveroo application (on pre order only).

The delivery includes a bottle of Freixenet’s Cordon Rosado Cava, a main meal cold platter to share and a dessert for £60. Click here to go to their website where you can download the full menu.

Click here to make a booking or email

Bella Italia: 

This lovely Italian chain is always a winner for a yummy pasta or pizza (and more). They love Valentine’s day so much that they are celebrating from the 9th to the 18th February! Book with them for their Valentines special and enjoy a delicious 3 course meal and fizz for £19.99.

Click here to make a booking


Known for their Brasilian barbecue, succulent skewers, delicious street foods and sides is welcoming you to go and enjoy their delicious Valentine’s Day menu! Choose whether you want 2 courses for only £15 of 3 courses for £19 BUT make sure to make a booking before it is too late!

Click here to see the menu

Click here to make a booking:


Treat your special someone to a delicious italian three-course meal from Chef Francesco Mazzei! The meal includes a pizza to share topped with n’duja sausage, mozzarella, prosciutto, anchovies and broccoli, followed by an oven roasted sea bream with prosecco, artichokes and potatoes, and end with a pasticinni to share for only £45! Our mouth is watering just reading this!

View the full menu here

For more information or to book call 020 7354 4777.

Meat People

A restaurant with an Argentinian and Spanish influence, meaty meals and an amazing cocktail bar! They are offering a special Valentines menu for only £90 per couple, where you can enjoy welcome drinks on arrival, starters, a main meal and a dessert to finish the night off!

For more information or to book, email or call 02073595361.

Not such a foodie but feel like a drink to celebrate the most loved up day of the year? Head over to one of these bars to enjoy delicious drinks and cocktails or party the weekend away!

The Ladybird Bar

Busy on Wednesday? Don’t worry! At the Ladybird Bar, Valentine’s day is an entire week!

Go down any night of the week from Monday to Sunday and enjoy any one (or all) of their 5 succulent new limited edition cocktails – with your loved one or alone! If you want to make it extra special, make a reservation during this week and it will come with strawberries or chocolates on the table! We know everyone has a sweet tooth.

Dirty Martini

This cocktail bar is welcoming singles, couples or even those who feel like a girls night out to come on Saturday 10th February (tomorrow!) and enjoy a night out with DJ’s on the deck, a happy hour (until 8pm) and an exclusive Valentine’s Day cocktail priced at £7 ALL NIGHT!

Angel Delight

With the rise of Coworking spaces in London and the industry being completely saturated in the nearby area of Old Street, it seemed like a good idea to explore Angel and all its delights.

As you step out of Angel Station you have two spaces right on your doorstep — Rocket Spaceand The Office Group, so if it’s convenience you want you can’t get much more convenient than this.

With Rocket Space being the hub of Tech, there is really no better space to be in if you are all about TECH. They offer you speed and direction to accelerate your tech business.

Tech is all around us, but if like me you find it a little scary- then check out TOG.

Being one of the biggest providers in London they do things right.

They are design led and beautiful, have memberships allowing you to roam around London, great events and even a new APP.

On the flip side there are also some very cool, smaller independent spaces.

Check out Hunky Dory DesksCowork Angel and desks in the Plug and PlayMedia hub on White lion Street. Each are designed in their own individual ways with Plug and Play being a little quirky with a fried egg meeting room table- it’s cracking (sorry….I couldn’t resist!).

So why BDCWorks?

That’s a very good question, but one I can definitely answer.

The BDC is oozing with history, character and a buzz like no other.

With 500,000 peeps coming through the door each year who knows who you will stumble across.

Our new Coworking space, BDCWorks — is perfectly situated at the back of the building so disruption is kept to a minimum and is a little piece of ‘Shoreditch’ you won’t want to leave.

We have attracted all sorts of businesses but if you are in the design or events industries the benefits of being within this space are next to none.

We are flexible and fun but also a great working environment that will increase productivity. Oh and one more thing — If you are tired or just had one too many at lunch or the night before don’t panic- you can nap on our day bed (don’t worry this is a no judgement zone).

Want to know more or find out what all the fuss is about?

Contact me Katie P — katiep (at)