Growing up in Warren and now residing in Orange, Prue Swain recognized the need to create a space where a community of professionals within the business world could grow and work, without compromising on all the best parts of corporate life in the city. Opening Hive Orange has done just that and with the diversity of businesses they have under one roof, come unique opportunities.
Tell us a little bit about Hive Orange.
Hive is a shared workspace with over 60 permanent tenants, 12 hot desks, plus meeting and boardroom facilities for local and visiting professionals in Orange, NSW.Hive brings together some of Orange’s most creative, innovative, and wonderful businesses under one roof, and provides opportunities for collaboration, and cross-pollination of projects, people, and purpose.Hive is housed in a beautiful old building in the CBD of Orange, a stone’s throw from all that our city has to offer.
How did the decision come about to start Hive Orange?
I moved to Orange from Sydney in 2009, and a few years on, we were at that age where my friends had all finished University, and their careers in the corporate world were progressing. There was a move West for many, to settle down and quietly and gently raise a family in regional NSW. I recognized a need to create a space where a community of professionals within the business world wanted to grow and work, without compromising on all the best parts of corporate life in the city.I remember thinking at the time, being a mum of young children, that I also specifically wanted a space where working women could come, even if only casually, to get shit done in their careers or side hustles. I am proud to say that today almost 50% of our tenants are women, most of whom run their own business and are their boss.The opportunity to purchase the building was presented to my husband and I, and I just knew it was the right fit for what I had envisioned. We renovated at the backend of 2019 and opened our doors in March 2020 – the week before the first lockdown. It was a wild ride!
What is unique about Hive Orange?
I’m really proud of the diversity of businesses we have under one roof, and the unique opportunities for collaboration this generates. From builders, insurance brokers, proper
valuers, fashion and interior designers, draftsmen, traders and law yers, and everyone in between. We do joke that I created this place just so I had everyone I needed under one roof!We were also really intentional and considered in our planning - floorplans, fit-outs and design choices were specifically selected to welcome and inspire. There isn’t a space like ours any where else in the Central West, and it’s a beautiful place to work and play every day.
You and your family made the tree change from Sydney to Orange NSW a couple of years ago, what prompted the decision to move and what has the change of scenery been like?
I grew up in God’s country of Warren, was schooled in Sydney, and stayed there for a few years after school, living my best life! My husband is a born and bred Orange boy, so by the time we were getting serious, it was a natural step for me to relocate to Orange to be with him.We live on a farm just a few Km’s out of Orange, which has been in the Swain family for 133 years. It is a very special place and we take our role as custodians of the land, to hand down to the next generation, to heart.I suspect I was always meant to end up in the bush, although, Orange is somewhat different country to Warren. But when I pass through Dubbo to the western plains, it still feels like home.
What's the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
My Dad always said, ‘Head down, bum up.’ I think he was talking about a head down in a book, but it’s now my laptop. I think if anyone wants to get ahead, most of us work well into the night when the kids are asleep, and no one knows and no one boasts. Run your own show, and never let one business stop you from starting another one!
Women have long represented the archetype of the 'juggler'. How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
With wine, or a massage and a healthy dose of four-letter words. I’m also not sure balanced is a word you’d use to describe me, I’m usually juggling 4 different projects at once, or dreaming of 4 more.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
I’ve worn many hats, and none that were defined by a degree, so do what you enjoy, and the rest will follow.
What's on the horizon for Hive Orange in 2023?
Hive 2.0! We are currently renovating a second property in Orange, and plan to add another collection of permanent office suites to the Hive network by mid-2023. I’ll also probably be making more cakes, more beautiful food, play better music and have more good times.
Location: ORANGE | NSW
Facebook: Hive Orange