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Glendale business provides place for parents to work out of the office with kids nearby

A new space in Glendale lets parents working away from the office get things done in peace while just a few feet away in a soundproofed room someone else keeps a watchful eye on their kids.

The idea of Collab and Play is to provide a productive setting for remotely employed parents without the double-duty of baby-sitting, said co-owner Silvana Arzeno Toledo.

“You end up sacrificing sleep because you have to finish your work, but you also want to spend time with your little one,” said co-owner Silvana Arzeno Toledo. “It becomes a cycle.”

Located at 1800 S. Brand Blvd., a row of tables makes up the work space where visitors can set up their laptops and make phone calls.

“Most parents that have come so far said they need the independence from their children to concentrate,” said Toledo, a mom herself.

There’s complimentary coffee and Wi-Fi, and just around the corner is a soundproof room that once belonged to a music store.

Inside, kids up to 4 years of age can play with toys and partake in arts and crafts activities.

Despite a staffer minding the kids at all times, a parent has to stay on site because the business technically isn’t a day-care center — kids can’t just be dropped off.

Parents are welcome to pop in to check on their children any time. But that’s not how local mom Rihannon Gillis does things when she stops by.

An interior decorator, Gillis said she tends to leave her 15-month-old daughter Matilda with Collab and Play staffers to not only get some work done, but to get the little one accustomed to others.

“The way my daughter works as long as she doesn’t see me that’s fine, the minute she sees me it’s over,” she said. “For me, I get a couple hours of work done and Matilda gets to see that there’s other people that she can enjoy being around.”

Most of the customers tend to be moms while there have been some dads and the most common occupation is a freelance writer or blogger, Toledo said.

Some stay all day — which costs a flat flee — while others who don’t stay as long pay an hourly rate.

There’s also a pinup board where parents can stick their business cards as a means of collaboration. Toledo said part of Collab and Play is to encourage visiting patrons to network and possibly embark on professional projects together.

If there’s enough demand, Toledo said she might expand the business to accommodate older children as well.

The business opened in November and Gillis has only stopped by a handful of times, but she said she plans on coming back soon.

“It doesn’t look every professional if you have a baby crying in the background when you’re trying to get work done,” she said.

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Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @ArinMikailian

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