by James and Zoe
überlin started as a short blog post written on a one-way flight from London to Berlin, back in November 2010. We had sold our belongings, packed up our laptops and popped our two cats into their travel crates. When we stepped onto the tarmac of Tegel airport on that rainy winter’s day, we were equal parts thrilled and terrified. We had nothing, we knew no one, and we had no idea what was going to happen next.
It soon dawned on us that moving to Berlin was the best decision we had ever made. Unshackled from her desk, former digital designer Zoë bought her first camera and started developing the beautiful photographic style that graces our blog’s pages. I got paid to write, sat in my pants at our kitchen table. In our spare time, we explored the city we loved and shared our experiences with a small but enthusiastic readership: our friends and family back home.
We were pleasantly surprised by how popular überlin became, and how quickly it happened. The close-knit expat community in Berlin took us under their wings, and into their hearts. They read, commented on and shared our content, pointing it out to their German friends and anyone they knew who was planning to move to, or visit, Berlin. Before we knew it, we were running one of the city’s biggest English-language blogs.
überlin has given us the chance to thank the community that still supports us, by extending all the help we can to expats and Berliners alike. We pay it forward by highlighting the awesome things that are happening in the Hauptstadt, and the talented people behind them. Now a customer support guy, I take my work home with me, spending my evenings answering questions and offering advice about moving to Berlin, getting an apartment and a job here, and how and where to learn German.
But while überlin has been more successful than we could ever have imagined, we’ve always longed for more. We’ve been looking for a chance to bring this community to life, to make our virtual network a bricks-and-mortar reality. And now we’ve found that opportunity…
Which brings me to our big announcement: as well as a blog, überlin is now a coworking space and photographic studio!
We’re busy fitting out a split-level space in the heart of our beloved Graefekiez in Kreuzberg. The bottom floor of this carefully renovated former factory is already a fully-equipped professional studio, where Zoë shoots for clients like Etsy. Now we’re hard at work upstairs installing custom-built storage and wireless speakers – as well as the all-important desks that we’re going to rent out.
Our hope is to provide freelancers and creative professionals with everything they need to establish themselves in Berlin. As well as a beautiful workspace, überlin members will get access to our network of experts, exposure to the opportunities that come our way, a bunch of perks and the privilege of spending all day in the company of Berlin’s cutest office dog, our Frenchie Olive. Anyone who uses the space or studio will also benefit from the support of a powerful platform to promote them and their work – this blog!
Don’t worry, überlin the blog isn’t going anywhere. We’re currently in the process of a huge redesign, and we’re going to continue to explore the places and people that make this city great, make funnies about expat life here, and provide valuable information for anyone thinking of coming to Berlin, whether for a short-break or a full-blown life-changing experience.
Stay tuned for updates and for an invite to our upcoming preview party, when you can come have a drink with us and check out our beautiful space! Until then, we’d like to thank you all for reading the blog, and providing us with years of support and friendship. You are the reason we do this, and without you we might not even be in Berlin, let alone embarking on this exciting new adventure. Danke sehr!
James and Zoë