Why I Built A Women-Only Coworking Space

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If you were to search “women-only spaces” online, you’d find plenty of options, each club unique in their own way. Throughout my career, I’ve never seen women have as many choices as they have right now, whether in work or in personal endeavors, and with that a huge surge of support and mentorship from fellow females that is not slowing down any time soon. And frankly, it’s about time!

This renewed focus of women taking charge of their lives – career, family and personally – has inspired a new wave of niche communities and clubs.  And that’s a good thing! There is a place for every type of person looking for a community. There are so many advantages to being part of a female-owned and operated space – many of those same benefits are what inspired me to open Maison.

Whether you’re figuring out your next career move after years spent dedicated to raising a family, looking for a place to catch up on emails, get a quiet coffee or listen to a parenting expert discuss how to talk about sex with your teenager, I encourage anyone to consider joining one of the many female-centric clubs, like Maison, out there.

Here’s what inspired me to open Maison and why you should consider joining a community like ours, too:

Build balance

Many coed coworking spaces were so cliché – open floor plans, industrial builds. In building a female-centric community like Maison, I wanted it to feel like you were visiting your best friend’s beautiful home, somewhere you would feel comfortable and supported. Sure, you can use the club to finish a deadline or take a meeting, but you can also steal quiet moments to catch your breath, and find events you won’t find anywhere else – a speaker series, Stitch & Bitch, private shopping events, MNDFL meditation classes and mini spa retreats. At Maison, it’s about taking care of the inside as much as it is about the outside.

Embrace who you are

I love my life! I love being a mom and I love working, and I don’t want to feel bad about how I choose to spend my time. Too many coed clubs out there are pushing their own agenda and it’s a one size fits all approach to a huge pool. At Maison, we are who we are – our location, demographic and curated programming are really what defines us and sets us apart – and because of that, most of our members are mothers. We want to cater to our members as personally as possible, so if working and learning alongside a bunch of moms is what you’re seeking out, Maison is the right place for you.

Take time out

If you work and/or have a family, chances are your schedule is not entirely your own. Let me tell you, stealing a moment alone at home when you have kids is not easy and I’m sure it’s even harder in a traditional professional environment. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to have a place just for you. When people ask me if we plan to have childcare at Maison, I am quick to answer that our focus is on you, the grown-up, not the little humans. It would be hard prioritize the competing needs of parents and children under the same roof without compromising our mission statement.

Feel welcome

It’s no secret that female-designed coworking spaces radiate warmth and community. I take a lot of pride in the design aesthetics of Maison – I wanted to build a space that felt like an extension of me and my home, and it’s a place I want you to feel the most welcome. Whether it’s reading in our cozy library, catching up with friends on our cushy velvet couches, or refueling in our fully stocked kitchen, every element was handpicked with purpose so that whether you’re staying for a few hours or just 30 minutes, you have a place that feels like home.

Foster community

Women have become more empowered than ever recently as big issues have risen to the top. Whether it’s how to run a business, manage work-home balance, discussing maternity leave, you can and should be surrounded and supported by fellow females. With clubs designed by and for women, we have the unique opportunity to network and learn with our peers. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Ashley Wu is the founder of Maison.

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