Space is a valuable resource for the professional woman. She needs a space to welcome clients, to network, to chase her dreams and build her empire. So how does a business world that is increasingly conducive to working from home find such a space?
The answer may not surprise you: coworking spaces. They’re taking off around the country and for good reason. The Harvard Business Review says evidence points to a correlation between the use of coworking space and thriving employees.
“Having that professional presence is a game-changer. It has created a lot of momentum being in that environment,” Felena Hanson, believer in the power of coworking space and creator of her own, says.
By the time Felena turned 30, she had gone through three layoffs from sales and marketing positions. The entrepreneur-at-heart knew having control over her own destiny was the only way she saw herself thriving. So she started a marketing company out of her home and quickly realized what so many others do when it comes to doing business in the same space you shower and sleep.
“It was convenient and cost-effective, but I felt isolated.”
Felena sought out coworking space to give her what your at-home business couldn’t– a professional space to meet with clients. But, what she found was less than inspiring.
“It was all 22-year-old dudes,” she says.
Rather than settle into a space that didn’t fit her needs, Felena set out to create her own. She envisioned a coworking space specially designed for women doing business. With warm and inviting interior design, her space would include soft lighting and a spa-inspired feel. Felena believed women can work at home or they can thrive in her hub for networking and business development. Hera Hub was born.
In truth, it’s so much more than just a shared workspace. Hera Hub has mastered the science of building connections and gaining visibility for its members in the community through events, resources and partnerships. Felena, as founder and CEO of the company, makes education an important aspect of her business model. So, members get more than a space to do work. They get a built-in business accelerator.
“Our theory is community first, space second,” Felena says.
The model has been so successful in its original community of the San Diego, California region, it has now expanded around the world. Hera Hab has franchisees in Phoenix, Washington DC, and even Sweden. More locations are in the works. Felena says close to 4,000 women are benefitting from her revolutionary workspace and educational workshops.
“With Hera, you can see it and you can be it,” Felena says about the beauty of bringing successful women together with those just getting their feet wet.
As Hera Hub disrupts the “dude-centric” coworking model, Felena is enjoying the experience of helping more women realize their dreams and provide the space for it to happen. Along the way she has been pleasantly surprised to see how naturally women take to the model because, as she says, women are inherently talented at building a sense of community.
“I get to make the decisions I wanted to make. It’s such a great feeling to have control of my destiny.”