Her Workspace: Building a Space for Women Entrepreneurs to Thrive
Her Workspace is a women’s coworking space in Atlanta serving female entrepreneurs and professionals. The space was created out of a desire to bring women together for work and mutual support.
We spoke with Her Workspace director, Angela Sims, who also founded League of Girlfriends, an organization created to connect women through social activities, business development, and networking events, about the inspiration for Her Workspace, the community forming in the space, and Atlanta’s rich entrepreneurial scene.
Satellite Deskworks: What is the Her Workspace origin story?
Angela Sims: I have an organization called the League of Girlfriends and I have 420 or so members. My members are all professional women—women that either have a business or work professionally in a corporate environment; 98% of them have businesses. I’m an execution coach for women and many of them end up being my clients.
I was coaching one of my top-tier members, helping her to rebrand herself and evolve her business. We were at her CPA practice, which is a three-floor business. She told me that she owns the whole building, but it was empty. I suggested that it could be a coworking space for women. That was last December and we opened Her Workspace in March.
So you run the space as well as League of Girlfriends now?
In my organization, I have 11 women that sit on my board. One of my board members has been with me since the beginning. We were looking at a space to own or to rent as the League of Girlfriends space to collaborate, work together and plan events because we do 50 events a year.
We’re always looking for event spaces for meetings and dinners and retreats. When this happened, it kind of gave me practice in running a coworking or flex office space and now we’re about to open a second coworking space.
So Her Workspace is a home base for your community?
Essentially it is a one-stop shopping space for women organizations and for women that want to collaborate. It’s genuinely a coworking space for women and is always going to be a safe space because we can talk about menopause, miscarriages, and taking our bra off and not be judged. Because guess what? We can talk about our bra and plan a meeting for a million-dollar deal. We can do them both.
Who is attracted to the community? How do you describe the community at Her Workspace?
It’s the entrepreneur woman. It’s the woman that is looking for someplace else. She has a home-based business and she is looking for someplace to go to get work done and not have to worry about putting a load of laundry in.
The collaborative workspace is in Alpharetta, Georgia, but you have members all over, correct?
We’re all over the country. I’ve got members in Hawaii, Alaska, Austin, California, St. Louis. But the ones that are local or regional can come spend time in the space. Atlanta is entrepreneur heaven. There are so many organizations here, so many opportunities to network throughout the day. You could be networking all the time.
What’s your favorite Satellite Deskworks feature?
I would honestly say it’s a feature I haven’t used yet, but I’ve told everybody about it because we’re creating a second coworking space. One of the key components we’ll use is the ability to track somebody when they walk in the door by their automatic wifi check-in.
How would you advise another space operator who’s considering using Deskworks?
I would tell them to do their research. But what really made the difference for me was that [Deskworks founder and CEO] Barbara got on the phone and called me. That’s always a game-changer for me.
That’s how I am in my organization. I’ve got 425 members, but I’ll still get on a call. I love that personal touch. It makes such a huge difference.
Thanks, Angela. Anything you’d like to add?
Coworking is going in the right direction. Buying into a community where you can say you really belong is huge.
Women really belong here and feel safe here. It’s not so much about women’s rights, fighting the power, all the rest of that. It’s just like, I want to go somewhere. And if I just want to talk about my kid, it should not have to be a two-minute conversation because a man’s in here looking at me like, ‘Oh, here she goes again.’
My slogan with League of Girlfriends is that every woman needs a girlfriend. Nothing beats the community.