So we opened during a pandemic, it’s our own damn fault right? Should we have held off? See what the new year brings? Wait for the right time? What does that even look like? We took the leap anyway. What else were we going to do, wait to see what the future holds? No risk = no reward. We developed a concept that we believe in. A concept that leverages and builds upon the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Columbia and directly impacts small business growth. Small businesses across industries are struggling to keep their operations afloat while large corporations (see amazon + walmart) are thriving. People that come home want to see their established local businesses and new local businesses survive because the owners that run them show up every day. How many of you are feeling the pain? We certainly are and its f*cking scary. We, as the capital city, have seen tremendous growth and economic development over the last decade. Before covid more than 3.9 million Americans worked from home at least half the time. Post Covid? This number will likely jump tremendously and Columbia needs to be ready to support the future of what work looks like.
So why choose a cowork space? Coworking spaces act as community hubs where members can provide mutual support and build a strategic network of advisors, mentors, and investors. Even better? A diverse membership base leads to the development of more small businesses, supports the growth of the gig economy and ultimately, produces a stronger and more viable ecosystem to drive the economic development of the entire city. In a recent blog posting, we shared our ‘Why.’ We created femme x as the physical space to get shit done, and to create a new space where you probably won’t know the majority of the people there when you join. An anti-network network. We know the power of community because we started there. Look at our bios. Business brings communities together. How could your outlook on success, power, or financial capital change if you stepped out of your comfort zone? You aren't going to get that in your home office (or dining room table). femme x COLUMBIA is the most social distanced place or the best gathering place you will find in the city. What’s awesome about that is you have a choice: 4 levels, 10 rooms, 5 private rooms, 4 bathrooms, free parking. Check out all of our amenities on the website. Let us worry about utilities and infrastructure and forget the operating costs of renting your own space.
Real talk? We will be joining the long list of start-ups and small businesses that fail if people don’t join. Businesses that can move services online such as the retail industry, delivery and grab-and-go store fronts, or essential services such as gas stations and grocery stores tend to be safer in this environment. On the other hand, businesses that rely physical and community spaces have struggled. Cheers to Warmouth for speaking up, having a voice and being real. The closing of Yesterdays in 5-points was sad for many of us because a city staple is now gone, as so many others have and will be following suit.
We have had an overwhelming response from the community supporting our mission and vision on social media and traditional media. Congratulations and enthusiasm for bringing something fresh to Columbia. Our members, women and men, have gone above and beyond to build the femme community and grow the membership base, acting as ambassadors and cheerleaders for what femme x COLUMBIA represents. They see the potential for impact and culture change on a larger level in addition to the convenience and accessibility of a physical space to get shit done. Now as we move closer to the end of 2020 and look forward to 2021, it is time for more Columbia. Verbal support and kind words don’t keep the doors open. We need to see financial investment into building the type of Columbia that retains talent and attracts enterprise and innovation. We need memberships.
Let’s put some numbers behind it. Our goal for closing 2020 is 60 memberships. Everyone said ‘that’s an easy goal to hit with all the support you have in Columbia, even after the pandemic started”. As we move into the last month of 2020, femme x COLUMBIA has 10 recurrning members and 15 cultivate members. People ask, “are you meeting your 2020 goals?”...no, not even close. We are grateful for those who have purchased a day membership, booked a room or photo session, and during the winter break, the amazing students who purchased a femmeSOCIAL, femmeFIVE and femmeFATALE monthly membership.
To break it down into numbers, we need 75 recurring members and 19 cultivate members in Q1 2021 to survive. You get the math by looking out our price points for membership on the website. Our cultivate membership is $55 per month. Think about how much you spend on coffee per month. Does a coffee shop give you: 1) Productivity, 2) Perspective + knowledge and 3) Prosperity through its amenities?
There are 4 philosophies learned in leadership development that successful people make time for in their lives: work (in or out of the home), family/friends, spiritual or meditative practices and community.
Three reasons to invest in femme x COLUMBIA:
Invest in memberships and community to get shit done for yourself, family and/or business. Our membership levels range from a monthly cultivate membership that supports network development, social events and yoga + meditation space, to 24/7 access to the amenities and private offices. Tired of spending every day working from home, surrounded by the chatter and chaos of loud loved ones and spotty internet? Never able to get work done at the local coffee shop between the distracting movements and friends talking about their recent night out? We’re the place to come. Need to find someone to chat about anything from parenting, career development (someone who knows someone who you can connect you) , or even how to not ruin yourself legally or financially? You can find it here.
Don’t need an office or work space but love the vision? Our social memberships provide opportunities to broaden your network, drop-in to meet with a client, discounted meeting space for an office retreat or attend our curated events. If you’re not interested in paying $150 for a social membership, our monthly cultivate membership is $55. 100 cultivate members would keep us afloat in the mix of our other membership types. 300 cultivate members would be even better. We get it. You don’t have $55 per month to invest in yourself. What about a day membership, or a room booking to get away from the norm? Did you know that when you invest in yourself, your money goes further by investing in social impact?
Invest in social impact and build the business ecosystem. femme x is a piece of the much larger vision, femmeCAPITAL, a social impact investment and consulting firm leveraging global capital for gender equality. Not only does a percentage of membership revenue go towards developing the fund, femmeCAPITAL is dedicated to growing outside investment into the fund in order to financially support growth in women-owned companies. Make your money go further than you. Want your mother, sister, friend, family member, daughter to lead a company? femme x COLUMBIA is a means to invest in yourself and the future of gender equity in business. Still not your interest? How about investing your time in the community?
Invest personal time and expertise to develop the community to move forward together. Building critical networks takes more than just getting people in a room together. We don’t know what we don’t know. What can you offer to the community to add value? From digital content development, marketing, and social media to financial, legal and business coaching; we can all stand to develop and learn from one another. Sharing your time and knowledge can lead to an everlasting impact on someone else’s life and business, therefore affecting our overall community. Want to write a blog? Lead a podcast? Give a talk virtually or in-person? You got it, we’ll make it happen.
It takes money to make money folks, so spend some money where it matters. Grow yourself, your business, and your network in a way that supports a bigger impact. If you are waiting for the new year to make that change, why wait? Have the tools and resources you need to really make that change in 2021.
Invest in yourself. Invest in community. Invest in us to keep the doors open come January 2021.
Stephanie + Nell