What is your story?
I am a licensed clinical social worker and Founding Partner of ThriveCo, a personalized co-working space in St. Louis. I have been passionate about helping people, solving problems, sales and innovation for as long as I can remember. As a child, I created inventions aimed at solving household problems. I ran lemonade stands and car washes, and sold various childhood creations door-to-door. I have spent my adult career listening to, validating, and problem solving with children, families, and adults impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Prior to founding ThriveCo, I helped found and served as the Director of Operations for a co-op of wellness professionals. My husband, Alex, and I decided to merge our skills and passions to form ThriveCo, which opened in January 2019. We also have two small children, who keep us quite busy and entertained!
What message does ThriveCo like to promote?
ThriveCo provides start-ups, small to mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits with access to exactly what they need to be successful. We provide our members with access to the office space, customized furnishings, funding (venture capital + small business loans), services, support, and community needed to have a thriving business.
We are committed to consciously cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming co-working space. We believe that a diverse and inclusive community is a strong and thriving community. All of our members sign a diversity pledge, committing to holding themselves accountable to supporting a community that is inclusive, equitable, and welcomes diversity.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
Our overarching goal with ThriveCo is to have our entire community ecosystem to grow and thrive together. We want all of our members and their companies to be growing, flourishing, and thriving. That’s a key benchmark for our success.
I believe strongly in our mission of providing companies with access to exactly what they need to be successful. As a leader at ThriveCo, I do this by building partnerships with experts in a variety of fields who can support our businesses in their endeavors. I serve as a connector – introducing members to individuals in the community that could help them grow their businesses. Finally, I try to promote our members’ businesses and their events, successes, and accolades. Getting the word out about the incredible things our members are doing and creating seems critically important to our mission.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
I consider myself an ambitious person, and creating and inventing has been core to who I have been since childhood. Prior to starting ThriveCo and when I was a new mom, I found it hard to balance being a mom, working, and finding the space and ways to honor my ambition and my need to create. Through seeking guidance and advice from other women entrepreneurs and innovators who have found a way to balance motherhood with this deep need to continue to grow and strive, I was able to see that finding a balance that allowed space for me to create was critical to my happiness. My husband and family’s enthusiastic support of my ambition has been unwavering and crucial. I took the leap and am thrilled that I did – I have realized I have space for it all: motherhood, working, and ambition.
Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?
I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to call several strong, brilliant, and innovative women my mentors and friends throughout my career. Many of them serve on ThriveCo’s advisory council and have been instrumental in shaping the vision, mission, and essence of ThriveCo. If I had to pick just one, the mentor who has probably been most influential in my career is Marielle Downes, COO of the Center for Community Solutions in San Diego, CA. I worked for her at a domestic violence shelter called Doorways for Women & Families in Arlington, VA, at the start of my career. She is wise and has an incredible capacity for leading people. Marielle truly has a “sky’s the limit” mentality when it comes to her teams – she helps people discover their strengths and passions and then mold their job to capitalize and build upon those areas. This ultimately leads the entire team and company to be more successful. I feel lucky to know Marielle and to receive her valuable guidance as we build ThriveCo.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do at ThriveCo?
My favorite part of my job is getting to meet and learn from entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring, driven, passionate and contagious. I have the pleasure of getting to meet new entrepreneurs every week through tours and networking events, and I get to hear their ideas and stories of what led them to launch their companies, create their products, and make moves in this world. I get to work with and learn from ThriveCo members on a daily basis, and watch their companies grow, their revenues increase, and their ideas blossom.
If you could give one piece of advice for the women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
My advice would be not to do it alone! The heart and soul of ThriveCo’s model rests in the partnerships that we’ve created. Alex and I are experts in relatively little, but we have created strong partnerships and alliances with experts in a variety of fields. Together, we help businesses thrive.
Learn more about ThriveCo at their website: https://www.thrive-coworking.com/