Inside The Studio: The Heart Of Women Innovation — The Hivery Is The ‘It’ Co-Working Space
Because a 9 to 5 shouldn’t be a bore — The Hivery fosters women entrepreneurs in the Bay Area and is growing even stronger in 2017. Meet the queen bee, Grace Kraaijvanger, tending to her fearless workers.
when I first started, people asked me if I was creating a space only for creative professionals, then as we started adding more entrepreneurs people asked me if it was a space for entrepreneurs, and I corrected them and said it’s a space for women. It’s a space for women across all stages of their own personal development. Whether they feel like they’re at the beginning stages of something new or they’re scaling and growing something they’ve been working on for years. For authors, maybe, it’s their first book that they’re using this space to just start, or they’ve published 3 or 4 books and they’re doing the Ted Talk circuit — and we have everything in between. I think its really important as women that we collaborate and support each other across all those stages and I’ve talked to some women that they felt like they were no longer in the seeking stage. That they knew exactly what they wanted. and they were working on their entrepreneurial vision and I said yes absolutely! Throughout our lives we all come through these different phases of new chapters, and seeking new and seeking change. By creating a space for women of all walks of life, we can learn from each other in such a unique way. When we come back to a point where were like now I’m the one who is seeking a new chapter, seeking change, it’s all accepted. It’s all a part of this expansiveness.
I think one of the reasons the space is so magical, is that there’s no one category that the Hivery serves. It really is for all women.
BC: Tell us a little but more about The Hivery, how did the idea start and become to be?
GK: The Hivery is much more than just a space. It is a co-working space that provides a beautiful place for women to work. It’s also a community and a movement of women that are creating meaningful work and following their intuition wisdom experience skills and knowledge to create work that is really their potential their calling their unique gift for the world. So we do that in a couple different ways; we provide this beautiful work-space, programming, workshops, events, we create community. We really provide the belief in the potential of women and that manifests through all these other things.
BC: How has the Hivery been supporting Bay Area women and more specifically Marin ladies?
GK: The biggest way we support other women is in creating a space that’s safe and honest and expressive. Women work best in collaboration I think that our inherent resting place as women is helping each other — that’s our basic intuition. Women act outside of that when they don’t feel they are really able to be themselves.
BC: We’d love to know more background on Grace Kraaijvanger — from ballerina to now a powerhouse entrepreneur.
GK: I started out as a ballet dancer. I feel like everything I learned in business and life I learned in the dance studio. so in dance it is obviously a committed and disciplined art. I started dancing when I was 3. I was not only extremely passionate about it but was very driven to the commitment to the art. Dancers are often very humble, very humbled by the art. so I feel like so much of what i learned about expressing myself in a true way, showing up every day, the same way i put my hand on the bar every day and starting plies and every dancer does, we all start in this humble way of just showing up. The one thing I love about dance is that the instrument is your body ad the instrument is yourself so its very pure and very its very unveiled. You don’t hide behind any superficiality. If we build business that are very true to who we are and they’re true to our values and creative expression, we can soar.
BC: What is something the Hivery does better (or best) than all the other co-working spaces on the market?
GK: The biggest differentiation with the Hivery is the community. We aren’t just a space were much more than a space we create a sense of belonging to something better and bigger than ones self and that is in the movement of women doing amazing things in the world. So I believe the space is beautiful and is really important that this beautiful space invigorates us and sparks creativity and sparks innovation and problem solving and collaboration and all these great things but i think feeling like you belong to a community that believes in you is much more impactful than any beautiful space.
BC: How does it feel that 200+ people (women) rely on The Hivery to meet their professional goals? Must be nerve racking / uplifting we’re sure.
GK: It feels extraordinary. On the one hand, it feels like this rolling momentum like this engine that’s like building and building and building. I’m amazed every day. We have women come through here every day that are new to the Hivery, that are talented, that have an amazing vision, that have all the wisdom and experience and skill to do their thing in the world. And when you create a space that they come and it opens them up to that and they say its possible, I can do it, I take myself more seriously here. Yes, there are 200 extraordinary women here and every day there are new women that show up and add to that movement and that momentum.
BC: Where do you see the Hivery going in the next five years? Expansions?
GK: I believe that there are women all over the world that have their extraordinary unique potential and contribution that they were meant to make to this world. The movement of the Hivery is much bigger than these walls here. I intend to continue creating the most beautiful supportive kind empowering space here and beyond. We’re teaching women to be expansive as individuals and to be expansive as a community so expansion is absolutely in the future.