The traditional office is on the way out as we continue to see the rise of coworking spaces that cater to the needs of startups and small businesses. One in particular is a must-see women-only coworking space housed in an Airbnb listed mansion in St Kilda, Victoria. We feature the founders and the women entrepreneurs who are calling this pop-up coworking space home for one week.
Day #3, 11 Feb
Elise Bialylew is a doctor trained in psychiatry and meditation teacher who founded Mindful in May, an online global mindfulness meditation campaign that has taught thousands of people around the world to meditate, while raising over $300,0000 to build clean water wells in the developing world. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times, and on National Australian Television.
What project are you working on?
I’m working on the Mindful in May global meditation challenge at the moment. Each year I create a one month program which includes audio guided meditations and exclusive
Skype interviews with leading global experts in the field of meditation, the brain and wellbeing. The campaign launches at the end of March with events including mindful music events and film screenings so I’m also putting together these events at the moment.
What do you think about the concept behind One Roof?
I have loved working at the One Roof Coworking pop up. It’s been so valuable to be in the company of other creative, entrepreneurial women. Meeting new people and sharing interesting conversations has been really nourishing this week alongside productive work time. I’m already getting sad about the fact that it is coming to an end. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to work like this, it definitely beats working at home alone.
Day #2, 10 Feb
We had a chat with Leah Plant, mum to two boys and co-founder of software development company Elektron Consulting. She is currently completing a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne University.
What are you working on?
I’m developing a cooking app that encourages people to try new foods and flavour, learn new cooking skills, eat a wide variety of healthy and satisfying foods while promoting social inclusion and fun.
What’s the inspiration behind the idea?
I spent an afternoon at Mother’s group with my sons aged 2 years and the other 6 months. I arrived home at around 5pm so needed to start preparing dinner. Now 5pm is ‘witching hour’ where your toddlers often become unsettled. There’s often tears and tantrums and pleads for attention.
I attempted to cook dinner with the youngest on my hip and the two year old tugging at my dress wanting to be lifted up. Tensions grew as I struggled with what seemed like mission impossible. It occurred to me that if each Mum had taken along a prepared ingredient, for example, chopped carrots or chopped celery or a tin of beans, then we could have made a big pot of minestrone soup and shared it out to take home for dinner.
Over the subsequent years, the concept grew until finally the timing was right to start building my app.
Day #1, 9 Feb
From the outside, you’re greeted by an unassuming plywood wall and gate plastered with oversized posters advertising Melbourne’s latest happenings and cool shindigs. You might be forgiven in thinking it’s an old abandoned mansion waiting for someone to fall in love with its architecture and character. One who would restore it to its former glory. Push the gate open and what you’ll find is a little piece of preserved history, a beautiful home to a Melbourne family and, for this week only, a pop-up coworking space for women entrepreneurs.
From 9th to 14th February, this St Kilda mansion transforms temporarily into a hive of business activity teeming with female entrepreneurs who have pulled, or who are currently scheming, the great corporate escape.
Behind this fabulous idea are two cool chicks who have a history of doing cool things. Gianna Wurzl is a digital marketer who created Les Femmes Forum – a gathering of women who break bread and chat about great ideas in unique spaces. Co-founder Sheree Rubinstein is a lawyer and the woman behind Think Big which was all about inspiring the Gen Y woman through events and workshops. Together, they created One Roof Coworking, a pop-up coworking space for female entrepreneurs housed in a beautiful Airbnb listed St Kilda mansion.