If you are just now getting hip to the notion of coworking spaces, then let me give you a brief background. WeWork and many other notable collaborative spaces are the stomping grounds for some of your favorite girl bosses, entrepreneurs, startups and blogging sites. But rarely do we ever see full-fledged offices, and that is partially because coworking spaces provide an opportunity for networking and generally these spaces are run by a small team.
In Atlanta, there are endless locations that look to serve the masses but few are designed with women of color in mind, specifically Black women. If you are looking for your serving of sisterhood, coziness, networking and a daily dosage of Black Girl Magic, then set your eyes on Monday & Co. — a small coworking space designed by a Black woman for Black women.
Photo: Monday & Co.
This spot overlooks Freedom Parkway, the MLK Historic site, and gives you a grand view of Atlanta that you never knew you needed. As it is quietly tucked away in its niche spot, the creative noise that is being made is anything but hushed. On a daily, Black women CEO’s, founders, writers and creators gather to take their businesses to the next level.
CEO and Founder of Monday & Co., Candice VanWye, is not new to the entrepreneurial game as she is also the founder of one of our favorite blogs, Brown Girl Bloggers (BGB). In my one-on-one sit down with VanWye, we explored her ‘why’ behind her new venture and what she hopes that Black women will garner from this space curated just for them.
Check out the full interview below.
Cydney Maria: When it comes to accelerating your startup, what has been one of the bigger challenges?
Candice VanWye: I’m from the Bay Area and most investors don’t want to fund a company with one founder, but they were telling me the truth and it wasn’t like they were being rude or anything but I definitely did need a co-founder. I just didn’t know how to find one.
CVW: I didn’t even search. Michelle came in for a photo shoot and we started talking. I just knew from the first time that I met her that I wanted her to be my co-founder, but I didn’t know how to bring it up and she didn’t even know that I was looking, but she ended up wanting to be my co-founder too. Michelle does influencer partnerships and a lot of experience. So by coming together, we can actually do a wider range.
CM: What is the ultimate goal beyond Monday & Co. and BGB?
CVW: I wanted to create a place where Black women can believe in what they are creating. A community is being built at Monday & Co. and the ultimate goal is to create jobs for Black women.
Photo: Candice VanWye
This very same community is one that can sometimes lack at other coworking spaces. VanWye has had her personal experience with various spaces where she noticed that women of color were not often celebrated. So, what does this mean for the future of entrepreneurship and women of color? It means that there is possibility for your business that comes in the form of a welcoming environment.
Aside from her entrepreneurial efforts, VanWye is navigating her way in the tech world that will be a game-changer for startups. Millennials and Gen-Z’ers are constantly aiming to change the face of highly dominated fields, such as technology and innovation, and the Monday & Co. team is no different. In a nutshell, think niche marketing with Black Girl Magic insight.
VanWye is self-taught on many things in tech including website building, but admitted that there were some things that she did not master until her co-founder came on board.
While the sound of having your own business and creating a startup is electrifying, it can also be tons of work if you are not ready to bend. VanWye’s main takeaway within our conversation is to continue to take bold risks. Where she needed help, she sought it — and when she was ready to add the technology addition to her business, she did not take no for an answer.
Her move from the Bay Area was also less daunting because of the mindset of betting on yourself, and of course, willing to accept and ask for help.
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