Ladies-only coworking space balances professional productivity with personal wellbeing

“It didn’t exist, so I created it.” This describes the ethos at Georgia coworking space The Nook. Located in the northern Atlanta suburb of Roswell, this female-focused space got its start when founder Shelly Brockman moved out of the city and found herself in need of a new professional community. We spoke with Shelly to learn how The Nook provides a supportive and productive workspace for female entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers.

Why did you decide to open a coworking space?

I’ve always been intrigued with the coworking industry. As an entrepreneur, working from home got to be so isolating. About two years after I started my consulting business, I signed up for a coworking membership at a new space that opened just around the corner from my home in downtown Atlanta. I loved working there and felt so productive, plus not having all the household distractions was helpful. 

When we moved out of the city and to the northern suburbs I felt that isolation all over again. I’d been toying with the idea of having a coworking space as an extension of my branda place that can foster community, build businesses and be an epicenter of social capital. I work with women entrepreneurs specifically and know the struggle many of them face on a daily basis. I also knew the power of collective intelligence and of having a supportive communityit can be life changing.

Being new to “the burbs” I was craving a community of smart, ambitious women who are doing really cool things in this world. More than ever, I realized I needed this for my own sanity and mental wellbeing. It didn’t exist, so I created it.

Tell us about your space. What kinds of amenities does it have? What makes it unique?

We like to say that The Nook is a place where women come to take care of business and of themselves. We are a micro-coworking space, so no private offices. It’s designed to feel like a home away from home (without all the domestic responsibilities). We have flex seating and several dedicated desks plus a private meeting/focus room and are building out a podcast/phone booth.

When I opened The Nook, I knew that childcare was a big issue for many women. That’s why my first partnership priority was with a childcare provider located less than a mile from the space. As we grow and expand into a new space we will eventually have onsite childcare. But for now, the childcare partner offers our members drop-in access at a discounted rate, something that is not available to the general public.

Self-care is crucial and one of our core tenets. We offer onsite yoga and chair massages for our members plus we are growing a list of wellness provider partners who offer our members discounts on services. We want to make self-care easy and accessible for our members and try to minimize the “guilt.”

What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space? 

The people. I’ve met so many amazing women through this process. 

What’s your favorite story about one of your members?

My favorite story about one of our members is one day coming into the space, as I walked through the door a member turned from her desk and said, “Hey! Want to go grab breakfast?” There’s not much I miss about my corporate days, but being able get lunch or coffee with a coworker and develop those friendships is something I really do miss. 

What has been the most surprising or unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?

I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people, so there’s not much that has surprised me….yet. I’m only a few months in, so ask me again in a year and I may have a different answer!

What advice would you offer to someone wanting to open a coworking space?

Know your market and know your financials and pay close attention to your member experience.

Learn more about The Nook on Facebook.

The Nook Coworking Space in Roswell Georgia