Coworking space for women fosters communityPublished: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 By: Jennifer Sharpe Source: The Journal Record
The Treasury, which opened in November 2018, is Oklahoma City’s first coworking office space exclusively for women. Owners Hannah and Brian Schmitt were inspired by other national women’s coworking spaces such as The Riveter and The Wing.
“Men’s-only clubs and organizations have been around for a long time,” Hannah Schmitt explains. “Women haven’t always had a space that is just theirs.”
While downtown Edmond has The Collective, the Schmitts felt it was time for downtown Oklahoma City to have a female-only coworking space.
For the past four years, Hannah Schmitt worked out of a home office as the editor for MetroFamily Magazine. A new house and baby prompted the need for a workspace change.
“All the things that I loved about the flexibility of working from home started becoming the things I hated. No structure, no boundaries, just feeling like my work was always in my face whenever I was trying to do home tasks and vice versa,” she explains. “There was also a community element lacking. It was getting to be more and more lonely.”
The Treasury is located in the former MGM building at 10 N. Lee Ave. Being part of the vibrant Film Row community, proximity to downtown and free parking add to the location’s appeal.
“We appreciated all the character on Film Row, and we wanted to make sure that the developer was going to embrace that,” Hannah Schmitt said, noting that developer Eric Fleske, a full supporter of The Treasury’s purpose, maintained the original building’s character while designing the space.
The Treasury currently has six members. Full membership is $350 a month, which includes use of the space and all the amenities, plus free access to events. A part-time membership level will soon launch with 20 weekly hours of work time.
“In terms of memberships, we have been really slow and thoughtful, because community is at the core of what we are trying to do,” Brian Schmitt said. “We want this to be a place that is relationship-based, where people don’t just come and go in passing. We want to have an environment where people share in trials and successes.”
Heather Davis, Realtor associate with Re/Max Preferred, shares an office space with her husband, but was interested in the idea of being part of a community of women. The need for an independent workspace, outside of her home, prompted her to join The Treasury in November.
“The downtown vibe, from a work standpoint, has always been appealing for me,” Davis said. “I like the downtown feel, looking out the window and knowing that I am a part of downtown; that really juices my creativity.”
Emily Smart, co-owner of Toast Design Studio, was always struggling to find quiet places to work with her business partner.
“With The Treasury, we finally have