Central Office – Elevate Coworking
As anyone with even a casual presence on LinkedIn knows, the working world for many people has fundamentally changed. Conference rooms have been swapped with Zoom, the small talk of a coworker in the next cubicle is now the low hum of a toddler’s TV program, and the breakroom coffee machine has lost its place to the forgotten mug still in the microwave. While many workers have fully embraced the flexibility of the remote lifestyle, there is oftentimes a downside to losing an environment of natural camaraderie and collaboration.
Here in Wilmington, three of the most recent additions for shared space are putting the “co” back in “coworking,” especially for women in professional fields and entrepreneurship.
- Bash Pad: To read more about Alexis Perry and Bash Pad, click here.
- Channel: Click here to learn about Chakema Clinton-Quintana and Channel.
- Elevate Coworking: Read more to learn about Maggie Blackham and Elevate Coworking below.
Not every late-night, up-to-feed-my-three-month-old-baby business idea is worth much in the light of the next day. But Elevate Coworking owner MAGGIE BLACKHAM has entrepreneurship in her genes, and the need for a coworking community for women was prevalent in Wilmington.
“I was getting ready to go back to work and simultaneously looking for a space for my son,” Blackham says. “I had the thought, ‘This would be cool if both were in the same space.’”
Blackham, ever diligent, did her research to see that the coworking locations that focused on female entrepreneurs and offered child care were gaining in popularity in bigger cities like New York and L.A. From conversations she was having with her community of fellow working mothers in the Wilmington area, she knew that something like Elevate could be successful here.
“As long as women are working, we’re going to find community and connection,” Blackham says. “I think when women can support each other, really amazing things happen. We all want to be a part of that, and I was just the one who said, ‘Well since this isn’t here yet, I’ll make it.’”
After taking over ownership in 2021 of the popular downtown coffee shop, Cheeky Monkey, Blackham was able to gain momentum toward her dream of opening Elevate.
The location, which celebrated its official opening in June, is a stylish alternative to the working mom’s kitchen table. There are a couple dedicated co-working spaces, quieter rooms with multiple desks for communal focused time, and even rooms with dedicated desks for those who want to get out of the house but still have a sense of privacy. And, of course, two child care rooms ensure the kids are entertained while mom gets some work done.
Elevate also offers community events on things such as website design, email marketing, and even self-care-focused workshops. All culminating in the focal point – an opportunity for women to meet other women.
“Work-life balance looks a lot different for women, especially if they’re juggling child care,” Blackham says. “There has been this onslaught of women leaving the workforce because child care wasn’t an option, and that was heartbreaking to me. That’s going back in time. I wanted Elevate to focus on the fact that you can be a business owner and a mom. You don’t have to choose.
2512 Independence Boulevard, Suite 100 | elevatecoworking.info
To view more of photographer Allison Joyce’s work, go to allisonjoyce.com
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