Our SPN Spaces series takes a look inside the region’s most inspiring startups, workspaces, incubators, accelerators and organizations.
The Hatchery founder Amanda Quick was working as a full time realtor when she realized that working while also being a mother to an infant and a wife to a traveling husband was too much to handle.
“No matter how hard I tried, I felt I wasn’t making it,” says Quick. “I was passionate about my professional career and passionate about being a mom, but the two always felt at odds. Every day I felt guilty and stretched so thin I could almost break.”
Quick knew her situation wasn’t unique and that lots of professionals were seeking a better balance and a place where they could focus on starting up or building their businesses.
From that, came The Hatchery, Columbia, Missouri’s only coworking space with on-site childcare and a host of other perks and services to help small businesses.
SPN: What was the inspiration for creating a coworking space that fits the needs of entrepreneurial parents?
AQ: There were a lot of personal factors that went into the decision – but the main reason is that I noticed a need amongst my entrepreneurial friends for connection, collaboration, professionalism, and limiting distractions that simply was not happening working from home or from coffee shops. This idea also came about as I became a mother and quickly realized that adding a child to the mix created even more distraction and a need for balance between work and home.
After doing lots of market research and research on coworking, I realized that the two didn’t have to be separate. People could (and should) work collaboratively in a professional office space without paying for a full-time office. People could also get a break from their children without needing full-time childcare. Balance and connection could be possible without a traditional 9-5. I knew this could be true, so we built out our space and have been growing towards helping others find that kind of balance and support every day since!
SPN: What amenities is The Hatchery offering in order to accommodate the needs of both parents and non-parents?
- Professional office space including two private offices and a conference room
- Community – our members truly make us who we are, you can work right next to people who are likely working through the same problems as you and find collaboration with people from an incredibly diverse pool of interests and skill sets. Community and collaboration are easily the cornerstone of our success.
- Basic office supplies such as staples, paper, and printing
- Bottomless coffee (whoop whoop! No fancy lattes but we do keep some good local blends on hand!)
- Onsite childcare from 8:30AM-12:30 PM M-F for children ages 6 weeks-6 years
- Monthly classes and events geared towards personal and professional development
- A web-based community called The Hatchery University that allows people to access our classes and events from anywhere in the world
SPN: What industries are your members in? Are you particularly suited to certain types of businesses (tech vs. nontech)?
- Misc. small business owners and entrepreneurs
- life coaches
- reiki healers
- online business owners
- financial managers
- app developers
- philanthropy coaches
- graphic designers
- marketing specialists and coaches
- And seriously so, so, so much more!
SPN: Is Columbia’s growing startup scene creating demand for more coworking spaces and resources like The Hatchery?
AQ: We would definitely say so! As we continue to grow, even after only a year, we’re literally running out of desk space at peak times. In addition to that, There is currently a space downtown that offers coworking space called Regional Economic Development, Inc (REDI) and they continue to house entrepreneurs and startups. Our key differences are childcare as well as location, but we tend to work relatively closely to one another and serve similar populations! We haven’t heard any talk of any new coworking spaces opening up, but take a look around any local coffee shop, and you’ll realize quickly that the need is definitely there.
SPN: How does providing entrepreneurial and small business resources beyond just a place to work ensure greater success for your members and the Columbia community as a whole?
AQ: Although we never expressly set out to be a small business resource center, we realized about three months into the business that becoming a one-stop hub of resources, classes, community connections, and networking was an organic addition to just simple coworking. Our classes grew organically, as well, and both the owner and our community manager have the advantage of being townies (hello, diverse sphere of connections!). In listening to our members and what they’re looking for, we are able to curate events and classes that meet their needs – and conversely the needs of other local entrepreneurs/remote workers/startups/etc.
Our goal for our coworking community is to provide professionalism and productivity to our members. It became apparent that part of that included education – if you’re stopping in to get work done, why not bring your lunch into a session on SEO and web marketing or how to start using Quickbooks? It’s a matter of both convenience and practicality. Plus, in opening these events to the public (which most are!), we’re able to bring in even more diverse individuals while driving foot traffic to our location. This is also an opportunity for us to give them a tour and non-members always leave with complimentary day passes to be able to test out our coworking space at no charge to them in the future.