When I launched Luminary, I wanted it to broaden the impact of supporting women, help them achieve their professional and personal goals and encourage authentic connection. I wanted to support women-owned and women-led businesses as much as possible in the true spirit of collaboration over competition and work with like-minded women – to really walk the talk. Unfortunately, women face intense competition with men but even bigger perceived competition with women, mainly because there are fewer of them in senior roles. With almost twenty years in banking, I can attest to that issue and I think many women can across industries.
Early in the process of creating Luminary, I came across The Coven, a collaborative community and co-working space in Minneapolis designed for women and non-binary individuals. The moment I reached out to its four female founders, Erinn Farrell, Bethany Iverson, Alex Steinman and Liz Giel to find out more, there was an immediate response asking how they could help me. A few weeks later I flew out to Minneapolis with our COO, Erica Lerner, to meet these women and see their incredible space. I can honestly say it was “love at first sight.” Their mission to become a catalyst for personal and professional transformation for their members, to do the most good for their community and the world, and to help women come together as their whole-selves resonated deeply with Luminary. Over the course of two days, we connected and collaborated and the conversation and ideas flowed around what we could do to support one another and our members. So what next?
Some might say The Coven is a competitor to Luminary given we’ve both launched companies focused on giving women a space to develop, collaborate and support one another. However, we see them as a true partner and collaborator. Starting in November, we’ll be offering a reciprocal membership with The Coven, our first sister-space. Luminary members will have free access to work from, visit and explore The Coven any time they are in Minneapolis. And likewise, The Coven members will enjoy the same reciprocal benefits when their members are visiting or traveling to New York City.
Let’s stop pitting businesses against each other and focus on how we can help each other, and the women we serve and support. As partners, we’re both giving it our all to foster environments that encourage women, and doesn’t hinder them. There is room at the table for all of us.