Being a small business owner in the middle of a pandemic really shaped me. It taught me things that I always kind of thought about myself but never really knew. These things were on the level of the type of stuff that motherhood teaches you. Like–Who are you? What are you capable of? What is really and truly important to you? What lengths will you go to? How important is this to you?
There’s actually a group of us that are female founders at Le Village that sit around towards the close of the day–and most of the time we complain about our partners or our kids–but a lot of times we brainstorm an issue–be it marketing or a process issue or what have you. But sometimes we talk about exactly this. One of our mom-founders joked recently about the PTSD she has, and we all nodded along, sort of laughing, but really not. Part of me will forever be wary as an owner.
But here is the thing. The bigger part of me will always be hopeful. As we (dear god help us) come out of this pandemic (or stay in it, or frankly, I don’t care any more)–I am trying to figure out how to grow Le Village. Because if the pandemic taught me anything, it is that we, women, need this. I know how to make this concept work no matter what happens. And we NEED Le Village Cowork.. If I don’t do this–if I don’t build this, what kind of workforce will my daughter enter in 15 years? They are already saying that we are back to the 1990’s levels of women in the workforce. I don’t want my daughter to enter the same workforce that I entered. The sexism, the harassment, the complete and utter lack of respect–and that was all before I became a mother. Then to be othered. To see all of the bullshit that I had dealt with for 15 years basically be for naught because I wanted a family–I do not want that for her. I won’t have it.
This is who I am. This is what drives me. And I will do whatever it takes to change that future for her.
So I made a decision mid-year in 2021 as the statistics floated out from left and right about women and the workforce, that I wouldn't get comfortable. I wouldn’t get complacent. I would figure out how to grow this. For Vivie, for myself, and for anyone else that needed it. It’s an IMMENSE amount of work. I’ll tell you, it is tempting to chill with my community and my amazing staff and one location. But I am driven to other pastures.
I am still trying to figure out what it means for me in this community and for me as a mother. Frankly, it’s all a little overwhelming. But I do it, a little at a time, every day. I put myself out there. I get out of my comfort zone. I just booked a trip to Austin to do–god, I really don’t even know what. But hopefully to meet the investing partner that gets why this is so important. That can get over the fact that, we aren’t some app that no one really needs but might make them gads of money that they of course don’t really need either, and can get on board with a brand that will change the face of work for modern families (and might just also make them millions–just not overnight, which is of course the expectation. The VC world is insane.) It’s invigorating, and infuriating, and exhausting. But like I said earlier, the bigger part of me will always be hopeful. The bigger part of me knows what I know–and I’ve come too far to go back now. So the bigger part of me, the part this is a fighter and that truly believes that this, Le Village, is exactly what working women, exactly what the world needs–will figure out a way to move us forward.
Wish me luck!