#ThisIsYourTribe Meet Melissa Blackburn and Danielle Rim

August President’s Message
July 30, 2019
Meet Michele Uber, QuickStitch Plus
August 19, 2019

NAWBO member Melissa Blackburn and Danielle Rim are the co-founders and creators of Haven Collective, a collaborative office space where small business owners can work in a collaborative environment instead of working at home.  Melissa and Danielle aim to be more than an office space, providing a community and support system within their space for their members.

The video interview is below, followed by some Q&A highlights!

Q: In your own words, what is it that you do?

A: Haven Collective provides flexible workspace for entrepreneurs working from home, but more than that we’re a community where people can cure isolation by being around more like minded professionals.  Every day is different around here.

Q: Why do you do what you do?

A: I worked from home for a long time and I wanted a group around me who supported my goals and so we want to do that with our community.  We help expand our people’s network and family, and help them grow.

Q: What barriers did you have as a woman in business?

A: We get pigeonholed all the time as a space just for women, and I think it’s assumed because women created the space and we provide child care that we’re just for women.  That’s been our biggest external barrier.  We had to realize that if we wanted to change the conversation, we can’t exclude anyone.

Q: What advice would you give to other business owners who struggled with what you did / are struggling with?

A: (Melissa) It’s so easy to get caught up in the roller coaster of building your business and it’s so easy to forget that everyone has those same emotions.  We sometimes isolate ourselves and don’t have conversations with other people because we feel like no one else feels that way, but really when you get real about the highs and lows you realize you’re just human.  If you have the idea that every day has to be roses and sunshine, you’re having an unattainable and unrealistic expectation.  Just take a small step.  Just do something.  If you fail or you win, you learn.  So either way you’re really winning.

A: (Danielle) For most women it feels like if you can’t do anything unless you’re going to do it perfectly.  Other people have feared and failed just like you and I or have bad days too.  If you step back and wait until the perfect moment, it probably won’t ever come.

Q: How has your membership with NAWBO helped in your journey as a business owner?

A: (Melissa) In the beginning NAWBO gave me so many opportunities to make connections and feel more grounded in the choice I had just made.  It’s scary to go from corporate to being on your own, and I found encouraging and inspiring women cheering me on.

A: (Danielle) I saw Melissa going to events and I saw how much support she was receiving, so that was really uplifting.

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