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Women, your Hive has arrived: Coworking space for entrepreneurs, collaboration

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

(archived from CDA Press January 25, 2020 by Jennifer Passaro, Staff Writer)

COEUR d’ALENE — Melinda and Delia Cadwallader have a vision. Fashionable and fierce, the mother-daughter duo plan to open The Hive, a women-centric coworking space and learning annex in downtown Coeur d’Alene this spring. They bring a dynamic energy to the emerging powerhouse of women entrepreneurs in North Idaho.

The Hive will kick off its opening year facilitating a dialogue with local businesswomen. “Fresh Spaces, New Faces” at Art Spirit Gallery on Friday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m. will give a platform for entrepreneurial success stories. The event is free and open to the public. Eight speakers, from Dani Mountain and Lindsay Hyle of Lush Intimate Apparel to Jessica Mahuron of Civic Engagement Alliance, will present their business journeys. “We’re really just talking about what gave you the push to pursue something and how is it sustaining you,” Melinda Cadwallader said. “How can anyone else do that and what advice do you have for them so that we can carry this conversation and keep moving people forward?” The event will preview the essence of the Hive.

The Cadwalladers envision a gathering space, much like a beehive, where workers can get together, rest, learn new information, collaborate, and then disperse into the world, pollinating the landscape with their creativity and knowledge. “More than anything this space is a place for women to be visible,” Cadwallader said.

Both Cadwalladers have their hearts in the pulse of the community. They understand the vibrant, entrepreneurial spirit of North Idaho and they want to provide a space where business owners and freelancers, students and retirees, can share ideas, knowledge, and inspiration.

“I’m involved in the ambition of other women, but it's hard to maintain that energy unless you are surrounded by it,” Melinda Cadwallader said. “I think that is the challenge — when you have a really big makers community where women are creating, but they’re doing it out of their homes and in their living rooms. They’re doing it while they’re watching babies — which is amazing! — but then a younger generation needs to see that. There needs to be visibility.”

Melinda Cadwallader began her career as a single mother in Denver. She directed the Aveda Institute, an internationally renowned and eco-friendly vocational education institution dedicated to shaping the future of the beauty industry.

“It was the highlight of my career in the beauty industry to welcome future professionals and watch and help them transform into professionals,” she said.

She then got to encourage those professionals to teach others what they had learned. That progression of knowledge and empowerment formed the backbone for the Hive.

“The journey of just being a student … that at any time anyone can choose that for themselves, if they really want to pivot their lives,” she said. “We can all just keep going and learning and changing our paths.”

When she first relocated to North Idaho she directed a local beauty school and worked for some time at a women’s shelter before going back to school. That’s when the #metoo movement exploded and women’s coworking spaces popped up in big cities from New York to Seattle. Women wanted to inform themselves about self-defense, career advancement, sexual harassment in the workplace, and fighting for equal pay for equal work.

“We are 49th in the nation for women’s equality, so we have work to do,” she said.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence lists financial dependence as one of the reasons women stay in abusive relationships.

“It goes back to this quote by Desmond Tutu: At some point we have to stop pulling people out of the river and we’ve got to go upstream and figure out why they’re falling in,” she said. “North Idaho spends millions of dollars every year rescuing women, rehabilitating women, but why are we falling in, why are we not developing something in ourselves that can sustain us economically, independently so that we’re not trapped?”<