In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re shining a light on women-owned businesses in our community and the value that they bring to our culture, society and economy. As we spend the month reflecting on the courage and tenacity of the women that paved the way before us, we also celebrate the women of today, working to influence and inspire the next generation of leaders. We reached out to Tiyana Jordan, owner of THE SPACE, to ask her about her business, how she got started and advice she would give to other women looking to start out on their own.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a mother of 2 sons, a professional writer and children’s book author. I am from New Orleans— born and raised.
What inspired you to open THE SPACE?
As a freelance writer, I’ve utilized coffee shops, coworking facilities and often frequented restaurants to meet with clients or have meetings. All of which were helpful in the beginning of my career. However, I wanted to create a space that was intentional on accessibility for business, entrepreneurship and resources for entrepreneurs in our City, especially women and those of color.
Tell us about your business and how long you’ve been operating.
THE SPACE is a coworking and meeting hub to collaborate, connect and create. THE SPACE welcomes entrepreneurs of all stages, creatives and professionals to utilize the venue for business panels, community engagements, client meetings for local and traveling professionals, press conferences or media avails. For the creatives, there’s a podcast studio and areas to have photo shoots or art exhibitions.
Has operating a woman-owned business presented you with any unique challenges or triumphs?
I find the idea that unique challenges or triumphs aren’t just relevant for women-owned businesses but are for all businesses. I think being more vocal as women in business to express we deal with challenges such as accessing resources, scaling, profit loss, having to pivot, having to balance parenting, life and work too —not just because we’re women but because we’re owners. The triumphs for me has been to be able to open during a National pandemic— although it has presented its challenges I’m so thrilled to be able to work the mission behind THE SPACE as a small coworking facility, build membership and watch it grow as a place to connect and influence.
Most influential woman in your life and why?
My aunt and grandmother for certain were the most influential women in my life personally. They raised me to be courageous in all my efforts and not settle for mediocrity in my professional endeavors. I watched my grandmother as a homemaker and instilled in me the importance of order and I witnessed my aunt work an engineering job— dominated by men, attain her Masters Degree and set no limits to her educational journey. It was a mix of both that’s put the grit and grind in me. Professionally, I’m intrigued by all women who are breaking barriers, running households and trailblazing any industry. That’s what really fires me up and inspires me!
As a co-working community, how has THE SPACE adapted to the pandemic?
THE SPACE has been open since October and I’ve adjusted by hosting smaller events like an intimate art exhibition, yoga nights for professional self care, a mixer that “checks in” on entrepreneurs. Since, the guidelines were strict on gathering sizes I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to heavily promote the mission and concept of THE SPACE. A pretty significant community has started to build and it’s been so organic— not just meeting people as they come into the business but really sharing with them the vision and hearing people come in each time and say “wow, I really see the transformations happening here.” That really means a lot to know although business was slow, relationships were still being fostered.
Advice to other women interested in starting a business?
Needless to say where the slogan comes from but JUST DO IT! Don’t sit on any of your grand ideas or any of your ideas in that case. Evaluate your passions and pair them with your purposes. On a personal tip, crafting out a work/life balance and having time to support your own self care is so important— especially your mental health in order to be able to effectively run a strong business model and still show up for your personal affairs.
Exciting business developments or offerings you’d like the community to know about?
THE SPACE is now offering a podcast studio for creatives and retail opportunities as apart of a collective market model for business owners who need a brick and mortar location to sell their products. Programming is always centered around the whole entrepreneur and professional— health and wellness events, networking and resource events and community and advocacy forums. I’m excited to get calls about utilizing THE SPACE for the things needed to leverage their businesses. Our City’s business tenacity is strong— my hope is THE SPACE gives more meaning to the real reasons behind collaboration and connections for our business owners.
For more information about THE SPACE, visit www.thespacenola.com.