Contributed Members of the Her Space coworking spot in Fresno gather for a photo. About 36 people have joined the group since it opened in November.
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A coworking space in northern Fresno is quickly making a name for itself as a place where aspiring businesswomen can not only get work done, but also meet people and come up with new ideas.
Located at 7543 N. Ingram Ave., Her Space was the idea of Kayla Pendleton, who wanted to set up a more communal environment for women to work on projects and create avenues to collaborate with others.
“My goal is to help anyone who is starting a business get to where they want to be with that in the shortest amount of time possible,” Pendleton said.
Pendleton was introduced to the coworking concept while living in San Diego, where she became a part of the space Hera Hub. From here, she quickly became impressed. Previously working from home, Pendleton found that her productivity increased at Hera Hub.
“It really is about putting you in the same room with lots of other people that have all different backgrounds from different industries,” Pendleton said. “If you’re sitting next to a person that’s completely different from you, you’re going to change your perspective, you’re going to absorb things from their conversations they’re having with other people.”
After refinancing her house for the venue, Pendleton started Her Space, opening it last November. Since then, business has taken off and Pendleton is seeing similar results to what she experienced in San Diego.
“I think women care more about the community aspect, and so that’s one of my big focuses here is to help connect them to each other,” she said. “So they have someone they can relate to and walk through life with in a business way, and just get them connected to their resources that they need to grow.”
Her Space has also attracted women through programs, connections and consultations. One person to get involved with the coworking center is Fresno inventor Paula Reinhardt, who provides advice on product development.
“Her Space is providing an area where women can come and work and also have their clients come — I think that Starbucks is pretty much on its way out,” Reinhardt said. “You’ll go in there, it’s crowded, it’s noisy, and you really cannot conduct a business meeting there as well anymore. With Her Space, [Pendleton] provides a quiet, professional atmosphere where you can do your work and also meet your clients.”
Pendleton said that on an average day, there are usually about 15 in the space at a give time. Right now, the space has 36 members and she plans to cap off membership at 75 to keep the group tight-knit. When this happens, she hopes to open a second location to accommodate new members.
Meanwhile, Pendleton expressed high expectations for the coworking space in the Central Valley and is still impressed with the collaborations and ideas launched at Her Space.
“Our growth has been crazy since the beginning,” she said. “We started off with just 15 people when we opened in November, and now we’re up to 36 and so just our membership has grown so much in such a short amount of time and we’re seeing such a need for this. Every person that comes in here and takes a tour is like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever, I’m going to tell all my friends,’ and it happens a lot and it kind of just spirals.”