Call to mind one writing group, which grew to two, each group comprised of about a dozen women, meeting once a week. Fast forward two years and add the following to the picture: Two published books, a literary agent secured, the formation of a new jewelry company, a stationery line, a design company, a handful of new blogs launched, and hundreds of thousands of words written.
“If this kind of BIG magic can happen with a few dozen women gathering for a weekly writing group in a rented conference room in Hopkins, can you imagine if there was a brick and mortar space where women, and not just women writers, could gather and be celebrated and supported creatively, professionally, and relationally each and every day? Can you even wrap your brain around the gargantuan magic that would burst from a place like that?!”
“Yes! Yes!” I roared to myself as I asked myself this question. “Yes, I can imagine this! And I am going to build this place if it is the last thing I do!”
Just after noon on November 10th, 2016, I sat next to my dear friend and Twin Cities Writing Studio co-founder, Nina Badzin, and looked around the table of women gathered for our weekly writing group. I thought about the brilliance and uniqueness of these talented individuals brought together by the love of the written word and all that we had accomplished over the past year of weekly meetings and the meaningful friendships that took hold. I thought about how, just 18 months prior, Nina, my very first writing friend and I sat at a coffee shop conjuring up the idea to start a writing group and three months later, we witnessed our “coffee talk” turn into a reality. I thought about how this writing group staved off the loneliness and isolation I had previously felt as a work-from-home writer and how grateful I was to connect with and befriend these women, many of whom I would not have otherwise met.
On that particular day in November, our country was in the throes of digesting the election results, and no matter who you voted for, most individuals were in fight or flight mode. As I sat amongst this group of strong inspirational women, I didn’t want to fight or take flight, but I wanted to do something—something that would positively impact women on a micro and macro level. And while I didn’t know exactly what that something was, I felt an internal push that was so clear and so strong that I knew it would dramatically change the trajectory of my life and hopefully the lives of many others.
I left writing class that day changed. And over the next year, with an unremitting intensity, I stared down my deepest fears and insecurities, tapped into a newfound strength and curiosity, and embarked on an unmarked, unlit path to create something meaningful and impactful for women of the Twin Cities and beyond. This mission jolted me out of bed in the morning and poked at me in the middle of the night. It combated the multitudes of dead-ends and impossibles I encountered along the way. It held me steady through 16-hour work days and through managing the guilt I felt as the entrepreneurial demands pulled me away from my kids and husband. It supplied me with the courage I needed to meet with lawyers, bankers, business executives, politicians, community leaders, and media personalities to discuss my vision, and to gleam every possible nugget of advice, inspiration, and support from each meeting.
Each day my vision became clearer as I conceived ModernWell to be a community where catering to women’s needs would be first and foremost, and that the women of ModernWell would feel free to unleash their tapped and untapped creativity and ignite their infinite possibilities for personal and professional success. By providing an inspirational workspace, with both private and communal options, daily yoga and meditation classes, coffee, tea, and healthy food, a relaxation/nap room, and ongoing enrichment and community engagement opportunities, ModernWell would foster ongoing individual and collective growth, encouraging members to live the life they aspire to live.
Just shy of 14 months since its inception, I could not be more excited or grateful to open the ModernWell doors at its location in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood in Minneapolis to the women of the Twin Cities. I, along with an incredible group of founding members, advisors, designers, friends, and family members whose energy, inspiration, and brilliance are the foundation upon which ModernWell is built, invite you to share in my vision of women supporting women in all their endeavors. Memberships and programming information are available at ModernWell.Co or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to visit ModernWell in person!