F.from the sidewalk along Fourth Avenue by Coeur d’Alene, The Hive looks like it’s a new cafe. Large mirror glass windows present a bright, versatile space with lots of cozy corners to make yourself comfortable with a coffee, work on your laptop or meet a customer. The space is full of plants, fancy artwork, and furniture, with an L-shaped kitchen with a reddish 1950s refrigerator, lavender cabinets, and peach-colored walls.
But it’s not a coffee shop (although local woman owned Bee Kind Coffee is working to create a humble presence inside). Instead, The Hive takes the best that coffee shops have to offer for those who need a place to connect – with colleagues, with clients, with classmates – and negates the experience both aesthetically and conceptually.
As the second coworking space in Lake City – the first in the Innovation Collective, also known as The Den – The Hive has a decidedly different atmosphere and focus: women.
“This space is designed to empower women to develop their own ‘queen’ skills,” explains Melinda Cadwallader, who opened The Hive with her husband Michael and daughter Delia in March.
The Hive is not only aimed at entrepreneurs, students, lecturers, artists, creatives and doers of all kinds, but is also aimed at everyone who “is looking for a nourishing launch pad on which passion projects and grassroots movements can emerge and get under way,” according to the Members page.
And the eclectic aesthetic is an integral part of their model, says Cadwallader, who designed the space to inspire innovation and encourage unconventional thinking.
“Sometimes solutions come faster when we get out of a familiar flow or move away from everyday images,” she says.
The artwork comes from an amalgam of sources: donated items, real estate sales, and thrift stores, such as the simple but elegant print of a Picasso line drawing, and Cadwallader’s personal stash, such as the print by Nani Chacone, an indigenous artist from the Indian market the Cadwalladers visited in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Some art is local.
Bre Gotham created a painting after one of the Hive’s “dialogue nights” when women gathered to talk about their work. and The continuum is a collaborative string artwork by Chelsea Cordova and Kim Scoggins that has been on display across town, giving the community the opportunity to add string each time, says Cadwallader.
“It’s a continuous work of art, a web that connects the intentions of individual women with the community as a whole,” she says. “I love that it’s here; that’s exactly why The Hive exists to connect.”
Cadwallader initially bonded with another local business woman in 2019, with the intention of opening The Hive by early 2020. Neither the partnership nor the schedule worked.
It took longer than expected to set up and funding sources were much smaller than expected. As people moved, changed jobs, stores closed and otherwise reacted to the new normal caused by the pandemic, The Hive also had to adapt.
You’re still a remote workspace, says Cadwallader, with plans for a few programs like the monthly writers group, Open Mic Night, and pop-up events covering everything from networking to wellness. However, during Covid, both the community and the organization of The Hive changed, says Cadwallader.
For example, you simplified membership. For $ 100 / month (half for students) or a drop-in rate of $ 25 per day, members can access WiFi, the kitchen, and various types of meeting rooms, and attend a growing number of Hive events or host your own event. Great or even a photo shoot in the 3,400 square meter room.
Aluna Wellness founder Carlynn Winkelman has many member benefits including hosting a pop-up wellness event in July.
“I came to Hive to network with other female business owners, have a convenient place to meet customers, and have a central place to engage and organize local community events,” says Winkelman. Your company offers nutritional health coaching, one-to-one cannabinoid therapy classes and hemp training seminars for companies.
Another advantage for members is the on-site broadcasting booth. It is there that Coeur d’Alene’s Arts & Culture Alliance produces its weekly podcast, the Ali & Callie Artcast, and Cadwallader and Tiana Simmons produce theirs Coeur d’Femme Podcast.
Of course, members can just chill out or borrow a book from Cadwallader’s fem-forward library and recharge their creative energy.
As a grassroots organization, says Cadwallader, they are constantly on duty to meet everyone’s needs.
Cadwallader is also personally versed in pivoting. After working her way up from salon coordinator to director of a beauty school, she returned to college at the age of 40. She earned her associate degree in communications and media studies from North Idaho College, where she participated in the theater and the college newspaper. While her husband was practicing chiropractic in their joint venture, Cadwallader started a small business that offered apprenticeships.
All provided valuable insight into what would eventually become The Hive, which Cadwallader hopes will also help fill the local youth gap.
“As a tourist and hospitality town, there is a constant need for young employees,” she says, noting that they mainly work in the service industry, such as in the hospitality industry or retail trade. In addition, she says her conversations with business owners have revealed a heartbreaking trend of limiting advancement for these type of jobs.
“The creativity and ambition here are high,” says Cadwallader. “We just don’t look after it well, which means we don’t value it highly enough.”
Cadwalllader wants to change that.
“Think like a leader,” she advises young people, especially women. “Pretend your company is a new life to which you have been called; take responsibility for your own life and make something out of it, something beautiful, something wild and free from the template created by those who never designed it for women. “♦
The Beehive • 400 N. 4th Street, Coeur d’Alene • thehivecda.com