Susan Haun is the sales manager for a unique co-workspace in Edina called The Riveter. With a nod to Rosie the Riveter and the “We Can Do It” spirit, The Riveter’s website says that it’s “built by women for everyone.”
Haun says the company’s founder, Amy Nelson, was pregnant with her third child when she began to feel that she couldn’t see a path for herself as a mother and an attorney. She felt both subtle and overt pressure to step back from her career and knew the lack of support for mothers in the corporate world would have real consequences on her long-term success. Nelson has said it was because of that sense of not being able to balance both parts of her life that she started going to classes to learn how to start her own business. A lot of the classes she attended were held in co-working spaces and they all felt male and young to her. She saw a need for more welcoming spaces for everyone. So, in 2017, she opened the first The Riveter in her hometown of Seattle—the Edina location is the eighth one. It opened in June of 2019.
Haun says The Riveter is meant to be more than just a workspace. The organization wants to create a sense of community as well. “It’s a process to build your community,” she says. “That’s why we have been really intentional in creating our membership levels. No matter what you are looking for, this is still a space for you to come work—and learn.”
Photo courtesy of Jamie Fischer
They like to use the term members rather than customers, and the company has created several ways to become a member. There’s the flex program which provides a place at a communal table or in a communal lounge setting. The next tier is a dedicated desk and at a higher price point, a dedicated office. The fourth category of membership is called the ally membership. It provides access to all the workshops and community programming for a small monthly fee without renting workspace.
The three main workshop themes in 2020 are business basics, motherhood and career, and learning how to advocate for yourself and your community. “These three themes can be tailored for local events and concerns,” Haun says. There will also be local events that are part of a national tour with speakers traveling from one Riveter space to another, addressing issues like the business community concerns particular to women of color.
As a company, they will also be moving into more of a consulting role, working with businesses in each city on issues that touch on gender equality in the workplace.
“We want to tap into the talents and interests of our membership,” Haun says. “And we plan to align with companies and organizations that share our values.”
4388 France Ave. S.
For a calendar of events go to theriveter.co and search the calendar for the Edina location. Member rates are available on the website.