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Starting on Capitol Hill, The Riveter creating coworking spaces focused on women

When working mothers and friends Amy Nelson and Kim Peltola couldn’t find a workplace the provide support and resources that empowered women and helped them to balance careers and self-care, they decided to create that space.

Their new venture, The Riveter, a coworking, wellness, and community space that focuses on women, but welcomes all will open May 1st on 12th Ave between Pike and Pine. The very real venture will take over an office space that temporarily became the home to a set of reality TV show cast members last summer.

Nelson, a lawyer, and Peltola, a social worker, met about three years ago when both were new mothers. They bonded over the challenges of balancing parenthood, work, and self-care.

During the course of their friendship, Peltola opened her own practice, and Nelson saw that she felt isolated at times. At that time, Nelson was considering going out on her own as well.

While Nelson knew she wanted to “off-ramp” from corporate litigation, she didn’t want to “on-ramp” into staying home.

“I wanted to build something. I wanted to find that career and build a business that worked for my life and the way that it looks right now,” Nelson said.

Nelson struggled to find support and resources for women seeking flexibility.

Last May, Peltola proposed the idea of creating a wellness space with yoga classes, meditation spaces, and practitioners providing acupuncture and massage to Nelson after seeing so many clients who weren’t taking care of their own needs.

After feeling like many coworking spaces Seattle don’t provide a setting for a collaborative community, the duo decided to incorporate a workspace with the wellness aspects designed with women in mind, but open to all.

“Kim and I both, and we think a lot of women, are looking for community, for connections, for interactions, and so at a really base level that is what we really felt was missing,” Nelson said.

A recent The Riveter video shoot in the under construction space

A recent The Riveter video shoot in the under construction space

While the space is focused on women, one of the reasons they wanted to open in Capitol Hill is because of its inclusivity and diversity.

“We’re building a safe space for women but for everyone else too,” Nelson told CHS.

Nelson and Peltola worked on their business plan last summer and entered and won a pitch competition in the fall.

The Riveter’s 11,000-square-foot, two-level space is located at 1517 12th Ave, Suite 101, the home of last year’s cast of the MTV reality series Real World. The building is owned and managed by Hunters Capital.

The space is planned to have a yoga area, a meditation room, a practitioner room, floating desks for 180 members, five small private workspaces, two large team spaces, one large team room, three conference rooms, five phone booths, and collaborative areas.

The two moms are working with childcare providers to give discounts to other mothers who use the space. They’ve also set up a childcare swap to connect mothers at The Riveter and are providing a lactation room and allowing in-arm infants in the space.

The Riveter is also providing flexibility with its memberships from monthly opens, to day-pass bundles, to hourly passes, and a community option for those who don’t need the coworking space. They’re also selling 50 assigned desks.

Details on membership prices which range from $7.50 per hour for a floating desk to $1,300 per month for a team room can be found here.

Nelson and Peltola also plan to hold a lot of programming and education at the space.

Their original plan was to open one coworking space in Seattle. Not anymore. The Capitol Hill location will officially open in May after a soft launch. After that, they’ll begin the search for an Eastside location to open in the fall. They’ve raised enough money from angel investors to open both spaces.

Nelson is currently expecting her third child, and many people she spoke to about The Riveter told her not to tell potential investors she was pregnant because people wouldn’t provide funding for the startup.

“Anybody who wouldn’t invest in The Riveter because I’m pregnant isn’t aligned with what we’re trying to do, which is change the game for women,” Nelson said.

The two aren’t stopping with two locations. At the end of the year, they will work on raising more money to expand throughout the West Coast, opening 20 spaces between 2018 and 2021.

“It’s not only women in Seattle that need this. Women everywhere need this. No one’s doing it and someone should be doing it,” Nelson said. “We’re building it because we need it, so we’re the perfect people to be building it.”

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