Scouting Report: Creative Habitat working on child-friendly coworking

Creative Habitat Courtesy of Rebecca Wolford

Provide child-friendly coworking…

That’s the ultimate goal for Creative Habitat, a nonprofit organization Rebecca Wolford started to help busy moms develop their business goals.

Creative Habitat is currently as an online resource for busy moms that started when Rebecca Wolford lived in San Diego. But when her husband needed to move to Des Moines for his job…

Creative Habitat also relocated.

So Clay & Milk asked Wolford about her concept for child-friendly coworking, the need for it and her plans for 2018 to make it happen.Creative Habitat

Rebecca Wolford, founder of Creative Habitat.

Explain what is Creative Habitat?

RW: Currently, Creative Habitat is an online resource and coaching service dedicated to helping busy moms and “mompreneurs” tap into their creative gifts to refuel in daily living.

Basically, I help women commit to the time and space they need to develop their life and business goals – life coaching for the busy mom. Through my experience blogging, coaching, leading interviews with mom entrepreneurs, etc.

I have started to research specific needs and wants of mom entrepreneurs and see a real need for a physical coworking space with childcare – which I hope to fill here in Des Moines area and beyond through the development of Creative Habitat.

How did you come up with this idea?

RW: I am a busy mom and mompreneur myself and my greatest pain point is wanting and needing creative time to work on my nonprofit (Creative Habitat) and also wanting to be there for my kids.

Kids are a full-time job, even for the most diligent of mompreneurs, therefore business development gets pushed to naptime, bedtime, etc…typically when moms are most tired (and may not be at peak performance).

Most mom entrepreneurs who really want to move forward with their business must make the decision between paying for childcare (which is very expensive – and at times hard to find quality options for pre-school age kids) and funding the startup costs for their business. It’s a broken cycle and I think I have a solution to meet both goals of being there for pre-school age kids without paying so much for daycare and also giving mom entrepreneurs a supportive space to work on their business/goals.

Why do this?

RW: Because I know, first hand, how much better of a mom, friend, and wife I am when I have dedicated, protected creative time to work on my goals and I want to help other women find the balance I have found to be both a present mother while launching this nonprofit. More importantly, the research I have done shows a great need for a space that supports the unique needs of mom/dad entrepreneurs including affordable childcare.

When did you officially launch Creative Habitat?

RW: I officially started the Creative Habitat blog in 2015 and expanded into coaching in 2016, however, I am officially launching the nonprofit with my Board of Directors in early 2018.

What does the 2018 schedule look like?

RW: We have a variety of resources including coaching and market research tools to support mom entrepreneurs or moms seeking to start their own business.  We also lead workshops for large groups of moms seeking to discover and develop their creative gifts.

Finally, the Creative Habitat website and blog are regularly updated with new content including “Mompreneur Interviews” with tips for balancing motherhood and business development from successful mom entrepreneurs in various fields.

The newest resources I plan to launch in early 2018 is hosting a Founding Moms Exchange in partnership with Creative Habitat to provide additional resources for local Mompreneur a through monthly meetups held at Mompreneur-owned “Creative Habitats” in the greater Des Moines area. Readers are welcome to email me at rwolford@creativehabitat.org if they want to learn more about joining the Founding Moms Exchange or hosting a Founding Moms meeting at their business venue.

Talk about the challenges you’ve faced

RW: Honestly, trying to explain the concept for the space I envision to meet this unique need. The concept is new enough that until it actually exists, it is difficult to give a clear comparison to help others easily conceptualize the inherent value.

It is a fairly complex “problem” I am trying to help solve given there are many moving parts.

The population I seek to serve is “a moving target” with millennial moms (and dads) in a constant state of transition between the constant changes associated with growing their family, starting new jobs, etc. The first few years of parenthood are a whirlwind of change and I am trying to serve families in this “whirlwind time.”

I can personally testify that I think I would be much further along in developing my vision for Creative Habitat if I had a physical work environment that supported this new “transitional” season and a community of support, not just an online community. A physical community who knows and supports both my business and parenting goals, two pillars of focus for many ambitious entrepreneurs. I am dedicated to creating this solution for other parents with similar needs and desires.

Can you do this for dads too?

RW: My online resources and coaching methods are designed to meet the unique needs of busy moms, however, they can be modified to meet the needs of working dads as well.

Talk about a trend you are seeing with women and entrepreneurship…

RW: I think it is important to recognize the increasing trend of women leaving the workforce to start their own businesses once they become moms which I attribute to two key factors:

  • Expensive childcare costs for preschool age children
  • Low barriers to entry and increased online resources for savvy women to start businesses from home.

While many moms are starting their own businesses from home, they are still forced to make important decisions about limited resources of time and money – often requiring paying for childcare at the expense of investing more in their business or being responsible for full-time childcare and trying to run a business “on the side.”

Imagine what a difference it would make for a young parent entrepreneur to know there is a space where they can grow their business and their family at the same time without “Robbing Peter to pay Paul.” I believe Creative Habitat is the solution.

We try to give a scouting report anytime a new company or organization moves to Iowa. If you know of any new companies or organizations to Iowa, please let us know.

To learn more about Creative Habitat search them on Facebook or follow @creativehabitatmoms on Instagram.