On a mission to find a supportive group of women with whom to share ideas, Chelsey Zawadzki built a niche community that inspires others through coworking.
Following the isolation of the pandemic, Fairport resident and founder of The Hive, Chelsey Zawadzki found herself craving a space free of distractions and full of creativity where she could collaborate with others while working.
Zawadzki, who grew up on a farm in Wyoming County, relocated to Rochester seven years ago with her family and left her career as a vet technician behind to stay home with her then three-year-old daughter. She had a new city to explore, but admits she struggled to find a place to form strong bonds outside of the parents she met through her daughter’s school. “Aside from joining a mom’s group through social media or one of the local churches, there really wasn’t a great option in the community for what I was looking for,” she shared.
Coworking aside, she was really searching for a group of motivated, like-minded women with which to surround herself and wanted to build a community where they could learn from and complement one another.
A Creative Outlet
After struggling to stay on task and balance everything that also comes with being a mom of two young kids, she knew that if she was struggling with these things, other people probably were, too. Through the launch of her business, she has learned a lot about herself and has found a place where she can let her creativity fly. It is a unique culmination of her past experiences, what she knows (and doesn’t), and where she is headed in the future.
One of the things Zawadzki most appreciates about Rochester is the strong sense of community that exists, sharing how quickly the word spread about her new space. “It is amazing how everyone has such a great sense of pride in the community and really wanted to help and to spread the word.”
Lifting Each Other Up
Chelsey Zawadzki is a firm believer that if we all do this together, we all do better. She learned about the concept of “community over competition” through a favorite author and shares how it really resonated with her: “We don’t have to be gatekeepers of information; we can divulge that secret sauce recipe and know we will all do it differently because we have unique skills and perspectives to offer. Community over competition is how we all get a step above.”
This comes naturally for Zawadzki as she finds immense joy in diving deep into people and learning what makes them tick. She finds mentorship and knowledge in the way people do things, which may be totally different from how she would. She attributes this skill to her grandfather who was a great role model to her and always supported her ideas – no matter how crazy they were. Like him, Zawadzki loves meeting new people, learning new things and finding ways to use that wisdom in the future.
“It really does take a village. For some reason, we’ve gotten to this place of having to be the busiest and do it all on our own, but we weren’t designed for that. We are supposed to lean on each other, share strengths, and have a safe place where we can do that.”
Strong Support System
Chelsey Zawadzki admits it can be difficult to start down a new path, but encourages others who feel stuck to “figure out the things that light you on fire and find a group of people who have similar interests as you. When you have a strong support system that gives you confidence in yourself, it translates into the work you do.”
As she was launching her business, she leaned on her circle of friends who had a variety of different skill sets to be her trusted advisers with whom to brainstorm. “You are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with and you should be inspired by what those people do and say,” she advises.
She admits it was difficult at times to fully articulate her vision as she tried to build something unique and different, but she worked through the challenges by leaning on others who had different strengths than her own and by staying true to her dream. “I knew in my heart it was needed, especially with more of the workforce moving towards working remotely,” she shares.
The Hive Coworking Studio
On paper, The Hive is a shared work and event space that is geared toward professional women in the community, but to Zawadzki, it is so much more. She describes it, saying, “this unique space really has to be experienced in person to truly understand what it is and the type of community we have built here.” It is uniquely designed for women and promotes productivity, creativity, and inspiration through collaboration and connection – all the things that are near and dear to Chelsey Zawadzki’s heart and a combination of her strengths and the strengths of those who surround her.
The Hive is a place where people can come to work, create, collaborate, lean on one another, and lift each other up – free of distractions and without competition. It is an inspiring group of people who you can bounce ideas off of, have great conversations with and get work done – all in a safe and comfortable environment free of judgment or distractions.
To learn more, visit: www.thehiveroc.com
The Hive photography by Sue Egan