What happens when COVID changes the character of and rules on your business model? The early lockdown and continued social distancing upended entrepreneurs’ daily routines and ways of delivering products and services. Coworking at HAYVN has proven to be an effective way to manage amidst the turmoil for many small companies.
What about in-person meetings for and with clients, and client-based events? Scratch those. The same goes for maintaining office space in busy urban areas where public transit is the means to get to work. These are among the myriad challenges business executives face during the COVID crisis.
Case in point: two innovative and creative entrepreneurs. Beth Dempsey and Carrie Skowronski, needed to rethink their businesses, reinvent their offerings, and come up with new business models.
They had to, in a word, pivot. What’s more, they needed to add relocation to their punch list. That ultimately led them to HAYVN.
Coworking at HAYVN Incubates Growth
Carrie had just moved from New York City to Norwalk where she was working out of her 1-bedroom apartment. Beth needed an office with built in utilities, a desk, and at a lower cost. In need of community and to get out of the house, they both decided to check out HAYVN.
Initially thinking of this coworking facility as a safe haven, these business owners quickly came to truly value their surroundings. On the most fundamental level, HAYVN serves as a base of operations, but it does much more than that. It functions as an incubator for growth.
Other entrepreneurs in similar situations have landed at HAYVN, which creates an environment rich with resources and like-minded people with whom to brainstorm and network. This camaraderie, and the facility’s attention to comfort, promote the ease of doing business. When all of this comes together seamlessly, it lifts spirits in this time of crisis, and sparks productivity.
Beth and Carrie use the word “community” to describe one of the main attributes and benefits of coworking at HAYVN. They also, in separate discussions, mention its “caring” and “welcoming” nature. They note the options, flexibility, amenities and attention to details HAYVN offers them. Needs are anticipated and met from the get-go. If something arises that falls outside the scope, just ask.
For these two disrupted businesses who had to pick up and leave their familiar digs, HAYVN has become like family. They both now have either a dedicated desk or a private office, and fully take advantage of HAYVN’s programming, as well as offer programming of their own to support their respective businesses. Being there has helped these victims of the pandemic become heroines.
Two HAVYN Entrepreneurs Pivot in the Pandemic
Beth Dempsey founded Images & Details, Inc. more than 30 years ago as a PR marketing firm for brand building, creative strategy, and event support services. Her book of business caters to high-end clients in the luxury lifestyle, design and fashion industries.
Over the years, she has experienced a series of market disruptions.
“I started my business right around the ’87 crash and have lived through the events of 9/11, the economic meltdown of 2008, and now COVID.”
Beth Dempsey, President and Founder of Images & Details, Inc.
As a result, she is no stranger to tweaking her business model. In fact, she was mid-pivot when the pandemic struck. HAYVN has helped cut her costs significantly, while providing all the technology and office services she was used to.
“In the last five years, we shifted our focus to plan and produce strategic, in-person events,” Beth explains.
These elaborately staged affairs would bring designers together with influencers and the media. COVID wiped this out. Since taking a dedicated desk at HAYVN, Beth has launched an Images & Details concierge, where she acts as CMO for clients. They buy services in block quantities to use whenever and however they want.
Dempsey’s Clients say they like the flexibility and one has already used up the hours purchased and ordered more. The thinking and execution that goes behind this offering, and others in the making, takes place at HAYVN.
Carrie Skowronski moved up to Connecticut and breathed life into an idea for her business that goes by the name of Leadology. This leadership development firm creates and conducts a menu of training programs; her clients are businesses and individuals.
The services draw upon Carrie’s experience as a coach. She knows the importance of motivation, inspiration and science. Materials and methods focus on cultivating effective skill sets. The goal? Jumpstart performance and fast-track growth. But … Leadology was built upon in-person meetings and sessions. During the pandemic, that means of operating had to change.
Carrie took her offerings online, but it wasn’t a linear transition. Transferring the content to Zoom and stopping at that would fall short of the high mark she set for her business. Clients had to be engaged in various ways to keep them in peak learning mode. So she added creative twists and packaged her services in the same manner.
“There is something about looking into a screen all day long that completely zaps your energy.”
Carrie Skowronski, Founder of Leadology
She put together some pre-recorded videos. To this mix, she adds a weekly 90-minute live Zoom call where she can coach participants through their real issues.
Carie started at HAYVN with a flex desk and now has a private office. Being at HAYVN has “made all the difference,” she says, to be able to launch a new model for her business. Not only in terms of office space, but also in building her professional network as a new Fairfield County resident.
Both Beth and Carrie have had to adapt to create successful business models. Still and always works in progress by the nature of business and the world at large, these two entrepreneurs can state something categorically true: Coworking at HAYVN facilitates their success.
Founded in 2018, HAYVN is a flexible workspace for enterprising women (and men) to connect, create and grow. Along with a vibrant & engaged coworking community of entrepreneurs and business professionals, HAYVN is a business HUB, offering short- and long-term office space leases, meeting rooms rentals, and events to support local businesses. HAYVN is proud to be a Certified B Corporation™ and a CTNext partner. We believe in using the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy and have met the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. HAYVN’s workshops and signature programs encourage women of all colors and ages and acts as an incubator for developing skills and pursuing funding. HAYVN Launch incubator is a 2021 winner of the SBA's Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC), and the only 2021 winner in Connecticut.
Visit our beautiful safe ‘HAYVN’ in Fairfield County, CT at 320 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT, 06820. Arrange a private tour today, or to learn more about our health and safety response, read through our detailed guidelines here.