Coworking space for women opens in Beverly with services to support entrepreneurs – Chicago Sun-Times

Coworking space FoundHERS Suite launched Friday with the goal of growing female-led businesses and fostering collaboration among entrepreneurs.

The 2,300-square-foot space in Beverly, at 1808-10 W. 103rd St., has a lounge area, two conference rooms that can be booked for other uses like private events or yoga, a podcast studio and a spa/therapy suite.

“We believe in empowering women to become entrepreneurs and promoting a sense of community and shared goals,” said founder LaTanya Orr.

FoundHERS Suite owner LaTanya Orr, center, cuts a ribbon during the grand opening of her coworking space in Beverly alongside attendees and Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th), right.

Dozens of people attended FoundHERS Suite’s grand opening, including Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) and resident Karyn Pettigrew, CEO of ZoeGoes, a sustainable women’s clothing brand.

“I had been lamenting the fact that there was no shared office space on the South Side,” Pettigrew said. “LaTanya has solved that. The space is lovely and in a super friendly neighborhood.”

Orr said there’s no other office in the area that has business services for women entrepreneurs such as those offered through FoundHERS Suite’s Rehoboth Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. The center offers accounting, legal, marketing and nonprofit management support for a fee.

FoundHERS Suite memberships range from $29 per month for access to virtual events to $199 for a hot desk and other offerings and $400 for an office with access to amenities on-site.

Orr, who grew up east of Beverly, is a strategy coach and designer. She lived in Michigan for more than 30 years before moving to Chicago in 2021. She began her career in marketing and public relations at the University of Michigan and eventually started her own strategy business.

She first saw a coworking space in Southfield, Michigan, 30 years ago, and the striking concept and space left a lasting impression. After reflecting on her career last year, Orr decided to rekindle her vision to create a coworking space but one geared toward women.

She envisioned a hybrid of virtual and in-person services and events, such as trainings and seminars, to build community. For example, FoundHERS Suite will host a free screening of Netflix’s “Black Barbie: A Documentary,” executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, on Juneteenth.

Orr invested $40,000 from her savings and retirement funds to launch the coworking space. Although she’s been an entrepreneur for 20 years, creating FoundHERS Suite was “a whole other level. I didn’t have a brick-and-mortar space before. I’m responsible for something bigger than myself,” Orr said.

She also wanted to invest in her former neighborhood that she describes as a diverse and thriving community for businesses and families. She scouted sites in the Loop, South Loop and the southwest suburbs, among other areas. But Beverly felt right, as did the location in a vintage building that didn’t have a commercial feel and had the right amount of space.