Haven & Youvolution: Courageous Allies

Less than 6 months ago, I made the hard but exciting choice to resign from my role as COO at 121Giving, the startup I co-founded in 2011, and I launched Haven. If you've spoken with me in the last few months I'm sure you've heard me say that one day I intend to open a co-working space, because I always envisioned Haven as a physical space. A safe space where women who have chosen to focus their careers in impact come to collaborate, recharge, work through challenges and give one another courage. I wasn't sure when that part of my dream would be feasible, but it has been in my mind's eye since the beginning.

As I jumped into Haven this summer, I sent my 8-year-old daughter to Creative Action for summer camp. They started years ago as an anti-bullying organization, and they bring creative education to life for kids.  One of the tenants of their work is the intent to teach children to be "courageous allies" which for them means equipping youth to find their voice and also support others in finding theirs.

Sometimes we find courageous allies along the way, in the least expected ways. And sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we get to BE the courageous ally. I have found both this summer, in my dear friend and collaborator Ben Gibson, the owner of Youvolution.

We started co-hosting events together in the spring, and quickly realized that the members of both Haven and Youvolution shared the same creative energy and had the same need for a safe space to create.

I think every artist I know has a variation on this exact dream: the collaborative, nurturing space to get what you need in order to fearlessly make art. - Anne Woods

In fact, we are starting to see our members can become allies for one another. Youvolution filmmakers helping Haven entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life, and entrepreneurs helping filmmakers envision their self-sustaining futures. So we started talking about the possibility of opening a coworking space together. We looked at many many offices and became frustrated with the costs and what felt like an unattainable dream.

Then last week we discovered an office space, literally under our noses. The cost is attainable and the location is perfect. It's just north of UT in Central Austin. Accessible to our members, and to future members who live north, south, east or central.

I'm so excited to announce that on August 20th Haven and Youvolution will be opening our first coworking space together! We're going to host events for both Youvolution and Haven here and we'll also be opening it up for general co-working, at a really affordable price ($75/mo). Head over here to check out our membership options.


For Youvolution this is a big growth point, in the last 2 years they have gone from running their filmmaker space out of their livingroom, to a small office on E. Riverside, and now they are expanding gear and equipment as they open this larger space in with us. For Haven this space will be a huge catalyst, enabling us to host workshops, yoga, mentorship, coworking and to connect our communities in ways that empowers each individual to pursue their dream.

I am looking forward to many days and nights full of collaboration, ideas and visions being shared and brought to life. I'm honored to stand alongside Ben as we foster a community of courageous allies.

If you are interested in getting involved with us, please stop by and introduce yourself. Come to an event, or shoot me an email (liz at impacthaven dot come) and we'll schedule time to meet!