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BENDY feature entrepreneur: Grace Kraaijvanger

Bendy shoe in denim blue

 

Meet Grace Kraaijvanger

 

Last week, we introduced our series on how local entrepreneurs are surviving - and thriving - in the current COVID-19 crisis.

 

We started off with Jessica Rae, who responded to the new “everyone stay at home” normal by putting her dance studio online, with virtual classes. Social distancing? Shelter-in-place? No problem!

 

Our second story is about Grace Kraaijvanger, another dancer-turned-businesswoman and part of the BENDY family.

 

Grace is the founder of The Hivery, a co-working space and inspiration lab in the Bay Area.

 

After spending most of her 20s as an accomplished professional dancer, Grace found herself wanting to take the “togetherness” of a dance studio and apply it to a space for working women.

 

That idea wouldn’t go away.

 

Ten years after first coming up with the concept, she was a mom of two, retired from dance, and building a successful marketing career.

 

But that idea Wouldn’t. Go. Away.

 

After a particularly poignant conversation with a friend, Grace did what most people never do….

 

She acted on her dream and created a collaborative space - The Hivery - for women working side-by-side.

 

Grace also shared 3 important truths she embraced before making that jump:

 

 

  • 1) "I really was made to do this - it’s mine to do and the call is clear. I had to show up to my dream.

 

  • 2) I couldn’t wait for the fear to go away - I had to do it anyway. Fear is with us, but fear doesn’t own us.

 

  • 3) I didn’t have to do this alone… The Hivery became a metaphor for me of community; a collective...proof that together, we can do anything."

 

 

Grace calls The Hivery a women’s collective (sounds better than “co-working space”, right??).

 

She opened the first version of The Hivery in Sausalito in 2014, then quickly expanded to locations in downtown Mill Valley and the waterfront in San Francisco.

 

When the ongoing health crisis hit a few weeks ago, brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants, stores, and - especially - collectives / co-working spaces were hit really hard, really quickly.

 

But Grace? She’s not one to back down from a challenge!

 

Like many entrepreneurs, perseverance is one of her inspirations. In her words,

 

“Be brave, keep showing up, stay in the ring. I admire the tenacious dreamers that never give up. I am endlessly inspired by those who will take the long view, especially as it relates to how they can serve others.”

 

So this social and economic shutdown? It’s just a blip.

 

Grace - like other innovators here in our community - has adapted by taking her business online, creating virtual co-working for her members. She’s continued to offer mentorship, support, and community in this time when people need it most - even starting a little “make-me-laugh” thread to keep spirits high!

 

Grace on her BENDY’s:

 

"I’ve been wearing them all day! For my workday and my midday doggie walks. I love that they look so great with my favorite ripped jeans and add a little fashion to my (the world’s) new work-from-home reality.

 

They are stylish, chic, unique, and SO comfortable. They feel great and look hip. They are perfect for these more casual working-from-home times (yet, I can’t wait to wear them when The Hivery is open again, too). I LOVE that they’re manufactured in California."

 

Grace is an inspiration to us here at BENDY....she’s a voice of calm in a crazy time and a source of support for her community.

 

If you’d like to nominate more businesswomen (like BENDY feature entrepreneur: Grace Kraaijvanger) and local leaders with shared values, please reply to this email and let us know!

 

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay positive!

 

denim blue bendys

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