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Beyonce and this Toronto Native have a whole lot in common

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A  growing number of people are ditching the nine to five to fully commit to their side hustle and pursuing their passion project(s) full time. Entrepreneurs and freelancers are trading in suits for comfort, office politics for drama-free work life, and upgrading from claustrophobic cubicles to bright and friendly co-working spaces. Make Lemonade is all of these things and then some, introducing Toronto’s most stylish workspace for communities, entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and small businesses.

Make Lemonade is a brand new, co-working space for women, in the heart of Toronto. Born from the idea that creating your destiny can’t be store bought, Make Lemonade is on a mission to build a community of driven women who create, dream and get.sh*t.done.

Career paths (let’s be honest, life in general) are never linear. It’s the peaks and valleys that reinforce the old adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. When life handed Rachel Kelly (RK) founder and CEO of Make Lemonade, a lemon, she did just that. We spoke to Rachel about why she was on a quest to create not only a gram worthy space but also an inclusive hub to inspire like-minded women to create magical ideas.

416 Mag: What was missing from traditional co-working spaces that made you want to create your own space?

RK: When I was a freelancer I was lonely, I didn’t like working from coffee shops, and there wasn’t any motivation (or need)  to get dressed in the morning when I wasn’t working in a traditional office space. I started volunteering at the Centre for Social Innovation and my eyes were opened to the power of community and the productivity boost it gave me when working around others.

When a job offer fell through, I decided I’d make lemonade out of the situation and bring to life my vision of an inspiring co-working space. I belonged to of lots of Facebook groups for freelancers, and it was evident that women wanted their own positive work environment. Business isn’t gender exclusive, but I felt there was a need for a space specifically for women.

416 Mag: What insight can you give to freelancers and entrepreneurs thinking about joining Make Lemonade?

RK: We provide coffee and tea, lemonade (of course), a bright space, and the community is the cherry on the top. If you’re looking to get sh*t done and meet like-minded people then it’s a great reason to join!

416 Mag: Have any collaborations have been born out of your space?

RK: All our members make so many connections. People look within the database for help running their business. You don’t have to look far to get advice from experts, they’re probably sitting right next to you.

416 Mag: Future plans for Make Lemonade?

RK: We host a regular two-hour master class once a month led by an expert. Our last one was about legal stuff for your biz. We’ve also hosted panel discussions, book clubs, screenings of talks and inspirational videos to learn and help everyone grow their business. Our monthly social mixers are an excellent opportunity for members and non-members to share stories, network and learn from each other and of course share a friendly beverage or two!

In July we’re introducing a six-month accelerator program aimed at business owners that want to succeed. The program includes free membership and expert one-on-one advice with a CPA, brand strategist, and a business coach.

416 Mag: Best career wisdom you’ve received?

RK: Ten years ago I was at a family Christmas party when a family friend asked what I was studying. After explaining to him what new media was, he promptly replied with “well you can always change”. At first, I was angry and thought why would I want to change? I’ve come to realize and embrace that I can always change and shift gears when and if I want to. There’s no one “right way” to do things and that’s what keeps life interesting.

Definitely, swing by and take a tour of this tres chic office. You’ll hardly realize you’re working and you’re guaranteed to make a host of new girlfriends!

Kelty Campbell

Kelty is a marketing guru and glass half full type of gal. When she’s not at work, you'll find Kelty on her yoga mat or lacing up to reach a new personal best running. Passionate about people, health & wellness, and checking off her Toronto taco bucket list. Kelty is proud to call the 416 home and loves all things Canadiana.