As part of our effort to ensure that every small business owner has the opportunity to be seen and receive assistance when it’s critical, we launched the Viably Grow Grant program to help North Carolina businesses to connect faster to the funds they need when they need it. We’re thrilled to introduce the first recipient of our monthly grant, Blush Cowork in Cary, NC.
Blush Cowork is a women-focused coworking and collaboration space. It is designed to help women balance the modern demands of work and life, and to create a community where they can thrive professionally.
Cofounder Alison Rogers personifies the qualities that make small businesses unique and successful—vision, problem-solving, leadership, perseverance, and pride in her community. We spoke with her about why she started Blush Coworking and what it takes to launch a small business.
What inspired you to start Blush Cowork?
Over the last ten years, I needed childcare or coworking space (or both) at various points, and I wasn’t able to find a coworking space at all. The childcare I found was great, but not completely flexible.
During Covid, I really struggled working from home with a preschool and school age child when schools and daycares were closed. I was really unhappy, unproductive (as both an employee and a parent and suddenly helping with virtual school too!), and I felt disconnected.
When a friend proposed the idea of creating a coworking space with onsite childcare, I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to make it happen. I knew that many other folks had to be experiencing the same struggles, and maybe more over the last few years. The pandemic-era challenges have hit parents and women particularly hard—switching to remote work, job loss, changing careers, leaving the workforce to focus on childcare. I want to provide a solution.
*Blush offers childcare coverage for just $10/hour or $60/day to members and day pass holders.
What are your immediate goals? How will the Viably Grow Grant help?
My immediate goal is to focus on our marketing plan. We had a great launch, but we need more people to know about Blush. I want people to know how to join.They can also just visit to work for a day or for a meeting.
I have folks asking every day when I will open a Blush near them, but I need to grow our Cary location in order to launch more locations.
What’s one of the biggest challenges small business owners face?
If I had to choose just one, it’s really being able to wear all the hats as the business gets off the ground. It’s so hard to be the primary manager of the space, the salesperson, the marketing director, the events coordinator, and accountant here!
It helps so much to have good tools to be able to stay on top of all the roles, and know when one aspect of the business needs your immediate focus. Trying to balance and triage all the needs of a business when resources, money, and people are limited (and there are only 24 hours in a day!) is the biggest challenge. I think most small businesses go through this initially, and I am sure more struggle with it at various points.
What would you say to women who are considering starting their own business?
The struggles that almost make you quit will probably become a big part of your origin story. And you don’t need to go it alone. You should definitely trust yourself and have faith in your concept, but it’s very rare to be able to overcome every obstacle without someone reaching out to help or boosting you up. Don’t be afraid to ask for that help, and be willing to give it, too.
“The struggles that almost make you quit will probably become a big part of your origin story.”
Enter to Win the Viably Grow Grant
Blush Coworking is the first of many North Carolina businesses that will receive a boost for their growth and operations. Every month, we’ll draw a new winner. If you’d like to enter your business, simply sign up for Viably here. Activate the Viably cash or income app, and apply for a business bank account (it’s all free!).
If your small business is outside of North Carolina, you are not eligible for the grant. BUT you are invited to join us in simplifying small business finance and banking. As Alison says, wearing all the hats is difficult, so let Viably take the financial spreadsheets off your plate. Sign up for Viably and start running the best version of your business with total financial visibility.