From grocery stores to the gym, wellness is the word of the moment. People are looking for ways to reduce stress and take care of themselves. Solutions for how to eat, sleep and move well have been marketed broadly, but what about the role of wellness in the workplace?
That’s a question Amanda Riley, owner of Woodbury wellness studio Blissful Balance, hopes to explore by expanding her studio to include a collaborative co-working space. Riley’s interest in wellness stems from personal experiences studying the human body and learning about all of the ways to help people heal from pain. She’s experienced not only the difficulties people have with physical pain, but emotional and mental hurts as well.
The idea to explore healing in a work environment came to Riley after she kept hearing the same observations from visitors to her studio.
“Every person who came in and toured the space would comment that it would be an ideal place to work,” says Riley.
As someone connected to a community of individuals who work from home and are looking for a network, Riley grew excited about the prospect of creating a space where freelancers could exchange ideas and offer support on anything from business ideas to proofreading.
The space is specifically built to create a community for women, which is a passion of Riley’s. “I love helping women—we rise by lifting others,” she says. “I want to create a safe space to work and provide self-care.”
An emphasis on self-care is the distinguishing element of Riley’s co-working space. Not only can the women who use the space engage in community, but they also have access to all of the amenities connected to the wellness studio, including classes, meditation rooms, and an infrared sauna.
“Humans are not meant to work eight hours at a time,” says Riley. “Our ideal schedule is 90 minutes on, 30 minutes off. So I wanted to create a space for women to work, and then meditate or go to the sauna; it’s all taken care of within their workday.”
Currently, eight individuals can work in the co-working space, paying a month-by-month rent and a two-month refundable deposit. Riley accepts applicants by looking for complementary qualities, like mindset, personality and attitude. Tenants of the co-working space will have a permanent work space, but Riley is open to creating flexible hours that might include options like a one-day pass.
Though the co-working portion of her business is still new, Riley has dreams for the future. “Eventually I would like this to be a powerful, mastermind group,” she says. “I think this is the last piece of the puzzle for Blissful Balance, and could allow me to look for ways to duplicate this experience in different areas.”
For now, women who are interested in checking out the co-working space can attend one of Blissful Balance’s monthly events, or reach out to Riley to learn more. The opportunity to connect women and help them find a place to flourish is what excites Riley the most about this new venture.
“Women are powerful. There are so many incredible women I’ve been exposed to in the last few years,” she says. “Keeping this as a safe space for women to come exactly as they are, supported with no judgement, is very important to me. I want this to be a place of growth.”
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