There has been an increasing degree of importance placed on company culture by employees. Many businesses have responded, but the current pandemic...
ProducKIDvity is a one-stop shop for working parents
At ProducKIDvity, the vision doesn’t stop at creating a coworking environment for working parents and a safe, nurturing environment for their children.
How about this for a new year’s plan:
- Open a new coworking space.
- Blend it with a childcare operation.
- Have twins.
- All the while being a working mother of a toddler.
Just one of those undertakings would be challenging enough, but all of them? That’s what Alex Carnio did as founder of ProducKIDvity in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Like many entrepreneurs, Carnio herself had a need that wasn’t being met: there weren’t enough options for childcare that made sense for her family financially while she built her business. So she decided to create the solution she needed.
“I’m not an early childhood educator,” Carnio said. “I’m not a coworking expert. But I knew I needed both things, and so did my community. So I reached out to people who were already doing what I wanted to do. I talked to childcare operators and coworking operators. And I found… I can do this.”
With the support of her friends and family, plus a vibrant local parent community, Carnio had the concept together and a full complement of children to enroll. What she didn’t have was knowledge of the ins and outs of licensing and regulations when it came to a daycare. That was another learning curve she had to overcome.
“There are so many elements to manage, with licensing and the government and the city and zoning — and so the fact that we were able to achieve two businesses in the same building is crazy.”
But Carnio and her team did it. And the team is the part she recommends any other prospective coworking operator prioritize. “You need to have a team you can depend on around you,” she said. “But don’t check out of the process. Stay tuned in, learn from your experts, but take ownership of it.”
Members of the coworking space have access to offices, desks, and booths. Plus networking events and communication among the community helps to connect professionals who are just a stroll down the hallway.
At ProducKIDvity, the vision doesn’t stop at creating a coworking environment for working parents and a safe, nurturing environment for their children. There is already a space for exercise on a Peloton bike and treadmill. And Carnio wants to solve even more of the daily challenges of today’s busy families.
“We’re looking to create a meal program for parents so if members want to join their kids for lunch, they can pre order their meals and pop down into their classroom — their lunch will be ready! We're working on the take home menu as well because dinner time is always the hardest time for parents.”
Carnio is also inviting the professional services parents often need to help with child development and self care, including language pathologists, massage therapists and more.
And all those learning opportunities? They aren’t going to waste.
“I already know what I’ll do differently in our next location,” Carnio shared. Because franchising her coworking and childcare operation is on the roadmap as well. But in the meantime, her flagship location will help her community’s parents with the juggle that is working and raising a family.
“I'm really just trying to create my own kind of utopia,” Carnio said. “One that works for other people too!”