For four years, Kathy Thomas has had the desire to open a co-working space that impacts other creatives and provides them an opportunity to own their work environment and welcome clients into professional space outside of coffee shops and home. Her search for the perfect workspace began in Orlando, Florida, where she found an inspiring marketplace, full of foot traffic, 24-hour security, shopping, and food right outside her office door. Within this space, she gained ideal exposure and confidence, catapulted her business, and tapped into the shared knowledge of like-minded business owners who became a built-in sounding board and support system. She realized her dream was possible.
Fast-forward to Nashville, TN, 2017—Kathy found office space, but it didn’t reflect her personal brand or vision. So, she tried working from home. Kathy noticed working from home lacked the desire she thought it would have. Being closed off from people left her uninspired and unmotivated. Life is about connecting with people and being in a community, so the search for the perfect office continued.
She longed for a setting that provided the same exciting inspiration she found in Orlando, and a location that made life easier (hello, free parking + coffee!). She also wanted a female-focused creative community that overflowed with support, idea sharing, and the drive to move to the next level. She soon discovered other female entrepreneurs were looking for the exact same thing.
When Kathy found a large space in historic L&L Marketplace, Kathy knew something bigger was at play. This building she dreamed of working in, fueled a new dream—creating Nashville’s first female-owned and operated co-working space. Why here? L&L Marketplace is home to shopping, restaurants, and fitness facilities. You can walk across the hall on your lunch break and workout, or buy flowers for your friend’s birthday on your way out the door. Life is a hybrid of work-life and home-life, and you shouldn’t have to choose one version of yourself over the other. “It makes me a better person, friend, business owner and mom when I have a professional environment that offers ease and conveniences. I am living my best life when I am in an ecosystem,” Kathy says.
It was an added bonus when Kathy discovered L&L’s history as a 1929 women’s hosiery factory, a building that symbolizes an era of change. In 1919, Tennessee played a huge role in the passing of the 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote), and tipped the scales by ratifying it in 1920. Exactly 100 years later, Collective615 is making history, too. This fully-restored landmark is a reminder of significant firsts for women (voting, employment, freedom), and breathes new life and convenience into Nashville’s brightest female ventures. With creative and business-focused workshops, networking events, and constant support, we’ll honor the past by fueling women’s roles as world-changing entrepreneurs.
We are a diverse community designed by women, for women. No matter what we offer in the future or how we grow, we’ll always seek passionate entrepreneurs (from small team startups to established solopreneurs) who are ready to connect, collaborate, and elevate their brands beyond expectation.