This year certainly hasn’t gone according to plan - a candid letter from our Founder
This year certainly hasn’t gone according to plan. It’s been an interesting year to say the least. When I set up One Roof in Southbank I always knew at some point we would need to vacate. The building was earmarked for redevelopment and so our time there was always somewhat of a ticking time bomb.
And yet, thanks to Central Equity who gave us a chance even before anyone really knew who we were, we were able to occupy a massive property right next to Flinders St Station, to pack out the building with 160 members, host events almost every day of the week in a 200-person event space, see on average 250,000 people in and out of the space every year, build an online community of 25,000+ predominantly women, raise capital with truly impressive and high profile investors and become the leading co-working space in Australia and globally dedicated to women in businesses.
We were able to achieve all of this in just four years. And that doesn’t even include our members’ success stories - everything from raising capital, going global, doubling their teams, tripling their revenue, winning prestigious awards all while have a supporting space and community under one roof to ensure they have the greatest chance of success.
3 months ago I got the call. We need to vacate by the 30th of September. While I always knew it was coming I really hoped I still had months, if not years, to continue working on the space while securing a new flagship site. In my mind I would transfer the community over to the new site swiftly and smoothly with minimal interruptions. This is not how things have panned out.
And yet not a single One Roof member has complained ( I had the foresight and integrity to be transparent and upfront with everyone right from the start). In fact it has been a very humbling experience. We hosted a Goodbye Southbank party with 150 people in our community a week ago and I was blown away by the speeches, videos, songs and the words shared about how much One Roof has transformed peoples’ lives and businesses.
We have since spent the week supporting members to move to new offices, selling and storing furniture and planning for how we will engage the community in the interim. This definitely wasn’t part of the plan.
In fact most of this year hasn’t gone according to plan. On a personal front I have also been faced with a rollercoaster of emotions. I lost a pregnancy at 22 weeks in February this year which is something no one can prepare you for but recently announced I am pregnant again. Just to add to the mix and chaos of closing one space and working on opening another. When people ask me how are you going to juggle it I just laugh at the question and say I have no idea, it’s not something we can really prepare for, but somehow I will make it happen. One thing I know for sure, the nursing room will be a central feature in the new space!
I want to assure everyone I am more motivated than ever to keep One Roof alive, to ensure it thrives and to take One Roof to the next level. I love what I do. I am deeply passionate about supporting women and diversity in business. Stay tuned for updates on our new flagship location in the coming months. I am super excited for the next version of One Roof and even more excited to share it with everyone.
To ensure we are all on the same page and you get the sense of our vision – the next space will have co-working, offices, an event space, drop in business lounge, café, yoga and meditation, nursing room, onsite nannying services, an investment fund and incubator program for women-led businesses, social club, event series with high profile speakers, leadership program for women and beautiful board rooms and break out areas. Every nook and cranny will be well thought out and aligned with our brand and mission to support women in business. From there we will continue to grow around Australia and ensure we are the driving force that makes Australia the best place in the world to be a woman in business.
Finally, a massive thank you to every single person who opened a door for me during the journey of building One Roof Southbank. The team at Central Equity and, in particular, Karl and Eddie Kutner, my investors and advisory board, everyone who has sponsored, supported and partnered with us, our members and the broader One Roof community.
The World Economic Forum estimates it could take 218 years to truly close the gender gap worldwide. We have a ridiculously long way to go. It is people like you, who open a door, no matter how small or significant, that leads to genuine change. Thanks to you we have had incredible impact to date and, in many ways, it’s just the beginning of what One Roof will achieve.
Stay tuned for what’s to come! Sign up to our newsletter here so you can follow our journey and be the first to know when we open our new location. And we have big expansion plans. If you have ideas for locations in Melbourne or Australia wide please get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
With gratitude and motivation - Sheree Rubinstein.