Entrepreneurs Open Co-working Space to Provide Affordable Rent for Business Owners

Dr. Ila Foster, left and Stacey M. Lanier

By Cynthia Anderson

NASHVILLE, TN — Entrepreneurs Stacey Lanier and Ila Foster have launched an innovative new business venture that offers health and wellness professionals a way to own their own practice without the overhead associated with starting a business.

Two of the five offices for rent at the Atelier, a co-working space for entrepreneurs.

Lanier and Foster are co-owners of The Atelier (a French name for workshop or studio). It is a space at 5505 Edmonson Pike Ste. 102 in Nashville where members can rent office space in four or eight hour blocks of time.  The shared space, known as a “coworking space” allows health professionals such as psychotherapist, dietitians, nurse practitioners, life coaches and others to rent a fully-furnished, fully-equipped space.

“What we are finding is people are trying to find a space that reduces the risk…so for them to try it out is a smart business idea,” Lanier said.

“Atelier is unique in co-working space because it’s an opportunity to open a business without all of the overhead.”

Coworking is a business service model where individuals work independently or collaboratively in shared office space. The typical user of a coworking facility is self-employed, a telecommuter, or a freelance worker. 

Foster, a chiropractor, and Lanier, a licensed professional counselor, operate their businesses out of the Atelier building. 

Foster said they invested their own money to renovate space inside the building to make it affordable for health professionals like themselves to start businesses because as Nashville’s population has increased, the cost of leasing commercial space has skyrocketed.

The costs of leasing a commercial space, and paying the cost of internet, telephone, and fax is a deterrent for many potential new entrepreneurs, Foster said. However, the Atelier is an alternative that removes barriers to access.

 “The same way housing increased, commercial leasing increased as well,” Foster said. “If you are looking to rent commercial space in Nashville, you would be out of thousands of dollars before you see one patient. You also have to endure the stress of how you are going to pay. This takes away all stress.”

The Atelier is a five-office suite. Its members rent spaces that are fully furnished and they have access to a data center, breakroom, mailboxes and free Wi-Fi. Members pay approximately $285 for an 8-hour block of time. There is also a drop in rate of $40 per hour (which requires an annual membership fee). The space is also available for rental for events. Lanier said it would be ideal for professionals such as photographers and wedding planners.

In addition to accessibility, Lanier and Foster are also building a community that provides support and networking opportunities for business professionals. As part of the community, they provide a monthly networking mix and mingle, encourage members to refer patients to each other, and also give members access to professional development speakers. 

“When we started we needed so much more support, we needed to learn what not to do,” Lanier said. “This community is designed to reflect all of the things members need. We are here to help them succeed.”

For additional information including rental rates and how to become a member, visit https://www.spacebyatelier.com

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