As a longtime writer, Julie Burton was accustomed to working from home while raising kids.
“It was very tricky to carve out that space for myself,” she said. “At home, and even at a coffee shop, there are so many distractions. … What do women need to do their best work?”
She became an expert on the topic after writing “The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Guide to Health and Well-Being,” in which she investigates how mothers balance caring for themselves and their families.
She concluded that women need community, inspiration and enrichment. She infused all of those ideas into her co-working space ModernWell, which opened at 2909 S. Wayzata Blvd. in January.
ModernWell holds lunchtime sessions on topics like finance and anxiety management. A dim “wellness” room provides a space for meditation, a nap or a massage. There is a quiet area with no talking, a podcast room, and a yoga studio with classes open to the public. An under-desk elliptical is available to operate while working.
“You need some kind of movement at some point in the day,” said Burton, who also teaches yoga. “Little things like that make it easy to do.”
The building formerly home to Sofas & Chairs and later Baby Grand was reborn with the “natural modern” aesthetic of designer and member Brianne Boettner, founder of Timber & Tulip, who specializes in live edge pieces and exotic woods.
ModernWell’s members include a photographer, independent marketing consultants, designers, a meditation expert and lots of writers.
“The Twin Cities Writing Studio are my core members here,” Burton said.
She and Nina Badzin co-founded the writing community in 2015 for women to support each other as they published articles and books. After the presidential election, Burton felt urgency to further support women.
“Women need to be united right now,” she said.
“It feels very supportive to be here,” said Kate Hopper, a freelance writer, editor and writing coach. She’s teaching an eight-week Women’s Memoir Writing Class beginning Jan. 30 at ModernWell.
Betsy Weiner of Amrita Health and Wellness is leading workshops this winter on the “Yoga of Fulfillment.” She also consults with women one-on-one to help them find a deeper sense of purpose.
ModernWell is hosting a literary conference Jan. 28 featuring authors Lorna Landvik, Andrea Jarrell and Jodi Livon.
Grants are available to help offset membership costs.