Coworking is Working

I have been interning at Ment since February and from the moment I stepped into the workspace for the first time, I knew there was something special. Something special about Ment. Something special about the people who worked there. Something special about coworking.

Prior to interning at Ment, I had never heard of the concept of coworking. I was immediately fascinated by it. The idea of all kinds of industries under one roof, helping each other learn and grow together? I was hooked. I knew I had to jump in head first.

This week, I have been reading 10 Reasons Why Coworking is Working and I could not agree more with the words found in this listicle. The biggest part of coworking that I adhere to the most is the community. When joining a coworking space, you allow yourself to be fed by a community of workers who want to see you succeed, since there is no competition to be better or advance through office politics. Community happens to be one of the values of the whole coworking industry, and for good reason. Once you water the souls of the people working, amazing things will blossom.

Coworking is working for so many reasons. Maybe it’s the flexible hours, the community perks, or maybe it is the free snacks. Whatever it is, this industry is booming and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

However, I believe it is the values that this industry holds so dear that is keeping coworking afloat. You might have noticed that throughout our blogs and our social media posts this month that we have created our own values that align with those of overall industry while being fresh to us. These values are what draw people into our space day after day. We are nearing our first birthday (June 13) and it was important to us here at Ment to establish those values so we have a better grasp on who we are and how we can serve those who come out of our elevator every day.

Being able to identify and stick to our values has allowed us to have something to refer to when times get tough but more importantly, have something to guide us in every aspect of what we do. Our values help us stick true to who we are and gives us the opportunity to serve those in our community to the best of our ability.

What we’re about at Ment is simple: a community curated with you in mind. We want to center ourselves around you. If I do say so myself (I might be a little biased,) but I think we’re doing a pretty good job.

The Power of Empower-Ment

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Written by Pare and Flourish Co-Founders, Katie Butler and Skylar Wooden

When asked what our “-ment” word was, it was obvious. Empowerment.

From the start of Pare and Flourish, we had one mission in mind: to empower others. Through articles. Through close-knit conversations. Through panel discussions.  

And though it’s taken different forms, our mission has always been the same.

Carrying that vision forward, we’ve chosen Ment Cowork as the location for our second Flourishing Females event on June 1st. [This event includes a panel discussion about finding your niche, a workshop on grabbing your audience’s attention, and lots of food, drinks, and networking.]

Ment is leading the charge for coworking in Bowling Green, bringing with them a culture of uplifting collaboration—perfect for a day of learning, growing, and connecting with local female entrepreneurs. Perfect for empowerment.

>> Interested in checking it out? Information and tickets for the event are available here.

In honor of this event being at Ment, we’ve reflected on the ways we’ve set out to empower women in our community, and what empowerment means to us.

Empowering Our Readers

Whether it gives you the power to network without fear or to ask for that raise, a blog article speaks to a part in us that needs development. Parts of us that we know are there, but need a push to be put into motion.

That’s how we started—writing blog articles on topics we struggled through and learned from, in hopes of empowering someone else to jump the hurdle. We shared our advice in the most genuine, authentic way we could.

Here’s a snippet from our very first post, setting the tone for Pare and Flourish:

“It is a personal mission of ours not to romanticize our lives, as is so often done in the age of social media.

So here we have a safe space. A space for the real, the authentic, and the genuine.

In this blog, you can expect first-hand accounts of our daily life struggles, how we’ve learned (so far) to become happy with the choices that we’ve made, and pieces of advice that we would like to have learned earlier on. You’ll find that we’ve made mistakes. You will also find what we’ve made of those mistakes. We hope that you apply our retrospection to your life, and come out ahead.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Empowering Our Peers

When blog articles didn’t feel like enough—like we weren’t reaching enough people, like we weren’t making a big enough impact—we transitioned to events.

Our first foray into events was the Flourish Roundtable. Roundtables are small group discussions, promoting authenticity and empowerment.

We wanted more than screen engagement. We wanted real, deep connection based on topics that are relevant to all of our lives. To provide a place where women could look around and see that there are other women feeling similar emotions, having similar thoughts.

Roundtables are a place for thoughtful engagement, advice, support, and all the good feels.

Recounting a Roundtable experience, this is what we wrote:

“If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, something that makes you feel connected to someone based on more than your common interests, but on your common beliefs and feelings, this is the place for you. A Flourish Roundtable event creates that connection. And we are honored to facilitate that connection.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Empowering Our Flourishing Females

When Roundtables weren’t enough, we widened our audience. Flourishing Females Panel + Workshops became a way to do more than gather.  

We widened our net to any woman who owns her own business, or aspires to. No matter the situation, there’s something to gain from this event.

Networking with like-minded women.

Learning from established entrepreneurs and leaders about their own challenges and advice.

Engaging in workshops to collaborate and motivate.


After our first Flourishing Females event, as always, we wrote about it.

“We created this Panel + Workshop as a way to expand our reach, and include a wider point of view from our panelists in their respective industries. Without knowing what shape it would take, we started putting together a panel, planning a workshop, and connecting everything in between.

We were overwhelmed with the number of people who were willing to jump in and make this happen. It confirmed something we already knew about Bowling Green: everyone wants to see each other succeed.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Join us at our second Flourishing Females Panel + Workshop to feel the empowerment first hand. Maybe you’re starting a business and need a network. Maybe you have a business and feel alone in it. Maybe you have a great idea and you need the courage to put it out there.

No matter what, and no matter what you do, this event is for you.  

Don’t forget to register!


Collaboration Over Competition


In the hustle and bustle of the business world, it is easy to get caught up in what your company is doing. You find yourself focusing inward and see every other company doing anything remotely similar to be wrong and doing it worse than you. Of course, you’re better than the competition, or that is how you see it. But, the competition is looking at you thinking the exact same thing.

Most people view competition as healthy, as something that can push you forward and above the rest. Competition, if you let it, will seep into every aspect of your life: friends, family, even random people on the street. Always being the best can lead to detriment in your life if left unchecked. I am not saying all competition is bad! A little is what pushes us to keep going. I am talking about the kind that burrows deep and causes rifts in your work life, personal life, and more.

That is one thing I love about the coworking industry. Many other businesses promote competition, always being better than the person next to you and striving to be on top. Coworking just lends itself to more collaboration, within members and the industry as a whole.

On the membership side, it helps that many of the workers in a space are in different industries. There could be a graphic designer working next to a real estate broker who is working next to a writer. The nature of what coworking is doesn’t have room for competition. There is no office politics, there is no fighting for positions, just work.

Here’s an example. If the real estate broker needs a logo made for their business, they don’t have to go out and search for a designer. They know that they have someone who works alongside them that they could contact. This trade allows for both businesses, the designer and the real estate broker, to flourish.

We gain new perspectives when we collaborate with others. We see things from new angles, and learn things in a way we may not normally see. If someone is working on a project and needs an outside opinion, they can lean over to the person next to them. Coworking creates an atmosphere for more interaction, which leads to more innovation, creativity, and even profit. According to, “environments that convey this kind of positive energy are a key reason that coworking is growing at a dizzying pace.”

The industry is also fairly void of competition. We are fortunate at Ment to not have any other coworking spaces in our town, but that doesn’t mean we don’t face competition, just in other ways. I find so fascinating the concept of coworking alliances. No other industry in the world could pull something off like this. A coworking alliance is made up of a group of coworking spaces in an area and they come together to support each other. They promote coworking as a whole, rather than an individual space. Cities like Orlando and San Diego have coworking alliances and they spread the values of coworking together. Arizona has one available for the whole state. An alliance can highlight the strengths of a certain place, but not one space is the top dog.

Coworking as an industry is amazing. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the curve and is the future of working. Many other industries could benefit from the model that coworking sets: a collaborative environment set on building everyone around you up.

coworking space bowling green

Vulnerability in the Workplace

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Vulnerability and workplace are two words that do not usually mix. The former, a flowery word that concerns itself with feelings and emotions cannot fathom intertwining itself with the hard corporate world of deadlines, investments, and structure. Thus, people seem to hide their emotional selves while at work and bottle them up until they go home for the day.

However, I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. Being vulnerable in your workspace can be the best thing for you. Being open allows you to really, truly connect with coworkers or executives on a deeper level. Every single person has feelings, whether they choose to show them or not. The ability to feel is what makes us humans on the most basic level and what separates us from every other creature on this planet.

Acknowledging vulnerabilities can lead to a more productive and proactive work environment. Being emotionally intelligent allows coworkers to connect deeper, to form lasting relationships, and in turn, get more done. Taking a moment to see emotions, talk about them, and move on really shows strength and humanity.

On the flip side, hiding emotional vulnerabilities can wreak havoc at a place of work. People may hide their feelings because they don’t feel adequate or that their emotions do not matter, but bottling them all up will only lead to a bigger explosion down the line.

Opening your emotions at work will bring about more growth and learning. Vulnerabilities allow for a sense of humanity within a workplace. Genuine connections can blossom once you become more open with yourself and others in your space. Creating vulnerable and intentional conversations can foster true connections.

Being vulnerable applies to leaders as well. In my opinion, the best bosses are ones who connect emotionally and are willing to be vulnerable. Not that an executive needs to be crying all the time or asking too many personal questions, but maybe being open to those things (aside from the crying.) Stepping back as a leader allows other’s ideas to shine and employees to feel more connected, grounded, and engaged in their work.

Egos are nowhere to be found in a vulnerable workplace. Once you take down your personal guards around whatever you might be feeling, your ego will naturally see itself out. Putting your ego aside allows more room to listen and take from others. You have room to acknowledge other people’s ideas and to attach your’s to theirs. Egos can get in the way of a cooperative work environment.

Vulnerability is so important that the coworking industry as a whole has made it one of their core values. Ment has taken that and ran with it and we created our value nourishment based on their tenant of vulnerability. We believe as a space that we are here for your highs and lows. We strive to be expansive and inclusive and to nourish the souls of everyone who walks through our doors.

As a space, Ment wants to make ourselves as comfortable as possible to allow for open conversations. Our lounge has comfy couches, a skylight, and plants to create an environment you want to be in. Our library is color-coded (seriously, I am obsessed with it so come check it out) and organized to allow for better workflow. All the colors in our space are neutral as not to distract, but also to create a calm and reassuring environment.

The moral of the story is simple: being vulnerable allows all the good things about humanity to shine through. Bringing feelings into a work environment is tough, I get that, but it allows people to bring their whole selves to work and not leave a portion of themselves at home. Start by taking a moment to genuinely ask a coworker how they are. Not some quick small talk to start the day, but intentional curiosity about that person. Get to know them on a deeper level, know their families and their history. Begin to foster a vulnerable environment.

How Do You Define Your Values?


From the first time a potential customer hears your company’s name, they are subconsciously analyzing what makes up that company. Things like why are they here? what do they do? and what makes them stand out? are among the questions that wrack a consumer’s brain and this is all before they consider buying your product or using your service.

In this day and age, consumers are getting online and researching all there is to know about a company before applying for a job, eating at their restaurant or even just getting a haircut. The decision is made before they step foot into your space. Your online presence and your brand convey something a good review just cannot say: your values.

It is important to define a company’s values in a language that is plain and simple so that customers can grasp them, but complex enough to define your entire brand in just a few words. Values allow the potential consumer to really take a glimpse inside your brand and see whether they align their beliefs with yours. Today, a company’s values are just as important as the first sale and it is imperative for a brand to have them and use them well.

First and foremost, a set of values identify a brand to its consumers. It shows the company in a favorable light and provides the customer with all that the brand is and wants to be. Values clarify what a firm stands for, and if they have a great set of values compared to a competitor that has lax values, (or none at all) I know I would choose the one with the clear values backing their brand.

Values allow a company to have something to fall back on in light of a difficult decision. If a conflict arises, a company can look to their values to answer there question. If one of their values is honesty and they are knee-deep in a scandal, it might be best to tell the public the truth.

Ment has been focusing on defining our values recently and we thought we could share our process with you in hopes that it could help your business maybe do the same.

First off, we sat down and did our research. There are five existing core values for the coworking industry: Community, Openness, Collaboration, Accessibility and Sustainability. While these values are ones we uphold as well, we felt there were different words to describe how Ment feels and how we want it to feel for others. Therefore we pulled up our handy dandy Google search and began looking for other words that stuck out to us but still fell under the five industry values. There were many (a lot) of -ment words that we pulled out and as you will see we kept a few of them too.

We wanted to really harvest what we were trying to do as a coworking space and then provide that to the members and the community of Bowling Green as a whole. With this, we landed on four core words that we ended up realizing they cultivated the image of a plant growing into a garden.

Take a step back and think about what makes up your brand, what makes it stand out, and what you want to convey to the public. Those qualities are what will make up your values. Proceed then to share them on a website, blog, or on your social media accounts. Your values will allow you to dive deeper toward your customers and provide a more personal approach to business which will result in a brand that will last through any recession, any hiccup, and any mistake.

Start Small, Think Big

Our world is dominated by businesses and commerce. As soon as we wake up and turn on the news, we see advertisements for businesses all over our area and country. Most of what we see constitutes as a big business, a national or global entity that is taking over the commerce realm. However, most businesses that affect our daily lives are small. They might not be household names or don’t have budgets to advertise on a national scale, but small businesses are the backbone of our country and are assets to our local community. May 5-11 is National Small Business Week, so let’s celebrate!

If you’re into numbers, Forbes states there approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States alone and employ almost half of America’s working population. 543,000 new businesses start every single year and even may of those fail within the first year. That is why it is so important to support local businesses!

Small and local businesses are what make our communities flourish. Take Bowling Green for instance. Fountain Square is only made up of small business and they are well known within our community. Businesses like Spencer’s Coffee is practically famous in this town. Go in there on any given day and see at least five people you know, and if you’re a student trying to study, expect to get nothing done as you sip great coffee with good friends. Back Down South boutique is a staple for fashionable pieces and gifts. There are countless other small businesses that make up Bowling Green, such as restaurants, shops, bars, and more.

These small businesses cultivate a community identity within Bowling Green. Our town prides itself on its small businesses. We have created character for ourselves within our vibrant community. Not all towns are like that. Bowling Green was awarded 13th on the list of Best Small Cities for Business this year and was the highest ranking city in Kentucky.

Small businesses in this area support each other and want to see each other succeed. That is where Ment comes in. We want to support all your new business dreams. We know it takes a village to raise a business; much like does a child. No one should have to do that alone. Coworking allows the business owner to have flexibility and freedom within their workplace environment. As businesses might be taking off, they can invest in a coworking membership before they purchase an office or store. Coworking creates a community for members to feel a part of that supports each other, which is beneficial to a small business owner who is just getting off the ground. The coworking community also provides a great way to network and further improve your business.

It is important to support small businesses not only during National Small Business Week, but every week of the year. They make up a majority of our national economy and provide quality and character to any town. Ment wants to support small businesses in all we do and we urge you to do the same!