I want to tell you a story. In truth, it's a love story. It's a long one, but it has a happy ending. Nearly a year ago, I felt in my heart that it was time for us to grow into a new home. Our current space was the perfect launch pad, but our needs have grown along with us over the last 3 years, and we deserve to thrive in space as extraordinary as we are. Our lease was coming up at the end of 2019, so it was now or never. It was a terrifying decision, but I said it out loud and committed to make it happen.
For the last 10 months or so, I have been searching this town far and wide to find our dream home. I had a very specific list of "conditions of satisfaction", and I saw a lot of mediocre spaces... nothing that checked all the boxes and gave me that *magic* feeling, the X factor that would tell me it was the one. It was a lot like online dating, to be honest. Just as frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking. The space and landlords ranged from uninspired to downright misogynist, and I was starting to get beat down, nearly ready give up on ever finding a space that could support us and be our equal.
After months of searching and touring yet another uninspiring space, the broker (sensing our disappointment, I'm sure) asked if we wanted to see a different space he represented nearby. Feeling a bit jaded and like we had nothing to lose, we walked down the block and arrived in front of the most spectacularly extra building in Portland: the Fair-Haired Dumbbell. It was covered in a swirling, color-rich mural that evoked flowers and geodes. Even the name was a delight. I held my breath as we took the elevator up to the 5th floor, and gasped as we were greeted with a stunning, sweeping view of downtown Portland. The Burnside Bridge straight ahead, the Fremont Bridge to the North, Mt. Hood to the South, and the whole east side of Portland behind us. We were right in the beating heart of the city, but it felt like a peaceful, sky-high sanctuary. The space itself was light and airy with tall ceilings of exposed timber, but also warm and friendly. It was a completely raw space, a blank slate to map our dreams onto. And- dream of dreams- it came with the best landlord in the city, Kevin Cavenaugh of Guerrilla Development; a visionary in his own right who is paving a new way for more ethical and equitable development in Portland. The Fair-Haired Dumbbell was one of the first buildings in Portland to adopt a Community Investment model, allowing everyday folks and neighbors to invest in and receive returns on commercial real estate, an industry long known as only a rich man's game. Even the architectural design of the building caused a stir, and was created to stand out and be noticed. It was clear this whole situation was anything but mediocre.
The team and I looked at each other and knew in an instant- this was it. This was the magic I had been searching for. A space that would truly support us and align with our values, a building that prioritized Beauty and was built with Love, that supports the Community and is owned by a person of Integrity; the building screams Expression and it's whole vibe is a Celebration of the joy of living in Portland. It sits unabashedly in a place of Power, and it's commitment to shared Prosperity mirrors our own feminine economy here at The Perlene. It felt like a miracle to find it. It was. It is.
All of this brings us to today. As of December 31, 2019, The Perlene will be closing our current space, and will be moving into a 4,300 square foot, custom-designed feminist palace on the entire fifth floor of the Fair-Haired Dumbbell.
There is so much to look forward to at our new home! Here are some highlights:
1) MORE MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE! Apply for membership NOW, to get on the interview list. New memberships begin February 1, 2020! 2) BETTER EVENT PROGRAMMING. Our extensive classes + events schedule is already pretty incredible, and now with more room to play, a stage, and a wine bar… you can scratch “have more fun” off your to-do list. 3) SAUNA. Yes, you read that right. We will have an infrared sauna and shower in our gorgeous Beauty Room. We take luxurious self-care seriously around here. 4) MORE MEETING ROOMS AND UPGRADED WORKSPACE! Plus, extra phone booths, dedicated desks, a spectacular board room, meditation/nap room, and podcast studio! 5) LIFE + BUSINESS SUPPORT. Expert speakers, accountability groups, “business therapy”, and full-on coaching programs. We all need help to reach our highest potential. We got you.
All this, plus an incredible community, built on shared values and passions. We are accomplished, open-hearted womxn who are here to lift each other up, make real friendships, and form a powerful network of connection. Are you ready to join us?
APPLY NOW to be considered for membership in 2020! We can’t wait to meet you.
We will be in a pop-up space at the Fair-Haired Dumbbell starting January 1, until our new space is ready in February! Come by for one of our weekly Open House Happy Hours to meet some members, feel the magic, and see our space in progress!
And because we are visual creatures, here is a mood board so you can get a glimpse into the design process!