The weekly coworking space in Palazzo San Niccolò made for mammas, called CoWork-It Mamma, is the brainchild of Emmy Yoshida, aiming to help mothers mingle while they work with kids kept entertained at the same time. Emmy tells us more about the English-language get-togethers for pioneering parents.
Tell us about your path to Florence.
I first moved to Florence in 2016 when my son Enzo was six years old. Shortly after, I started the agency, International Babysitters, as a service for tourists and residents in Florence before then launching our holiday nanny platform, Tripsitta. My son and I lived in the city for more than two years and have since lived in the UK and Rome, but we recently returned to Florence as I always missed it and never felt quite at home anywhere else. I now also have a wonderful daughter: she’s one and I named her Florence in homage to the city that I love so much.
Why did you create CoWork-It Mamma?
I was inspired to create CoWork-It Mamma because so many times since the birth of my daughter I found myself wishing that such a thing existed. I love my children and my work, but juggling both this past year has been a real challenge. It’s not easy working from home and caring for your children at the same time, as I’m sure many parents will agree. When Florence was three months old, I had the idea for CoWork-It Mamma. Coworking is the best way for people who work from home or independently to have important social interactions and to stay motivated. I craved a change of scenery and thought it would be amazing to be able to work surrounded by other mums in business and to support each other while also getting to see my daughter interacting with other children, having fun and learning.
Why do you think a format like this is needed on Florence’s community scene?
There are so many mothers who need the support of each other, who are trying to do the best for their children and struggling with juggling their many responsibilities. Hopefully CoWork-It Mamma will make their lives a bit easier, giving them something to look forward to each week and creating a great community of strong, fabulous women! Motherhood is the most amazing yet challenging experience. Sometimes it can be lonely and we can often be our own worst critics. There’s nothing more uplifting and meaningful than words of encouragement from someone who’s going through the same thing. When we come together and support each other, we can be unstoppable.
How will the group be organized?
From January 12, we will start our weekly sessions at Palazzo San Niccolò every Thursday morning from 9am to midday. It’s 10 euro per hour and includes childcare, a free coffee and engaging activities for children and babies led by experienced English-speaking nannies. We’ll start off with a group activity for mums and their babies, something like music circle, sensory play, story time, or mother and baby yoga, so children have time to relax and get comfortable in the space. Mums will then be able to work in the beautiful bar area of the Palazzo, while our Tripsitta nannies engage the children in some fun activities next door. There’s a set lunch on offer afterwards for any mums who want to eat together with their children. We will be encouraging all women who attend to bring business cards or to share details of their professions in case it would be useful for any other mums in the club and so we can assist each other in attaining our professional goals. We also welcome stay-at-home mums or those who are having a career break and would like the company of others. The aim is that we support and motivate each other! The coworking club will also be open to mums who have children in school or day-care and just want the opportunity to work with other women and network, plus we will have a discounted rate if you attend any sessions without your children.
How can people get involved?
To reserve a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date you would like to attend (sessions are held every Thursday), the age of your child/children, and if you would like to stay for lunch after the session. You can also find us on Facebook, where we post details of our programme.