Austin-based female-only coworking space The Refinery closed on March 31 after being unable to cover expenses due to lack of revenue. Founder Hayley Swindell-Wakefield said that, with Austin rents skyrocketing, the cost of operating a sustainable business became increasingly challenging.
The Refinery opened in January 2018 to offer a space that catered to Austin’s female business and creative-oriented community. The firm partnered with women-led companies such as Outdoor Voices and Bumble and also hosted panels and talks that aimed to bring women together.
“Owning and operating The Refinery has taught me more than I can ever imagine,” said Swindell-Wakefield. “It taught me that I am not Superwoman and I cannot do it all alone, and that’s okay. It also brought out my strengths and weaknesses every day. I have learned that I love hospitality and creating exceptional experiences for people, putting on events and the feeling of a close-knit community.”
Although The Refinery had a short life, Swindell-Wakefield feels encouraged to continue fostering connections between women.