IAM1652 – Friends Bring Women Together Through Coworking Space

Podcast Interview with Amy Dagliano and Kate

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Having friends is great and being in business with your best friend is even greater. It was awesome to hear how the bond between Amy and Kate has grown into everything that they grew for their community and coworking space. I love that they talked about Collaboration over Competition and how that even planted seed on how they were created.

Check out premium content in the CBNation Library at and pick up our eBook to hear some of the best lessons at

Previous Episode:


The full transcription is only available to CBNation Library Members. Sign up today!


Amy Dagliano and Kate Teaser 0:00

So we do offer a beautiful co-working space for people, specifically women who are working from home, whether it's because they run their own businesses or they have a remote job. It's a beautiful place where people can go and work in a space that's really community-focused. So you're surrounded by other like-minded people. It's an open community where you can sit wherever you want, but we have different zones.

Intro 0:25
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:52

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and we're doing something a little bit different this year. With some of our episodes, we're repurposing some of our favorite episodes around specific topics related to entrepreneurship.

This month we're focusing on entrepreneurship and community. Us, we, our together, and we're gonna look at entrepreneurship and industries in different types of entrepreneurship and ultimately what that really means.

But we're also gonna delve deeper into the importance of community, networking niche communities, and how that supports being a CEO entrepreneur and business owner. So sit back and enjoy these special episodes around entrepreneurship and community.

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have two very special guests on the show today I have Amy Gagliano and Kate Janet of Rowan tree. Amy and Kate, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Amy Dagliano and Kate 1:42
Thank you so much.

Gresham Harkless 1:44
No problem, super excited to have you both on before we jumped in. I want to read a little bit more about both of them so you can hear about all the awesome things that they're doing.

Best friends Amy and Kate were celebrating their shared birthday in 2017 when the conversation turned to how amazing women are when they join together for a common goal. A few months an official idea was idea sprouted and Rowan Tree coworking and cogrowth community was born. Offering both virtual and in-person memberships, they are pioneering a new way to work.

Geared for women and welcome to ALL, Rowan Tree offers an inclusive, safe, and open community and coworking space. Within their growth ecosystem of women entrepreneurs and passionate allies, they intentionally foster a community of connection, collaboration, and inspiration. They infuse a mix of wellness, creativity, laughter, self-health, and kindness into their Rowgramming.

In the last year, they offered over 200 workshops on professional, business, personal, well-being, and creative growth. It's great to have you both on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Amy Dagliano and Kate 2:43

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 2:46
Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more on how this incredible idea got started. Could you take us through what I like to call your CEO story? What led you to get started with all those major working on.

Amy Dagliano and Kate 2:55
Sure, sure. I'll kick it off. Well, you mentioned some of them. And in our bio, but we are best friends and have been for about 16 years, the night we met, we actually discovered that we had the same birthday, same date, the same year, everything a few hours apart, though.

But we were best friends from that moment on and never had any inclination of running a business, never in our wheelhouse. We just both worked our own separate corporate jobs. But one night, as you mentioned 2017 we were out celebrating our birthday at karaoke having a couple of beers. And we said, Oh, you know, wouldn't it be nice if there was a space where women could get together and they could really focus on themselves, but also connect with one another? And, you know, just really collaborate? Yeah, that would be nice, you know, and just didn't think anything of it.

But like good ideas sometimes do. It just kind of kept popping up in both of our heads. And a few weeks later, I went to Kate's house, she was working from home and I was working from home. This was before everyone works from home. And we didn't know we were co-working. But we had a great day together, just hung out, and got our work done.

We went for a walk at lunch. And on the walk Kate said, you know that idea we had on our birthday, like kind of feel like there's something we should do something about it. And I was like, Yeah, we do. So we had no idea what it was but just jumped up and down and said okay, well, we better tell our husbands we're starting a business. And so from there started to do some research about what it meant to bring women together and how they worked together and collaborate.

See also  IAM031 - Visibility Expert Helps Established Entrepreneurs Skyrocket Their Visibility

And we saw this niche of female focus co-working that was really starting to spread across the US. And we knew that was the direction that we wanted to go. And so we just started one person at a time building our community and getting feedback from women in the community about what they loved about work, what they didn't like, what they wish they had more of in their lives, and use that to really help shape our initial decisions about building our space.

And then even started doing some pop-up events to make sure people knew who we were and knew what it was like to work at Roman tree. And that helped us build our community so that when we finally opened, we did a soft opening in November of 2018, we had 30 people who were members already, so it was great to open our doors and be able to fill the space that way.

Gresham Harkless 5:00
Nice. I absolutely love that. And I always feel the best ideas come from karaoke and a couple of beers. So I love how you know, everything got started, like I usually say and true entrepreneurial form. So many times we have ideas of things that we want to create and build.

But it's the true entrepreneur that really decides, hey, let's actually do this as actually building and creating this. I love that you all have been able to do this. So could you take us through a little bit more about exactly what we can find there and how you said the clients that you work with?

Amy Dagliano and Kate 5:15
Yeah, so we decided we're more than just a co-working space. We are a co-working and co-growth community.

So we do offer a beautiful co-working space for people, specifically women who are working from home, whether it's because they run their own businesses or they have a remote job. It's a beautiful place where people can go and work in a space that's really community-focused. So you're surrounded by other like-minded people. You have an open community where you can sit wherever you want, but we have different zones.

So there's an area we call the community hub and that's where You're kind of working, but chit-chatting and throwing ideas across the tables together. But then we have a focus zone as well. So that's where it's almost like the quiet car where if you just need to put your head down, you can go work, we offer conference rooms for rent. So if you have a client or a team you want to bring in, you can actually use those rooms as you need.

So it's a place where it's kind of in the middle of a coffee shop and a house. So it's like home with all the business amenities and friends. But then on top of that, we felt like it was important to offer more than just a place to work. Even though you do naturally connect, we wanted a place that offers programming that helps us be our best people, both in work and in life, because we feel and we all know this, if you're happy at work, then you're a happier parent, if you're a happier parent, you're happy at work, it all feeds into itself.

And the better people we can have, the better communities we'll have in the better world or house. So we wanted to create programming that's available to our members. And we have a credit that goes across our core pillars. So our tagline is work, connect, be well, and create. So we have professional focused programming, it ranges from anything from you know how to create a video, how to sell even if you're a nonsalesperson, how to think strategically to wellness- we offer yoga, we're actually about to offer a whole new perk to our members where they're getting access to different yoga classes totally for free by amazing yoga instructors.

But we also have programming that's more around, not just spiritual, but like creativity and personal growth as well. So even yesterday, we haven't asked the expert session where she talked about setting realistic expectations as parents for the school year. I mean, it's very practical stuff, but all together, it's a holistic approach. And it's so we feel like you're making your business better, but you're also making yourself better as well. And the other piece that we are actually looking into something else, but we really try to foster connection and collaboration.

So everything we do, we try to encourage our members to share, to promote each other. So even though you're a member, you're part of the community, and our job is to help each other grow. So that's really all included in membership. We have different levels, we have one that's focused on the workspace, one that's focused on the programming, and then a hybrid of both, but no matter what, you're a part of the community, and it is incredibly powerful.

Gresham Harkless 8:00
So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally, or your business as a whole. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

See also  IAM271- Content Creator and Podcast Host Focus on Gaming and Tech Industry News

Amy Dagliano and Kate 8:09
Yeah, so before I jump into that, I did want to add one point that Caitlin mentioned. So with COVID-19, our business actually did pivot quite a bit from being 100% in-person to 100%. virtual. And now we're open a little bit in person, but also virtually, but that ties into kind of what makes us so unique. As Kate said, we're focused on community, we're focused on, collaboration over the competition here.

And I think that's a really different model than a lot of other places, maybe put forth. And so it's not just a workspace, it's not just a networking group. It's this hybrid of both where it's really about building those relationships, building your community, and building your tribe or your support people around you. And so when we had to pivot from in-person to virtual because we had such a strong community, really everybody kind of seamlessly integrated over into a virtual environment.

And I think our members really needed the stability, and the support at the beginning of COVID-19, when everything around us was unknown and somewhat chaotic. So we kind of provided that really nice structure and stability, as they said, and so I think because we had such a strong community, that is why we were able to do that. And because we don't focus on just business and we are looking at the whole person.

There was so much that we could offer and support our members with and so much that they get out of it. But it's valuable to them to stick with us even in the toughest of times.

Gresham Harkless 9:35
So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Amy Dagliano and Kate 9:45
So I nod out all the time over a couple podcasts and you know most people especially in DC like really like the power of podcasts and the DC focus podcast, I tend to draw towards the real ones that I feel like I can truly relate to. So there's a podcast called Happier in Hollywood. And it's actually this woman, Sarah Fain, and Liz Craft, and they're both Hollywood tv writers.

But they've been best friends, they were good friends since high school, and they decided to become writing partners, and they write for TV. So they're in Hollywood, but they have this weekly podcast where they talk about how to deal with the profession of Hollywood writing, but it really lends itself to any career, especially working with a partner, making tough decisions, where there's really no roadmap, and also how to work together, while navigating your life and your marriages.

And everything else that comes in between. So they often provide just little nuggets every week of stuff that I actually use, both in person and, and work life. And it's just more like, how to prioritize or how to remember to not sweat the small stuff, I should hate that phrase. But you know what I mean, like, but the idea is, what it just helps you remind you what really matters. And it also reminds you that we always have these glossy images on Facebook and in all these interviews, everybody looks perfect.

And what I like about it, is if you just saw these two women from afar, you like, wow, they got it together. But there's also a lot of mess behind the scenes, and they openly share it, which I think makes us all stronger, and more confident because of it. And then we're able to not waste our time worrying about how we look. So start powerful with being confident that oh, this is totally normal. I can keep forging ahead and all this nonsense, it's going on as normal and that's fine.

And so then I can actually focus on what matters, it's happier in Hollywood if it cracks me up, highly recommended.

Gresham Harkless 11:43
I love that as well. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. And that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or a community member, or if you got into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Amy Dagliano and Kate 11:56
So I was thinking a lot about this. And I thought of two but I'll make them short. So I can tell you two and they might seem relatively simple, but the weight of them is very important. So the first is to ask for help. When you're starting a new business I've had so many people come to me and say, Oh, really, I don't know how to do this. I've never done this before.

Well, I've never done this before. And you just kind of figure it out as you go. But you also know your strengths, and you know what you're not good at. And so you have to be willing to ask for help. Because this takes a village to run, as most businesses do. And you often can't do it all by yourself. And you often do need support from people that are experts in a field that you're not. And it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to say I'm not sure how to do this, can you help me? Can you be a resource?

See also  IAM1932 - CEO Helps the Underprivileged Yet Aspiring Individuals

And that was something we learned at the beginning. But even now, more than ever, no one has been in this current situation, in this current landscape. And it's okay, we all need to reach out to each other than say, look, I excel here, you excel here, let's put these together, see what we can do and how we can help each other and lift each other up. And so I highly recommend that and it kind of goes hand in hand with that.

The second thing is trusting your gut. Often when you're starting a new business, you're saying, okay, well, people told me I should be on this platform, and I should be using this thing and I should be going over here, doing this going to this networking event. But none of that might be applicable to who you are in your business and who your target audiences is.

And so it's very easy to get swayed by trying to do all the things and go all the places and be everything that people tell you to be but really trusting your gut to say, I'm not sure that this is right for me, I'm not sure this is where I'm going to find my client or I'm not sure this is how I want to sell or I'm not sure that just because these five people over here did it and were successful that this is right for me.

And it's hard in the beginning to kind of trust in that and say that, but truly that has been what has helped Kate and I the most in asking for help. But we know what we're doing is a little bit different so what worked for, we were to say maybe different than it is for us or what worked for you. A global networking group might be a little bit different for us and so it's just being okay with like, this, this feels right, or this doesn't.

Gresham Harkless 14:11

Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Katie and Amy, what does being CEO mean to you?

Amy Dagliano and Kate 14:22

Being a CEO is having the freedom to have an idea and to run with it for years of working for other organizations, but I still need some hard time. There's so much bureaucracy and red tape. If you have an idea, it is so hard to execute it, and having that open field of, you know, let's try this.

Okay, why not? And it doesn't matter if you fail, you're not gonna get fired, you know? But you can try it opens up this creativity that you knew was always there.

Gresham Harkless 14:54
I appreciate that, I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get hold of you, get a membership and find out about all those things that we're working on.

Amy Dagliano and Kate 15:06

Awesome, thanks. Well, I'll say that part first. So don't forget it, you can find us at And all of our membership information is on there, as well as a link to our events page. Because we literally have events on a daily basis, most of which are internal for our members, but we do a few times a month have external events for the public, but anyone's always willing to we're always open to having people come, and try it because we feel it's important that you feel like it's the right fit for you before committing to be a part of this community.

So the only other thing I wanted to mention is, as we talked about earlier, from the beginning, we've been very upfront that we follow a model of collaboration over competition. And something that we did at the beginning of our journey is we reached out to other female focus co-working spaces and said, Wow, you're doing a really amazing thing, we're thinking about creating something similar.

Could we pick your brain for a few minutes? Could you give us a few tips? What have you learned, we were really nervous to do it at first, we were protective of the idea and didn't realize that the more that we shared, the more we will get back when we reach these other spaces and they were so open and so helpful.

Gresham Harkless 16:10
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. I truly appreciate that again, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:13
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button