Jade Terminella is an entrepreneur at heart.
She started her first business at age 7, another one at 12 and won entrepreneurial awards in high school. At age 19 as a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, she and her sister started Lola, an upscale women’s clothing store. She sold Lola after 10 years but continued to be involved for another five. She and her sister currently own Thatch, a handmade jewelry company based in California.
“You have to be a risk taker to be an entrepreneur,” Terminella said. “I’m not sure if it’s luck or an innate sense that I have, but I seem to be able to balance walking the line of risk well. And honestly, I think this was what I was meant to do. I never thought of doing anything else. I love creating ideas. I love collaborating with people. I love leading people.”
It’s not surprising Terminella is onto her next startup — The Company Club, a members-only women’s club on Southeast Second Street in downtown Bentonville’s Haxton District.
Given Terminella’s background of businesses that cater to women, her entrepreneurial spirit and her natural love of connecting people, it’s a perfect fit.
As a “clubhouse for the modern woman,” The Company Club will be a “home away from home for women who are active, progressive, involved, community driven and focused on connecting with other women on a larger scale,” Terminella said. “I love creating a safe space for women to connect.”
Professionally decorated by Fayetteville designer Stacy Sheid, Terminella described the approximately 3,000-square-foot space as “modern and clean, but also kind of fun.” It will include a kitchen, workspace, library, comfortable seating and changeable spaces that might include yoga or a pop-up nail salon.
Members will be encouraged to treat it “as a luxuriated home away from home, better than your living room and more inspiring than your office. A place you want to be,” Terminella said. The space will open in early August and be available seven days a week.
Women-only social co-working clubs catering to women executives are popping up across the country, including The Nelle in Kansas City, Mo.; The Assembly in San Francisco; The Lola, launching in Atlanta this summer; and The Chief in New York City.
Among the most successful is The Wing, founded in New York City in 2016 and now boasting a membership of about 6,000 across 12 cities, with four locations in New York City and others in London, Chicago, West Hollywood, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. Membership is $2,350 per year or $215 a month.
“I loved taking ideas from all these different women’s club models and molding them together to what will work for Northwest Arkansas,” Terminella said.
While women will certainly use The Company Club as a co-working space, Terminella wants it to be “a support system for all things, career included, but the focus lies on the whole woman. Our model is more of a mindset and lifestyle.”
“Our three focuses are on inspiration for women through curated experience, education and community,” Terminella said. The experiences, she said, might include women-focused dinner parties, wine tastings, retreats and workshops.
Education comes through programming like keynote speakers, worships, panel discussions and classes on a wide variety of subjects. The community aspect centers on women coming together at the club or during events where Terminella hopes informal mentoring will take place.
The word “company” in the name is an intentional effort to convey the business connotation of the organization, but also company in the sense of community, Terminella said.
Steve Clark, owner and founder of Propak Logistics in Fort Smith, is a major investor in The Company Club, with $400,000 in backing. Terminella said the total initial investment is $500,000.
Human resources consultant Allyson Malone and Amy Robinson have come onboard to handle memberships/partnerships and educational programs/events, respectively. Malone has 20-plus years of experience as a consultant. Robinson, a business coach, is the founder and CEO of Tribe of Women, an organization dedicated to creating cultures of women supporting women.
The Company Club will look at the whole woman, Robinson said.
“It’s not about what you do. It’s about who you are and that you bring who you are to what you do,” she said. “When women support women, women succeed. The Company Club is where that actually lives. It’s where the rubber meets the road and where we will do it in practice. That will be our culture. It’s a safe place where you are seen and accepted and welcomed for whoever you are and wherever you are in your career or your life or your next phase.”
“The key is that this inspires women to do their thing, whatever their thing is,” Malone said.
Through a series of six “meetups” — informal focus groups held from November to March, with as many as 75 local women attending — Terminella and her team realized women in Northwest Arkansas are missing a sense of community and a strong support network.
They learned women want help in three areas: confidence, negotiation and transitions in life, such as from school to a first job, from staying at home to a career, from career to what’s next in retirement and taking care of aging parents. Programming will stem from these areas.
Many events will be open to the public for a small fee.
“It’s very important for us to keep the community component. We don’t want to be an exclusive small women’s club. We really want to impact all women whether you’re a member or not,” Terminella said.
Communitywide events include the “Breakfast Club,” which will be hosted once a month in different cities throughout the region. The first will be in September at The 1907 in Rogers, with Onyx Coffee Lab owner Andrea Allen speaking.
“Money Club,” also open to the public and hosted several times a month, will include such topics as finance, venture capital, real estate, retirement and savings.
“We are looking at the intersection of work and life, so personal and professional educational programming is what we are hoping to do, all within the healthy culture of women supporting women,” Robinson said. “All programming is through the lens of the whole woman.”
The organization is currently looking for corporate sponsors for regular events, Malone said.
The Company Club offers tickets for single events that have no access to the club, plus five levels of membership:
- Day passes for visitors or travelers who want to use the club a couple of times a month;
- Part-time work/play membership for access to the club two days a week or eight days per month;
- Work/play membership with access to the club anytime, complimentary tickets to programming and the ability to bring two guests per week;
- Corporate weekly work/play membership that includes five passes to be rotated among employees;
- Next level membership, which includes the work/play membership plus one-on-one and group coaching.
Membership will range in price from $35 for a single event with no club membership, up to $350 per month for a next level membership, Terminella said.
Income will come from memberships and corporate sponsorships, Malone said.
Membership will be limited to 150, but Terminella hopes to open a second club in Springdale in the near future and eventually have multiple clubs throughout the region.
In response to the meetups and mentions on social media, 138 women have preapplied on The Company Club website, with another 250 signed up to receive an email giving more information about the concept. Terminella hopes to have full membership information included on the website sometime in July.