Meet Melissa Blackburn, owner at Haven Collective

My name is Melissa Blackburn. I am a new NAWBO member!

Tell us about your business.

Haven Collective is a coworking space for work-from-home professionals, entrepreneurs and side hustlers seeing a space for balance and structure. We provide amenities such as on-site childcare, chef prepared meals, and fitness programming so that you can make the most of your time - personally AND professionally.

Options range from community memberships all the way up to private office space. Whatever your need, we have you covered!

What inspired you to get into your business?

Working as an Operations Exec for most of my career, my greatest joy was building teams and establishing strong corporate cultures. When I realized that I could use that passion to create a coworking space that would connect like-minded professionals and help create a community for those isolated working at home, I was sold!

What are your three best practices or best tips that every NAWBO member needs to hear?

  1. Trust your gut, it doesn't lie! If you can find balance and calm, you can typically hear that voice clear as day.
  2. Kindness is always the answer. People are struggling more than you know and you can be the light that turns their day around!
  3. Get the most annoying stuff off your plate FIRST each day...I call it "swallowing that frog". Once you can cross off the stuff you don't want to deal with, you can take on the rest of the day with a clearer head.

What does your future look like?

Growing Haven to be the best that it can be using user feedback and thoughtful collaborations...and opening more locations!

What do you do in your free time?

I am the proud wife and mother of two babies (3 and almost 2 - life is busy!), love to dance, cook and spend quality time with friends.

What is your company website?

Cathy Hunsinger, Interplay Mobile Publishing

Tell us about your company

Our service transforms publications for mobile devices. Clients provide the content, we provide the technology, process and a little bit of magic. I like to think of it like an Easy Bake oven, contents go in - a cake with sprinkles comes out. I spent hours with that oven as a kid and I’m a fan of cake.

What motivated your organization to get involved with NAWBO? 

Even before I started my business I’ve had a self-evaluation process at the end of the year to see how I am doing in the game of life.  My sister calls it the “check up from the neck up”.  As I was finishing my first year in business there was a glaring problem. I was overwhelmed and in a state of constant spin. My level of interaction with people was way off balance for me.  I decided I needed to join some organizations to fill my people gap and to find my natural rhythm for building confidence and my business. Not long after that conclusion, I met Mikaela Hunt at a Start Up Week function, she mentioned NAWBO and the Good to Great event.  Then I met with a friend to filter some ideas on organizations, she also brought up NAWBO.  Coincidence? I think not.  I went to Good to Great and joined on the spot, it felt like the right decision. After I joined I went to as many events as I could, I’ve met wonderful people.  At the end of this past year, I did the check up from the neck up. The spin had slowed, and my confidence was up, #membership renewal.

What does your company offer NAWBO members and why is this important to them? 

Even though it all starts with a PDF, we do more than reformat a document.  We provide an easy path to leveraging mobile devices, today’s “it” channel for marketing and training. We create a collection that utilizes other investments that have been made in branding, websites, video, blogs, etc. into the mobile publication.  We remove technical barriers so our clients can have a broad path to reach their audience. Any device, all browsers and branded apps in the Google, Apple and Amazon stores.   How many times have you looked at your phone, computer or tablet so far today to get information? Now think about your customers, both internal and external, how does your newsletter, magazine, marketing and training material look on those devices? Is it easy to read and interactive? Do you have analytics to help you enhance your content and audience connection? Does it connect with your other communication channels?   If you answered no to the customer-focused questions, you may be missing a key tool for improving your business. We can help.

What is the one best practice you’ve learned from working with businesses in your company that our members should know? 

Two-part answer. Part 1: Personally and professionally I try to answer this question: “How can I help”?  I believe business should help all the stakeholders, when I use this as my guide we get the best results. Part 2: Kaizen.  It is a Japanese word for improvement.  I became familiar with it as a practice when I called on Honda years ago. They applied it to both successes and failures in our partner process and It stuck with me. 1 & 2 go together. The more I improve the better I can help.  The more I help, the more opportunities I have to improve.

Nominations Open for NAWBO Columbus Business Champion Award

NAWBO Columbus Business Champion Award

The NAWBO Columbus Business Champion Award recognizes one outstanding person who advocates for the growth and success of women business owners.

To be eligible, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Actively supports legislative or regulatory action designed to help women-owned small business
  • Works to increase business and financial opportunities for women
  • Creates the conditions for women business owners to achieve their full potential
  • Improves the business climate for women-owned businesses
  • Consistently advocates for the women-owned business community as a whole, not solely for individual or personal advancement


Nomination and application submission guidelines:

  • Nomination form must be completed in full and submitted via the NAWBO Columbus website
  • Self-nominations are acceptable
  • Nominees and nominators are not required to be NAWBO members
  • Candidates may be of any gender
  • Nominees may work for a business, nonprofit organization, or government agency, and need not be a business owner
  • Members of the NAWBO Columbus Board of Directors are not eligible for the Champion Award
  • Members of the NAWBO Columbus Board of Directors will review, interview, and select the winner


Deadline to apply is: Friday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m.

The Business Champion Award winner will be announced at the NAWBO Columbus Annual Meeting on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at The Boat House in downtown Columbus.

Click HERE for Nomination Form