The Slate is a co-working space and female-focused hub for entrepreneurs that just opened this month, and Lolli and Me was a Founding Member! We love being a part of this curated community that sits in the heart of the Dallas Design District. Founded by sisters Shelly Slater and Jodie Slater Hastings, it’s a family affair and vision come to life – including film and podcast studios, a grab-and-go flower booth, curated gift shop, conference rooms, café kitchen and so much more! This past weekend I hosted a “Slate Your Plate” dinner party at my home to celebrate the opening of The Slate and the amazing cofounding duo behind it! Read on to learn more about the story behind The Slate and how we celebrated the opening:
Q&A with The Slater Sisters
Photo by Sarah Hamilton Photography
How did you come up with the idea for The Slate?
Shelly: I was looking for office space for my consulting company, Shelly Slater Strategies at the same my sister was looking to pivot from her law practice. My company has grown to a point in the last two years that I needed space. I looked at all the options out there from leasing to co-working and nothing fit my vibe. So I decided, it’s time to create it. A casual phone call turned into an 8-month search for the perfect building. We didn’t know if it would happen until we walked into our new space in the Design District. It was love at first sight. We knew immediately it was a go!
Jodie: There was no pitch, no proposal. We just started. And, ever since, we have just gravitated to our personal strengths as The Slate unfolds.
What sets The Slate apart from other co-working spaces?
Shelly: The Slate is meant to be a one-stop shop to simplify people’s lives. It’s like entering a home when you enter The Slate, and inside we are carefully crafting the community. What’s more, The Slate is set up for the world of new media. We all have a message to share, and through our studio, podcast room, and connections in the creativity community, we can set our members up to do it all in-house. Our goal is to bring in a variety of trades at the top of their game to help everyone grow and get back to enjoying life. You can get expert advice down the hall, tape a podcast, pick up a teacher gift, and host an event or offsite meeting – potentially all in the same day. No more running around and wasting time. We want you to get back to your life and your family, but still kill it at work. Another difference is we are home grown. Co-working is popping up everywhere, and there are many beautiful spaces. But we are local sisters who know and understand this community.
Jodie: The Slate will offer greater reach than any other comparable space. There is not another option in Dallas that allows a business of any type – large or small – to project itself through live feed video in tandem with podcasts, photography and meeting space.
Photo by Jess Barfield
What does The Slate bring to Dallas?
Shelly: There are too many rockstars who are working in silos. The Slate is about putting all of those powerhouses in one room. What could happen next? What impact could we have on our community? We can’t wait to see.
Jodie: Dallas needs The Slate because Dallas is teeming with entrepreneurs. And, they need a place to meet, to gather.
We’re so honored to be a part of the founding members! What’s your process for finding new members now that The Slate is officially open?
Shelly: It’s all word of mouth. And the good news is, people are talking. Now, we are reaching out to people we respect in the community and asking who might be looking for this fit. We aren’t in a rush. We want to do this right. It’s not about hitting capacity on day one. It’s about building something lasting.
Photo by Jess Barfield
Who is The Slate geared towards?
Shelly: We built this space for everything a working mom like us would need. We know what working women care about, from monthly programs to products. In that sense we are geared toward the female. But we are excited to have men in our space, too!
What kinds of amenities or perks are you excited to offer members of The Slate?
Shelly: We are excited to offer life without a parking garage! No more 8 stories of winding up a garage to park. Our wellness room is a hit, too, because we all need a moment sometimes. Scream, cry, sleep, your call. We will have strong coffee daily, occasional treats from local businesses, a makeup station for the studio, and free monthly programming from thought leaders in every field – from digital marketing, to handling business finances.
Photo by Jess Barfield
Another unique feature of The Slate is your boutique that celebrates social enterprises and local businesses. Can you tell us a little more about that and why it’s important to you?
Jodie: Our boutique will feature a variety of local businesses, as well as a rotation of products sold by our members. It matters because we are local. And, discovering that your own neighbors are builders and makers of extraordinary things – that’s all the fun.
Photo by Jess Barfield
When it comes to the future of The Slate, what are you most excited about?
Shelly: The unknown excites us the most. Everyday we are blown away by the companies reaching out and the stories behind why. We have heard from several Fortune 500 companies who want to rent space, or who are look at creating a landing spot for their employees. We have heard from smaller businesses looking to expand through membership at The Slate. It’s invigorating to meet these teams and learn about their incredible initiatives.
How did you come up with “Slate it” and what does it mean?
Shelly: “Slate it” is actually our new verb. “Hone it. Own it. Slate it.” We want you to hone your craft, own your life like a boss, and “Slate it.” That means working around the best of the best to take your business to the next level.
You can find The Slate on Instagram @theslate2403
“Slate Your Plate” Dinner Party
To celebrate Shelly and Jodie and the opening of The Slate, I hosted a “Slate Your Plate” raclette dinner party with their family and close friends. We incorporated slate platters, place cards, and other touches to integrate the theme into our tablescapes, and everyone created their own meal on raclette grills from meats, cheeses, vegetables with mustards and garnishes like pickles, olives and peppers. At the end of the evening, we served an ice cream sundae cart with vintage flavors from Baldo’s Coffee and Ice Cream and toasted the night away to the Slater sisters making their vision a reality. Visit The Slate’s web site for more information on how to join this community and co-working space!