Included in this look: Smock Dress | Anthropologie (128 Central Parkway)
Prior to founding The Coven, Alex West Steinman spent a decade in advertising and public relations. “I met my co-founders in the industry, and we were all doing work around diversity and inclusion on top of our jobs, trying to get women and folks of color not just get into the industry, but actually advancing their careers once they got in. And we were met with a lot of high fives. And empty promises.” A path forward emerged: to create a space where women, non-binary and trans folks can show up as any version of themselves, to advance their careers or start new businesses.
“We hosted focus groups and coffee chats and had hundreds of conversations, but a key one was with Minneapolis city council member Andrea Jenkins. And we said, we were in the space of fire and brimstone, we wanted to burn everything to the ground. But Andrea said, ‘If you’re going to burn everything down, what are you going to build in its place?’ And that moment of clarity gave us the acceleration and the hope to say, we are going to build the next new world”—a world that came to life in The Coven, a community and workspace for women, non-binary, and trans women to incubate ideas, start businesses and advance their careers.
Part of Alex’s innovative approach: her attitude toward her own personal style. “I’ve worked to create a space for all different types of women, whether they come in sweatpants or a ball gown. I want everyone to feel like they can express themselves, whether it’s through fashion or their words or their art. I’ve recently switched to fancy joggers because of Covid-19, but it’s also fun to dress up and do the whole hair-and-makeup thing.”