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Center for women–offering yoga to business classes–to open in Woodside

38-02 61st Street

April 13, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

Two local entrepreneurs are opening a center in Woodside this month that will offer classes and business advice for women.

Project Life Center, which will open its doors at 38-02 61st Street on April 22, will offer classes to women in the community ranging from yoga and wellness to art and writing. It will also offer classes and support to women aiming to start their own businesses.

The center was founded by two Jackson Heights-based women looking to offer a space in the community for women to learn from and support one another.

Sarah Rabenou, one of the founders, initially was looking for a space to run a creative arts therapy group, and came across the Woodside location. She was struck by how unique the space was, and decided to recalibrate her plans.

“As a creative arts therapist, I was already coaching and working with women, so I basically came up with idea for a space that would support and uplift women, offering help with their own businesses and offering a communal space for women to work and learn,” Rabenou explained.

Once she came up with the idea for the business, Rabenou began reaching out to others in the community for help, and when she met co-founder Zsuzsi Tass, she knew she had found a partner that understood her vision.

“I had been telling my friends almost verbatim that we needed something like this in the community, but when I met Sarah and she actually had the space it all fell in to place,” Tass said, explaining that the area does not have many community centers or even businesses such as yoga studios providing this kind of support.

The Center will be based on a membership model, and for a weekly or monthly fee, women will be able to attend as many classes as they would like, and will also have access to a café with Wi-Fi and working space, Rabenou said.

The classes will be based on the talents found in the community, Rabenou explained, and the two women have already met with instructors for classes such as Pilates, yoga, photography, poetry, nutrition, and child development.

Another aspect of the center will be classes specifically aimed at helping women begin their own businesses, who “have a vision to create something but don’t have the support or knowledge they need to get it going,” Rabenou said.

She explained that they will offer weekly support sessions for women that will focus partly on building business skills and partly on providing emotional support.

Rabenou and Tass have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds to cover startup costs, offering prizes such as memberships and tote bags in exchange for donations. By Thursday afternoon, they had raised $465 towards the $10,000 goal.

The business will officially launch with an opening celebration on April 22, with music, speakers, art and drinks.

Though the business is focused primarily on supporting women, every Wednesday the Center will open up to men as well, and classes will be offered to both genders.

In the beginning, the Center will be open whenever classes are offered, but eventually Rabenou and Tass hope to have regular hours and to expand the internet café aspect to include the sale of local goods and possibly to even host pop-up cafes.

Membership will cost $75 per month or $20 per week, and members will have unlimited access to the space and classes.

“We are hoping to have it be a supportive and growth oriented environment, and in turn we hope that helps impact the community,” Rabenou said.

For more information on Project Life Center and the opening celebration visit https://www.facebook.com/projectlifecenter/.

To view or donate to the GoFundMe campaign visit https://www.gofundme.com/project-life-center.

email the author: [email protected]

23 Comments

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Yankette

Moving east for affordable housing?? That’s hysterical!! Property taxes on LI are over $10K!! Who’d’ move to that shit box riddled with gang wars when you can move north for better quality of living!

Reply
InWoodside

There is a lovely cafe and woman owned business next door. Not sure of the need for two cafes on this little trafficked stretch of 61st Street.

Reply
zsuzsi

Yes, Yessica is indeed lovely! We have a friendly working relationship and support each other. Since we are not solely a cafe, and because our space is for members only, we are not in competition. You can support your voice and your concern by patronizing Blue Cups!

Reply
Wannabe george

George pesce, George deNiro, George Pacino, George carney, George raft, George bogart George g. Robinson, george gandolfini, George the fake gangster, tv tough guy, WANNABE…[email protected]@@###///___•)

Reply
george kelly

You go Girls…Great idea.. My support is behind you. .My wife will love it..Please don’t be offended by “girls”…. O.K..Lets support these Woman..
BEST OF LUCK

Reply
Phil

Good luck. What is unique about the space? From the picture it looks like any other Woodside shitbox.

Reply
FurtherEast

I would actually like to see something like this in other areas like Jackson Heights or Rego Park. Sunnyside/woodside area is already getting congested with things like this. I know at least 4-5 places that offer yoga around there. People are move further east for less expensive housing and it would be nice to start seeing things opening up in those areas. Anyhow, good luck!

Reply
Sarah

I understand FurtherEast. Luckily we are walking distance from most of Jackson Heights. This space was really meant to be as the universe showed the path unfolding at each step of this venture. I have a knowing that it will impact and attract the ladies in the community who will most enjoy it, benefit from, and contribute back to their own lives, their families, and our local communities. This is what it is for :). Really looking forward to this!!! Also keep in mind that yoga is only one small aspect of the entirety of what this space will offer. Hope to meet you at our launch party!!! 4/22/17 7-11pm

Reply
InWoodside

Where are there yoga places in Woodside? A couple in Sunnyside, yes but near this Woodside?

Reply
Anonymous

Hit like by mistake,totally dislike negative comment! What does outside of building have to do with the good that is accomplished inside? Phil has nothing better to do with his time than share his misery with others…

Reply
Anonymous

What does the exterior of a building have to do with the interior and the good that’s done within? Phil has nothing better to do with his time than share his misery in contrast with those trying to help the community in a constructive way.

Reply
Anonymous

Yes, Wednesdays are men-days and we also do special events that are co-ed❤ We live our men too!!!!

Reply
Anonymous

This sounds like an awesome idea for any community. Imagine how cool this would be for a neighborhood if you didnt exclude half the people in it.

Yeah yeah, I know once a week, thats like showing up to a party you never got invited to.

Reply
Lianne Hanna

This will be such a great addition to the neighbourhood. What a wonderful idea. Wishing you all the best. Look forward to joining.

Reply

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