In 2009, Krysten Kauder graduated from Ohio State after studying fashion merchandising. She went straight to New York City, and in 2013 started a customizable jewelry business called Ryan Porter. Hitting major success, she was featured on Good Morning America, and even on Taylor Swift’s Instagram page.
Ten years later, Kauder is back in Ohio, where she has created a women-focused social club and community space in the Short North, The Eleanor.
“I knew all of these women and wanted to create a place for [women] to hang out with other like-minded women,” Kauder said.
Even though The Eleanor is female centric, it is a diverse community open to all individuals. With a feminine approach, Kauder said she hopes to expand the Columbus “boss-babe” community by adding a space for people to work, meet, collaborate and socialize.
Kauder discovered the space on Craigslist, and she and her boyfriend completed some major renovations. Located in the Jackson Building on High Street, the space offers books, posters and products focused on female empowerment, wellness and body positivity.
The name “Eleanor” is inspired by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was known for pushing gender equality and equal pay.
Empowerment and the need for equality are the roots of this community space, where women look to offer support, ideas, and feedback for everyone who feel they “may be marginalized for any reason,” according to The Eleanor’s website.
Rachel Neil, founder of Columbus Girl Boss, a group of local bloggers, business owners and photographers, said it’s a secure and healthy place for women to be supported and heard by their peers.
“[It’s] a safe place for women that are entrepreneurs,” Neil said. “It’s community based and you have people who will root for you.”
In the past year there have been several openings of “co-working” offices in Columbus, which are monthly, rentable offices available for startups, freelancers and students so they don’t have to lease an entire office space. Co-working continues to expand in Columbus, for it is a monthly rentable solution for work and event spaces. The Eleanor has memberships starting at $39 a month leading up to a private office with potential retail space.
In November, The Eleanor held a launch event offering manicures, a matcha tea bar and pop-up shops. On Friday, it will host poster-making, free drinks and pizza to prepare for the Columbus Women’s March held downtown on Saturday.
For more information about the space and future events, including The Columbus Women’s March night, visit The Eleanor’s Instagram account @theeleanorcolumbus. The Eleanor is located at 1137 N High St.