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Co-working space opens in southwest Las Vegas

In Italian, Bottega means workshop of the master artist, said Megan Jones, one of the founders of a new co-working space in southwest Las Vegas.

When one walks into Bottega Exchange, music is playing and people work on laptops, alone or collaborating in conference rooms.

The space at 6675 S. Tenaya Way, Suite 200, was transformed over a few months, Jones said. She and co-founder Kelli Despain started looking for a space in January and opened it to the public May 4.

Co-working spaces are shared workspaces, often with private conference rooms and office space. They are aimed at serving as a way for people to get out of a home office while offering more privacy than a coffee shop.

Jones said she saw female-led co-working spaces popping up on the East and West coasts. She said the southwest Las Vegas space has 12 private offices and 20 members — lawyers, real estate agents, therapists and public relations firms all working in the same space.

“This is open to everyone,” Jones said. “We say it is powered by empowered women. If you are OK with being around that kind of vibe, then we want you in the space helping. Venture capital and small-business money is still largely run by men. But I think men also see the value of having women at the table and helping female businesses grow, so we welcome men to the space.”

About 80 percent of Bottega Exchange’s membership is female, she said.

Jones, a Las Vegas native, also owns MKJ Consulting and is a partner with Hilltop Public Solutions, a national public affairs and political advocacy group.

She said there are female-led co-working spaces downtown, and she and Despain wanted to open a space easily accessible in the southwest valley.

“For the working moms who live and work out here, like myself, I needed a place that was going to be close to my kids’ school, close to home, close to all the places I need to go on a daily basis. It turns out that a lot of other people were looking for a space that was closer to home.”

Despain runs a graphic design company out of Bottega Exchange, Moxi Ink Designs. Several of her designs were visible around the co-working space. She said opening the space with Jones was “an empowering adventure.”

“I’ve discovered a whole new community of women who take life by the horns and make things happen,” Despain said.

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