About The Founder
Independent worker: Holistic Health Coach, Author, Artist, Workshop Facilitator
Banayat’s long history of self-employment and entrepreneurism has given her many years of personal experience with the challenges of independent work. She worked 12 years as a freelance graphic designer, and 11 years as an owner-operator of a high mountain fishing resort, Olallie Lake Resort, in the Mt. Hood National Forest of Oregon. She later pursued her dream to work as a full time professional artist represented in art galleries throughout Arizona, Oregon, and in the World Market Center in Nevada.
When her health took a turn she transitioned into a career change as a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach back in 2010. In 2015 she wrote an award-winning health and wellness book titled, Stretch Your Brave Hack Your Story; Break Through Chronic Disease with Storytelling. Her work as a health coach led her into facilitating workshops for women as well as volunteering as a small group facilitator at self-improvement workshops for parents of ‘at-risk’ teenage girls.
All of this ‘location independent’ work has given Melanie a keen awareness of the vast amount of disconnect among people who are moving into the fast growing independent workforce sector.
In effort to create community among women entrepreneurs in the Prescott Quad Cities Area she started a women’s business networking group in 2013 called G.O.T. Prescott, which now has around 400 members (between the meetup group and FB group). It became evident that the members were hungry for community, education, and ways to connect in-person.
This is what ultimately led Melanie to the WingSpace project to open a coworking space where independent workers (both men and women) can join together under one roof to utilize shared resources, be connected with a community of like-minded individuals, and create a healthier work-life balance.