Girl Power At Its Best: Suite Escape Lake Forest

If necessity is the mother of invention, then 2020 sure gave us a lot of motivation to make things happen.

Take Pim Alley and Kate Holland, for example, two Lake Foresters who recently opened Suite Escape on the second floor of Gorton’s Community Center. Suite Escape is a meeting space designed for women only–where Pim and Kate hope it will allow them to connect, build community, and grow.

“Kate and I worked together on a fundraiser at our children’s school last year,” Pim says. “We knew that we made a good team and wanted to start some kind of a business. After being at home with our families all of these months because of Covid, Kate and I both knew we needed a place we could go to get things done, be creative, or to just have a cup of coffee in peace.”

With political campaign and legal professions in their backgrounds, Pim and Kate both know the value of having a dedicated meeting space.

“If being at home has taught me anything, it’s that having a place to go and work outside of my house is really nice,” adds Kate. “So when we heard this space at Gorton was available, it seemed like it was the business idea we were looking for—a Suite Escape.”

The Suite Escape was designed with its female audience top of mind, leveraging the space’s abundance of natural light and the most inviting, feminine décor. Pim and Kate have also thoughtfully decorated Suite Escape with vibrant paintings from local female artists Susan Bouma, Katie Brickman, and Kerri Sherman.

“We hope that Suite Escape is somewhere women will come and feel inspired,” Pim says. “A quiet beautiful space can help make this happen.”

Women who are interested in using the Suite Escape space must complete an online application. Once approved, there’s six-month membership fee that allows members to attend special events as well as the opportunity to reserve work space at an hourly rate. There is a semi-private Zoom-ready suite, single and collaborative workspaces, and a conference table for group meetings. Additionally, the entire space may be rented. Pim and Kate encourage those who are interested in Suite Escape to come and try out the space for a free hour on them. After that, if you’re still not sure about committing for six months, you may rent the space for $20-$60 per hour.

Once Covid restrictions are lifted, Pim and Kate look forward to hosting speakers, workshops, and networking events for Suite Escape community members to attend, perhaps even with their daughters in tow.

“For us, Suite Escape is all about the community a space like this can build and foster,” says Pim. “We can’t wait to see it come to life.”

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My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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