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New community space ‘designed’ for Black women

AfroSpace is many things: A workspace, a place for events, and a wellness space, but above all; it is a community incubation center that was created specifically for Black women. 

“I wanted to create a space for Black women to be able to nurture as many things in our lives as we could in one space,” owner Devanne Pena told QCity Metro. 

AfroSpace’s purpose is to support women in building “a better balance between” business and self-care by offering a place designed to promote “focus, rest and community.”

The east Charlotte space offers areas to work and relax as well as a “DIY bar” where guests can perfect their beauty routine, create and test new products, or develop entirely new creations. 

Building the concept

Pena, a licensed architect, told QCity Metro she always wanted to design for her community and felt her skills were underutilized at the design firm she worked at in Texas.

“I didn’t feel like I was getting any design opportunities,” Pena said. She ultimately quit her job and moved around, including some time Florida and in Africa, where her family is from, before birthing the AfroSpace concept and settling in North Carolina.

Devanne said that because the concept is unique and community input is of high value to make it impactful, she has decided to open in phases. 

The present phase is a pilot program that offers a 60-day membership to AfroSpace, including daily access from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with complimentary snacks, guest passes, use of a community app, and the opportunity to provide feedback on the amenities and their impact.

“AfroSpace was designed for Black women, but open to all,” Pena said. She told QCity Metro her ultimate goal is to have a space that people feel welcome and at ease, and that nourishes their personal needs as much as it does their entrepreneurial needs.

“Imagine being able to come in and work on your twist out while you chat with another creative. And while y’all are talking, someone else is perfecting a new body butter or getting feedback on their marketing for a new business…that’s a community,” she said.

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