Creating Spaces Where People Can Show Up as the Best Version of Themselves

By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Maya Angelou

“It’s 8 am and you’re waking up just in time to get breakfast and the kids in front of their iPads for school. While they learn online, you escape to your makeshift office, which used to be the guest room, to start your workday. What was once two places of home and work has been shortened from 20 miles apart to 20 steps. We hear you superwoman, you need another place away from your space! The 3rd will be a place away from working at home and the needy children and life partner (whom you love dearly.) This will be a place where you can rest your cape and develop your entrepreneurial ideas with like-minded superheroes. You need a 3rd place where you can breathe, create, exist, and thrive!”

Do you like how this sounds? You are not alone.

The 3rd is a new space that is opening in Columbia where community members can “chill, work, eat and shop all while supporting Women of Color entrepreneurs.”

Founded by CEO Laura Bacon, The 3rd’s mission is to build a space that fosters dreams, creates community, and provides mentorship, which enables Women of Color to turn their ideas into economic power and freedom. 

“We want to provide the keys to open doors women of color entrepreneurs have been denied access to – the keys to resources, education, and skill-building are only a few benefits to being a part of The 3rd” said Bacon. “In addition, we will develop a community of sister-friends through collaboration and partnerships in a chill environment.”

As a recent The 3rd Facebook post highlights…“Imagine an open space with beautiful furniture and tons of natural light…walk further into the cute little shop filled with goodies made by WOC entrepreneurs. Then head over to the café to purchase a delicious pastry and coffee right before sitting down and writing your kick-ass grant proposal for your nonprofit! Take it all in sister-friend, this will be you at The 3rd.”

Asked why Laura decided to create The 3rd she said “I create spaces where people can show up as the best version of themselves. My talent is in putting all the right people in a space to make something special.”

Want to support The 3rd this holiday season? You can do so, and purchase a homemade pie for the holidays!

Laura is selling delicious homemade Sweet Potato Pies for $50 this Thanksgiving to raise funds. The pies comes unbaked and frozen. You can also buy a pie and give a pie. Spend $85 and you’ll get a pie and The 3rd will give one away to our nonprofit partners at Columbia Community Care.

Click the link below and order your Thanksgiving pie today! Purchase pies here. Pie pick-up will be in Columbia on November 23, time to be determined.

I am grateful for efforts like The 3rd this holiday season – hope you are too. Happy Thanksgiving!

You can connect with Laura Bacon at [email protected] and learn more at their website at


Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: [email protected] and

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