Film producer turned entrepenuer Karen Beninati and environmental designer Bridget Cardenas prove that tenacity is a foundation of success. Together they opened up WeVillage Los Angeles, the acclaimed flexible childcare that A-list stars are raving about. It all started with humble beginnings in Portland during the recession of 2009 when Karen’s nanny suddenly quit her job. A single mother to a seven-year-old son at the time, she could not find suitable preschools for him as they required a five-day week commitment. She set out to find flexible child care which did not exist at the time.
This became the driving force of the creation of WeVillage. With a very little capital she found a small space in downtown Portland and created an upscale vibe while making it child friendly. Karen set a curriculum and created an innovative and clean space for the kids. Through word-of-mouth and recommendations, WeVillage flourished and opened up three additional locations. She saw a demand in Los Angeles for a flexible childcare facility so she decided to create one last year. After interviewing many designers, only one stood out – Bridget.
Bridget Cardenas has an impressive resume. As a child she was constantly drawing and won numerous awards for her work. When Bridget pursued a career in art she faced many incidents of misogyny. Bridget used to sign her artwork with just her initials to avoid bias because of her gender. Determined as ever, Bridget fought her way to become a art director at a toy company and designed on film sets.
The pair demonstrate quintessential teamwork as they built WeVillage with their tireless efforts and resilience. Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Selma Blair, Julie Bowen and Henry Winkler have showed support for the team. When asked to give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs Karen responded, “Just keep going.”