DOVER — Two entrepreneurs with a vision of creating safe, comfortable workspaces for women have expanded their co-working business to the Garrison City.

Already the operators of co-working space in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Top Knots Coworking founders and owners Sarah Lord and Callie Hefferan officially opened their new venture at 1 Washington St. with a ribbon-cutting event Thursday that included officials from the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce.

Their nicely appointed space on the second floor of the Chinburg-managed building on Washington Street features table and couch seating for 11, two private offices, a lounge area and a conference room equipped with audio/visual capabilities.

Their demographic is very specific – women working at home who need a break from the isolation in a safe, comfortable, non-judgmental environment where they can also benefit from the business experiences of other women.

“We’re looking for anyone working from home who just needs to get out their home and needs space to and feel like they don’t have to worry about laundry or taking care of the kids,” Hefferan said. “We’re also looking for entrepreneurs who want to connect with other entrepreneurs. We want this to be a community to work well together, and for the women to learn from each other.”

Their Top Knots logo – a woman with a bun of hair looking down – says it all, according to Lord.

“We wanted to offer a comfortable sense of community that women can come to, whether they want to dress up in a professional way or if they want to show up in a pair of sweatpants and didn’t really sleep well the night before because of their crying baby,” Lord said.

“The idea behind our logo is that it’s a picture of a woman with her hair up and she’s focused looking down. That’s what it is – your hair up, nothing fancy, maybe kind of frizzy and all over the place. But now you’re focused.”

Co-working space is typically populated by people who are self-employed or working for different employers but need a place to work outside of their homes. These spaces also promote a culture of sharing, not only in the use of equipment such as printers, but ideas and knowledge. There are a handful of these cooperative workspaces in the Seacoast.

Lord and Hefferan opened their original Top Knots Coworking in Newburyport in April 2017.

Lord has a background as a make-up artist. Hefferan’s background is as a hair stylist. They met at a training session in a salon and soon after broke away to start their own hair and make-up business, catering to weddings and the brides and their bridal entourages.

Both natives of the Massachusetts’ North Shore in Amesbury and Newburyport, they needed an office for client meetings and rented some space in downtown Newburyport. Having excess space, they started including other women entrepreneurs, such as a wedding photographer, and their co-working space idea exclusively for women was born.

“We love doing hair and make-up, but co-working, we just found a passion for it,” Hefferan said. “It was like our next chapter.”

They had an eye on an expansion into New Hampshire, given that Newburyport is so close to the border. They did some research and liked what they saw in Dover. They got a warm reception from Kim Lindquist, membership director at the Dover chamber.

“She was super supportive and super excited to have a kind of business like this,” Lord said. “We just knew that it was going to be a great fit to be part of a city that is just thriving. We definitely wanted to get our feet in the door here.”

A place where there is no judgment for women – what they do, what they wear, how they look – was important for Lord and Hefferan.

“We have people who come in and dress the part because that’s what they want to do,” Lord said. “We do have women who feel isolated in their homes, so they get excited about the idea of dressing up and coming in, even if it’s just to sit and work. And then we have people, even like Callie and myself – we have days that we dress up and then we have days like, ‘I have by ball cap on and that’s what I’m going to look like.’ And it doesn’t matter because I feel comfortable and everybody else does, too.”

Information, including about membership, which starts at $150 per month, can be found at www.topknotscoworking.com.

Their plans for the Dover space include the same kind of community activity and peer-to-peer events they’ve been sponsoring in Newburyport.

“We’ve always tried to treat everyone like how we would really want to be treated,” Hefferan said. “We found that it's so hard to start a business, especially a small business and being a female founder. Sometimes people didn't take us seriously, or we were just kind of brushed us off. So we want to make sure that we went out into the community and really tried to help every single business we possibly can. That's also our goal with the co-working space.”

They will sponsor women-only events and mixed gender events, all with an eye of helping a community of professionals help each other. They are a part of TuesdaysTogether, a national program from HoneyBook/Rising Tide in which creatives and entrepreneurs have a meetup on the second Tuesday of each month for coffee and conversation.

“We’re doing women’s only events, we’re doing business mixer events, we host workshops. We basically want to have both these spaces for women to throw creative ideas out there and just try them out,” Lord said.