All Articles Tagged "women business owners"
Business Trend in the Making: Is “Conscious Capitalism” The Next Big Thing for Female Business Owners?
Although more women are becoming business owners, the funding is not always forthcoming. According to the information we received on behalf of Startup California, a partnership that supports entrepreneurs and job creation in the region, women only receive “5% of ‘traditional capital’ and less than 3% of venture capital financing.” However, things like crowdfunding, incubator programs, and mentorship could be changing the tide.
Howard Leonhardt is a spokesperson for Startup California, the founder of organizations to help women entrepreneurs, and according to the information we received, a businessman who has sold companies for billions in his own career. He’s also a big supporter of the “conscious capitalism movement,” that could help women in their small business endeavors.
We asked three questions via email and collected the following answers from Leonhardt. Do you think “conscious capitalism” is the next big thing for women small business owners?
MadameNoire: How does the “conscious capitalism” approach benefit women?
Howard Leonhardt: A more holistic “conscious capitalism” approach to business favors inspiring and motivating women to work in, buy from, invest in and collaborate with companies. “Conscious capitalism” means treating people well. Treating employees well and suppliers well. Treating your community well and your environment well. ”Conscious capitalism” means the company has a higher sense of purpose than just net profits. These types of businesses attract and retain the most talented people and thus create the happiest repeat customers which leads to long term sustainability and profitability for investors.
MN: Why would “conscious capitalism” benefit women more than men? And what are some examples of women-owned businesses that have seen success from this approach?
HL: “Conscious capitalism” and crowdfunding help women reach new sources of customers, investors and collaborators. Traditional methods of financing and building companies have been dominated by men. These old ways created the 95:5 gender gap in venture financing. “Conscious capitalism,” local investing and crowdfunding break down these old barriers.
MN: What tips would you have for women to manage successful crowdfunding campaigns?
HL: The word “campaign” describes the process well. Those seeking to raise capital via crowdfunding should follow the best practices of politicians who win elections. You need to reach potential investors and win their hearts, wallets and mind. You need to get out and debate, cajole, corral, beg, influence, inspire and win over your audience. This equates to lots of speeches, hand shakes, networking, blogs and twitter posts and follow-up calls and emails. Help people feel a part of your movement. Get your core supporters to fully buy in and help you. Get influential opinion leaders to endorse you. Have a clear concise video of your company vision that reaches peoples hearts. Tell your story like a good movie trailer. Grab interest. Get news coverage. Make your campaign more than just a capital raise for a company make it an uprising—a cause people can buy into, join up and believe in.
Not long ago, I was sitting at a local bar enjoying a quick bite with a friend. As he and I dished about life and sports as guy and gal pals do, a lady comes over to our table and she says to me, “You’re beautiful.” Flattered by her words, I tell her thank you and let her know that I really appreciate the compliment. I intend to get back to the conversation with my friend, but she continues. “And you’re very graceful. I noticed you when you first walked in. Are you a dancer? You have the body of a dancer.” At this point, I’m still flattered but I’m definitely getting a little uneasy. I politely thank her again, and let her know that I am in no way a dancer and that I could only dream to have the body of one. Surely our quick exchange would be over at this point and I’d be able to go on with the conversation I was clearly having when she walked over. Yet, she continues: “May I ask what kind of skin care products you use?”
It is at that point it hits me and I could hear the voice of Florida Evans crying out in the background, “Damn, damn, damn!!!”…I’ve been caught by a freakin’ Mary Kay lady.
Is it just me, or are Mary Kay consultants highly aggressive? As the young lady starts to explain to me that she owns her own Mary Kay business and would love to talk more about the products the company offers, I know instantly that it will NOT be easy to get rid of her. Even after explaining to her that not only do I rarely wear make up but that I also have a really simple and natural skin care regimen that doesn’t involve a lot of products, she refuses to give up. Now, I’m the kind of girl who rarely gives out my information. I think long and hard about giving my number out even to men I’m actually interested in. But the Mary Kay lady walked away with my phone number and email address. That’s how aggressive she was.
I can think of at least three other separate occasions when I have been borderline accosted, in very similar fashion, by Mary Kay consultants. Walking down the street, shopping, dining out, I’ve been blindsided by members of the pink brigade while doing all of these things. It always starts out innocently, usually with a compliment, and just when you start feeling yourself and plan to give a quick “thank you” and strut off—they go in for the hard sale. They do not take no for an answer.
I recently found out that I’m not alone. A number of my friends have had very similar experiences with consultants. In fact, one friend compared the tenacity of some Mary Kay business owners to that of followers of a certain religious faith who are usually very eager to share their beliefs. We’ve decided that of the two, Mary Kay is definitely more aggressive. They’re gangsta. I respect it, but I’m simply not about that life.
While I’ve decided to, henceforth and forevermore, run in the opposite direction when a Mary Kay lady makes her presence known, I know that the company offers some very positive incentives for women. Mary Kay allows women to go into business for themselves and to do so in a way that affords them the flexibility that many other careers fail to offer. In an economy as tough as the one we’re currently enduring, that’s nothing to smirk at. Consultants are able to take advantage of a 50 percent discount on products, making a 50 percent profit on all products sold. There are leadership opportunities that allow women to transition into director positions and help other consultants build their businesses. And we all know about the infamous pink Cadillacs that Mary Kay Consultants can earn; add diamonds and luxurious trips to the list of enticing incentives as well.
For some, a Mary Kay business may be just what the doctor ordered. Lots of people are searching for the perfect way to create additional streams of income for themselves. For me, I’ve been scarred and I am indeed scared. I like to tell a woman she is beautiful and keep it moving, but that doesn’t seem to be the Mary Kay way. Eh, different strokes for different folks I suppose. Since I have yet to find a successful way to emerge from an encounter with a Mary Kay consultant without giving her some sort of information, I’m just going to try to avoid these saleswomen at all costs. What about you?
Have you been in any situations when you’ve come unsuspectingly face to face with a Mary Kay lady? How did it go? If you are a Mary Kay lady, have you enjoyed your experience working with the company thus far?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
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I recently learned about PinkBoss through one of their former clients who had nothing but rave reviews for them, and I’m a fan of anything that encourages entrepreneurship. Their mission is to empower women to become economically self-sufficient through entrepreneurship, and they can help take your business idea or startup business to the next level while also providing tools and services to manage the business once it’s up and running. They’ve also got a great free resources section on their website to help prospective entrepreneurs get started.
A self-proclaimed “multi-entrepreneur,” Parker balances family and entrepreneurship with flare and a style all her own. Garnering the attention of aspiring female business owners, Parker, along with her husband, created PinkBoss, Inc, a one-stop business boutique for women in need of that extra push of support from branding and marketing to website development.
Her mission and purpose is to empower women to use their passion and skills to generate income that will allow them the flexibility to do what they love every day. Parker has taught several entrepreneurship workshops and is currently teaching her first curriculum, “The Pink Princess Guide to Entrepreneurship,” in the metro Atlanta area. She credits her success to community involvement, which landed her the opportunity to facilitate the Black Enterprise Youth Entrepreneur Conference in both 2010 and 2011.
TB: What was the inspiration behind starting ThePinkBoss?
VP: I started PinkBoss, Inc because I wanted to become a resource for female entrepreneurs that offered business services as well as consulting.
TB: How many partners and employees do you currently have?
VP: I currently have 3 employees and I am launching my Internpreneur Program and hope to have 5 interns by February 1. Our Internpreneur Program is a 4 month internship with PinkBoss, Inc offering 12 weeks of business development and compensation of over $5,000 in business start up services to assist them with their business ventures after the completion of our program.
TB: What is your ideal client profile in terms of the type and stage of business they’re in and background of the founder(s) (for example, first time entrepreneurs with a corporate background starting service businesses)?
VP: My ideal client is a woman that has a business venture in mind but needs that extra push to take the next step. She is lacks the resources and direction to achieve her goals and we are able to assist her through consulting and business services.
TB: What is your best client success story?
VP: One of my clients was on the fence about starting her business. She has a great job but was not happy with her daily routine. After a few weeks of accountability meetings I was able to assist her with a strategic plan in starting her event planning business while still working her full time job. She recently called me in tears because she is booked for the next two months and thankful that PinkBoss, Inc helped her jump start her business idea.
TB: What’s your favorite business-related mobile app?
VP: I have two Evernote and Square. Evernote allows me to capture my thoughts, notes articles and more and sync on my iPad, iPhone and desktop. Square allows me to obtain payments while out of the office and at vendor events. It has increase my sales by 20% in only a few months.
TB: What are your favorite business-related web services (e.g. mailchimp, wordpress, wufoo, etc.)?
- Jotform ~ Allows me to create web forms instantly
- Mailchimp ~ Auto responder, list management and email marketing in one. I use this service often
- Hootesuite ~ Monitors my various social media platforms and allows me to schedule my team to assist in scheduling social media content
- Safe Sync ~ Service backs up files on my computer and allows me access to files remotely
- CRM Zoho ~ Keep track of resources, potential clients and campaign conversions.
- Google Analytics ~ Best kept secret of small business owners. Allows me to monitor the visitors to my website and create marketing strategies based on reports.
TB: What sets your company apart from other biz dev service providers?
VP: Our focus is on the advancement of female entrepreneurs. We offer business consulting services as well as business and brand development services all things needed to create a sustainable business.
Meet Valerie Coleman: For more than a decade Valerie Coleman earned an attractive salary working at one of Ohio’s prominent companies. She’d seen the highs of the automobile industry until the 2007 recession hit. The final blow was a hard one, but Valerie was ready. Find out how she became the bestselling author of Blended Families An Anthology and The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. Keep reading to learn why Valerie Coleman is on a mission to restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers to greater success. This expert problem solver uses personal experiences and proven techniques to re-engineer lives.
MN: You worked at Delphi, a leading automotive supplier, for several years. What role did you fill at Delphi?
VC: I was a senior industrial engineer responsible for implementing cost-savings initiatives relative to manpower, machine processes and material delivery. I saved the company millions of dollars by implementing systems that got the job done faster, easier and cheaper without compromising quality or safety.
MN: Was it your intention to remain at Delphi until you retired? If so, what was your vision for your business career at the time?
VC: Yes, I fully expected to serve the company for thirty-plus years and then retire. However, a few years before the facility closed, it became apparent that retirement was no longer an option. Decreased sales, layoffs and downsizings were the hand-writing-on-the-wall indicators that a change was soon to come.
MN: Valerie, you experienced an event millions lived through after the recession of 2007 reared its head: you were laid off. How did you manage this career shift?
VC: As was the case for most of the salaried co-workers, I was severed from the company with no opportunity for future employment versus laid off. The hourly associates had a layoff option to return to active status if the industry became viable again.
People offered condolences for the “loss” of my job. I replied, “I didn’t lose my job. I know where it is, Mexico.” I had a plan to transition my problem-solving expertise to help restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers. With that in mind, I positioned myself as an expert, developed relationships and launched my crusade.
Since 1995, I have been a math adjunct at Sinclair Community College, so I increased my class load and joined the roster at Central State University and Strayer University to offset the earnings deficit.
MN: How soon after you were severed from Delphi did you found Pen of the Writer?
VC: Because I acknowledged the inevitable, I started the ground work for Pen of the Writer several years before the plant closed. In 2004, I hosted the first Pen to Paper Literary Symposium, and by 2006 I published Blended Families An Anthology.
MN: What is the mission of Pen of the Writer, and how do you keep the conferences related to the company viable in today’s changing virtual and brick-and-mortar literary markets?
VC: Pen of the Writer’s mission is to take writers from pen to paper to published by helping experts master self-publishing to make money. To keep my literary conferences relevant, I include topics like e-books, social networking and Internet marketing. I am also conducting webinars and will launch a publishing blog and e-course soon.
Meet Danita King, the Principal and Founder of PR Noir, one of the fastest growing boutique public relations firms in New York City. Hailing all the way from Houston Texas, this young CEO opened PR Noir in 2007, with a mission to fill the void for innovative, brand-centric PR.
Graduating from Tulane University, magna cum laude with a triple major B.S. in English, Spanish and African Diaspora Studies, King later received a full academic scholarship to Boston University, where she earned a Master of Science degree in Corporate Public Relations in 2003. She then began her career as an apprentice at a contemporary sportswear fashion showroom in London, later moving to New York City to work in-house positions for fashion and luxury brands Joseph Abboud and Coach in New York.
Throughout her career, King has executed strategic PR campaigns and media-driven events for such notable brands as Bill Blass, Simmons Jewelry Company (Russell Simmons), Disney, August Silk, Bongo, VH1 and Target, among others. She has also worked with a number of celebrity, sports and music-driven campaigns and holds close strategic partnerships with celebrity management, publicists and record label executives.
PR Noir has a solid client roster of boutique and mass-market brands in the fashion, beauty, sports, luxury goods and lifestyle categories. King has worked hard to carve a unique, niche specialty and competitive edge: equal footing and relationships with both mainstream and multi-ethnic media.
Flip the script to see what advice King has to offer for young black women wanting to break into PR or start their own business.
By Rhonda Campbell
In 2011 more than 8.1 American businesses were owned by women. This is a nearly 50 percent increase since 1997. Obviously women are taking the bull by the horns, stepping forward and meeting the challenges inherit in business ownership. That’s good news. What’s a little troubling is the fact that less than two percent of women owned businesses generate annual revenues of $1 million or more.
Are Women Business Leaders Playing Themselves Small
Women owned businesses also employ smaller numbers of people. In fact, only about 1.9 percent of women owned businesses employ 10 or more people. Part of the reason for the revenue and employee base gap that exist between women and men owned businesses is the fact that women approach business differently than men.
In the Wall Street Journal’s May 17, 2010 “Why Are Women-Owned Firms Smaller than Men-Owned Ones?” Sharon Hadary, former executive director at the Center of Women’s Business Research, states that lack of capital is one of the reasons women owned businesses don’t generate more revenues. In case you’re thinking bankers, public policies and government agencies are to blame, consider this. Many women look negatively on having business debt. Additionally and as reported in the article, “Research from focus groups and seminars shows that many women business owners, especially those of color, believe they would not get credit even if they applied. So they don’t even bother to try.”
Other factors impacting the growth of women owned businesses include:
- Lack of women business owners participating in government and corporate purchasing programs
- Insufficient efforts to network with major players in the business world (e.g. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies)
- Ineffective or lack of mentoring relationships
Getting Beyond the Catch-22 as a Woman Business Owner
Beliefs that bank loan applications, business partnership invitations and requests to secure government contracts will be met with resistance (if not a flat out ‘no’) may well be the number one reason women owned businesses aren’t growing more. Who are the holders of these beliefs? Women.
It’s almost like a catch-22. Years of lack of support combined with failure expectations have caused more than a few women to lower their goals and perhaps even become less assertive. No one likes rejection. However, until women set loftier business goals, do their homework and identify investors eager to support the types of businesses they operate little may change.
What women can do now to turn the tide is to:
- Create rewarding networking relationships with other women business owners
- Cross-promote each other’s products and services, particularly at large industry events
- Become more visible in their industry (e.g. attend seminars that influencers attend)
- Negotiate (being a Jasmine-of-all-trades is commendable; however, a sign of business expansion is the inability to continue to do everything yourself)
- Focus on incorporating new strategies and action steps into business growth goals and consistently following through on those strategies
- Get sufficient insurance (e.g. liability) for businesses they own
It’s also important that women business owners measure the results of their growth efforts. Tracking the numbers of customer sales following a paid-per-click ad campaign or tracking webinar conversion rates are ways to measure results. As women business leaders track the results of their efforts, they will know where to make changes, small or large, as they continue to grow their businesses and get closer to breaking through the $1 million annual revenue ceiling.
Rhonda Campbell, an East Coast journalist, is the owner of Off The Shelf radio and publisher of Long Walk Up and the forthcoming Love Pour Over Me.
Looking for the women business starters? Try Ghana. Fifty-five percent of the entrepreneurs in this West African country are women, the only country with more female entrepreneurs than male. In the US, women comprise almost half of the entrepreneurs, but the Washington Post reports that a study shows that western women are less likely to start businesses than women living in emerging economies.
The study was conducted by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Babson College using 90,000 women in 59 countries. Women entrepreneur levels varied across all of the countries, from the high level in Ghana to only 16 percent in South Korea.
There are several factors in play behind a woman’s choice in taking on business creation. The study finds that the economic situation of one’s country is one of the larger factors. Becoming a business owner in a developing nation is completely different than becoming a business owner in the US, parts of Europe or Japan. Business startups in developing nations generally require less financing as they are smaller and more necessity focused. Entrepreneurs living in countries such as the US tend to create more service-driven companies that demand a larger investment.
Next, women must consider motivation and need to create a business. Women in western societies often fear giving up a stable job in favor of stepping out on a dream, while women struggling to make money in developing nations simply create businesses to survive.
Lastly, women may also face a lack of role models. In countries such as Ghana, where there are so many women entrepreneurs, it’s easier to see and access the successful business entrepreneurs. In the US, it may be harder to relate to another woman’s business vision and even harder to access the successful women at the top.
So it all boils down to location, job security and access. The most important thing is that women find enjoyment in whatever they choose to do no matter the position or country.
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I am a single mom of 5 and have been a freight broker with my company for five and a half years. In July of 2008, I was transferred to Houston from California, made partner in September of 2009, and have been working from home ever since. Domestic freight has been at an all time low for the last few years so I figured I should tap into my other crafts. I can cook very well and I usually have a lot of people asking for dishes and recipes all the time. I am not in the market to make catering my primary business, but I definitely want to find ways to push my business and get it off the ground without a lot of money.
My mother was my biggest supporter and I lost her to cancer in September of 2010, so getting things moving has been hard for me. I feel the drive inside of me to keep moving, but haven’t actually put that into physical works yet. I am dedicated to providing a stable future for myself and my children. My daughters, aged 16, 14, and 13, are very helpful with their twin brothers, aged 2, and we work very well as a family, so I want to find ways to include them as well.
If you have any advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated. My family’s stability is my main priority.
I absolutely admire your strength and courage. Condolences to you for the loss of your mother; I wish you and your children the best. I can appreciate your love for cooking and wish I were near you because I love to eat!
Let’s get down to business. I know you are currently focused on catering, but that’s a labor and capital intensive business, and you said you need to keep costs low. What immediately jumped out at me is the unique—and very valuable—skill set you have as a result of working in the freight industry. Are you kidding me? You are knowledgeable enough about freight to be so valuable to a company that they asked you to move to keep working with them and have retained you as an employee even though business has slowed down. Unless a non-compete clause in your employment agreement prevents you from starting your own business in the freight industry, I think that’s the direction you should go!
Here are three steps to move forward:
Identify the best customer base and business:
There are only three segments to sell to in any business: consumers, businesses or government. You have specialized knowledge that many companies could use and perhaps even the government. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center in your area (you can find it on the Office of Women’s Business Ownership web page) to get help, but start thinking about and researching what kind of business you could start based on your professional background.
Prepare yourself to do business with the federal government:
The federal government is mandated by Congress to spend five percent of its annual procurement budget with woman-owned small businesses. Right now that represents $179 billion in business and the government has created a set aside contract program for women entrepreneurs who are in certain industries (NAICS codes). Find out if freighting is one of their select industries and position your business for a contract. You can register and learn more about the process on the Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program web pages.
Join the biggest chamber of commerce near where you live:
Freighting is specialized so you need to connect with the right kinds of customers and companies. Joining the largest local chamber of commerce is one of the best ways to do that. They have data about their members and contact information. You need to find mid-sized businesses with a market capitalization of $1 million or more who are having trouble with domestic freight planning, or need other help in that area that you are trained to provide. Set up an annual or multi-year contract agreement with your customers to help them develop the freighting systems and processes they need.
As far as your children, you can continue to make your business a family affair by having them complete office work (and whatever you pay them is tax deductible). It’s awesome that you are teaching them entrepreneurship, team building and a work ethic at an early age. That will serve them well in life.
Note: All advice offered in this column is for general information only. Felicia Joy and The Atlanta Post are indemnified against any and all related claims. Always seek the advice of licensed professionals before making business decisions.
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is often called on to discuss the ins and outs of entrepreneurial success and has appeared on CNN, FOX and in other national press. Felicia operates Ms. CEO Inc., a training and development company that helps women entrepreneurs achieve more success, faster — as well as Joy Group International, LLC, a business development and consulting firm. Send her your questions at email@example.com or www.twitter.com/feliciajoy.
I am a 19-years-old business student. I recently inherited land from my grandfather and have decided to cultivate it and go into crop farming. I’m in the process of getting a low interest loan from an agricultural development bank, and am working on everything else such as labor, equipment, nursery and customers. My family has told me to seriously think about it because I am more of a girly-girl who likes nails, make up, dresses, fashion and modeling. They say it is not for me since it will be a lot of hard work, but I really want to do this. Do you think I should? I’d really appreciate your advice. Thanks.
I am so proud of you for being ready to take action and grow the value of your inherited land. So many people sell their inherited real estate and then blow through the money, squandering what a relative worked so hard to build and leave behind. Kudos to you for proactively pursuing wealth; you are one smart girl.
That said, a farming business? And you’re a girly-girl? You are brave for even considering that option!
To be a wise steward of your inheritance without becoming a frustrated business owner, think about these three steps:
1. Get some experience: Clearly you want to start a business. I’m not sure how you came up with the farming idea. From what you’ve shared with me it doesn’t seem like a natural fit, but only you know the answer. Before you start farming or any other business, write down a list of businesses you think you might be interested in. Research the market for those businesses and consider whether you want to start a business that will remain local or that has regional or global reach. Do you plan to live where you are now after graduation? In researching your business ideas, find out whether growth trends are flat or moving upward or downward. Using this information, narrow your list down to three businesses you might like to start and find internships in those areas. Commit to each internship for a minimum of three months. If you find you are really enjoying one of the internships, extend your time to six months so you can learn more.
2. Lease your land to someone else for another purpose until you figure out what you want to do: Perhaps one of the reasons you were eager to start farming is because you wanted to make good use of the land and generate income from it. You can still achieve that outcome. Earn income on the land by leasing it to someone else for farming or another purpose while you intern to decide what business you would like to pursue. Be sure to get an ironclad leasing contract in place. Know the eviction laws in advance just in case you have the unfortunate responsibility of removing and replacing a tenant who is not paying on time or at all. Also, charge the first month’s leasing fee up front.
3. Revisit starting a business after you have done your homework: After your three internships you will know which business you like best. Get help from one of your professors and use all the resources available to you on campus to write a plan for that business. During your time of learning and preparation you will have collected nine to 12 months of leasing fees. Save most of that money. This way, you will have a great new business to pursue, experience in that industry as a result of your internship, plus assets and money to pursue it.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how it’s going. Good luck!
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is often called on to discuss the ins and outs of entrepreneurial success and has appeared on CNN, FOX and in other national press. Felicia operates Ms. CEO Inc., a company that helps women entrepreneurs achieve more success, faster — as well as Joy Group International, LLC, a business development and consulting firm. Send her your questions at email@example.com or www.twitter.com/feliciajoy.
Michelle Newson is a busy and successful event planner based in New York City, but her arrival wasn’t without ups, downs and a surprising number of multi-state moves. The journey even included guiding safari tours at Walt Disney World. This risk taker wasn’t sure where her experiences and moves might be leading her, but at 30 she’s settled down to run Onederland Events.
Originally from Chicago, Newson enrolled in Illinois State, but completed just one semester before being recruited by Disney. The sunshine state was too much to pass up. The program put college students to work in various roles around the park while also training them in academic seminars. At the end of the course students presented a project and earned a “ductorate”.
“I did safaris every day, pretending we were in Africa and sharing animal facts while driving a big bus,” Newson said. ”At the end of the program I realized I didn’t want to leave. One semester turned into six years.”
After working in safaris, Newson moved to Disney’s hotel, and later, wedding divisions, where she got her first real taste of event planning.
“I’d planned homecoming and prom in high school, but that was extracurricular. I saw this was a service people wanted and needed and they were spending huge amounts of money,” she said. ”I got my foot in there, learned how to treat people and [figured out] the ins and outs of Disney weddings.”
During this career-shaping experience Newson studied advertising and public relations at the University of Central Florida. By the time all of the weddings Newson had helped plan were ready to go live it was time for her to do an internship. She moved to New York for the summer to work with Saatchi & Saatchi.
“It was a great start to launching my business. I learned how a brand was supposed to work,” she said.
Newson returned to Florida, but Orlando was no match for life in the city. She got an offer to work at JWT and was on the next plane back to New York, where she picked up valuable project management skills. Florida, however, wasn’t done with Newson and soon enough her old employer called offering her a job in the marketing department on the corporate side of the company. She accepted, making her fifth move in as many years.
“I loved the job [and] getting hands-on. It taught me how to manage multiple projects, taught me about egos, personalities and dealing with difficult things as they come up,” she said. “But I realized Orlando wasn’t the best fit for me and there isn’t much of a ladder at Disney since people rarely leave their jobs.”
A self-described risk taker, Newson decided to quit her job and at 25 headed back to Chicago and moved in with her parents.
“I wanted to be in control of my happiness,” she said. ”I was on a great path corporate-wise, but it didn’t matter. I wanted to put my own stamp on the world.”