Month: November 2016

Vanessa Chan is an entrepreneur, consultant and angel investor.  She is also co-founder of re.design, a company that brings consumer product innovations to market.  Vanessa’s first product is, tangle-free & stylish headphones, called Loopit.   The launch included a very successful Kickstarter campaign.  Loopit has been featured in such places as The Today Show’s Next Big Thing and QVC.  Vanessa has a B.S.E. from Penn (class of 1994) and a Ph.D. from MIT, both in Materials Science & Engineering.

Vanessa’s product idea fills a great need, is innovative and yet was inspired by the combination of two ordinary items.  What other needs can be filled by combining two unrelated things?  This is a good question to consider for those who are trying to create new products or services.

Her Philosophy

Life’s a journey.  Embrace it.  It’s not about the outcomes.  Those outcomes will come.  If you sit there and fret about the outcomes, you’ll forget the journey.  If you forget the journey, you won’t get the outcomes.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Find your source of inspiration by being observant and interacting with the world
  • For crowdfunding campaigns, use a factory made prototype
  • Embrace the transition to entrepreneurship as a journey this may help to minimize fear; it’s about learning and if you know you’re learning, then there really is no fear.
  • Take the energy, whether it’s positive or negative, that’s being aimed at you and figure out how to harness it so that you can grow as a person
  • Step outside of your comfort zone even though it doesn’t feel good
  • Make sure you understand your costs and the price that a customer is really willing to pay for your product
  • Figure out why you want to be an entrepreneur.  What is it that you want to be doing?  Are you doing this for financial reasons, to learn something, etc.?  Do something that will bring you joy rather than being an entrepreneur because it’s a trendy thing to do.
  • Understand:  1) Are you creating something that people need and want?  and 2) Are you able deliver it at a cost that will allow you to actually make some money?

Links

http://www.redesign.studio/

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Cyndi Prince is the founder of LooHoo, LLC, a Maine-based company. She created LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls, which are reusable, energy-saving alternatives to dryer sheets.  The product was designed specifically for those who are concerned about protecting both their family’s health and the environment. 

Cyndi has been awarded a SPANX by Sara Blakely “Leg Up” Promotion, was selected as the SBA Business Award and was a recipient of the Eileen Fisher Woman-Owned Business Grant.

Cyndi’s journey is really interesting.  She created her product based on a need that she discovered during a transitional time in her life. There’s a really important lesson to be learned here.  New product or service ideas can be discovered by asking two simple questions:  1) What needs arise as a result of transition in life; and 2) are there compelling and innovative ways to solve those needs through a product or service? 

Her Philosophy

Build an incredible team.  Surround yourself with amazing people.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Just start.
  • Keep going for it no matter how many road blocks you hit.
  • Ask questions.  People are out there to help.  You just have to ask the right questions.  Keep asking and keep knocking on doors.
  • Focus on sales and get a lot of practice selling things.  This is crucial , especially with product based businesses.

Links

www.loo-hoo.com

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Vanessa Ellingson is a former professional basketball player, turned Chiropractor turned entrepreneur.  She is also the CEO and Co-Founder of the company Möbi Games Inc.   Mobi is a fast paced tile game that helps others learn and apply basic math skills.  I wanted to learn more about Vanessa’s overall approach to creating her brand.

Her Philosophy

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  ~Mark Twain

You can either manage hiccups with a smile on your face or you can let them frustrate you.  Since I know this is where I want to be, it’s easier to get through the ups and downs.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

    • Fear is just forward thinking.  So, if you can just be in the day to day, there’s really nothing to fear.  You just have to give a little bit more each day knowing that it will be fine.
    • Find your support system.
    • Have a good idea.  Don’t launch a terrible idea.

 

Links

playmobi.com

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Anna Marie Stauss supports and organizes a woman’s co-op in Calcutta, India.  Anna Marie is a true socialpreneur which means that she she designed her business to help the world, both environmentally and financially.

I wanted to talk to Anna Marie to find out more about how she was able to bring to launch her product idea based on having a positive positively impact in the lives of women in another country.  Our conversation was enlightening, inspiring and thought provoking.  The work that she and her team is doing to empower women through business goes beyond extraordinary.

Here’s a personal note to The Beehive from Anna Marie…

In gratitude I introduce myself to all of you, I’m Anna Marie Stauss, CEO of Sinko Corp. We are a very small women owned business working with a women’s Co-op that we support, and organize in the slum areas of Calcutta, India. We now work with 3 locations and 432 women but are expanding to 4 more areas and hope to provide over 630 women a dignified way to earn a living from home by January 2017.

Our products are all handcrafted out of organic cotton and jute for the home. We have a 3 prong mission: to provide flexible/low tech work for women in desperate need to earn; to provide a durable, reusable, biodegradable and organic alternatives to plastic housewares; and to reduce landfill that grows daily as we replace our household products.

Her Philosophy

  • If I don’t quit, I won’t fail.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  •  Think it through.  When it’s hard, if it’s something you’re not in love with, you’ll walk away and then you’ll fail.  If you really believe in it, then you’ll stick with it.

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