Year: 2016

Nneka Alexander specializes in creating high-end custom garments for exclusive clientele with an appreciation for quality. Based in Atlanta, Georgia USA, Brides by NoNA is a luxury brand of bespoke bridal and formal wear serving clients globally.

Her business philosophy: 

Take risks!  It’s okay to fail.  Failure is the result of trying something.  If you don’t fail, it means you didn’t put any effort into  it.  If you’re not trying and not putting in any effort, you can never achieve success.

 

What does being Queen Bee mean to her?

Someone who’s influential by reason of what they’ve done, what they’re doing or what they intend to do

 

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

  •  “Impossible” is not a word.  It’s just a reason not to try.  Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.
  • Put your goals and plans down on paper.
  • Work towards your goals with everything you’ve got and at some point you will achieve success if you don’t give up.

 

Interview Links

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After working in government, private industry and public accounting, Erin Johnstone took the entrepreneurial leap and started her own accounting firm, Vivid Numbers. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, revels in the details, loves to laugh and actually likes accounting!

To be financially savvy, consider the following 5 tasks….

  • Business entity selection
  • Smart bank accounts (separate personal and business accounts)
  • Simple bookkeeping software
  • Paperless filing system
  • Government reporting.

 

Erin’s advice on finding a good accountant

  • Interview more than one accountant
  • Get referrals from people in your industry who really like their accountants – and ask for specifics

Her final advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs

 

  • Set some money aside for profit and for paying yourself first
  • Don’t outsource your responsibility for your business finances; to have a successful business as well as peace of mind,  you must really understand your finances.

 

Links

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For over 30 years, Kathy Dannel Vitcak has worked in the pet industry and has been active in the dog show world. The Blissful Dog sprang from her own need for a product to help her dogs have smooth, healthy noses. And now, 13 years later, the products are changing lives worldwide.

Her brand philosophy:  The Golden Rule – Treat people the way that you want to be treated.

What does being Queen Bee mean to her?

Being in control of your own Beehive – feeling confident that you can take advantages of big opportunities when they come along…

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

  •  Try not to compare yourself to anyone else
  • Don’t look within your industry for inspiration

Interview Links

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Susan Burns is a business strategist and legal adviser to women-owned, small businesses. She is also founder and CEO of Small Business Legal School, an online learning course designed to support success by helping business owners become legally savvy.

 

 

To be legally savvy, consider the following….

  • Business structure
  • Contracts and negotiations
  • Employee agreements & classifications (hiring employees versus independent contractors)

 

Intellectual Property Concerns

  • Trademarks or Service Marks: Protect your brand identity; Trademark registration involves various nuances – use a trademark lawyer  to minimize legal risks
  • Copyrights:  Protect your tangible medium of expression
  • Patents:  Protect your design/invention

 

To find a good lawyer

  • Network and ask other business owners to find out who they are using; ask for referrals
  • Be the boss:  interview each potential lawyer regarding their background, philosophy to determine whether they will fit with your business needs; Also, make sure they are well versed in the area of concern
  • Don’t choose a lawyer who “talks down” to you
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no, not interested”

 

 

Her final advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs

  • Become educated about your legal needs
  • Seek good legal counsel
  • Always cover your assets!

 

 

Links

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Originally from the Caribbean island of St Lucia, Mala Bryan is a model based between Miami Beach, USA  and Cape Town, South Africa.  She recently created and launched her own company, Malaville, and started it off with a line of black and brown skin toned dolls with kinky/curly hair.

Her brand philosophy: 

Have passion… passion can drive success!

What does being Queen Bee mean to her? 

Inspiring and empowering those around you.

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

  • Don’t think too much about pleasing people; do what you feel is okay.
  • Tap into your intuition – see what the world needs and create something that you would love to help change the world in a good way

Links

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Kristen Robinson is the Social Media Head Coach of KR Design and is known as the Military Spouse Business Mentor. Kristen helps entrepreneurs with their social media struggles and help them build their social media presence to grow their email list to launch online. She has a passion for military spouses and helps them build online businesses that create flexibility and freedom within the military lifestyle. As a US Marine Corps military spouse, Kristen started her company, KR Design, to create a business to support her husband’s military career while constantly moving from one location to the next. She loves her business because it allows her to do what she loves from anywhere in the world.

Her social media philosophies: 

  • Engagement is critical:  content is king but engagement is queen and she rules the house.
  • If you’re going to take the time to be on a platform, take the time to learn about it.
  • Be consistent.

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs for conquering social media:

  • Focus on engagement and relationship  building
  • Create a centerpiece (e.g., blogpost, etc.).  Then re-purpose content for social media
  • Mix it up (e.g., promotions, inspiration, etc.)
  • Plan and schedule content in advance –
    • Find two to three hours per week to create content in advance
    • Find desired images to accompany content
    • Schedule postings
  • Use a tool to automate and schedule posts
  • Respond to comments
  • Be consistent

Interview Links

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Malene Barnett is the president and design director of Malene B. Carpets, a company specializing in creating handcrafted custom carpets for prestigious residential and commercial environments. Working together with Interior Designers and Architects, Malene creates timeless masterpieces that enrich any setting.

Her brand philosophy:  Be worldly; live boldly!

Where does she find inspiration?

  • From traveling and the people around her.  She loves to tell the story of places she’s been….

Her product development process:

  • Get inspiration from photographs
  • Create a vision for new product
  • Develop sketches and create artwork
  • Create samples (strikeoffs)
  • Launch!

Her moment of clarity: 

Stick with what you have been developing as a brand and what people are expecting from you.

What does being Queen Bee mean to her?

You are one who’s not afraid to take any chances.  You’re a risk taker.  You’re strong.  There will be doubts but a Queen Bee listens and allows herself to move through all of the fears knowing that she will be supported with whatever decision that she makes.

 

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

  • Do the research.  Really know all the players in your industry.
  • Just start your business; don’t be afraid to start!

Interview Links

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Luxurious carpets from Malene B.

 

 

Kayla Beckmann is the owner of Small Fox Media, a media house specializing in TV, film and social media services.

 

Her Philosophies

  1. Know your self worth.  Never settle for anything less than what you think is good for you.
  2. Her favorite quote:  “Do your thing. Do it unapologetically.  Don’t be discouraged by criticism.  Pay no mind to the fear of failure – it’s far more valuable than success.  Take ownership.  Take chances and have fun.  And no matter what, don’t stop doing your thing.”  (Anonymous)

 

Biggest Challenge

Figuring out how to get her business started from an administrative standpoint

 

Her strategies for getting inspired…

  • Collaborating with creative people
  • keeping lists of her ideas

 

Kayla’s advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:  

Make a plan and just do it!  You’ll never really feel prepared.

 

Question to consider:

When it comes to  business, what’s my “big hairy” goal?

What’s my step by step plan for accomplishing my goal?

 

Interview Links

 

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