Author: AlisaIvorySmith

Annie Haven, a southern California rancher, brings her family legacy out of her pastures to specialty growers and home gardeners around the world. Harvested from Haven raised livestock, she processes and eco hand packages her 100% natural soil nutrient teas for the environmentally minded grower and home gardener.  As a rancher, author and speaker, Annie has learned the importance of grit.

During our conversation, we discussed relentlessness and passion as key drivers for success.

Her Philosophy

Believe in yourself and in your product.

Her Advise to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Figure out what it is you enjoy doing and understand the details.  Then start introducing this to people that you know.

http://www.ahavenbrand.com

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Michelle Moy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Up Dog Toys.  She and her team make functional, cool, modern dog toys for the design savvy pup and owner.  Michelle works full time alongside her husband and Co-Founder/CMO, Billy Shih.  Her favorite co-worker though is her corgi, Odin, who was the main inspiration for starting Up Dog Toys.

Michelle and team started out as a successfully funded Kickstarter in Fall of 2014 and have been growing as a small independent company since.  They are continuing to produce more colors of their first toy, The Odin, and will be expanding their line soon.

In our conversation, we discuss the many fears that can arise and how important it is to get past those fears when starting a new venture.

Her Philosophy

Done is better than perfect.

 

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Ask a ton of questions about anything that you don’t know.  Don’t be afraid to speak up and just ask.
  • Be true to yourself.
  • You can do more than you think you can.
  • Stay driven and really believe in yourself.

 

Links

www.updogtoys.com

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Ianthe Mauro has high standards in both and quality.  She created Objects With Purpose candles to deliver a non-toxic sophisticated and conscientious experience to others.   We discussed her approach to candle-making in great detail.

Her Philosophy

  • Share light and keep things clean and light.  Remove mental blocks by figuring out how to make things work on a practical level.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Talk about your ideas to everyone you come in contact with.  Start to get feedback.  Make it real by talking about it first.
  • Come up with your word(s) – what is your bigger reason, the reason that you’re doing what you’re doing?
  • Allow yourself to take risks.  Once you figure out what you want to do and you talk about it, try things even before you’re an expert.  Take action.

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Tippy Tippens is the Founder and Chief Eternal Optimist at Goods that Matter.  She is also a social entrepreneur, designer, gandhiwarmer, and she’s passionate about building sustainable growth.  Tippy does this by making the objects that we live with work for us instead of against us and ultimately wishing to contribute to greater happiness.

I wanted to learn more about Tippy’s approach as a social entrepreneur.  During our conversation, we talked about how to create products that have a positive impact on society.

Her Philosophy

  • Design for good.  Make sure that the work is doing good, is beneficial to the environment and beneficial for the customers.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  •  Just Start.
  • Never give up.
  • Ask for advice but know when to accept it.
  • Trust your intuition when making decisions.

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Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD, is a family doctor turned entrepreneur.  She has helped 600,000 people live happier, healthier, well-rested lives. When she was in private practice and struggled with her own sleep issues, Wei-Shin and her husband invented SleepPhones®, the world’s first headphones designed for sleeping.  I was interested in talking to Wei-Shin due to her technical background in medicine.

During our conversation, she highlighted the idea that our life experiences can often inspire new solutions for old problems.  We also talked creating success through team work.

Her Philosophy

  • Respect everybody.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  •  Know yourself.  Understand yourself and what motivates you or sucks your energy away.  know what you’re capable of, your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ask for help if there is something that you don’t know about.
  • Know when to fire yourself.  Focus on the things that you know you’re good at.  Hire others to take care of the rest.

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sleepphones

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Nancie Weston is the inventor, founder and chief designer at GRAYL Inc., the maker of advanced yet stylish water filters and purifiers that allow you drink water from any source, anywhere in the world. She founded GRAYL due to her concerns about water quality and the impact of plastic from bottled water bottles on our land and oceans. Nancie had worked in sales and marketing for over 25 years and then she found her true passion product design.

I wanted to talk to Nancy to better understand how she came up with such an innovative idea and also to find out how she was able to get her product manufactured.

 

Her Philosophy

  • Never taking “NO” for an answer.

 

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  •  Never take “no” for an answer.  If you believe in your product, your passion and your vision, just keep going until you get   someone who will listen.
  • Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses.  Instead, hire people who can help.  Use a subcontractor, friend, relative, volunteers, etc.
  • Before launching your product or starting on the design process, get retailers on board.  Ask them: 1) What does it take to get into your store?; 2) What do you need?; 3) Would this be a product of interest?; 4) Theoretically, if you were going to order, how many would you order?
  • Use the retailer information (above) in your negotiations with manufacturers
  • Be very sure of the people you are hiring.  Don’t just hire the first person who comes into your office.  Wait until you get the right person.
  • Believe in yourself.  Understand what you like and what your vision is.

Links

  • http://www.thegrayl.com/

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Lisa Fetterman is the founder and CEO of Nomiku, the first home sous vide immersion circulator machine on the market. Lisa has been featured in Wired, MAKE, and Forbes, and was named on both Forbes and Zagat Survey’s 30 Under 30 lists for her pioneering work in the food space. Lisa has worked at some of the top restaurants in the country including Babbo and Jean-Georges in New York and Saison in San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco where she and her husband-cofounder have brought manufacturing back to the states with their new Wifi-Nomiku device.

I wanted to learn more about Lisa’s experience in designing and launching a new device for the at home chef.

Her Philosophy

  • Do the most good you can do with what you have.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Start today and sell whatever you can. Even if you don’t have your final product right now, you need to start selling. You need to start knowing what that feels like and who your supporters are.
  • Reach out to everyone and tell everyone your story. Tell everyone what you’re trying to do.
  • Realize that we don’t compete against each other as startups.  We compete against people not caring…
  • It’s pretty important to do something right now, whether it’s writing a blog entry whether it’s helping them a neighbor.  Do something with your special set of skills that go towards our mission your.

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Nomiku Sous Vide Cooking Device

 

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Maple syrup is part of Dori Ross’s Canadian birthright. She grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, where tapping trees was simply a weekend hobby. After a twenty plus year career in marketing, when Dori moved to Vermont she couldn’t contain her passion for maple. She found herself tapping her Vermont trees with her three kids, who would run off the school bus every day to check the taps. Then they’d spill three quarters of the sap while running with full buckets up to the house. (Keep in mind it takes over 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup!) Fortunately, this was not yet a business. It was just fun.

It seemed inevitable that any food business Dori started would involve maple. But instead of tapping her own trees and selling the maple syrup, Dori realized that she wanted to use her marketing experience to help hardworking sugar makers and to elevate the status of maple, which is a true luxury food.

So she teamed up with local sugar makers in the Mad River Valley. They supply her with single-source syrup, some of which she sells. The rest gets delivered to a group of local Vermont artisan candy-makers, who transform the liquid staple into solid and truly unique goodies in the Tonewood line – a maple cube, maple cream and maple flakes.

Her Philosophy

  • Keep things really focused and rework things all the time to drill down.  Keep it simple.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Everyone just has to realize that they’re not alone. It’s scary for anyone that takes this job if they feel fearful. That’s OK because it is a scary thing to do.
  • Jump off that cliff and and do it because you’ll regret not doing it you won’t regret failure because at least you took a risk.

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Candice N. Mackel is a graduate of Morgan State University, a full time entrepreneur, owner of Candice Nicole Public Relations (CNPR) and Creator of Women Who Hustle, which is a women’s organization that recently celebrated one year. She started CNPR 9 years ago and has worked with some of the top talent in music and film including Spike Lee, TI, Meek Mill, Big Boi, Tika Sumptner, Marsha Ambrosius + many more.  Candice is also the VP of Marketing for the Alliance of Women in Media (DC Chapter) and the Author of “The PR Puzzle”.

Starting a business takes more than desire.  There must also be a willingness to act.  It’s impressive that Candice started her PR firm right out of college and I wanted to better understand how she was able to find the courage to start a business at such a young age.

Her Philosophy

  • Always remain a student.  Always have an open mind to new things.  Never ever think that you know too much.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Have thick skin.  If someone tells you “no”, you have to keep on pressing on.
  • Know that being an entrepreneur doesn’t happen over night.  It takes time to build you brand.  Never give up on yourself.
  • Always remain a student in your industry.
  • Realize that you will always have to answer to someone, whether it’s your boss or your customers/clients.
  • Condition yourself to be able to multi-task at the beginning.

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Seema Alexander is a business strategy coach who empowers purpose-driven women to make the transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship.  She does this by helping her clients to maximize their credibility, productivity and profitability in business.

I wanted to talk to Seema to get her thoughts on what it takes to successfully transition from a corporate environment.  Not only has she made the leap herself, but she’s also coached many women to success.

Her business philosophy: 

  • Do what you love and do it often.

Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

  • Don’t start a business just to make more money.  Focus on purpose first.
  • Have a strategic plan or blueprint in place for your business.  Consider the products/services align to your market and how you will get your message out there.
  • Invest in yourself and hire someone in a strategic capacity to help you.
  • Build a community by creating authentic relationships with other entrepreneurs.
  • Be mindful of what it will really take to create a business.

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