Author: AlisaIvorySmith

Leslie Pierson is passionate about solving life’s challenges through product design.  She created and launched The Good Hangups Reusable Magnetic Hanging System.

During our conversation, we discussed manufacturing challenges as well as lessons learned about crowdfunding through kickstarter.

 

Her Philosophy

Trust your crazy ideas and then you hustle, hustle, hustle to make it happen.

 

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • To find good suppliers:
    • Ask the following questions:  What are your lead times?  What are the regular costs and the shipping costs?  What additional fees will be charged?  What is the lead time needed  to get the materials?
    • Get samples of each material prior to committing to a supplier.  Determine which supply is best for your materials
    • Make sure you have qualified backup suppliers as well.
  • If you can speed up the process for making or assembling your product, your cost will be produced

Links
www.goodhangups.com/

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

 

 

Molly Gordon is a Master Certified Coach known for her creativity, humor, and commitment to helping clients get off the merry-go-round of serial self-improvement and into the slipstream of infinite possibility. Her current focus is helping men and women who are working on large scale world problems ranging from climate change to hunger to terrorism, helping them to tap into the creativity, resilience, courage, and wisdom they need to keep up the good work without burnout.

During our conversation, we discussed Molly’s journey to becoming a coach. We also talked about getting into the right mindset so that we can achieve our objectives.

 

Her Philosophy

Out beyond right and wrong there is a field and I will meet you there.     ~Rumi

 

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Just do stuff because you are infinitely creative and resilient.  So, there are more ideas where that one came from.
  • See what happens, evaluate and then go and show up and try the next thing.
  • Remember that delight in the entrepreneurial journey is in taking action.  It’s not in trying to figure out how to get it right.

 

Links
http://shaboominc.com/

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

 

Katie Everds is passionate about the outdoors and created the product she always needed but could never find.   She developed and launched The Tillow, a large beach towel combined with a pillow and waterproof storage, to simplify the lives of beach and pool goers.

During our conversation, we discussed strategies for working with manufacturers.  We also talked about how to create a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Her Philosophy

If someone can do this, then why can’t I? There are people out there just like you who are wildly successful.

…always continue to build myself  up and say, “It can be done.”

 

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • To find a manufacturer, ask around and try to find a contact who can help you
  • When working with manufacturers:  1) Be in constant communication; 2) Get samples prior to full production; 3) make sure the transfer of money happens through reputable and track-able sources;
  • No matter how far along you are, people will continue to doubt you; there seems to be a negative stigma to entrepreneurship
  • Start small – dream big but set your expectations well
  • If you have product idea, try to make a prototype yourself and ask people if they like it; find the feasibility in your product so it’s not a huge waste – listen and adapt
  • Do your research to see if your idea is really something that people want – tell others about the idea and get their reactions
  • How to create a successful Kickstarter campaign:
    • Do a lot of research
    • Realize that your video is very important
    • Promote your campaign –   Spend time developing a strong contact base in order to increase awareness of the campaign
    • Set a reasonable goal; it shouldn’t be too low or too high

 

Her Kickstarter Video

 

Links
www.thetillow.com

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

Jenny Mae Miller and Kristine Carlton started their business as pioneering spirits, right out of technical design school.   During their final quarter of school, true to their pioneering spirits and out-of-the box thinking, they started their business with the purchase of four industrial sewing machines.   Through their company, Sewn Product Services, they operate as product developers and production managers servicing the apparel, soft goods, and wearable technologies industries.

Our conversation focuses on service development and highlights the idea of thinking beyond the immediate needs of your customer.  The key question is, “What adjacent services can you create that will minimize your client’s overall hassles?”

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Realize that no is the beginning of a conversation, not the end of a conversation.
  • Be able to listen to the quiet voice of intuition that is inside you and follow it.  The stepping stones to our best path are laid out in our intuition.  If we can be quiet and listen to that voice we’ll have a clear map on where to go.

Links

http://www.sewnproductservices.com

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

 

 

 

Maryon Attwood is a studio artist who co-founded Cook On Clay ceramics.    She creates specially formulated oven to table platters that withstand thermal shock and can be used safely in the oven, as well as for serving and presentation.

During our conversation Maryon emphasized the importance of quality and introduced the idea that excellence  cannot be separated from consumer expectations.

Her Philosophy

Returning people to the table… as part of the farm to table movement.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • If you just do what you know and you believe in what you’re doing, things will be okay at the end of the day.
  • In the first years, it can be very challenging.  You have to be courageous.  You have to be willing to take risks.  You have to be smart.  You have to be thrifty when it counts. Determination is very important.
  • Go for it!  It’s great to be your own boss.
  • Do it while you’re young!

Links

http://www.cookonclay.com

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

Sherrill Mosee set out to create an organizational fashion bag for busy women.  As a result, she designed and invented MinkeeBlue totes.  Like many women, she often carried two or three bags to work.   Sherrill came up with a novel design that facilitates consolidation of everything into one bag.  As a result, she has been awarded a patent for her invention.

The idea of creating and launching a product can be very intimidating at first.  There are many challenges that must be overcome.   During our conversation, we discussed the obstacles that Sherrill faced throughout her journey and she provides some great insight on creating solutions through networking.

Her Philosophy

Keep it moving.  Give yourself a chance to see if you idea will work out.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Understand your product category as much as possible
  • Make sure that your idea is unique; figure out how to differentiate yourself
  • Figure out how much money it will take to get started
  • Start off very small and grow from there; Don’t spend a bunch of money initially

Her Biggest Challenge

  • Manufacturing – the challenge was in learning and understanding the costs of developing and manufacturing a bag and getting it shipped; this includes sourcing and receiving raw materials, making the product, packaging, testing, freight charges, fees, etc.

 

Links

minkeeblue.com

Philadelphia Fashion Incubator

Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

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/

 Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

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

 Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

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

 Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

 

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.

Links

 Join us on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

 

 

Scroll to top