Archive for the ‘ Women Entrepreneur ’ Category

Emily May – Founder of Hollaback

NAME: Emily May
INDUSTRY: Non – profit
POSITION: Executive Director
COMPANY:  HOLLABACK!
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY

CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology, media advocacy, and policy. By collecting women and LGBTQ folks’ stories and pictures in a safe and share-able way with our mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced challenge to the status quo. It breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, pronounces that any gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an empowered response to street harassment.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
I’m most proud of giving a platform, and a voice, to over 150 activists in 44 cities, 16 countries, and 9 different languages around the world. They are working in their communities to move street harassment from something that was isolating, to something that is sharable, to something that is completely unacceptable. If I have my way these will not just be the leaders of the movement to end street harassment — these will be the next leaders of the world.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
We haven’t ended street harassment yet.  The upshot is that we’re not stopping until we do.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Being executive director at 30 isn’t easy.  And being a woman makes it even harder.  While funders conceptually support the idea of young female leadership, but the reality is that they are timid to invest it. I can’t say I’ve overcome this yet, but I can we’re working it. We’re continuously making tremendous impact on a shoestring.  Just imagine what we could do if they gave us the whole shoe.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Test your model for as long as you possible can before leaving your full-time job (we took 6 years).  You’ll know you’re ready when you feel so passionate about your project that you literally can’t do anything else. It stops becoming a decision, and starts becoming a calling.  Once you are ready to take the leap: don’t look back. Be a badass, don’t be afraid to make decisions based on gut instinct, and never, ever lose sight of why you got in this to begin with.  Your vision is your most important asset.

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Eva Mohr @ Holstee

NAME: Eva Mohr
INDUSTRY: Sustainable product design, fashion
POSITION: I am in charge of the production and overseeing the warehouse processes.
COMPANY: HOLSTEE
LOCATION: NYC
CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:  At Holstee we design lifestyle with a conscience

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
Moving to New York from Europe with no idea what is going to happen. But knowing what I want and definitely not want, and I think I managed this quite successfully so far.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
I don’t like the term failure, because otherwise I would have never made it to NYC, and I would have not met all the awesome and inspiring people on the way.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
I don’t know, since looking back all “obstacles” (even though there were definitely times I was about to give up) seem like a piece of cake now and I am ready to change the world. I am pretty fearless and I see obstacles as challenges.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Persistency…which I think is important in any field or industry.

Kara Dake – Co-Founder & CEO at Signalfy

NAME: Kara Dake
INDUSTRY: Events/Experiences
POSITION: Co-Founder & CEO
COMPANY:  SIGNALFY
LOCATION: NYC/San Francisco


CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:  
We’ve recognized, out of frustration, that there is no go-to resource to discover local events, view who is attending, and share your attendance with your friends. Why, if events are inherently social, is the current event discovery + sharing process, so…not? Signalfy is the new way to discover what’s on, what’s hot and who’s going in your city. Discover local events including art + music + fashion + film + tech and “signal” to friends your interest in attending the events.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
My biggest success so far is dropping out of the corporate rat race and pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams. It was definitely a bit frightening at first, but there’s nothing better than living your life, on your own terms.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
The first startup I worked on was a fashion incubator. My business partner and I spent almost 9 months in the planning stages, updating the business plan and taking many, many meetings. However, during this process we did little to test our assumptions and receive real feedback from designers. And, the idea grew way too big to manage. Looking back, it was definitely the complete opposite of what I’ve now learned via the Lean Startup movement.

I also learned that I had put wayyyy to much pressure on myself and this business succeeding. While perseverance and stamina are very important in starting a business, I’ve learned that you can’t measure your own personal self-worth based on the success (or failure) of your project. I guess it’s like they say – you’re only as good as your last film/design/website?? Well, I don’t subscribe to that any more. Instead, I’ve increased other things in my life that make me happy, too – health & wellness, friendships, family, spirituality, and continued learning.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
I have had to deal with a ton of uncertainty in the last two years. I started renting out my apartment full-time using Airbnb.com, and I was able to scrape by on enough income to quit my job and stay with friends & family. This has been amazing as I’ve been able to focus full-time on my entrepreneurial projects and getting my MBA at NYU. But, it’s been extremely challenging to deal with not having a home base to stay grounded. I joke with people that sometimes I’ve had to stay in Central Park. It hasn’t gotten that bad, but there are days when I don’t have the right clothes to wear to a meeting, or the notebook I need is…somewhere. This period of my life is coming to an end soon, and I’ve realized it’s helped teach me to live simply and in the present moment (mostly!).

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
I firmly believe that one of the most important things in life is to do what you love. In Buddhism, it’s called following your dharma. I really wish this was focused on more in schools, vs. just chasing a dream because you think you will make a lot of money, or it will make your parents happy. If you can’t do what you love right now, get involved in side projects or help others that ARE doing what you find interesting. Figure out ways you can support yourself with alternative revenue streams. Then take the leap!!

MORE ABOUT ME:
Co-Founder & CEO @ Signalfy and check out my new blog on how to be healthy as a very busy entrepreneur.

Dr. Karuna Sabnani, NMD – Naturopathic Doctor

NAME:  Dr. Karuna Sabnani, NMD
INDUSTRY: Image Consulting and Wellness at Illume and Naturopathic Medicine
POSITION:  Naturopathic Doctor: Beauty, Energy, Weight and Skin Specialist at Illume and
Naturopathic Doctor and Founder of Karuna Naturopathic Healthcare.
COMPANY:  KARUNA NATUROPATHIC HEALTHCARE and ILLUMÉ
LOCATION: New York

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
WITH ILLUMÉ:  Taking everything I know about Naturopathic Medicine, Ayurveda, life and food to create weight loss and skin protocols that provide long lasting results.
WITH YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE: Learning and teaching people the principles of food and Nature so they can live with more ease and get rid of harsh regimens.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
WITH ILLUMÉ: There are no failures, just lessons to learn from and quickly do things differently.
WITH YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE: There haven’t been any ‘big failures’.  It’s all a process and it’s important to keep changing and growing with the times.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
WITH ILLUMÉ: Waiting a bit to long to relocate to NYC again and to be open to business advice from all different places.
WITH YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE:  Practicing this type of medicine in a way that I see best serves others rather than giving into a traditional medical model.  Also, keeping consistency to my work through the cross country moves from California to New York City.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
WITH ILLUMÉ: You have to put yourself out there and go through trial and error before you find a fit for yourself in your field.  Take time to do some work on yourself – your health and expression before finding a niche for your own practice.  There are a lot of cookie cutter models of health and beauty out there, learn what’s out there and what makes your own work different, unique and effective.
WITH YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE: In your field of medicine and health:  The biggest advice I would give is to follow your heart and take care of yourself first. This field offers you space to be who you are. Take the time to discover who you are and create a practice that is a reflection of you.

Laura Kronen – Founder of Be You Only Better

NAME:  Laura Kronen
INDUSTRY:  Life Coaching, Image Consulting, Beauty Expert, Entrepreneur & Author
POSITION: Founder
COMPANY:  BE YOU ONLY BETTER
LOCATION:  Atlanta, GA
CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION: We provide Life Coaching Services specializing in developing self confidence and self esteem, reaching health & fitness goals, improving relationships and entrepreneurial mentoring and coaching.  We also offer image consulting and provide daily beauty and self help product recommendations.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
My biggest successes have been taking ideas that originated in my imagination and actually bringing them to fruition.  I have done it a number of times with my products Baby Road Trip,  Belly Ups, and now, Be You Only Better.   Every day with Be You Only Better, I achieve personal success with my clients- raising their confidence levels, helping them achieve personal satisfaction and discover happiness within them that they have never experienced before.  Nothing makes me feel more successful than helping others attain their goals and dreams.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?  
I do not believe in failure. There are only degrees of success. Everything that doesn’t go exactly the way I planned or wanted it to is either a learning experience or a step on the road to where I want to be.  Thomas Edison once said – “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Think about how many times a baby falls as it’s trying to learn to walk.  Is that baby a failure because he is tumbling and crashing into things as as he learns?  No, that baby is going to learn how to walk perfectly despite the challenges he faces or the “failures” he encounters every day.  That is the way I live my life.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years.  I have learned how to become empowered by the disease rather than have it bring me down.  So much so that I was inspired to write a book- Too Sweet: The Insights and Musings of a Diabetic.   I share my experiences of living with the disease, filling a genuine need for comforting, brutally honest, and practical wisdom.  Without stepping on any medical toes, not focusing on anything technical, and definitely not dwelling on any of the bad things that are drilled into a diabetics head over time (who really wants to read about that anyway!), I tackle diabetic myths, the ups and downs of lows and highs, being labeled as having a “disease”, my fear of needles, love of all things sugary sweet, sex, pregnancy and just about everything else in between. From hearing about an elusive cure, to sharing how diabetes can make you into a more confident, motivated person, this genuine, up close look into my diabetic life will make you laugh out loud and feel as though you found a new best friend.  The book will be available before Spring 2012.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?  
I have three key ‘phrases of wisdom’ that I live by and always offer to those starting out.  They are simple but no one will ever give you better advice than this:
1. Be persistent. Never give up.  Believe in your dreams.
2.  Let 1000 doors close in your face and then knock on door 1001.  Eventually someone is going to open one up for you.
3.  Don’t worry about how any one else does something, do it your way!  That just might be your competitive advantage.  

Trinity Rose – Fashion Stylist and Founder of Illume

NAME: Trinity Rose
INDUSTRY: Fashion
POSITION: Personal Stylist and Founder of Illumé

COMPANY: ILLUMÉ
LOCATION: NEW YORK CITY
COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Illumé is a holistic image consulting company that redefines the concept of personal styling.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
Finding the right business partners.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
I don’t think I have had one major failure, more like many small mistakes that in the end I learned from.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Learning to be open to all the business advice received and then differentiate between the good and bad and to always trust my gut.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
1- IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: After talent, its all about connections and relationships, so be professional, and sociable, and no matter how exhausted you might be from last nights party make sure you show up fresh faced and on time to that meeting or booking.  When starting out don’t have an ego, pay your dues, and be humble.
2 – IN STARTING  THEIR  OWN BUSINESS:
It’s more work than you could ever imagine, so be prepared. Whatever business you are choosing, make sure you love it so it’s worth all the hard work. Use your intuition and think outside of the box.