Monday, September 28, 2009

One Room, 40 Employees = Poised for Growth

After working public relations for Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren, 43-year-old Tory Burch launched her first store in New York in 2004 with her then-husband, venture capitalist Christopher Burch, who remains co-chairman.

"I worked out of my apartment for the first two years. Then we went to one room with about 40 employees." ~ Tory Burch, The Wall Street Journal (9/8/09)

Her small but growing firm -- sales topping $200 million a year! -- operates 20 boutiques and sells to 450 retail locations, such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Read more about what moves paid off for her this year and how the downturn has affected her business plans here. And don't miss the part on "Where do you see future opportunity?" (Hint: international expansion).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being Yourself Is Back In Style

It's hard to equate music entertainers with entrepreneurship but there is a whole lot of similarity in that women entertainers, just like women entrepreneurs, are forever fighting for their right to be who they are and profit from their endeavors in the process.

Take Miranda Lambert (pictured), and the comment she made below in an interview with Whitney Pastorek, Entertainment Weekly that is oh-so-entrepreneurial:
You just rattled off the list of the men you hung out with at the ACM Honors. You seem to actually fit in pretty well with the Nashville boys’ club. How did that happen?

It is harder being a woman. This is a man’s business—it really is. Even just being the only girl on the bus. But I feel like it’s changing. We’re starting to show our colors, the girls are. I think a lot of the music I love is real music. It’s about real life. It’s about drinkin’ and cheatin’ and church—things that people really do. For a little while, I don’t know that a lot of women were singing about that. But that’s what I sing about—real life. Maybe that’s why I fit in. I think just being yourself is back in style, finally. I think Jamey Johnson’s a classic example of someone else who’s just saying, “Here I am. Like it or not, I don’t care. This is what I do.” I think it’s working because people are ready for it.
Read the entire interview here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paths to Success

Five successful women business leaders (not all business owners by the way) discuss their paths to success.

Eight (8) fabulous tips here:
1. "I've had to reinvent myself at my current position. Anytime you have to break out of your role, you reinvent yourself. In these economic times, reinvention is something we all have to become familiar with. As the market changes, the value we bring to the table changes as well."

2. "It's not about the degrees I have; it's about the skill set I have."

3. "Have an extensive peer network, what I call relationship capital.

4. "You have to connect with others. We spend a lot of time doing good work, but we need to take time to let others know you're doing good work. Get out of your comfort zone and get out there."

5. "Embrace your differences. We are not men -- we should celebrate that. We bring a lot of emotional intelligence."

6. "Don't be afraid to pick a field that's dominated by men."

7. "Is their balance in our life? There's no such thing."

8. "You can have it all -- just not all at the same time."
Read more here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beat the Recession: Do Your Own Thing

Our new economy is encouraging experimentation and the one thing (among many) that we've learned for sure when starting a business is the importance of being accessible.
Phoebe Howard (pictured), an interior designer in Atlanta and owner of four retail stores in the South, admits that clients are buying less these days, doing smaller jobs and taking their time with projects.

For Mrs. Howard, 51, that has necessitated being more aggressive and more creative, trying to make her work accessible to a larger range of people. She has started hosting more in-store parties and events and is writing a blog,, with the help of a young employee. She didn’t know what a blog was until a few months ago, but now, she says, she plans to get acquainted with Twitter and Facebook.
Read more here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Realize a Dream

Lee Anne Carmack is doing a job she loves.  She launched March 6th.
Giving her son’s eulogy and encouraging others to do something they always wanted to do gave Carmack the motivation and the focus to start her own business.
Read more here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Boost to Women Entrepreneurs in Technology

A nice boost from Lockheed Martin to the tune of U.S. $30,000 will help a new website, Multinational Development of Women in Technology (MDWIT), become the place for women entrepreneurs to communicate and share information. It plans to use social media tools to facilitate communication between entrepreneurs and sponsors or partners that can help them.

As the MDWIT CEO says, "We're looking at the latent potential in women."

Baltimore-based MDWIT has also received some funding from Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Maryland departments of education and business and economic development, and the governor's Work Force Investment Board.

Read more here.

Additional resources for women in technology:

Women In Technology

Women In Technology International

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Is Your Business Scalable?

Victoria Colligan (pictured), founder of Ladies Who Launch, argues that there is a difference between starting a "lifestyle business" and starting a business for "lifestyle reasons."

See whether you are agree or not here. And let us hear from you based on your own experience!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Recession-Proof Your Life: Start a Business

When things get tough, you don't have to stop living, rather, you can start a business and start planning -- for the future!

Read what creative and enterprising women are doing at, "Women Starting Recession Businesses."

Women entrepreneurs beating the recession and mentioned in the article referenced above:

Christina Catalano (GotSqueakers on Twitter)

Lolly O'Dorisio who plans to turn her living room into a boutique four times a year.

Mira Masukawa (her blog can be found here) with two patented products that can be found at her firm Mira Lucky.

Congratulations and best wishes to all!