Tag Archives: women business inspiration

11 Home Based Businesses for 2011

16 Jan

2011 is here and those of you looking for ideas on what types of businesses to start do not have to look very far.

Inc.com has put together a list of the hottest home businesses for 2011.

Etsy Craft Master
Dennis Anderson

Anderson Soap Company

When Dennis Anderson was asked if he considered himself more of an artist or an entrepreneur, he thought for a moment and replied, “Well, somewhere in between. I like creating things.” Anderson has achieved what so many Americans crave: he has turned his craft—organic soap making, or saponification—into a profitable business from his home. Anderson Soap Company launched in 2007 in his California apartment, and has since moved into a rented house in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his fiancée and children. Anderson, who started out as an accounting major in college, fell in love with soap making after taking a chemistry course that taught him the process. He has sold soaps to buyers in all 50 states and distributes internationally to Malaysia, Singapore, France, and Sweden.

Quirky Kid’s Clothing
Jenny Ford

Monkey Toes

The children’s clothing industry is a multi-billion dollar market, and a recent surge of interest for specialized kid’s gear has given companies like Monkey Toes, a Colorado-based venture run by Jenny Ford, a niche in this burgeoning market. Monkey Toes is a line of animal and insect-themed footwear for children. Ford started the company in 2002 after drawing designs on her daughter’s shoes. “I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cute,’” Ford recalls. “I fell in love with it.” She chose to keep her business at home to be able to spend more time with her two young daughters, but lack of an office hasn’t stymied the growth of the brand. Ford currently distributes in stores all over the world, and recently signed a new distribution deal that will take the product into the hands of 100 representatives around the country.

Building Better Communities
Kene Turner

EpiLife

Kene Turner understands the value of building a better business. After all, that’s his job. The mission of EpiLife is to help organizations achieve social responsibility by implementing special project-based initiatives within their communities. Before launching EpiLife, Kene worked for the YMCA of New York, where he taught youth entrepreneurial programs. EpiLife is based out of Turner’s home in New York City, and represents his desire to give back to the community that helped him in his own childhood. “When I was a teen I lost my mom to cancer,” he says. “I never knew my father. I was a child in transition. I had family, but not much. The ones that really helped me were members of the community…and it was that message that I want to implement into a venture or business.”

eBay Powerseller
Ann Whitley Wood

Willow-Wear

Ann Whitley Wood is an attorney-turned-entrepreneur who saw a market for designer goods and collectibles on eBay nearly 10 years ago. In what started out as a hobby, Wood now manages over 350 listings on eBay through her store Willow-Wear, and works with about 40 clients on any given day from her home in Texas. In 2010, Wood sold over 1,100 items for about $450,000—making her one of eBay’s true “powersellers.” Though she does not keep inventory in her house, working from home has been an integral part of her business. “I had to be able to sell on eBay from home, in between taking care of my children and managing the rest of life,” Wood says. To be successful as an eBay entrepreneur, Wood says you must have an acute understanding of your product, as well as your competition.

Online Wedding Resources
Emily Newman

OnceWed.com

Wedding dresses are bought (one hopes) only once, making them one of the most expensive purchases in a woman’s life. So Emily Newman thought, why not buy second-hand? “I saw a need where women my age were dealing with a lot of the same things,” says Newman, the founder of the Once Wed, an online wedding community, based in Atlanta. “They didn’t have a huge budget, but they still wanted to wear a beautiful dress.” So Newman and her husband, who works in online advertising, teamed up to launch Once Wed, a site for brides-to-be. The site has grown from a used dress listing service to the be-all resource for brides, similar to TheKnot.com. Once Wed puts together inspiration guides and a popular blog, which helps drives traffic to the site.

Social Media e-Commerce
Hakan Nizam

NetFoliage

NetFoliage is a web development company that creates web sites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists. It’s also one of a growing number of web development companies that specialize in building e-commerce sites and online stores for social networking sites like Facebook. Nizam, who is originally from Istanbul, has been based out of his Brooklyn apartment since he launched the company in 2007—and plans to stay in his home, too. “Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me to rent an office,” he says. “I didn’t have the time or the need to think about. I would never do it—it’s becoming a lifestyle. I can go on vacation without worrying about anything. I turn off my phone and the business is closed.”

Mommy Blogger
Michelle Mitton

Scribbit.blogspot.com

You don’t need to attend a BlogHer Convention to realize that “mommy bloggers” are a force to be reckoned with. Michelle Mitton was one of the first “mommy bloggers” to make a name for herself and her blog Scribbit, almost six years ago. In 2008, she was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten blogs about motherhood, and her site attracts nearly 60,000 page views every month and 2,300 daily subscribers. Mitton publishes recipes, household tips, product reviews, and has even written a book about blogging, all from her home in Alaska. “With so many blogs out there, you have to be the ‘purple cow’ as Seth Godin talks about. I try to diversify my topics a bit—I even have a few men [readers].”

Curated E-mail Newsletter
Chris McCann

StartupDigest.com

Chris McCann (pictured) and Brendan McManus launched StartupDigest.com as a resource for entrepreneurs looking to get involved in their community and connected with other entrepreneurs. The site has seen remarkable growth; in just a little over a year, the site has grown to 100,000 subscribers and has spread to over 50 cities. And though the content reaches people all over the world, McCann and McManus rarely have to leave their house in Palo Alto, California. “When you’re on a shoestring budget, and if the deciding factor is to spend money to get the office or spend money and do the marketing and get the product out there, do all that stuff first,” says McCann. “An office should not be high on your lists of priorities.”

Sports Content Aggregator
Ann Gaffigan

WomenTalkSports.com

Ann Gaffigan felt that there needed to be more mainstream media coverage of women’s sports. So, about two years ago, she teamed up with two co-founders to launch WomenTalkSports.com, an online network that has become one of the most thorough purveyors of women’s sports news. “We didn’t research the market for this,” Gaffigan says from her home in Kansas. “It just came from our belief that something like this really needed to happen, and we want the next generation to see positive female role models.” There are over 100 websites that link to WomenTalkSports.com, and about 70 bloggers on the site. While the site’s traffic varies depending on the season, the site swells when national competitions are brought to the spotlight. During the Vancouver Olympics, for example, the site had over a million visitors.

Custom Men’s Shirts
Danny Wong

Blank Label

Who said custom designed shirts had to be expensive? Blank Label is a Boston-based start-up that allows users to design custom dress shirts, choosing the fabric, pattern, buttons, and size, for a modest price under $100, depending on the extras. Blank Label was created by Danny Wong (center) and three co-founders (and classmates) in the summer of 2009. After a brief period of incubation by their college, Babson, the team chose not to take on an office lease. “It worked better for us,” says Wong. “We didn’t want to pay for office space.” The founders lived together in Shanghai for several months, developing relationships with suppliers and working out of their living room. At one point, they were operating with members based from home in three different time zones around the world, but Wong says it’s never been a problem.

Application Consulting
Stacy Blackman

Stacy Blackman Consulting

Stacy Blackman knows what it takes to get into one of the nation’s top MBA programs. Blackman, a who received her own MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, turned her passion for helping students gain admission into MBA programs into her full-time job after years working in private equity. “When I first started my business, I wasn’t trying to start a business; I was just doing something I really enjoyed.” Now, Stacy Blackman Consulting has turned into one of the premier MBA international consulting firms, with clients and consultants based all over the world. Blackman has even graced the cover of Fortune, and published a book titled The MBA Application Roadmap.

Visit www.inc.com for more information.

Cheap Hype for Your Business!!

1 Dec

Hello Ladies!

Looking for low cost ways to advertise your business?

Let us introduce you to one of our best kept secrets www.uphype.com

UpHype is a micro-payment marketplace where savvy people with unique talents and resources advertise to take your message and promote it in unique ways. Simply priced at $8, $16, or $24.

Anyone can create a hype or small service ad of what they’re willing to do to “hype” your message. Buyers can purchase hypes and are required to pay for the hype in advance. After the work is completed and accepted by the buyer, UpHype gives the task performer a whopping majority of the fee.

Hypes range from promoting your message to a user’s 300,000 Twitter followers, sending 60,000 traffic hits to your website, creating a video podcast, writing a press release or article for your blog and anything in between.

Hypes are divided into categories, including Social Marketing, Graphics, Writing, Eblasts, Flyers, SEO work, Website Back-links and whole lot more! To ensure that you get a good task performer, UpHype also post buyer feedback on people who perform tasks. Task performers will be given a positive feedback score, which can be seen by users who are considering hiring them for their hypes.

To learn more about Uphype visit their website at www.uphype.com

Million Dollar Cupcakes!

2 Oct

TOP GIRL of the month goes to Andra Hall

For Andra Hall, entrepreneurship was a matter of medical necessity. In 2004, her 1-year-old daughter underwent a string of surgeries to correct a severe case of sleep apnea. “I did major soul-searching to come up with something that would be flexible enough to let me be there when Camille needed me,” she recalls.

Settling on her longtime interest in baking, Hall created a business plan and by 2006, she and her husband, Curtis, refinanced their house to obtain the $40,000 they needed to launch CamiCakes Cupcakes (www.camicakes.com; 404-748-4288). The money allowed them to buy secondhand equipment, create marketing materials, and put down a security deposit on the Orange Park, Florida, space they would rent.

In 2008, another store opened in Jacksonville, Florida, and a third store the following year in Atlanta. CamiCakes, named for the couple’s daughter, generated $1.1 million in revenues in 2009 and anticipates $2 million by year-end. But Hall’s path to business ownership wasn’t all sweet.

With 18 cupcake flavors—the most popular being red velvet, sweet potato, and carrot cake—CamiCakes’ rapid growth was one of Hall’s greatest challenges.

The baking began each day at 6 a.m., and the doors were open to customers from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.  When she opened the Georgia store, Hall drove the 350 miles between there and the Florida stores to oversee the baking and customer service in each store and handle all the paperwork. “I was just doing too much,” the 38-year-old recalls. “And then I got really, really sick and was down for more than two weeks.”

At that point, Hall knew she had to come up with a way to make sure each store could run without her constant attention. First, over the course of two months, she created a manual of operations so each store would have the same written standard operating procedures ranging from the recipes used to the steps to take if a register went down. “I’m more of a do er, so it was a challenge to have to stop and make sure everything was clearly documented for other people to understand,” Hall says.

Next, she chose one store to focus most of her energy on. Because Atlanta was the biggest market and the store there was the most profitable, Hall moved her family there and established it as CamiCakes’ headquarters. The third step, loosening the reins, was the hardest. Hall made the transition somewhat easier by hiring from within rather than seeking outsiders to manage the Florida stores. “I had faith that they could do the job,” she says.

Courtesy of BlackEnterprise.com

BLACK ENTERPRISE is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BLACK ENTERPRISE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers.

Black Enterprise is another one of the City Girl Business Club’s favorite magazines.

At 17 she started an online boutique now worth $50million…get inspired!!

27 Aug

TOP GIRL of the month goes to Susan Gregg-Koger


Hello Ladies,

As you know the City Girl Business Club encourages everyone interested in starting a business to look for inspiration on a regular basis. This is important for many reasons, but mainly because it helps to keep you motivated so that you can accomplish your goals.

One of our favorite websites entrepreneur.com just recently posted an article on young millionaires,  we found the article to be very interesting and inspiring to say the least. One story that stood out to us was that of ModCloth.com‘s founder Susan Gregg-Kroger, so we decided to nominate her as the City Girl Business Club’s Top Girl of the month.

At 17 years old, Susan Gregg decided to open an online boutique that sold one of a kind vintage clothing and shoes. Her company ModCloth was launched from her dorm room with the help of her boyfriend, Eric Koger. The two drove from Pittsburgh to their South Florida hometown several times throughout college to pick up more stock. By the end of their senior year in 2006, ModCloth was getting 60,000 visitors a month, and plenty of them were asking for more.

Susan wanted to grow the business, so she decided she needed to raise enough capital to build her vision. She secured the money she needed by using her credit card,  borrowing from family, taking out student loans, and taking out a second mortgage. Then she hired designers to create an original, vintage-inspired collection.

Susan and her then boyfriend Eric are now married and run ModCloth from their Pittsburgh, PA offices. ModCloth gets around 2 million visitors every month and is on track to surpass $50 million in sales this year. They’ve raised $20 million in new funding to open up offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles this summer, and employee numbers are close to 150, and rising.

To get the full story and to check out one of our favorite websites, visit www.entrepreneur.com.

You can also find out more about Susan at www.ModCloth.com

Feel free to leave  your thoughts and comments, we love hearing what you think.

Top Networking Sites for Entrepreneurs!

28 Jul

Hi Ladies!

Are you getting the results you want for your business on Twitter and Facebook? Although they are both great websites for advertising your business and for networking, you may want to explore other options.

Below is a list of networking sites we feel are best suited to entrepreneurs. Networking is an essential part of any business because it allows you to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. Many entrepreneurs agree that business networking is a more cost effective method of generating new business than advertising or public relations efforts. This is because business networking is a low-cost activity that involves more personal commitment than company money.

    LinkedIn.com
    The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

    Meetup.com

    Helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world.

    Ecademy.com

    A business network for creating contacts and sharing knowledge.

    Entrepreneur Connect

    A community by Entrepreneur.com where professionals can network, communicate, and collaborate with others.

    Fast Pitch.com

    A business network where professionals can market their business and make connections.

    xing.com

    The platform offers personal profiles, groups, discussion forums, event coordination, and other common social community features. Basic membership is free.

    biznik.com

    Biznik is an award-winning business networking community for anyone growing a business.

    AmericanExpressOpenForum

    An online community to help business owners grow their businesses.

    Networking for Professionals

    A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events.

    StartupNation

    A community focused on the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners.

    Young Entrepreneur

    A forum-based site for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are passionate about promoting business for themselves and others.

Tina Wells – from a teen reporter to a multi millionaire!

15 Jul

TOP GIRL of the month goes to Tina Wells

Hello Ladies,

Here’s more inspiration for those of you considering starting your own business. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start living your dream.

Tina Wells, 30, is the CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, a multi-million dollar company that surveys teenagers and advises Fortune 500 companies on how to reach that target audience.

Tina began writing product reviews for The New Girl Times, a national newspaper based in New York City at the age of 16. When companies found out about her, they hired her to review the products and offer feedback through the eyes of a teenager. It wasn’t long before Tina began receiving more products than she could review by herself.

In three short months Tina had acquired 40 clients , but she had to hire ten friends to help her with the work. In 2000, CosmoGIRL! Magazine held a contest that featured Buzz, and Buzz received 15,000 applications.

Since then, it has grown as a teen and young adult oriented company conducting peer-to-peer research, product testing, and promotions, among other things.

In keeping with the mission of BuzzMG, Tina has created a network of 9000 teen consultants (“buzzSpotters”) with who have the same passion for pop culture as herself.

Through innovative marketing strategies, research initiatives and youth marketing, Buzz has acquired clients in the fashion, beauty, entertainment, business and lifestyle sectors such as: St. Martins Press, PBS, Procter + Gamble, AMAZAR Holding, SonyBMG, And1, Sesame Workshop, and Time Inc with many more under her belt.

Tina’s ascent from teen dreamer to CEO has landed her a long list of honors such as: Essence 40 Under 40, Billboard’s 30 Under 30, AOL’s Black Voices Black Women Leaders in Business top ten list, Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and 2009 Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Tina has also been appointed to the National Board of Directors for the Friends of Orphans, and is on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

She has been quoted and featured in such high profile publications as O Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Essence, Entrepreneur, CosmoGirl, Brandweek, Savoy, Justine Magazine, Ebony, Brass CU’s cover and Link Magazines.

Find out more about Tina and Buzz Marketing at www.buzzmg.com

Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart-Win $20,000

14 Jul

Have you put off starting your own business because you don’t have the start-up capital or know enough about marketing, accounting and other business skills to turn your passion into your own company?

Then you’re in luck because you have the chance to win a full suite of business services valued at over $20,000 from some of the biggest names in Tampa — all you need is an idea and the drive to be successful!

You can download an application by clicking on this link http://www.tampajumpstart.com/

Mail your completed package to :

Tampa Small Business Jumpstart
3111 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite #100
Tampa, FL 33607

They will be accepting applications until July 30th, so be sure to move fast, and be sure to visit their website and stay tuned to Fox 13 for updates.

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