Remember when you were a kid and got $10 in your birthday card or $5 from the tooth fairy? It felt like $100. You could buy so much, especially if you saved up. Though you’re making more money now in your career, doesn’t it feel like it’s never enough?
If you’re thinking about pursuing a creative endeavor or starting a business, remember that not all businesses blossom from a million-dollar investment. Starting small can be extremely rewarding, especially since there’s nowhere to go but up.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 18 Percent
While startups seem to be popping up every minute, as of 2015, only 18 percent had at least one female founder. One reason for this abominably low number might be a lack of female mentors and advisers.
When I spoke recently with a highly respected woman who mentors younger women in her field, she gave me some good advice that I want to share with you: Ask someone to be your mentor. Use that exact word. It also helps to have an outline of exactly what you want out of the relationship and how often you want to connect so your new mentor can identify what you need from her and how much time she should allot to you and your growing business. Now, ladies, get out there and get a mentor!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Victoria Weiss, Co-founder of Rope Lace Supply
As I mentioned, starting a business with beaucoup bucks ain’t always the way to do it. That’s not how Victoria Weiss did it, and yet, her business managed to amass almost $1 million in revenue during its first few years.
With just a few hundred dollars and a whole lot of tenacity, Victoria co-founded a wicked cool shoelace company called Rope Lace Supply. When I was growing up, I recall having two options when it came to shoelaces: black and white. Clearly, something was missing. That’s precisely what Victoria thought and where Rope Lace Supply comes in. The company offers more than 100 colors and even waxed and leather shoelace options. From bright pink to purple and teal, Rope Lace Supply has it all, including neat glow-in-the-dark laces to help keep you safely reflected while fashionably cycling around town at night.
Listed as one of Forbes’ 10 Female Founders to Watch, Victoria, along with her co-founder, is a longtime sneaker fan. In fact, when the two were just 19-year-old college students, they bought limited-edition shoes, like Michael Jordan Nikes, and sold them for a profit. (Talk about industrious!) Since they were in tune with the shoe biz, they noticed a gap in the widely profitable marketplace: accessories. While companies were pitching crazy sock designs, shoelaces with personality just weren’t available. So, Victoria and her co-founder decided to launch their own custom shoelace biz—with dizzyingly successful results.
There’s one particular low-cost resource Victoria considers integral to the company’s success: social media. She would send her shoelace products to so-called “sneaker heads”—people who fanatically collect sneakers—and those folks would post YouTube videos reviewing the laces, creating quite a buzz for Rope Lace Supply products. What little money Victoria and her partner did initially invest in the business was in Google analytics and Facebook advertising, moves that have definitely paid off.
But Victoria admits the key to her success wasn’t investments or a creative business plan. Success came because she identified the one thing she is truly obsessed with and smartly found a way to turn her passion into a flourishing career.
QUITE THE QUOTE
For all those entrepreneurial-minded ladies out there, I’ll leave you today with this quote by entrepreneur Chris Grosser, who said:
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.