11 Women Who Started Their Business From The Kitchen Table To BE Their Own Boss

11 Women Who Started Their Business From The Kitchen Table To BE their Own Boss

Entrepreneurship

Yes, women struggle to break down the barriers to start a business. 

You may find it interesting that in the last 20 years, the number of businesses owned by women around the world has increased by 114%. It clearly shows, women have made a remarkable impact on the economy across the globe.

So, how has this started? Women first dominated the health and beauty industry, marking their legacy; then they moved forward to the IT industry, opening restaurants to starting an education-based business; with their hard work and dedication, they built up strong connections with other women and gained enough financial capital to run a successful business. 

But have you wondered how women manage to come up with successful business ideas? While talking to few female entrepreneurs, we found that most of them got their million-dollar business idea just at their kitchen table.

Take advice from these successful women entrepreneurs who build a fortune from their kitchen table.

Heather Marianna, Founder of Beauty Kitchen

She is the founder and CEO of Beauty Kitchen, a plant-based at-home spa and skincare line made with simple ingredients free of chemicals, sulfates, and harsh parabens. She started her business from the kitchen table and now running a successful online store and three Las Vegas-based store-front locations with two factories.

  • heathermarianna
  • heathermarianna
  • heathermarianna

Heather Marianna has also been named as the “The Nevada Female Leader Making Moves in The West” by The Ladders and an “Inspirational Female Executive to Follow” by The Luxury Spot. Her brand Beauty Kitchen has also been gifted at prominent award show events, including The Golden Globes, Emmys, Oscars, and Grammys.

How did you come up with a business idea?

My business is based on something that I am very passionate about, clean skincare. You have to identify a product or service that there is a demand for. Before my line existed, I created a YouTube channel and demonstrated simple DIY beauty treatments using common kitchen household ingredients. My videos quickly garnered millions of views, and it inspired me to actually create a line free of harmful chemicals, sulfates, and parabens, and then Beauty Kitchen was born. A business idea should create a solution for a problem in the market; for me, it was also important to create something effective with a good price point.

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

The number one challenge I faced when first starting my business was taking ownership of every part of the business and constantly feeling tired and drained. I had to learn how to delegate and put other experts in place to do what they do best – ie.. public relations, marketing, graphic design, etc., so that I could focus on the actual brand itself. It’sIt’s important to take time for yourself and prioritize self-care and sleep so that you can build your brand with a full cup. Time management is everything. 

What would you say are the top 5 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

  • You must not be a quitter. You must not give up. There will be setbacks and letdowns; keep going. Learn from them and do better.
  • I do not care what others think. Everyone will have an opinion. Don’t let anything negative make you feel less than.
  • Being organized is vital to success. Keep a running to-do list, label folders, and important documentation. Save your receipts and invoices. 
  • Be willing to give up the fun life for a minute. Growing a business takes lots of self-discipline and self-sacrifice but don’t worry, it will be back. Soon you will be rocking and better than ever with way more money to do what you want, whenever you want.
  • You must be good with your time management and stick to a schedule. It’sIt’s so easy to get sidetracked, but it will only leave your to-do list with things piling up and cause you stress and anxiety. Time management will help you efficiently execute your goals. 

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

Beat yourself up, things happen, and no one is perfect. Take each day at a time and grow from your mistakes. I am sure 100% things will happen – and it will be my learning lessons or what I like to call blessings in disguise.

What does success mean to you?

Freedom.

Jenny Goldfarb’s, Founder of Unreal Deli 

Jenny Goldfarb is the founder of Unreal Deli. Her venture is supported by PETA, and her brand Unreal Deli has been voted as the #1 Best Plant-Based Meat From Fast Food Chains by Thrillist and ranked as the #1 best-selling Meatless Deli Meat by Amazon.

  • Jenny Goldfarb’s
  • Jenny Goldfarb’s

After turning into Vegan, Mrs. Goldfarb’s made a recipe for Vegans who want to enjoy NY-style deli meat but in a healthful plant-based diet. Soon, her recipe “recreating a corned beef made from beets, chickpeas, tomatoes, and high protein wheat” become a great hit, she encourages by all. And with less food sector business knowledge, she managed to launch her company all alone. With the proper support, she turned her tiny kitchen idea into a business. She becomes a wiz in the plant-based kitchen, and now her Unreal Deli product can be found in thousands of restaurant and grocery locations, with more to come.

How did you come up with a business idea?

I was raised as a “Bagels and Seinfeld Jew” in NYC, where my great-grandfather Morris started a successful deli business. After growing up on the Standard American Diet (SAD) in my early 30s, I learned about the plight of animals on factory farms, which led me to adopt a plant-based diet. Having over a hundred years of family deli history left me with a deeply nostalgic craving for those flavors I grew up with but could no longer enjoy after giving up animal products. I created Unreal Corn’d Beef, after much trial and error in my kitchen, as an answer to those cravings. The thing that led to the idea of turning this into a company was when my in-laws thought I was a crazy hippie for turning our family vegan…but they still thought my Corned Beef was better than the real thing!

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

In the beginning, I had to learn how to take my recipe from a home kitchen to a commercial kitchen – this literally took months of figuring out how to make up for the differences in the air that flows around an oven. Things you never would otherwise think about could hold a business up for months!

What is an important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business?

See the good in *everything*. This way, when a deal doesn’t come along, when a setback arises, you address it without getting emotional. Keep your emotions tied to the good – seeing the good in others (your team), finding the good in campaigns, and in good and bad news to learn from it.

What would you say are the top 5 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

  • Be Scrappy – when I started this business, I did every little component, including having a scrappiness to call anyone, ask the dumbest questions, and gather the info needed to get to the next level.
  • Be Happy – happiness is literally contagious. Joy makes you work faster. People want to buy you, not the thing, so create that great energy, and the world will want to work with you.
  • Be Compassionate/Curious – for those that are interested in the plant-based space – feel compassion for your fellow animals, earth, health, and you will reap the benefits of this exploding industry – as the rest of the world wakes up to these truths.
  • Focus on the Customer – care about the customer experience more than anything. Get feedback and keep making it better.
  • Be Sensitive – if you use your sensitivity to feel what’s broken in the world and create a business idea to fix it, you’re already 10 steps ahead of the game. That sensitivity translates both in what your business brings to the world and how you treat the people around you.

How do you keep yourself productive and motivated the entire day?

I always focus on the big picture, holding onto this dream of becoming the leading supplier of a plant-based deli in the country and the world. It still fuels me to this day to be able to see the good that’s just around the corner. I also make sure to move my body, so I take a 20-minute walk every day at about 2 pm. That resets my whole day. The best balance, though, is by celebrating Shabbat, which basically means it’s all systems go M-F, but on Friday evening and Saturday, I totally unplug. Starting Sunday, I’ll get in a few hours and then hit it hard Monday AM!

Dayna Altman, Founder of Bake it Till You Make it LLC

A Boston-based, Dayan is a mental health entrepreneur, author, and advocate. Her passion for baking makes her open her own mental-health bakery, Bake it Till You Make it LLC. It is a community-based organization that encourages authentic mental health conversations around the table, in the kitchen, and beyond. 

  • Dayna Altman
  • Dayna Altman

Her work has been encouraged by many women dealing with certain life issues, depression, eating disorders, and recovering from trauma. 

What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?

I think my go-to when I’m in a creative rut is to think about “my way.” I have been very intentional about creating my “why,” also known as my reason to keep going. I think about myself and what I would have needed when I was really struggling. What did 19 years old me wanting to end her life need? That’s always a humbling and grounding exercise; when I really understand how important my work is, that always gets me back. 

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?

Knowing what I know now, I don’t think I would have waited so long to really pursue my dreams. As much as I have always been a go-getter, I have felt I had to hold back in some capacity when it came to big leaps or big steps (mostly financial-based). I wish I realized my work is so important there is no need to wait! 

Where were you when you came up with the idea for your business or discovered what you wanted to do?

I have had many businesses throughout my entrepreneurial career; however, my most salient and meaningful business, Bake it Till You Make it LLC, came to me in the kitchen. I had just survived a serious car accident, and I was homebound without a car. It didn’t help I had fallen into a depressive episode a few weeks prior. Being stuck at home left me with few options to keep myself occupied as I was on summer break from graduate school as well, so I started baking. When I began baking, I realized how much easier it was for me to share the details of what I was really going through. It just came easier, and then I realized, if this helped me, who else could benefit from a palatable way to share authentically, I felt like this could be world-changing. 

What does success mean to you?

This is such a hard question because I feel it is constantly changing. I heard once that people don’t remember what you say; they remember how you make them feel, and allowing people to feel seen, understood, and loved through my organization is the legacy I want to leave behind more than anything. If I can do that, I will be successful. 

How do you keep yourself productive and motivated?

When you love what you do, motivation isn’t as hard as you may imagine it could be. I want to be working because that is where I feel the most myself. If you are struggling with this, I would suggest attaching it to a part of your business that makes you feel alive. 

Deepika Pillai, Founder of Kula Village 

Deepika launched her business from the kitchen table. She calls Kula Village her third baby. With significant experience in sales and marketing, she launches Kula Village- a multi-vendor marketplace for multicultural products that includes kids’ language material, ethnic jewelry, clothing, and world heritage products. 

  • Deepika Pillai
  • Deepika Pillai

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

Given the onset of the pandemic and the lockdown, one of the main challenges at the start of my business was maintaining a work-life balance. Having 2 very young kids at home with no support system, I was in a big dilemma whether to launch or not. But I knew it had to be done and done now.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up? 

Great question. I think a person’s true character is seen in adverse situations. I always remind myself why I set out to do what I’m doing, what my vision is, and that everything else is noise. Also, I remind myself of the tough situations I’ve been in the past and how I was able to overcome them. 

What does success mean to you?

Success is a constantly moving target that is meant to and should motivate each of us to keep going. The moment one feels like we’ve achieved it all, that’s when growth stops, and that’s probably when you’ve decided to stop pushing yourself.

How do you keep yourself productive and motivated the entire day?

Setting screen time alerts help me observe my patterns. Scheduling productive and non-productive time throughout the day helps keep a happy balance. After a whole year of working from home, I have realized that ensuring daily time for self-care, quality time with family, and heading outdoors in good weather are non-negotiables.”

Keli Spanier, Founder of Colette Paperie

She started her business right from the kitchen table and today her cards are now in over 500 stores worldwide. Keli is an inspirational woman. She knows how to play her cards well. She is the founder of Colette Paperie- a humor-based greeting card company that creates lots of products, including cards, notepads, keychains, + stickers. I’ve also designed coloring books + goal books. 

How did you come up with a business idea?

I felt that there was a real absence in the card market for truly funny cards. I decided to make really silly cards. I’ve since developed a style that is true to me, and my cards are now in over 500 stores worldwide. Once I had the “base model,” – it was easy to expand into other paper products.

What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?

I am always trying new things to learn more skills. I like bringing creativity into my products, so I really try to keep fresh and take classes on different areas of art, so I always have an open mind on what I design next. But the real motivation is paying those bills and being able to take time off!

What would you say are the top 5 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

  • Working hard: There aren’t any shortcuts.
  • Time management: You have to be able to know your own abilities and if you can get it all done in certain timeframes. Being able to find speedy ways to do things is really helpful – stop wasting time on things that don’t matter.
  • Loving your product: seems obvious, but do you love it enough to work on it literally ALL the time? Are you sure you won’t get sick of it?
  • Great marketing materials: get help with your website and photography and create an online presence that has a cohesive story & theme.
  • Keep getting yourself “out there,”: whether that be free products, podcasts, marketing opportunities, collaborations with others, small business meetups, Facebook groups, etc. Potential customers are EVERYWHERE.

For people who are trying to grow their audience, what advice do you have for them?

Make sure your product has a point of view in the market. Oversaturated markets are a hard sell unless you have something different to offer. Just find things about your products that are unique and special – there is room for you, but you have to bring something awesome to the table.

What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living? How do you personally overcome fear?

Fear is truly the only thing holding you back. It’s amazing how much “brain space” you have when you quit your day job and start working for yourself. Believing in yourself and learning how to promote yourself is really important, too. Laying low and being shy are not going to get you very far – so save those traits for your personal life!

Nechami, CEO of Karmela Cosmetics

Meet Nechami, the creator & CEO of Karmelacosmetics. She got the idea of making gluten-free and cruelty-free make-up products while relaxing on her kitchen table. 

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She is a brilliant make-up artist. Her brand offers a high-performance, long-lasting, silk-matte lipstick brand, flattering for all skin tones and dedicated to supporting women’s healing and empowerment.

She works as a marketing & Image Consultant and beauty advisor for both friends and followers alike! Her podcast “We Are Women” is a show where women speak their truth and celebrate their victories. Nechami has been featured on Fox, NBC, The Ed Kalegi Show, and more.

How did you come up with a business idea?

I have always loved make-up and grew up with a health-conscious mom. During my time in make-up school, I saw that there was a need for natural, luxury cosmetics. For those of us who wanted to wear non-toxic, natural cosmetics with a luxurious, high-performance feel. After a few years of research and development, and one-year post-grad school, where I graduated with my MBA in Marketing, I launched Karmela Cosmetics.

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

I would say that my biggest challenge was making decisions regarding what to outsource and what to take care of myself. When I first launched, I was mixing the pigments together with the wax, melting them in the microwave, and molding the lipsticks, all by hand. As time went on, I realized that I was spending so many hours creating the lipsticks that I didn’t even have time to market and share with the world why these lipsticks would benefit them! At that point, I arranged with my factory to start making the lipsticks, and it gave me back a lot of my time and energy.

Another challenge for me was to be the face of my own brand. Once I realized that I’m going to be the best at promoting my own product, I worked on my mindset, pushed through the discomfort, and slowly became the face of my brand.

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?

I would have started showing my face more on my platform and building a personal brand before launching a product, versus the way I did it, which was launching a product and then creating a personal brand. It’s important to establish trust with your audience before they begin to purchase your products or services, which is why so many influencers are successful in selling out products which they launch because they’ve already established their personal brand.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

I remind myself of all the goals I’ve met, challenges I’ve overcome, and how far I’ve come. Then I work to accomplish from that momentum. Also, sometimes I remind myself that I need a break, take a day or afternoon off, and then jump back in and gain the momentum.

What does success mean to you?

To me, success means waking up every morning and feeling excited about what my day is going to bring. It’s about affecting change in others, inspiring people, all while making a living.

Bethany and Amanda, Founder of Whoa Wait Walmart

Bethany and Amanda are real-life besties and style soulmates who love tracking down the best products at Walmart and sharing them with their audience. Hard at work since 2013, they have expanded their Instagram account to a Walmart Exclusive magazine sold in all Walmart stores across the country. When they are not scouring the aisles at Walmart, you can find them soaking up time with their friends and family.

  • Bethany and Amanda
  • Bethany and Amanda

What would you say are the top 5 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

Kindness towards everyone: the people hiring you and the people you’re providing a service to, gratitude is the base for humility, and without it, you won’t find contentment in your work, loyalty to those you work with, but also to your mission, responsiveness: reply to the email, follow up on the inquiry, be diligent, and determination: do the hard things and keep showing up.

How did you come up with a business idea?

It was born from a genuine love of helping people. After countless surprised reactions to wearing or styling something cool from Walmart, it was clear there was a need for us to share those items.

For people who are trying to grow their audience, what advice do you have for them?

Get creative on how you can encourage them to share your page with their friends and interact with them regularly. We set out to post every single day. With few exceptions, we’ve done that. Keep creating interesting content, and they’ll keep sharing and talking about what you’re doing.

What does success mean to you?

We value contentment over success, so I guess contentment is success to us. Our goal is for this job to beneficially serve our families and our audience; if that’s happening, we’re content.

How do you keep yourself productive and motivated the entire day?

We don’t! That’s the great thing about having your own business- flexibility. There are days when we work hard all day long, but there are also days when we don’t feel motivated, or we prioritize our families over this job- it’s okay! Tomorrow is a new day. You can hustle tomorrow. Be intentional with your schedule and plan for busy days, but also plan for slow days.

Dawn LaFontaine, Founder of Cat In The Box

Dawn is a middle-aged, former stay-at-home mom. She got the idea of Cat In The Box when she visited her mother’s cat sitter. Her product has been featured in The Boston Globe, Parade Magazine online, Product Hunt and many more.

  • Dawn LaFontaine
  • Cat In the Box

How did you come up with a business idea?

I’m a lifelong animal lover who got the idea for this business after visiting my mother’s cat sitter. This woman had a beautifully decorated home, but the living room was filled with old shipping cartons. She saw me looking around and said, quite sheepishly, “They’re for the cats.” I already knew that cats are crazy for boxes, but it got me thinking, why do cat owners put up with dirty, ugly Amazon boxes in their homes? Why not boxes that are clean, cat-safe, and fun?

So, I designed a few made in the USA from recycled cardboard and imprinted with cat-safe, human-grade soy inks. My boxes have since been featured in The Boston Globe, Parade Magazine online, Product Hunt, Trend Hunter, Designboom, and in a variety of local media outlets and popular cat blogs. Customers have since posted hundreds and hundreds of photos of their cats in my boxes on social media.

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

When I started Cat in the Box, I had none of the skills that you need to run an eCommerce business: I had no entrepreneurial experience, marketing experience, product design experience, website design experience, or sales experience, to name a few. I had no financial backing, and I was using my husband’s severance payout from a long-time job he’d just lost to finance my start-up.

Everything was a challenge (and frankly, still is!). I had to learn social media from scratch. I didn’t know what even SEO stood for and why it was important, let alone how to be good at it. Also, I had to figure out how to print those postage stickers on my shipping boxes.

But the biggest challenge was not knowing what I didn’t know. I thought, “if you build it, they will come,” like that line from the baseball movie. But it’s not true. Just because you create a unique product doesn’t mean buyers will know how to find you and will feel comfortable giving you their credit card information.

What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?

I don’t really employ affirmations, but I have another technique that keeps me going: my other pets, which are dogs.

If you work at home, as I do, and you have dogs, they will pester you for a walk at the most inconvenient times. Left to my own devices, I’d work all day. But dogs don’t let you work all day. So, you take them out. A 40-minute break in the woods in the middle of the day does wonders for my productivity during the second half of the day.

Now, I’m not necessarily recommending that non-animal lovers get a dog, but you can still take yourself out in the middle of the day for a walk and see if it does anything for your productivity.

What does success mean to you?

I want to make products that make cats happy and make a living with cats easier for their owners. By that definition, I’m already successful.

What are your “Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  • Find a community of other small business owners. Thanks to social media and the web, it’s easy to find others taking a similar path. My community of eCommerce business owners has saved not only my sanity but my time. There are always others who have made the same mistakes you have made or who have asked the same questions — and found the solutions already. Why re-invent the wheel?
  • The idea isn’t the thing. When I first got the idea to start a business, I thought the main thing was the “idea.” Now I know it’s not about the idea as much as it is about the implementation. Implementation is the thing that’s difficult to learn. But once you learn it, the information is yours to keep forever and to apply to other ideas and other endeavors.
  • Start sooner. Don’t wait for “just the right time” or “just the right business idea.” Don’t look too far down the tracks and see all the challenges and roadblocks that will make taking the first step feel impossible. Just try something. In my experience, one thing invariably leads to another, which leads to another, and so on, and finally to the thing you couldn’t have foreseen from the very beginning.
  • Be persistent. You can do all the research, dot the I’s, and cross the T’s, and your product or business idea can still flop. If you keep with it, even when things aren’t going as you planned, you’d be surprised by the twists and turns this journey will take. 

Hannah Easley, Owner of Vanity Beauty Boutique

Hannah, a beautiful young woman who founded Vanity Body Sculpting at the age of 22. Celebrities around the world have also appreciated her Beauty Boutique because of the health & wellness treatments she offers.

  • Hannah Easley
  • Hannah Easley

She came with the idea of Vanity Body Sculpting, a self-care holistic spa during the pandemic in Jan. 2021. She has also been featured on TLC’s hit show, “90 Day Fiance”.

How did you come up with a business idea?

My business idea always came from my drive and passion for the beauty industry as well as me seizing an opportunity to become an entrepreneur after being introduced to body sculpting almost ten years ago. I didn’t sit down and try to force a business into existence. The more I fell in love with beauty and wellness; a vision was just naturally created for me. Believing in myself and following my gut is what led me to create Vanity Beauty Boutique.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

I’ve learned that time management is something that’s really difficult for me. My to-do lists are always growing, and trying to get everything checked off can become really stressful. Writing things down has helped me maintain a level of organization that is imperative as an entrepreneur.

What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?

Don’t be afraid to bet on yourself and go all-in with what you believe in. You can, and you WILL!

What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?

Becoming a mother has made a huge impact on my business. I took the first couple of years of my daughter’s life to really enjoy and soak in every minute with her while doing just the bare minimum to keep my business afloat. Once I was ready to start growing and really making some business moves, I knew that meant I had to start letting go of my baby. Spending less time with her was really hard to wrap my head around at first. I want to make my daughter proud, and finding personal and work-life balance is so crucial.

What is an important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business?

Utilize your support system! Your family and friends love you and WANT to help you in any way they can. Don’t try to take on every task by yourself.

Melanie Speed, Founder of Flawless Aesthetics

In 2014, Speed opened Flawless Aesthetics, which offers a variety of renowned non-surgical cosmetic and wellness treatments including injectables, Plasma IQ pens, thread lifts, hair restoration, vampire facials/facelifts, vitamin shots, and more.

Melanie Speed

Melanie Speed’s RN BSN CANS (Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist) amazing education and training, have led her to become an instructor for Allergan Medical Institute where she trains physicians and other medical professionals on administering Botox, Juvéderm, and Kybella. Speed’s jaw-dropping celebrity makeover transformations have been featured on TMZ, Daily Mail, E! Online, US Weekly, In Touch, and more.

How did you come up with your business idea?

I looked around at the local aesthetic industry in Las Vegas, and I noticed it was lacking luxury practices like those in Los Angeles or New York. The offices in Las Vegas were drab. They were mainly doctors who added injectables to their primary practice. I wanted to create an aesthetically beautiful spa where clients could get pampered while being treated by extensively trained and certified practitioners in aesthetic injectables.

For people who are trying to grow their audience, what advice do you have for them?

Social media is key and free! I would suggest that any small business with limited capital trying to grow its brand commits itself to build an internet following. You should frequently post on as many platforms as possible with creative and unique content.

What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?

You are the artist of your own life, do not hand the part brush to anyone else.”

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

Adversity is opportunity in disguise. In my experience, sometimes uncomfortable situations have to happen to push you to grow. When I reflect on my life, the things I thought were most painful at the time nudged me to better opportunities. I learned real growth is when you start correcting yourself instead of blaming others; you take your power back by being responsible for your life.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means freedom – Financial freedom, creative freedom, freedom to create a brand with my own ideas, and freedom to set my own schedule.

Joy Reyes, Executive Director of New Hope Girls

Joy Reyes, M.S. is Executive Director of New Hope Girls. She has a good knowledge of psychology and nearly a decade of experience in teaching within the United States educational system. Her love for serving others and creating lasting change led her family to the Dominican Republic in 2004.

  • New Hope Girls Brand Advocate Assets
  • New Hope Girls Brand Advocate Assets

She has an entrepreneurial spirit paired with a deep heart for serving the most vulnerable and high-risk women and children.

About New Hope Girls: 

New Hope Girls is on a mission to rescue girls and empower women in the Dominican Republic and beyond. Their work is being done within the barrios of the Dominican Republic (DR), where the systemic problems of abuse, sex trafficking, human slavery, and disrespect for women are staggering. Rather than seeing these problems and feeling hopeless, the people of New Hope choose to fight back against the darkness and create lasting change, one girl and one woman at a time.

What challenges did you face at the start of your business?

When we started our organization, the challenges often seemed to outnumber and outweigh the opportunities and resources. However, we were on a mission to rescue girls and address dark and pressing problems we were observing in the community around us. Staying aligned with our mission kept us moving. Our entrepreneurial venture was one driven by a sense of desperation to empower women and rescue girls in an effort to break cycles of exploitation and abuse. So we set out to be faithful with the little we had in our hand at that moment. And we did so from a thrift table in the back room of a modest home in the Dominican Republic. 

What is the best business advice you would like to give who are planning to start out?

Assemble a team of people who have the expertise and a heart for your organization! As an entrepreneur or founding member of an organization, you simply cannot do it all. You need to invite others into the story, journey, and process and allow yourself and the organization to be shaped by the group you assemble. It is amazing to see how so many different people bring gifts and talents to the table that can grow your business or organization beyond even your own wildest dreams.

New Hope Girls has been so fortunate to experience mentorship and partnership from Vera Bradley. It was through relationships we were connected with this incredible business! We have released three collaborations with them and are so blessed by their mentorship and support year-round. They are one example of how gathering experts around the table can launch your business far beyond what you thought possible. 

New Hope Girls has three core functions that roll up and into the pursuit of their mission.

  • They have a safe house for girls who are rescued from dark and exploitative circumstances.
  • There is the workshop (New Hope Creations) in which adult women make lovely, high-quality, and hand-made purses and bags. Through the work of their hand, they provide for their families with honor and are raised up as leaders.
  • There is also a community outreach program that allows New Hope to serve a large group of high-risk girls each week. It is a very intentional organizational structure that has created conditions to serve girls and women in a way that results in sustainable change.

What is an important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business?

Get on with it! Don’t wait for the stars to align first. Do the next thing you know to do, with whatever you have in your hand. Soon you will see those little things multiply and grow into your vision. The journey is just as valuable and precious as the final outcome. In fact, there is no final outcome. It’s always growing and evolving, so engage in and enjoy the process. 

What would you say are the top 5 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

  • Teachable Spirit: An entrepreneur must be willing to learn from those around them. They can’t know it all and can’t do it all. However, if they approach their work with a humble attitude, it is possible to learn and grow. 
  • Scrappiness: I think entrepreneurs need to be willing to roll up their sleeves and fight to find a way. It isn’t always easy – or pretty – but they need to be willing to do what it takes to succeed.
  • Vision: An entrepreneur must be able to balance the immediate needs that are in front of their face with big dreams that seem almost impossible. Dreaming big as an entrepreneur is so important! 
  • People Skills: Working with others in a way that honors them is so important to me! I know that caring for relationships ensures that there will always be someone around or available when needs arise – and as an entrepreneur, the needs will inevitably arise. 
  • Perseverance: It will be hard, and there will be moments of doubt. Reflect on all that you have achieved and overcome and use that proven track record as a motivator to keep moving, pushing, and believing.