Women Wednesdays hosted Women in Entrepreneurship Week: Students, Alumna and Community TogetHER on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The organization partnered with Florida State’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship, where it took place in their speaker hall at 1 PM.
Women Wednesday is a series of programming by and for women to increase their visibility, as well as the ability to engage talents, knowledge and support of their fellow community of women, according to their website womenwednesdays.com.
“It started as a dream to have a Women in Entrepreneurship initiative about 4 weeks ago,” said Britain Riley, a faculty member of the school.
After social media publishing and a press release, they were astonished by the responses that consisted of over 300 alumni and 90 students.
People who were interested could register for the free event and attend either in person or via Zoom where they were able to ask questions to the panel, which consisted of several women who have made a name for themselves in entrepreneurship.
The panel included Betty Proctor, co-owner of Obsessions Gift Shop, Chrissy Souders, founder of Kitschy Wearable Art and partner with DivvyUp Socks, JMC Alumna, Morgan Rodgers of Morgan Madonna The Brand, and JMC Student entrepreneur Alie Romano, owner of Southside Charms.
Each woman shared their experience, obstacles and expertise of being a business owner.
They shared positive and negative impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses as well. Online operations had better experience while brick and mortar businesses were forced to change their marketing and distribution tactics/strategies.
Chrissy Souders, who makes jewelry out of art, had to incorporate new ways to reach her customers, which included buying a caravan to be mobile for her customers. She put emphasis on partnerships to reach her optimal success. Networking, in her opinion, is the most important and beneficial.
Sounders gave another piece of advice, “If you’re going to start a business, have a social mission with it,” she said. “…because we need to make this world a better place and leave it better for the next generation, so really figure out how you can align your business with that.”
Alie Romano, a graduating senior at FSU and the owner of Southside Charms, started her business with a few friends when she was a junior in high school. Her jewelry was a major hit among her schoolmates but after a while, her friends no longer had interest in continuing the venture.
Due to her major passion for fashion, she decided to keep going and has been successful since. She currently runs her online businesses and manufacturers as a whole sailor for retailers in her hometown of Orlando, FL.
“If there is something that you are really passionate about, or want to pursue in life, just do it. Don’t let what other people think get to you,” Romano said.
The testimonies received from the entire panel received positive feedback and sparked curiosity and encouragement.
“I love seeing women entrepreneurship and the advice and resources that they have to pass down to us so, I mean I loved it,” said Madison Lloyd, a commercial entrepreneurship student at FSU.
“Empowerment and partnership was the major thing, especially with being women, I know that business is cutthroat,” the senior said, “I feel like this is more focused on not [pitting women] against each other — we aren’t competing against each other.”
Women In Entrepreneurship encourages people interested in being a mentor, hosting an internship, or attending a speaker series. You can learn more about the organization by following their page on Facebook and visiting their website womenwednesdays.com.