When did you start modeling?
At fourteen. It was quite a change from my former vocation as a ballet dancer and touch-football aficionado. But, I was getting too tall for dance and in the twilight of my career as a tomboy. Modeling seemed like a good idea.
How did you get involved in modeling?
I was intercepted on my way to dance class by a scout for a local agency and asked if I had ever thought about being a model. I hadn’t seriously, but I started to pretty quickly. It’s not unusual for models to be recruited this way. Claudia Schiffer was scouted in a nightclub; Kate Moss in an airport. The local agency will use the model for catalogs and ads in the area. After a few years, if they think the model has potential they will introduce her to a New York agency. Instead of signing with the local agency I bypassed the middle man and went straight to New York, tagging along with my dad on a business trip. After going up and down a lot of stairs I was taken on by an agency that was very enthusiastic. Maybe even manic. That began my experiences with the larger than life characters in the modeling industry. Read more
It is interesting that we are featuring Amy Gibson in the Dreams and Realities issue, and you will learn why as you read this interview. Amy Gibson is an inspiring entrepreneur and role model and the founder of Crown and Glory Enterprises, a company that offers wigs and counseling services, and she established her business in 2000.
Prior to owning her business, Amy Gibson had been a soap opera actress for 20 years. She started acting since a young age, and at the age of 13 and a half, while starring on a soap opera, she learned through the show’s hairstylist that she had a bald spot in the back of her hair. She couldn’t believe it at first, but soon learned that she had a hair-loss disease known as Alopecia Areata. During our interview, she mentioned that this immune disorder affects 5 million people each year, and there is no age or gender limit. The scientific research has come a long way, and although they know more about it now, there is still no cure.
* Please tell us about your education and professional experience
My education was a combination of liberal arts, and many art courses over about 4 years. I did end up with an associate degree in Visual Communication Technology. I did an assortment of freelance art jobs and Craft shows along the way as well.
* How were they helpful?
I believe that everything you do, every experience you have, every person you meet contributes to preparing you for the next thing. Nothing is wasted even if it doesn’t feel like specific “training.”
* What inspired you to start Debbie Mumm, Inc.?
I was always a kind of artsy person who felt out of place in the 9-5 workplace. (I worked for many years at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and realized that type of work environment did not suit me) I really wanted creativity to be a part of my life. My main inspiration was to enjoy my work and the desire to express myself as a creative person. Read more
Lena L. West has been a guest writer for WomenandBiz.com since 2004. For a long time we only knew each other through email, but soon started running into each other in New York City. Lena L. West, Founder and CEO of xynoMedia Technology, is an incredibly dynamic entrepreneur, and I have been following her success and business progress since we’ve met. Lena is a great example of an entrepreneur who recognizes the changes in the marketplace. She adapts them into her business, targets different niches and creates new projects to keep up with today’s competitive landscape and evolving technology platform.
During our interview Lena shared that she has been an entrepreneur since she can remember. Although she had a couple of full-time jobs, she soon got involved with offering computer technical support by phone. Then she got a consulting agency to represent her and worked as a consultant with several big projects. However, she soon realized that the best thing to do was to establish her own business. Lena will celebrate xynoMedia Technology’s 10th anniversary this year.
Lena says that one of the main reasons she decided to start her own business was for the freedom it could provide. Very family oriented, Lena wanted to be sure she could be available for her family, without having to worry about taking sick days, vacation days, etc. Read more
Laurel Tielis – Background
I grew up, went to college, got married in my senior year and never gave any serious thought to working. I always loved writing though (and even managed to be named editor-in-chief of my sixth grade yearbook!), so I was lucky to back into a career in
I was vacationing on Harbour Island in the Bahamas and wrote a travel diary that I sent off to a few publications with a note saying, “I loved it here and think your readers will as well.” The story led the travel section of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave me a wonderful credential as a writer, and enabled me to begin a career journeying around the world and contributing to newspaper and magazines in the U.S. and Canada.
Traveling for a living has its highs and lows, though, and when I reached the point where the thought of having to pack one more time left me in tears, I was fortunate to be offered a job as a wire service reporter in Miami for Fairchild Publications. Fairchild publishes Women’s Wear Daily and W, as well the Daily News Record (a men’s wear publications), Footwear News, Home Furnishings News, and Supermarket News, and I got to contribute to all of them. Read more
* Please tell us about your education and professional experience
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Communications. I focused on public speaking and was on the
debate team which gave me more confidence to speak in front of groups and it has definitely helped me to be more assertive in my career.
I worked for Nordstrom for 14 years. I started in cosmetic sales, spent several years managing the cosmetic department and then moved into a buying position where I was responsible for marketing and event planning for all of the cosmetic lines that Nordstrom carried throughout the Midwest. Nordstrom taught me many things that I have carried over to my current companies. The most important lesson I learned was to empower your employees to make decisions- if they do what is in the best interest of the customer, it is never a wrong decision. I let them run their divisions as if it were their own business but give them the support and tools they need to be successful.
Deciding to start Prescription Well-Being (PWP), Beauty on Call (BOC) and Haute PR
* When did you start your businesses?
I started Prescription Well-Being in 2001, Beauty on Call in 2003 and Haute PR in January 2006. Read more
Valarie King-Bailey – Background
OnShore Technology Group was established as a multi-divisional organization whose mission was to help keep technology jobs on America’s shores through the delivery of mission-critical technology, engineering, and marketing services. Our business model evolved in response to the wave of offshore outsourcing that affected many technology and engineering professionals and our deep rooted belief that technology is not only important for business but in our national interests to establish and maintain job opportunities to help showcase the talents and abilities through “right-sourcing” – keeping jobs here in America that are impractical to off-shore. At OnShore Technology Group, we believe that nurturing technological innovation and supporting the technology worker by providing access to challenging jobs here in America is not only responsible, it is in our national security interests to do so. Our future depends on engineers, scientists and technology professionals to drive our economy and our country to new heights. This belief has had a profound impact on me and I have dedicated my company to the pursuit of technological advancement and innovation. Read more
When I started reading Janet Hanson’s book, More Than 85 Broads – Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining
Success ON THEIR OWN TERMS, I couldn’t put it down. By reading personal stories of 95 women coming from all walks of life and nationalities, I was inspired. I was also amazed by Janet’s personal story of work, family, relationships, marriage, children, battling cancer, and her decision to leave a successful 14-year career at Goldman Sachs, and later to open her own businesses – Milestone Capital Management, a money management company and 85 Broads. Janet Hanson’s work and book are a tremendous contribution, providing motivation to women around the world.
Janet’s passion for her work, family, and team was noticeable in the first few minutes of our interview. Janet decided to start 85 Broads so that other women would have the professional connection she missed after leaving Goldman Sachs to have children. Feeling disconnected, isolated and not supported by former colleagues at Goldman Sachs, (because they didn’t have the time (before emails!), or they didn’t understand what she was going through), Janet decided to create a network for women. Janet first founded Milestone Capital Management (MCM), the only woman-owned firm of its kind, in 1994. 85 Broads was seven years in the planning, and it took two years to really get it off the ground. MCM provided the much-needed technical support to build the software and the network’s online presence in 1999. 85 Broads currently has 14,000 members worldwide and it continues to grow. Originally created for current and former female professionals at Goldman Sachs, 85 Broads has grown to include college students. Members of 85 Broads mentor young women through two programs, for business graduate students there is Broad2Broad and Broad2Be for undergraduates. Read more
Marcia Rocha passed away in March 2012. Her life was an inspiration to many, including myself. She created an association to encourage organ donation in Brazil, and you can learn about it at http://avido.org.br/
Here is our interview with Marcia Rocha, published in March 2006, about her journey as an artist and entrepreneur:
For an artist, finding the opportunities to transform art into a profitable business can be a challenge. But Marcia Rocha, owner of Funny Sculptures, is a great example of an artist who has great business sense, which has helped her start and grow her company. Marcia was born in Brazil and she has been a painter, sculptor and cartoonist since childhood. Seven years ago she decided to establish Funny Sculptures, designing and creating fun jewelry and character sculptures as well as customized and collectable items.
Marcia demonstrates strength and resilience, and I admire her courage and determination. She has been using her networking skills and following her intuition to be successful, to meet the right people at the right time and move ahead professionally. I believe her journey will inspire you to take action and turn your idea or hobby into a business. Read more
“A Big Fish is an awakened entrepreneur who is wildly successful and has a lifestyle that creates room to live life, too. A Big Fish always attracts more Big Fish, self-actualizing people” Lorin D. Beller – From Entrepreneur to Big Fish: 7 Principles to Wild Success.
If you envision yourself as a Big Fish according to Lorin Beller’s definition, able to run your business AND live your life fully, you should read her recently published book From Entrepreneur to Big Fish: 7 Principles to Wild Success. You will learn to uncover your vision; you will focus on and give energy to what you have instead of what you don’t; you will learn to become self-confident and to trust your instincts, take control, and look for win-win situations; and at the end of each chapter you will answer questions to help you create and follow your life and business vision, learn how to let go of the obstacles you have within you, and take action. Read more