Craving Small Business Support?



Most of you know that I've been involved with women's business groups for many years. It all began with my desire to connect with other women who were building their own businesses for moral support, commiseration, and sharing of information..which is what all fledgling businesses want!

Initially, beginning back in the mid-nineties when I was running my own small retail store, I participated in online communities like the old Victoria Magazine-iVillage sponsored 'Business of Bliss' forums and the subsequent (and short-lived) 'Coterie Bliss' forum. When it became 'The Bliss Sisters' forum, and I had moved on from being a shopkeeper to being a retail consultant, writer & speaker, I became a moderator and eventually a director, helping it to grow into 'The Bliss Guild' community & resource for women entrepreneurs, and garner some attention from Country Living magazine. Then I moved on to a partnership that brought about the founding & development of the 'Women Take Wing!' organization & community. I continue to speak at women's groups and organizations across the country, and at trade shows where the majority of my audiences have been female independent merchants.

At the heart of all of this involvement was a vision for a multi-level resource for women entrepreneurs that I desperately wanted to see come to fruition. I saw a seedling sprout from those ideas more than once, but it never became the full-grown tree that I envisioned. It was my vision, and it was a great big one, so it made the other people who were involved pretty nervous. And so, at a certain point, I knew it was time for me to let that vision just exist, without working so darned hard to bring it into reality. I had to admit that I wasn't the right person in the right place at the right time for the pursuit of this particular goal. I honestly wondered if there was anyone who could create what I had envisioned. I knew it was viable, and necessary, and yet I didn't know how to jump the roadblocks to do it myself, so I relegated my grand dream to the Universe.

Well, they say that good ideas don't just come around once in a lifetime - they keep circulating until the right person gets ahold of them and runs with them. I know a good thing when I see it, and just have to tell you about www.CRAVEbusiness.com . The entire CRAVEinc. 'empire' was founded by a woman in my local area - Melody Biringer - and is a fabulous resource for women in any kind of business.

From business mentoring & support systems to educational & networking opportunities to retail shopping events, this is the kind of resource for women entrepreneurs that has always lived in my brain and been the dream in my heart as I helped to guide and found other groups. Melody has my respect and admiration for creating something so multidimensional, so open to growth and change that it is truly able to fulfill the many needs of many women pursuing businesses of their own - and will continue to do so well into the future. Online, in print, and in person, CRAVE is a growing, evolving entity that has the advocacy of women in business as the heart of every endeavour.


I look at what she has created, and recognize a kindred spirit and a similar passion, and I wholeheartedly support her. I am looking forward to future involvement with this group, including some local events, and encourage you to check it out and find out if it is in your area, as well. (CRAVE is partnered with Ladies Who Launch , and they have a presence in most states.) For more information, visit http://www.cravebusiness.com/.

Logo from CRAVEbusiness.com

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the shout out! i can't wait to meet you.
    melody

    ReplyDelete

my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK