7 Women Entrepreneurs Doing Big Things
October is Women’s Small Business Month, and to celebrate, we’re shining the spotlight, we’re shining the spotlight on a few spectacular entrepreneurs within The Scout Guide network. Read on to get inspired by their creativity and fortitude in going after their big dreams. But don’t stop there; our network is full of female small business owner success stories. Discover them all when you explore our cities here.
Brandi Andersen, owner and farmer at Women That Farm in Mechanicsburg, Ohio
What she does: Andersen raises cattle, hogs, chicken, and turkey for resale utilizing some of the best USDA inspected butcher facilities in Ohio. All of the animals are raised on her farm in the very best conditions with no antibiotics or added hormones.
Her career pivot: “I left the corporate world upon having our second of three kids and decided to start Women That Farm as a way to be a stay-at-home mom and continue to pursue my real passion, agriculture, and bring in an income at the same time.”
Her nugget of wisdom: “This quote by Stephen King sticks with me daily, ‘Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.’ It takes a great team and always remember to show yourself and others grace!”
What she does: After 35 years in the apparel business, Beach to Bistro™ is the first fashion label Olsen has launched 100% on her own. “It’s a personal expression of all the aspects of my life that fuel me—my love of hand-printed textiles, my passion for color, the influence of my yoga and meditation practice—all inspired by my seaside home base,” she says.
Obstacles she’s overcome: “Obstacles are not unfamiliar to me—I have always relied on my creative drive and wellness practices to keep me balanced through all kinds of hardships: breast cancer surgery, death of a spouse, the hijacking of the company I created, as well as the usual ups and downs that life presents to all of us. My work is a labor of love—which is why, at age 70, I am still going strong.”
Her nugget of wisdom: “Stay open to new things, and don’t compare yourself to others. Be true to who you are and always stay connected to the ‘why’ of your enterprise. Why do you love it? Why is it needed? Why are you unique in your industry?”
Lakesha Brown-Renfro, proprietor of Simply Panache Groupe, based in the Chesapeake Bay area, Virginia
What she does: The Simply Panache Groupe is a multi-small business hospitality brand that gives Brown-Renfro the platform to maintain a ministry of the Spread Love Movement. The Spread Love Movement is the embodiment and propagation of hospitality and unity throughout our CommUNITY allowing the nourishment of the mind, body and spirit through food, wellness, restful accommodation, and entertainment.
Catalyst for entrepreneurship: “As a woman of faith, making God proud is the core mission of the businesses. I desired to build something that would support the community on many levels. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to have a direct impact on employment, taxes that build roads, school repairs, minimizing food deserts and, overall, building something that takes on a life of its own and becomes bigger and has more power to enact social change than any of us could accomplish alone.”
Her secret to success: “Insisting on positivity from everyone in my vicinity. I always want to be a person who encourages others, regardless of circumstances, in order to seek the positive and magnify it.”
Tina Little, co-owner of Stone Ashe Vineyard in Hendersonville, North Carolina
What she does: Stone Ashe Vineyard is an all estate-grown and boutique winery, with the perfect unity of site, slopes, and soil to produce wines of character in North Carolina. They are currently growing four red varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot) and three white varieties (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling).
Her career pivot: “After careers in dentistry, my husband Craig and I wanted to pursue what quickly became our second passion, winemaking. We purchased land in 2013, planting vines in 2016, after making our steep slope suitable for farming. I am from Hendersonville, and my husband is from Spartanburg, so it was so fitting to find all the attributes to meet our wine and viticulture objectives in Hendersonville, North Carolina.”
Her nugget of wisdom: “If you think you did something well, there’s always a way to do it better. Challenges and problems mean progress, and this is no more evident than at a vineyard/winery where we are always learning how to better our wines, customer service, and viticulture.”
What she does: Soul Shine Lab is a personal coaching business that’s all about helping people live the life of their dreams no matter their circumstances. Simkins sees clients over Zoom and in person in Hammonds Ferry.
Her career pivot: “In 2009, my middle son was diagnosed with a rare and impossible to cure form of leukemia. Despite being given up on by several of the best pediatric oncology hospitals in the country, we pressed on as a family. Three hospitals and three relapses later, we cured his cancer. While I couldn’t change the circumstances we have lived through, I was determined not to let my marriage, my career and any of my boys succumb to the statistics of failing in the aftermath of cancer. Thus, I walked away from a 20-plus year career in a successful law practice to embark on a crazy, relatively unknown career path of life coach. Ten years later, with hundreds of client success stories to share, I am even more committed to what is now a not so crazy, but very much needed career path,” she shares.
Her secret to success: “Never quitting on my dreams or anyone else’s.”
Shanece LaFaye Davis, co-owner of Fond & Faye in Rutherford, New Jersey
What she does: Fond & Faye Facial & Body Bar specializes in results-driven experiences, elevating their clientele to their highest potential with organic, locally sourced products and cutting-edge spa technology for the face and body.
Catalyst for entrepreneurship: “Before opening my business, I worked in a toxic environment that didn’t pour positivity or love into my life. My mission with opening my business is to remind women and men, we are enough. And that we deserve love, happiness, and time to recharge.”
Her secret to success: “Success is not the gold at the rainbow’s end or the recognition of excellence. It is the journey—the breaking and molding of the mind, body, and spirit. The uncomfortable changes made to become what you are believed to be. The secret to success is knowing that your daily fight is the success. Your success is measured in perseverance, not at the end of completion. Keep fighting.”
Stacie Reebie Volker, co-founder of gIVe Wellness in Greenwood Village, Colorado
What she does: gIVe Wellness is your local partner for detox, recovery, vitality, longevity, and personalized health and wellness. Their goal is to make IV personal to gIVe everybody what it needs for optimal wellness.
Catalyst for entrepreneurship: “My business partner Brittany and I are both RNs with lots of credentials centered around health and wellness. We met while working in the NICU and while we loved our jobs, we were drawn to the healing possibilities of integrative holistic medicine. Through our own personal experiences, we noticed that a lot of western medicine was more focused on just treating specific symptoms instead of looking at the whole individual to try to get to the root cause of those symptoms. Ultimately, we realized we wanted to help people stop putting band-aids over their symptoms and start to heal themselves through comprehensive testing and supplemental IV therapy.”
Her secret to success: “Persistence and knowing the value in what we offer. We launched our business in an area that was already well saturated with IV clinics. However, we knew we were offering something different through our personalized approach. We’ve had our ups and downs as a company, but we’ve always come back to focusing on our personalized approach to our clients’ health and that’s brought us the most success.”
Women That Farm appears in The Scout Guide Columbus. Beach to Bistro appears in The Scout Guide Sarasota. Simply Panache Groupe appears in The Scout Guide Williamsburg & The Chesapeake Bay. Stone Ashe Vineyard appears in The Scout Guide Asheville. Soul Shine Lab appears in The Scout Guide Augusta. Fond & Faye appears in The Scout Guide Bergen County. gIVe Wellness appears in The Scout Guide Denver.