Women Are Motivated By Their Passion and Business Is NO Exception
My good fortune in life has been to connect my passions, one after another, to a revenue stream. This started when I graduated from babysitting and began doing things that interested me. When I was in junior high, my mom enrolled me in Junior Achievement. This program still exists and is for teenagers to explore the realm of entrepreneurship. I found it fascinating and although I don’t remember the specifics, I do recall that I loved the program, the collaboration, and was excited by the idea of creating things that made money. Even though there was no conscious trajectory, perhaps it set the stage for all that came later! My first entrepreneurial effort was in 1969 (8th grade), making macramé roach clips, jewelry, and plant hangers for the local head shop. I was awed by how much money I was making doing something I loved to do. I filled orders each week and the stuff sold like hotcakes! In looking back, this was a very labor intensive business so I probably didn’t really make any money when you considered all the time I spent making the product. But, at that age, I had a lot of time and in my mind I was making money hand over fist! This lasted about two years until the head shop transitioned and no longer wanted my products.
As soon as I turned fifteen and a half and could get a “real” job, I did. Pup ‘n Taco, fast food, you get the picture. I had a series of jobs throughout high school and college and upon graduating with my degree in Psychology, I was at a loss for knowing what I wanted to do. By the time I graduated, all my dreams had evaporated and the path I was so sure was my destiny no longer held the magic. My passion had died and I was depressed, sad, and disillusioned.
Over the course of the next two years, my passion returned in an unexpected way, having nothing to do with anything I would have ever imagined. Those of you who know my story might remember that in high school and college I wore only vintage clothing. My grandmother thought I had lost my mind (why do you want to wear that “old” stuff?) but it was my ‘work around’ to the fact that in the early 70’s there was no attractive new clothing for a size 14 young woman that had flair and panache. Instead of trying to be like everyone else (when I couldn’t) I developed my own style, wearing eclectic vintage clothing.
My focus on collectables and antiques, wearable and not, developed into a business that I was passionate about. Who would have thought? I always imagined myself deep into the world of interpersonal dynamics and here I was falling for clothing and textiles. I started out selling at the local flea market and then had a store front on the Cotati plaza (Cheap Frills) from 1980-1987. It was a successful six figure business and it supported me while I launched Making It Big, which I started in 1984.
Making It Big was connected to my passion to dress all plus and supersize women with panache and flair. In 1982 there wasn’t much available and what there was didn’t match my idea of style, quality and fit. I searched high and low, thinking someone somewhere must be making these clothes. After a two year search, I couldn’t find the clothing I envisioned anywhere, so I decided to start a manufacturing business with quality, natural fibers, and Made in America being the number one priorities. The rest is history.
After selling Making It Big, I knew that my next business was to coach women entrepreneurs into seven figure businesses. My passion for doing so has never wavered and I love what I do every day. I thought this would be my final entrepreneurial effort, but I see my passion emerging on another front. I have been given the opportunity to work with female employees in leadership positions within organizations and my feminist spirit wants to blow the roof off the glass ceiling that holds women down and doesn’t let them be all they can be. Whether women are in business for themselves or working for someone else, my mission is the same; female empowerment, teaching women how to embrace the opportunities, be recognized for their brilliance, and connect their passion to a revenue stream.