As an entrepreneur, let alone a female entrepreneur, there’s not really any road map to follow. There’s no blueprint on how to do this.
The biggest learning curve is trying to figure out your own way.
Starting my own business has been a learning process—a good one and difficult, but it’s been a process nonetheless. It’s also been quite the journey for Alexandra Scholtz, Doris Raymond, and Melody Ehsani, who shared what inspired them to get started—and what has helped sustain them through tougher times.
So, for me, any time I can come in contact with somebody else who’s doing it, I want to soak in as much advice from them as I can. I really wanted to meet and go and speak with different female-owned-and-operated companies. It’s almost kind of like speed dating, like I’m setting myself up to make these new relationships. I am really just trying to expand the community of people I interact with who can give me their takes on what has made them, and their brands, a success.
- “There’s a glass ceiling for women in the corporate world with fashion, but more and more people are rising up the ladder. I reached a breaking point, and I just said screw it, I’m going to open a business. It takes passion, which could be anger—in my case it was passion and anger. Be true to yourself.” –Doris
- “It’s been four years with Wild Flora, and I think the biggest thing I’ve done is just gone against the grain: unique flowers, different textures, colors. I love, love, love learning...I’ve done my homework throughout the years.” –Alexandra
- “I believe in using a physical space, not just for commerce but for community. I want to make it a place where I gather like-minded people who are interested in something bigger than this. So we do a lot of events here, like every month we have the speaker series.” –Melody
I’ve learned a lot about myself throughout the process, but I think the most important part was figuring out how I wanted to be a business woman: how to work with other people, how to start something from scratch, and answering the age-old question of how to turn my passion into something that I can not only share with others, but also make commercially viable. I think if you have passion, eventually you will be successful.
Photographs by Gemma Warren
Reporting by Shuang Esther Shan