Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Entrepreneurs

One of the joys of working with others is seeing them grow.  And nothing makes me happier than seeing all of my Zoe Ladies experiencing the thrill of entrepreneurship.

From reading the blog, many of you know that Janice and Karen started their own business, Semper Stylish, last year.  From an initial start of doing Zoe's windows to graduating to the Luckett's Spring Market to now having their beautiful finds in two locations (soon to be a third!), they have grown their business leaps and bounds over the past year and a half!  So much so that Janice's loyal Monday/Tuesday customers at Zoe won't be seeing her much longer as they devote more time to their expanding business!

In her final quarter at The Art Institute, Fashion & Retail Management student Tara (Zoe's Assistant Manager) is currently knee-deep in developing a business plan for opening her own boutique.  Her final project involves a detailed business plan that covers every area from budgeting her "open to buy" amounts for each season to determining her expenses (everything from advertising to rent to insurance to postage has to be covered) to giving her boutique a name and a theme!  It has been such fun to talk with Tara about her project and answer her questions about planning for and running a boutique.

In the past week, Alexandra has attended the National Student Leadership Conference at Fordham University.  Her program, Business and Entrepreneurship, covered all aspects of creating and managing a business.  (I am so jealous, by the way - this would have been amazing opportunity at the age of 16!)  The class of 14 studied topics in Finance, Marketing, and Globalization.  Alexandra was especially surprised to find out just how much she enjoyed the Finance section of the coursework.

Using the Capsim Business Simulation Software, Alexandra and her teammates developed a business plan for a cell phone company.  Other modules included the development and marketing of a new technology, management of social media (Alexandra managed her team's Twitter account), and Field Trips to the Federal Reserve and the Museum of American Finance.  In addition, Alexandra took a leadership evaluation which identified her as primarily a Lion (with a secondary as a Koala).  Meaning that she is forceful and direct but also wants everyone in the room to be happy and in agreement.  Good traits to have when trying to build consensus!

Last year, Forbes wrote an article "Entrepreneurship is the New Women's Movement".  Based on the Zoe Ladies alone, I'd have to agree!  (Plus, have you ever noticed how many of the small businesses in Alexandria are women owned?  Amazing!)

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