Working Women Wednesday: Camille Grossi

Working Women Wednesday is a weekly feature highlighting the hard-working, wonderful women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is the Owner of Impress, Camille Grossi.

Photo courtesy of  Black Box Photography .

Photo courtesy of Black Box Photography.

Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?

Camille Grossi: Impress was founded in August, 2014 (coming up on our 5 year anniversary!) Our mission at Impress is to design custom materials that brand your business or special event with creativity and uniqueness in order to be unforgettable. 

Impress- paper, events, people:

Impress paper (literally, we can impress, emboss, stamp, etc.), Impress events (with design materials) and Impress people (with creativity, quality and uniqueness).

YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?

CG: I was working for an architectural firm full-time and had helped a lot of friends with their events as "side jobs". My degree is in interior design, but after receiving so many questions regarding my freelance work I knew a choice had to be made.

Once enough people asked me about my graphic design material, the wheels in my head started turning and I couldn't let it go. I made the choice to spend the Summer of 2014 working on a business plan. I then presented it to my parents in August and made Impress official!

YLGG: What characteristic do you admire in other entrepreneurial women?

CG: I admire other female entrepreneurs that are self-starters. There are so many things that have to get done when you own a business, and you don’t always know how to do them. Someone that can learn what they don't know and who can tackle it on their own is always impressive in my book. Don’t wait for anyone!

YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?

CG: Go for it! You will only regret the chances you didn’t take. Have a plan, and think things through. Don’t rush on decisions that can shape your business. There are many aspects of my business that I outlined in my business plan that differentiate from my business today. I have adjusted as I made mistakes and learned lessons along the way, but I started with a plan and I think that helped get me where I am.

You don’t have to fit into a tight niche! You can dabble in a lot of areas and figure out what is not only successful as well as what you personally enjoy. When I started I never imagined I would do as many weddings as I do now, but I love them!

YLGG: What do you like most about your workspace?

CG: Ahhh, my office (insert heart eye emoji)...With my interior design background, my surroundings and workspace are VERY important to me. I’ve had 3 different spaces in my five years of business (all within my place of residence). My current office is by far my favorite aspect of our home. It’s bright, modern, simple and organized (everything I love about a space)! Everything has a place and I love having lots of storage.

YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way you run your business today?

CG: Definitely! After you have made a big enough mistake, you remember it and never do it again, which has been very helpful at times. One of the first mistakes that comes to mind is not requiring customers to sign a contract before I begin design work. When I first started my business, I didn’t always require a signature and ran into some issues. Whether it was getting paid for the work I had already done or customers backing out after several design iterations had been completed, I constantly seemed to run into an issue. I made the changes; even if they are one of my best friends, I follow the same procedures to this day. I’ve learned that it is better to be safe than sorry!

YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?

CG: My dog. Kidding--kind of. Rory (our Miniature Goldendoodle) is the Impress mascot and customers love him. I’m also health nut and always have my water bottle within reach. Lastly, my Carmex chapstick.

YLGG: Name a woman, past or present, who you admire.

CG: This is easy: my mom! She is the most incredible woman for a number of reasons. She is tough, but fair. Her work ethic is unmatched and has always instilled this mindset within my brother and me. She knows how to have fun, and has pushed me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Not only is she an extraordinary mother, I consider her a stellar role model, and friend as well. My creativity definitely stems from her, and I know she will always be there to support me during the hurdles I may face in the future.

KNOW A GIRL GANG MEMBER WHO SHOULD BE FEATURED? NOMINATE THEM!

COME BACK EVERY WEDNESDAY FOR A NEW #WORKINGWOMENWEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES WHO MAKE UP THE GIRL GANG AND THEIR HARD-WORKING OWNERS.

Working Women Wednesday: Mette Blumensaadt

Working Women Wednesday is a weekly feature highlighting the hard-working, wonderful women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is the Owner and Founder of B. Kreative, Mette Blumensaadt.

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Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?

Mette Blumensaadt: My business is social media management and content creation for restaurants! My mission is to create, curate and manage social media platform for restaurant and to maintain a solid brand image, growth and consistency with their online social media presence! I launched my business in the spring of 2018 with one client and now I have 12! 

 

YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?

MB: I got the idea for the business when I was waiting tables at Sarita in Lakewood! They asked me to run their social media because I had a degree in marketing and was tech savvy! After doing their social media for about six months, we noticed a change in the  customer and business. I figured if they needed someone to run their social media there must be others out there that needed this service too!

I worked in the restaurant business since I was 13, so I decided I want to go after mainly restaurants. I learned quickly that finding a niche was super important! Plus I have always had a passion for the restaurant business but didn’t want to be waiting tables or in a management position anymore. So I finally started to use my degree.

 

YLGG: What is the best piece of business advice you have received?

MB: Probably a lot of good business advice I got was from Meg Witt of the Upspeak Collective! She always said to find your niche…. because you can’t be for everybody! My personal favorite is “Go with your gut.” Getting advice is great but if it doesn’t sit well with you it probably isn’t a good thing. 

 

YLGG: What characteristic do you admire in other entrepreneurial women?

MB: Being financially independent and self-made. I feel like as women we were brought up to find a man to support us and to invest our happiness into another person. I really admire women who support themselves. 

 

YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?

MB: Be very careful who you take advice from! And always surround yourself with smarter and more talented people...it can really help your growth! 

 

YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way you run your business today?

MB: Absolutely! My business is only 1 ½ years old and already I run it very differently than when I started out. With everything in life you live and learn. What works and what doesn’t. How to manage yourself and your clients. Who to work and not work with! It’s all a learning experience and I don’t intend to stop learning and changing up how I do things. Mistakes usually lead to growth if you let them! 

KNOW A GIRL GANG MEMBER WHO SHOULD BE FEATURED? NOMINATE THEM!

COME BACK EVERY WEDNESDAY FOR A NEW #WORKINGWOMENWEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES WHO MAKE UP THE GIRL GANG AND THEIR HARD-WORKING OWNERS.



Working Women Wednesday: Lisa DiBlasio

Working Women Wednesday is a weekly feature highlighting the hard-working, wonderful women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is the Owner of Whiskey Island Clothing, Lisa DiBlasio.

Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?

Lisa DiBlasio: Founded in 2015, Whiskey Island Clothing became the first woman owned t-shirt company in the Cleveland Area. Named after the peninsula at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River at Lake Erie, this ‘Cleveland Born’ brand is creative and calculated with superior quality and innovative graphics. With an unapologetic attitude, Whiskey Island Clothing not only honors The City of Cleveland, the North Coast, and the great State of Ohio, but it also promotes self-assurance and its love for the underdog. 

“Never water yourself down just because someone can’t handle you at 100 PROOF.”

YLGG: Growing up, what was your dream job?

LDB: Growing up, I always knew I wanted a creative job. I have always had a keen eye for space and color. As a kid, if I wasn’t questioning the rules or practicing my gymnastics routines, then I was probably using my creativity. I would spend entire afternoons cutting apart magazines for collages or drawing until my colored pencils were too short to sharpen. Although I didn’t know the title then, I think my dream job was a Creative Director for an advertising firm or magazine. That and a spy.

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YLGG: What is the best piece of business advice you have received?

LDB: “Don’t wait for something to be perfect, launch even if you do not feel ready.


YLGG: What characteristic do you most admire in other entrepreneurial women?

LDB: The organized and articulate entrepreneurial women stand out to me. These women juggle multiple roles seamlessly. They are great networkers with a focused purpose and mindset. It’s inspiring to see these women step forward without hesitation and make a dignified presence in the business world.

YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?

LDB: If you want something, take the chance and go for it, always.

YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way your run your business today?

LDB: I have made many mistakes, probably a couple even twice, but mistakes are a part of learning. Perfection is a lie and, truthfully, perfection is boring. Instead, be human and evolve. In the moment, mistakes may be tough to accept, but I have learned a lot more from my “fumbles” than any “touchdown”. (I’m excited for football season.)

Making mistakes is the best way to learn, and my mistakes ultimately shaped how I run my business today. I truly would not have it any other way. I think the biggest mistake anyone can make is not trying.

YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?

LDB: Music. It helps me focus and create.

KNOW A GIRL GANG MEMBER WHO SHOULD BE FEATURED? NOMINATE THEM!

COME BACK EVERY WEDNESDAY FOR A NEW #WORKINGWOMENWEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES WHO MAKE UP THE GIRL GANG AND THEIR HARD-WORKING OWNERS.

Working Women Wednesday: Ahren Booher

Working Women Wednesday is a weekly highlight of the hard-working women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is Ahren Booher, who started her own real estate team, The Art of Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty.

Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?

Ahren Booher: I started a local real estate team, The Art of Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty. I have been a full-time realtor for nine years (as of this September) and I have been both a solo agent and a team member.

In 2017, I decided I wanted to branch out and start my own team because I love helping agents grow their own businesses and teaching them how rewarding being a business owner can be. We have four full-time, female agents and we recently hired a full-time admin. We are on pace to sell about 125 homes this year and our goal is always to make buying and selling a home as stress free as possible!!

Our mission statement is: “When choosing a Realtor we understand there are plenty of options. So we want to over impress all of our clients with our diligence and professionalism. We aim to make purchasing and/or selling a home a fun and enjoyable experience!”

 We launched in the Fall of 2017.

YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?

AB: I knew from the day I earned my real estate license (September of 2010) that I wanted to start my own real estate team.

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I had just earned a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Akron but since I was raised by a mother who is also a business owner, I couldn't ignore my pull to be in business for myself. My team name “The Art of Real Estate” is how I pay respect to my love of the arts and my pride in my music degree.

YLGG: Growing up, what was your dream job?

AB: My dream job was, hands down, to be a famous singer!

YLGG: What is the best piece of business advice you have received?

AB: “Focus on the plan, not the problem”

 It’s very easy to get bogged down with problems when things aren't going your way and you’re experiencing a rough patch. However, if you remember your “big why” and your vision, it will help you persevere.


YLGG: What characteristic do you most admire in other entrepreneurial women?

AB: I love how part of pop culture, right now, is the whole “women empowering, women” vibe. I think we have discovered that we make a greater impact when you support each other instead of constantly competing. I love that women seem to take their ego out of business and just put in their heart and soul. Really magical things are happening with this “girl boss” movement and I am so pumped to be apart of it!!

YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?

AB: Start with the end in mind. You have to make a vision board or something to remind yourself every single day why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you don’t truly believe in your “big why,” you’re never going to make it through the devastating, tough times. The risk is usually 100% worth the reward and there is usually beauty on the other side of a breakthrough!

YLGG: What do you like most about your workspace?

AB: As a realtor, I have many work spaces! My main work space is my car. So I love that I can jam music, catch up with a friend, and sometimes even take my pup, Luna. My other work spaces include my office in Strongsville which is only five minutes from my house, many local coffee shops, and my home office that holds my baby grand piano and tons of hot pink furniture!

YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way your run your business today?

AB: When I was getting started, I had a tendency to throw a lot of money at whatever new shiny object came to the real estate market. Lead generating systems, data bases, etc. After nearly two years of being a business owner, I hired a coach to help me take my team to the next level. He really cracked down on my expenses and my lack of knowledge of where my money was really going and what kind of return I was getting. I know have a profit and loss statement that I review monthly to ensure that I am truly netting money instead of just grossing money.

Business owners tend to brag about all of the money they’re bringing in but that number doesn’t matter if just as much (or more) money is going out. Bottom line, know your numbers!! Keep your expenses as long as possible and lead with revenue!

YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?

AB: This is definitely a complete tie between coffee and puppy kisses from my yellow lab, Luna.

YLGG: Name a woman, past or present, who you admire.

AB: The obvious answer is my mom. She owns a very successful medical, water purification company that she started from scratch back in 1997. She was always in a male dominated field and held her own long before women were doing what she does. Also, despite working crazy hours, that lady never once missed one of mine or my sibling’s soccer/softball games, choir concerts, school function, ect! She is my inspiration and all of my drive I learned from her!!

A close second is Lady Gaga!

KNOW A GIRL GANG MEMBER WHO SHOULD BE FEATURED? NOMINATE THEM!

COME BACK EVERY WEDNESDAY FOR A NEW #WORKINGWOMENWEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES WHO MAKE UP THE GIRL GANG AND THEIR HARD-WORKING OWNERS.

Working Women Wednesday: Jennifer Roche

Working Women Wednesday is a weekly highlight of the hard-working women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is the Owner of Northstar Beauty Bar, Jennifer Roche.

Your Local Girl Gang: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?

Jennifer Roche: Northstar Beauty Bar (NBB) offers a holistic approach to skin care with a specialty in Cancer Care. The door opened at my first location in June, 2018 and we’ve since expanded into our current location this past April.

 I founded NBB as a resource for people to get down to earth education about how to best care for their skin.  The business model is tailored for people with a desire to incorporate a minimal approach to skin care and wellness into their already busy lives - from our signature 30 minute skin care treatments to our indie skin care collection and 24/7 online booking and online store, everything is designed to be easy, fun, relaxing and effective.

YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?
JR:
In the 25 years I’ve been working in the spa and skin care business, the one thing I’ve heard over and over again was how confused and overwhelmed everyone seemed to be when it came to caring for their skin - especially now when it seems everyone and their dog has a skin care line out on the market - how to choose? How do you know what’s right for you? That’s where NBB comes in. To say I am the skin nerd leader of a pack of other skin nerds, is putting it mildly. Our mission is to make your skin as glowing and healthy as possible in whatever time frame works best for your lifestyle.

YLGG: What is the best piece of business advice you have received?

JR: Show respect and gratitude toward everyone you work with - especially toward everyone who works for you - every single day.

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YLGG: What is the best piece of business advice you have received?

JR: Show respect and gratitude toward everyone you work with - especially toward everyone who works for you - every single day.

YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?

JR: Social media is great but nothing replaces face to face interaction. Networking is the hardest, most time consuming part of running a business but it is absolutely the only way to grow.

People do business with people they know and like, if they’ve never met you in person they are very unlikely to become a client or send anyone else your way.

YLGG: What do you like most about your workspace?

JR: It’s calm, beautiful and full of both love and natural light.

YLGG: Have any mistakes shaped the way your run your business today?

JR: Of course! Probably more than I can even remember! Making something from nothing is always going to include false starts, wrong turns and sometimes even, straight out chaos. The trick, of course, is to try and never repeat the same mistake twice.

YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?

JR: My morning walk and at least ten minutes of meditation.

YLGG: Name a woman, past or present, who you admire.

JR: Only one? That’s hard! OK, I really admire my cousin, Margaret Chester. Not only is she a lifelong yogini and published author (Chocolate Yoga) she is also one of the most grounded, creative, clear sighted, and compassionate women I have ever known. And she lived in a treehouse on the Big Island of Hawai’i for a while - what’s not to love?

Know a Girl Gang member who should be featured? Nominate them!

COME BACK EVERY WEDNESDAY FOR A NEW #WORKINGWOMENWEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES WHO MAKE UP THE GIRL GANG AND THEIR HARD-WORKING OWNERS.