Welcome!

News (blog)



<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • Wednesday, January 04, 2017 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    At WE of A, we meet amazing women completely owning it in their Alaskan businesses and we couldn’t be more excited to tell about Sonia Cox of Firebird Esthetics! Though she says she never intended to be an entrepreneur, she’s got direction, spirit and fire on her side. Read our interview to learn more about Sonia’s journey.

    Tell us about what you do?

    I am a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist, Certified in Threading/Advanced Brow Techniques and Sleek Brows/ Brow

    Extensions. I love my job because it allows me to be of service to other people—to make them look and feel beautiful. It allows me to be creative, expressive, have a flexible schedule and—more importantly—it gives me the opportunity to know amazing people. Being trusted by them and having relationships with them is priceless to me. I've literally watched many of my clients go through school, get married and have babies. Often, I get to play a supporting role in their major life events. What’s not to love about that!? I love people, I love beautiful things, I love beautifying and I love being of service. It’s awesome.

    How did you begin your journey with entrepreneurship?

    I became an Entrepreneur by accident. I worked for a big spa for several years before that. I was very outspoken when I saw that clients were not being given the attention and care they deserved and were paying for. The environment was not safe or clean and corners were being cut to save on costs. After speaking up, I was let go by management. Best thing that ever happened to me! So after hearing from a friend of an available room for rent, I took out a loan and went for it. Although terrified and broke, I was confident in my skills and knew how to work hard. I was motivated by what I did not want to do or experience again. I was motivated by hunger…and bills!

    After 10 years of working for myself, the joys outweigh the challenges by a landslide. It’s been tough at times: learning things mostly on my own; countless hours of research and study; trial and error; and thousands of dollars invested in continued education and products. And fear—plenty of fear. I was afraid many times that I would fail, that I wasn't good enough or that I simply wasn't enough. I no longer had the backing of a "Big Spa" name or the money behind the advertising and staff. I was alone, afraid and completely dependent on myself and my own drive.

    What are some of the challenges and joys of your work?

    I persevered though—one day, one referral at a time. Slowly (very slowly) I built up a reputation that I could be proud of. And thankfully, my reputation paid off and business started to pick up. There have been times that I have tried new things that haven't panned out or taken off the way I had hoped but I am always grateful that I am the one that gets to make the choice to try or not. The joy in being the one that people trust and come to for advice, to be the one that people believe in enough to bring their children to—that is special. That is joy.

    How did you get connected with Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska?

    I was introduced to WE of A through a good friend of mine who is a powerhouse in her own right. She new that I was looking to expand and, after working so many years on my own, I was looking to branch out, get some connections made with other women that had similar work ethic and ideas about being “The Boss Lady”.

    What advice would you give other women looking to go into business for themselves?

    If I had any advice for women looking to go into business for themselves it would be to surround yourself with smart, creative, resourceful people. Take time to plan and never stop learning, never lose your motivation, be open to new ideas and feedback and be willing to adjust your path—but always trust yourself. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind and remind yourself often why you wanted to do it in the first place. Communicate clearly with your family and friends about your needs and take time for yourself, even if it means driving to Target to sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes playing Candy Crush.

    Sonia specializes in spray tans, make-up application, waxing and taking the perfect selfie. Pay her a visit at her Anchorage studio where you’ll feel pampered and beautiful and you might get to meet her lovable husky/lab Huckleberry.

    Interested in becoming a member of WE of A? We’d love to have you join our group of powerhouse women! If you’d like to check us out and meet some like-minded women, check out our list classes and networking events. Can’t wait to see you there!



     


  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014 12:36 PM | Deleted user

    I used to think people that measured their value in terms of USD or other, were surface and sometimes selfish. That kind of thinking came from growing up in an atmosphere which promoted generosity and giving without balancing it out in terms of value and self-esteem....let me explain. 

    For 14years I ran and managed a nonprofit company. I did not pay myself for two reasons. It was a great tax break for my husband and I didn't want anyone to think I would ever wrongfully use the company to self serve financially. I was also very aware that many of our clients were poor church mouse type. Songwriters generally do not make a lot of income with their music. However, we had a new experience not too long ago. You see, after so many years of building credibility and administering our music to PRO's,(CCLI & ASCAP etc) our songwriters began to generate income. That's when I asked myself, how come I am not doing this for myself? 

    The fact that I felt upset that others (whom I had promoted) were receiving income, but I was not, caused me to rethink my value system. I began to understand that part of the reason I would not pay myself came from growing up in an atmosphere that devalued women and even physically and verbally abused our psyche. I realized that I had to change and it must start with how I think of myself.

    I revamped my publishing company. I now pay myself first. I am a for profit company. My first royalty check for 2014 is due very soon and I'm excited because it will be the largest check we have seen....over $2000 for a six month period. This past few years I've had a real eye opening experience. Instead of being embarrassed that I'm behind, I choose to be a forward thinking person and I'm trying to regroup, knowing that I am after all, an intelligent woman otherwise I would not have figured out how to get royalties for all of us poor little songwriters...

    I am pleased to be a part of the WE group and see so many women supporting and verbally encouraging each other. I have needed that in my life and I hope to be that for others. Thanks ladies for all you are doing for We and for each other!

    Melissa Saulnier

  • Sunday, June 29, 2014 10:39 PM | Anonymous

    Our mission and vision at WE of Alaska is to provide an encouraging, educational and inspiring opportunities that helps Alaskan women grow in their business and relationship networking. Many WE members have spoken about feeling supported, encouraged and inspired by the women in the group. I feel that and share that sentiment often. One thing we don't talk about very much is the financial and foundational value of being invested in a group like WE of Alaska. Just in the past week I had some experiences that really highlighted this value.

    Last week I received three extremely valuable referrals from a client we've been working with in Arizona. One of the referrals has already become a new client, and the other two look quite promising.  We didn't plan on expanding our services to Arizona, but we received a referral from a local client to one of their franchise partners in Scottsdale. Just two months later, we have three clients in Arizona

    One lesson that I learned from my time in BNI ( another valuable referral networking group) was to consider the original source of the referral. In this case, it leads back to WE of Alaska in 2012. A WE member who referred me to another women business owner ( non- WE member) eventually became a long term loyal client. I can currently count 6 existing clients that have all come from that original referral, including our clients in Arizona. These six clients currently represent over 20% of our monthly revenue. 

    These numbers are absolutely astounding. Especially since I've had many other referrals from WE members. I realize that not every business will have these kind of numbers after two years, but I think it's absolutely possible for almost anyone that consistently invests the time. Rule #1 to reaching any goal has always been to show up! 

    Businesses, like long-term relationships are built through investment of time and trust. I'm proud to say that WE of Alaska provides the foundation to develop that! 

    Jennifer Christensen 


  • Sunday, March 16, 2014 8:32 PM | Anonymous

    It's been over two and half years since Jennifer M. and I made the decision to take over as Directors and owners of Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska. The decision was a business and personal one for both of us. We had both made great business connections and personal relationships had started to form in the group as well. We both didn't want the organization to go away. 

    The driving factor that led to our decision to invest our time and resources into the  Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska was the unique environment that we experienced in the group. It was a safe and encouraging place to grow, learn and network our businesses together.

    In the past two and half years, Jennifer M. and I have been through major life and business changes. Jennifer M. launched her own business, Marx Management and I merged my business with an existing company to form Beacon Media and Marketing. Through the many changes and growth, our one constant that we were both so grateful for was the Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska group. The deepened relationships have extended far beyond business connections and into the realm of personal friendships. We share much in common together. We are growing our businesses and networks, creating jobs and encouraging and assisting each other along the way. 

    Recently, we sent out a survey to the members requesting feedback on WE of Alaska. Specifically, we addressed the growth of the organization and limited membership per category. The majority of responses (90%, or 27 out of 30) requested that we continue to grow WE of Alaska and not limit membership per category. This would mean that we will continue to have some overlap of categories of business ownership, but the majority seem to agree that WE of Alaska referrals are based on the relationships that are developed, not the category of business. 
    *** The only exception to this rule will be MLM businesses. 

    When we get back to the core of why we are part of this organization and why we care so deeply- It is the same reason Jennifer M. and I made the decision to invest in the first place: It's a safe and encouraging place to grow, learn and network our businesses together.

    Alaska, still remains the state with the lowest percentage of Women Entrepreneurs in the country. It's our goal to be a part of moving that number to the highest. By creating and growing an organization that encourages, educates and helps women network their businesses- our potential is unlimited and our future unlimited!

    Love and Success,

    Jennifer C. 



  • Tuesday, November 05, 2013 7:14 PM | Anonymous

    In April 2013 a national study and survey was published by American Express Open on the growth of Women owned businesses throughout the United States. Since I spend a lot of time in personal and business relationships with Women Entrepreneurs in our community, my perspective was a bit skewed. Alaska didn't rate anywhere close to where I expected we would. 
    "The state ranked 51st in the U.S. — behind every state and Washington, D.C. — with just an 11 percent increase in women-owned businesses from 1997-2012. That compares to a 54 percent growth rate nationwide." Jeff Richardson, Newsminer.
     
    To state the obvious...we ranked dead last. 

    One of the first thoughts that I had when I read the results of this study were the other studies that have been conducted nationally. In those particular studies Alaska ranks in the top 5 nationally; rape, incest and domestic violence. The connection, although not scientifically proven, seemed obvious. Women, or anyone for that matter, that are battling personal pain on that level may find it difficult to function in daily life, let alone start and bring to fruition a thriving business. 

    In my various searches online for articles on traits of successful women entrepreneurs, the three top traits that repeatedly come up are: self confidence, persistence and the help and support of others in their lives. 
    I completely agree with those traits as they have been major factors in determining the success of my business. Although I didn't start with a lot of self-confidence, I had enough confidence in my abilities and skill sets all coupled with the timing in my life where I could take the risk that culminated in a thriving business.
    The support in my life from family and friends has been and continues to be enormous. Persistence seems a given in all forms of success. 

    I believe that organizations like WE of Alaska can be part of the solution to Alaska's low Women Entrepreneur ranking. Women business associations can assist helping women move past some of the painful circumstances that are all too common in our state. 
    Part of our mission and goal is to provide a safe place for Women Entrepreneurs to learn, grow, network, mature and ultimately mentor others in their businesses along side other supportive and encouraging Women Entrepreneurs that have the same goals. We provide a structure of networking, education, learning and nurturing that increases self-confidence and creates a supportive network around us. Persistance is encouraged through attendance and engagement with other like-minded members.

    We may not be in the same places in our businesses, or our personal lives, but most of our goals are the same. We want to leave a legacy, provide for ourselves, our family and possibly our staff and make a difference in this great state of Alaska. 

    There are many programs dedicated to fighting the ills of the current violent statistics towards women in our state. Our governor has made the issue his mandate. http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/priorities/public-safety/choose-respect.html   Not all of the women that are coming out of these situations may be interested in starting or running a business, but I believe many would embrace a safe, supportive, professional organization as a great starting point for a new life.   

    I would love all your feedback too. What other solutions to the extremely low growth of Women owned businesses in Alaska are out there? How can we do better to support each other, and make a difference in those statistics? 

    Jennifer Christensen
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:04 PM | Anonymous

    At the end of last summer I started getting sick, really sick. I knew something was wrong, but couldn't put my finger on what it was. I kept thinking I was just stressed ( true) that I was working too much ( also true) and that I wasn't eating well ( true again). Wonder how many of us Women Entrepreneurs struggle with the same issues?
    I started changing my eating habits and paying attention to my body more. Unfortunately, as the summer turned to fall my symptoms continued to get worse and weirder yet. My hands and feet were tingling almost all the time, Migraine level headaches were more and more common and my energy was at an all time low. I headed straight to bed almost every night after coming home. The scariest part was my mind- I felt like I was loosing it. Forgetting almost everything ( including the correct words for sentences) and barely able to function in business settings. Months went on with my health declining. 6, 8 then 10 doctor visits and blood tests-Labels Like MS, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus and similar were thrown around. There were times that I thought I was dying- Sounds dramatic, but after talking with my husband  he confirmed feeling the same way.

    I continued to soldier through life trying to function, but inside I was terrified. I knew the time was coming to surrender my life as I previously knew it.
    Just at my point of surrender- There was a miraculous turn of events and I started getting treatment for Mercury Poisoning.( By fellow WE member Chris Anne McDonald)  I started treatment in December and have been on the amazing if somewhat bumpy road to restored health ever since. In so many ways this journey through illness and coming back into health has changed me for the better. I am so much more grateful for all that life offers. I have a renewed passion for my business, love my family better and care a whole lot less about what other people think.

    Why am I sharing this and what does it have to do with being the Co-Director of Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska? I decided to share this because through this process I made two huge mistakes. Mistakes I hope that I can help others avoid by sharing this.
    My mistakes were: I didn't share what was really happening and I didn't ask for help. I continued to put on my "business face" to the best of my ability and gave myself very little grace to just be sick.

    It's not normally talked about is successful business books or even with each other in meetings, but what do you do if there's a life event that is seriously affecting your ability to function? My advice today is forthright honesty to the best of your ability.We all need help from time to time- Now is a good time to ask for some :)
    For one thing- I've since learned that others noticed I was different, but didn't know why. Some even took it personally. Lack of information leaves a vacuum that must be filled. There's no guarantee that others will respond the way you want them to, but holding back the truth doesn't give them the opportunity either.

    In my case, people in my personal and business life were left out of the process. That's the second part of the lesson I learned- that to honestly share in each others journey ( both the  good and bad ) allows both parties to learn and grow. How do we learn to navigate the challenges of business and personal if we don't see it honestly modeled in each others lives?

    Thanks for letting me share and I hope it gives space in your lives to open up and ask for help where needed.
    Jen and my vision for the Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska is to provide a place of growth, encouragement, networking and education. It's so much more fun to know we are on the road together and supportive of each others growth in business and beyond!

    Best,

    Jennifer Christensen







  • Sunday, September 23, 2012 9:02 AM | Deleted user

    Ciao Bella WE of Alaska Women,

    You are all invited to my first Italian Isagenix Home Party next Sunday. September 30th at our new home. 

    7781 Upper O'Malley Rd.  (sixth house on left concrete drive)

    5 PM to 8 PM 

    Italian hors d'oeuvres & a bit of red wine, along with sampling of Isagenix Super Foods!

    Hope to have you join us, contact me for details & to RSVP :-)

    Becky McBain

    www.alaskabecky.isagenix.com

    (907) 351-9137 cell

    beckymcbain@alaska.net

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:56 AM | Deleted user

    Come join me and my Business Partner on Sunday, September 16th at the Dena'ina Center Home Show from

  • Saturday, August 25, 2012 9:47 PM | Deleted user

    Hello Enterprizing Women!

    I am the new member and very blessed to be a part of this amazing group of Women, thanks to Jennifer Stephans!  Just a few days ago, Jennifer and I attended a Celebration of Life for our Beloved Friend, Cathy Powell who recently died in Prince William Sound on August 13th.  Jennifer knew her for 15 wonderful years, while I only knew her for a short time.  During this short time was pivitol; she inspired me to pursue my passions and not hold back!  I wanted to be more like her, to truly live life to the fullest and spend quality time with my family & friends and to really love what I do!  Cathy was all about that...Jennifer can vouch for this!

    Just the day before attending the Celebration of Life for Cathy, last Monday, August 20th.  I was seriously questioning my career path, and the future of living out my own life to the fullest.  I was not expecting it, but Jennifer invited me to come to WE of A and I knew then that this was good!  Once I met all of YOU beautiful women I knew that my dear friend Cathy was probably smiling down upon me/us!  Thank you Jennifer! Looking forward to using your expertise/skills to improve our home business organization! 

    My new home business with Isagenix International, is exciting!  I recently learned that it is nearly a 2 Billion dollars Company!  Tonight I watched the Isavideo from my website on Enterprizing Women, and thought of YOU.  Please take the time to watch and feel free to check out my website at www.alaskabecky.isagenix.com once there click on the top menu tab ISAVIDEOS & select Enterprizing Women it is really incrediable!  There is much more to view and I am happy to serve you and certainly excited to network with all of you to support and encourage one another...what FUN we shall have as TEAM PLAYERS!

    Hope to see you for Monday Mingle at Sweet 100, it shall be SWEET  :-)

    My guest is my new dear friend/budsiness partner, Paris Kinmon.  She has been with the business for 5 years & has great knowledge about the business & company.  I am learning!  She is readily able to help me and is a real blessing to work with!

    In a nutshell, Isagenix has given me renewed energy, loss of cravings for the junk and my recent weight loss of 9 Inches in 9 days! It WORKS! 

    Becky McBain

    Isagenix Associate

    907 351-9137 cell/text

    beckymcbain@alaska.net

    www.alaskabecky.isagenix.com

      
  • Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:02 AM | Deleted user

    You are invited to a LUNCH AND LEARN at Ling & Louie's in the University Mall TODAY Aug 24rd at 11:30 am. As we eat; my friend Paris Kinmon who is a life time Alaskan and motivational speaker is offering her services to learn more about How is Toxicity affecting your ability to maintain a healthy weight and healthy immune system? Come find out at Ling and Louie's  Please RSVP with by texting &/or calling me at 907 351-9137, seating is limited, I know this is short notice; however, insightful information that is ideal for us all! Hope to have you join us :-) undefined at Ling & Louie's Asian Bar and Grill Anchorage, AK.

    If unable to join please let me know if you may be interested in attending upcoming Lunch & Learn with my new business with Isagenix and Nutritional Health.

    So happy to be a new member with WE of A as of now!  My first Blog...more to come :-)

    Becky McBain

    beckymcbain@alaska.net

    www.alaskabecky.isagenix.com

    907 351-9137

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
© Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software