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  • Interview with Fany Balabram, Fany Bombons | WomenandBiz.com
    her baking style She also owns a collection of over 400 national and international cooking baking and chocolate books Although Fany had no retail experience she intuitively knew how to get the business off the ground When I asked how she promoted the business at first she mentioned that she called her friends and acquaintances to let them know about it and she also offered free samples to key players in the community The business grew exponentially mainly through word of mouth and cold calling and the construction business was closed a few years later and Moysés continues to work with Fany in the chocolate business They also decided to create a brochure and mail it to all their contacts and the campaign achieved great results After a few years of selling candies at their living room with their children yes me too helping out they decided it was time to build a storefront from the garage of their home and after that the business really took off With a storefront and a new factory more clients were coming in and more products were offered such as gift baskets The main business came from gifts that people could use after eating the chocolate such as wooden trays specially made baskets cans and a lot more Unfortunately as the business grew and became well known the interest for home based chocolate making also grew and the competition kept taking a big chunk of FB s market share The business faced a plateau and finally with a lot of perseverance and hard work the partners decided it was time to open a new store at a food court of a new mall that was being built just a few miles away Since the business was going to be located at the food court Fany Balabram decided to include in the contract with the mall sandwiches cakes pies crepes cafés hot chocolate and tea This change represented a major step for the continuance of the business The mall store although still selling chocolate and gift baskets it was now a Café offering many additional goodies The Café opened its doors with the mall in July 1995 Eight years later it was time to change the original home store into a Café and this transformation has allowed the business to offer cakes and additional products in their neighborhood store as well When asked about the challenges Fany faces she mentioned the fact that she loves creating new recipes and cooking but she does not enjoy so much the ins and outs of running a retail business Another challenge is managing staff and staying ahead of the competition Many competitors claim to offer semi home made candies and such a thing does not exist but it still harms Fany Bombons since it is one of the few businesses still offering 100 home made products which helps the organization maintain the quality and flavor of its products Fany Balabram enjoys the freedom the business provides and

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2008/01/27/interview-fany-balabram/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Melanie M. McEvoy, founder and president of McEvoy & Associates | WomenandBiz.com
    t join We enjoyed working for really great candidates and organizations that we chose After three years together my partner wanted a different role in politics and decided to opt out of our business and pursue a master s degree have a baby and move to another country We remain to this day very close and she is my number one business advisor I decided to keep the business buy her out and refocus in away from the candidate based fundraising and more on the non profit issue oriented organizational based fundraising and to focus on producing fundraising events I loved event work and raising money for good causes and wanted to combine the two into a viable business which I was able to do after two years on my own Currently the majority of our clients are social cause oriented non profits which is very different from when I started on my own in 2002 when the majority of my clients were political candidates We are now known as one of the premier fundraising event planning firms in the city with political roots How did any outside advisors make a difference in your company I hired my first business coach this past year and she has made a huge difference in how I go about the business of running my business I used to never view myself as a bona fide business owner however now I see how much of an entrepreneur I actually am and have completely changed my mindset about how to effectively run my business which continues to grow in size capacity and bottom line Tell us about your business and the services it provides We provide fundraising strategies and event planning services We do event logistics from a z and help organizations maximize their event fundraising revenues while keeping their expenses low What were the most difficult gaps to fill as you began to grow We have been growing over the past few years and what I find the most challenging is balancing all the demands of the clients and maintaining our high level of services while not being the main person that the client speaks with on a daily basis It s transferring my own experience and expertise to others with less experience and teaching them how to deal with clients effectively while not letting the client feel underserved Hiring effective staff is a huge challenge since we are still a small business and can t pay huge salaries And whenever there is a service gap to fill I am the one to fill it personally which takes away from my marketing the company to bring in new clients This issue s theme is Change Would you like to share with WomenandBiz com s readers when your business faced major changes When I bought my partner out I was so proud of myself and felt very accomplished however reality hit when the demands on my time became overwhelming because the clients were used to

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2008/01/27/interview-melanie-mcevoy/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Cheryl Diamond | WomenandBiz.com
    as I was posing and trying to look elegant I ran off the backdrop and told the photographer I had to write something down very urgently He looked surprised and said that was one excuse he had never heard before Who should read Model If you are a featherless biped this book is for you At the very beginning I thought girls and women would be the most intrigued by an inside account of modeling and the way it really is for a young girl who starts from scratch Then I began to realize men are just as intrigued by the machinations of the modeling industry maybe even more than they are interested in models A male lawyer in his fifties who proofread my manuscript raves about it There is a lot of misinformation exaggeration and general fogginess as to how the industry works I was surprised at how it is often hilarious sometimes wrenching and rarely glamorous without a catch If you have ever felt that you can t turn the tables on someone who seems more powerful than you ever been bullied in business or just wanted to state what you really think you will get a kick out of Model What is your vision for your book I would like it to be a bestseller I also like to set difficult goals and then relentlessly needle myself into attaining them I remember riding the subway after a long day with everyone looking exhausted and overheated A woman sitting across from me seemed especially glum until halfway down the page of a book she was reading I saw her grin hugely and actually giggle before catching herself I want that to be my book To crack someone up on the subway during rush hour is epic What were are the most demanding conflicts you face as a model and author In modeling most if not all socializing is done at ultra trendy nightclubs Clubs were interesting the first few times I went but then became wearing I felt I had to be on high alert There are some unnerving people navigating Manhattan s club circuit and I seemed to run into most of them I began staying home and writing or staring at the ceiling contemplating my fate while eating Doritos I never told anyone I was writing a book but they seemed to sense I was up to no good As a teenager it is tempting to fit in and be one of the clique Especially when fashion models are so actively recruited and fawned over by clubs and the people who run them It is an easy trap to fall into Luckily a part of me really enjoys being contrary and surprising people When I was sixteen almost everyone expected me to party all night like a lot of models do I mulled that over and decided to become an author What are your plans for the future I am very focused on my book right

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-cheryl-diamond/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Amy Gibson | WomenandBiz.com
    dialects and 7 different looks and wigs and they loved her creative idea She told the producers about her condition but asked that they kept it a secret She was not ready to disclose it Her creativity and willingness to find a solution to her realities is an example to follow How could you think beyond the problems and realities of your business and life to come up with smart and creative solutions and succeed Amy started getting a lot of phone calls from people asking for wig advice and that s how she decided to establish Crown and Glory Enterprises She believes that hair represents a woman s crown and glory Originally she was only doing consulting work and then she started selling the wigs that already existed in the market door to door Later she learned the art of wig making from some of the people who over the years had been manufacturing ones for her She then hired them and soon Amy began offering customized wigs She also developed eyebrows but did not know how to market it because it was missing a special glue After meeting the right people at the right time and the glue professional she was connected to the largest wig manufacturer in the world Amy Gibson had struggled with the fact that she had to give up swimming since she couldn t do it with the wigs available This challenge helped her work towards a solution Together with the manufacturer after two and a half years of research and many prototypes trials and errors they developed the First Women s Swim Wig utilizing a new wig technology called CyberHair It looks and feels just like human and you can swim with it on and it won t come off After you wash it the wig dries and goes right back into shape Her business has snowballed and it grew out of her home into an exclusive studio The studio is very exquisite and private and clients ages from 4 to 80 men women and Transgenders from all over the world go to the studio And a major part of the business comes from people with Alopecia Areata and cancer patients Clients can call 1 877 FOR WIGS to schedule an appointment via phone or in person for a personal hair loss consultation with Amy Gibson At Crown and Glory Enterprises in Los Angeles they can have a chance to try all kinds of wigs meet with the stylist find out what feels comfortable take measurements and order their wig If clients can t get to a studio they can also send pictures and measurements and Crown and Glory will create a wig that fits their needs and even match their exact look The Amy s Presence wig line is all over the world and the best option is to find a studio closer to where you live by going to their website www amyspresence com Gibson considers her most valuable rewards seeing

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-amy-gibson/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Debbie Mumm, founder and CEO of Debbie Mumm, Inc. | WomenandBiz.com
    initial reaction from an Entrepreneur to change is always excitement If fear enters in it comes later and in a much smaller dosage than the excitement Fear can paralyze and an entrepreneur can t go very far if they are paralyzed I love designing fabric Always have always will Even though that has been a constant for me the arena what we do and how we do is always evolving The same is true for licensing Creating new art that will show beautifully on product is always my challenge The products are always changing and the trends come and go which affect my processes Did you want to have partners or do it solo I am grateful for the expertise and energy that others bring to my business If you re creating art that is explicitly as an expression of the artist that is one thing But if you re creating art product and inspiration for the marketplace then there are so many factors beyond my expression that need to be integrated I realize my vision is expanded by the influence of others And I believe a strong team with strong leadership makes a strong business whether you re selling an art brand or tires Tell us about your business and the products and services you provide I describe my business as an Art and Lifestyle Brand We create original art and ideas for crafting living and decorating We license the Brand art and content for use on an assortment of Craft Home and Gift products including fabric books dinnerware stationery scrapbooking products calendars kitchen and bath linens collectibles and decorative accessories I work with approximately 30 companies called licensees The licensees manufacture and sell the product and pay us a royalty based on sales What in your business are you most passionate about today This fall we are going to launch a store wide product assortment with a national retailer This has been an exciting venture and will provide a venue where my customer can find a great assortment of my product lines This is an intense and exciting venture and very exciting to design for This is the kind of opportunity we entrepreneur types get pretty passionate about What were are the most demanding conflicts you face as you began to grow For an entrepreneur growing often means changing the whole dynamic of what you initially created Turning your cozy little thing that was mainly about you into a collaborative process involving many is an interesting part of growing However I really like the variety that expansion brought into my life I am grateful for all the enormous opportunities for personal and professional growth my business brought to me I have done so many things that I never could have envisioned in the beginning Since growing is about going out of your comfort zone having a business will do that for you in spades What things do you find personally rewarding as an entrepreneur Even though we all

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-debbie-mumm-founder-ceo-debbie-mumm/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Lena L. West | WomenandBiz.com
    strategies helping small businesses make sense of technology and find more efficient ways to achieve their business goals Last year in order to achieve the success she was looking for Lena and her team of advisors decided to shift the branding of her business a little bit and start helping growing second stage businesses leverage the Internet to gain a competitive advantage xynoMedia Technology currently assists companies that have complex sales cycles with technology strategies to help them increase lead generation build a strong thought leadership platform and get more out of their online activities Still passionate about helping small businesses Lena developed The Technology Diet It started as an 8 week tele consulting program teaching small business owners how to best use technology to grow their businesses xynoMedia Technology is now in the process of packaging The Technology Diet as an information product that will be available for purchase online Small business owners will be able to study it at their own pace receive guidance in how to implement technology in their business as well as identifying which hardware and software is appropriate for them to use In addition Lena sits on the Board of Directors of several not for profit organizations and has also volunteered and gives presentations frequently One of the most challenging aspects of her business has been branding Lena and her team are revising their brand to reflect who they really are According to Lena her ideal clients are forward thinking companies that understand the importance of the strategic use of technology combined with tactical measures Most companies do not understand the value of a technology strategy to remain competitive and increase revenue but xynoMedia Technology s clients do get it When you visit xynoMedia Technology s website they compare themselves to large companies in which you have the first meeting with the company s A team but team C or D end up taking care of your project With xynoMedia Technology the team you meet is the A team the only team working on your project In the beginning Lena did everything herself but the company and her team has grown and now includes an associate strategist a development team a salesperson two assistants one executive assistant and one virtual assistant When they get larger projects they scale up and for smaller projects they work with their core team which helps them remain competitive in both pricing and value For the future Lena and her team are developing a 3 5 month program in which they will give participants a complete e business makeover The pilot phase of the program will focus on three companies and will review each company s e business e commerce and social media strategies and create and implement a winning strategy for all three areas The project is tentatively called eBusiness Greenlight and the participants will receive high level media coverage once the case studies are available Since this issue of WomenandBiz com is about Getting Unstuck I asked

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-lena-west/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Laurel Tielis, author of “The Girls’ Guide to Getting on Top: Positioning your Business through Media Placements” | WomenandBiz.com
    I hope men who want to understand how women think will read it and learn My background as a journalist made it possible for me to do more than share information about how to go about contacting the media In the book I explain the strategy behind the work and the mindset of the reporters and editors they ll be dealing with I suggest that women approach the media the way they do their families or friends by putting them first This works because women are often uncomfortable about promoting themselves but are very comfortable acting as caretakers By turning around typical business think of What s in it for me to What s in it for readers viewers or listeners they can create story ideas that will benefit the media and in turn benefit themselves as they get them more media attention It addresses everything in a marketing plan from advertising to direct mail to the Internet to public relations There are do it on a dime marketing suggestions like sending birthday cards Valentine s Day cards I We love doing business with you or Thanksgiving cards I am We are thankful to be working with you in lieu of Christmas cards to break out from the pack or calling a C A B to form a monthly roundtable creating a customer advisory board that gives the business owner ideas about what works and what doesn t while getting special prices and other benefits There s useful advice about warming up cold calling tips on using sense instead of dollars when buying advertising and advice on writing direct mail that won t be perceived as junk mail There s a chapter on successful special events on a small budget and another on newsletter know how But because I believe that publicity is the most effective least expensive way to get the word out I focus on working with both mainstream and new media There are examples of everything in a press kit from press releases to tip sheets with how to do it spelled out for readers There s even a glossary of terms used in PR and journalism Women who read the book and follow the suggestions can get their name in the news and build larger more lucrative businesses Manage it all or not What are the advantages of using a professional and how to choose one I believe you can manage it all if you manage or delegate things rather than do it all yourself Think about business the way you think about your appearance For example you re probably not going to want to cut your own hair because you won t be satisfied with the results but you are more than capable of combing it out every day In terms of doing your own PR do the parts you can do well and get help for those things that are not your strengths If you work in sales you don t need a publicist

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-laurel-tielis-author-girls-guide-top-positioning-business-media-placements/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Interview with Stacey Koerner, Beauty on Call | WomenandBiz.com
    Haute PR Beauty on Call is a full service staffing agency focused on the beauty industry We provide quality professionals and pair them with the highest quality products We offer freelance temporary and permanent staffing for retailers cosmetic companies and spas We are an on location spa providing manicures pedicures massage brow shaping facials brow shaping etc for corporate events hotels home spa parties prom special occasion conventions etc We also provide hair and makeup services for weddings we are expecting to do over 700 weddings this year Haute PR is a public relations firm specializing in beauty fashion and lifestyle We are a pay per placement firm which means the client only pays for the press we get them We put together a list of the media that we think would be the best fit for the client and they approve it before we get started We focus all of our attention on pitching to the media that will really drive the client s business as opposed to just sending out blanket press releases to everyone We offer month to month contracts so a small boutique can choose to hire us for a few months to help with a grand opening We communicate with our clients weekly so they always know what we are working on We also offer Ala Carte PR meaning when we have a good lead on a story we contact the ala carte client quote them a price and if they agree we pitch them There is no monthly retainer or contract Prescription Well Being is a 501 c3 non profit We provide free beauty and spa services to women living with cancer Our goal is to help women deal with the changes in their appearance such as hair loss In addition to our work at Northwestern Hospital we also visit women s homes to provide services and our ultimate goal is to raise enough money to open a spa in Chicago that will offer free wellness programs spa services and support What were the most difficult problems to solve as you began to grow Cash flow has always been the most challenging I always wanted to avoid taking on investors and have tried to keep my loans to a minimum It has been difficult keeping up with the needs of our clients without having the cash flow to immediately hire more staff It was also difficult in the beginning to find qualified employees that shared my vision and knew that their hard work and dedication would eventually pay off I wasn t always able to pay people what I knew they were worth and understandably people want and need to earn a certain amount so unfortunately I went through several employees who weren t willing to stick it out I now have found some great employees who have an entrepreneurial spirit and can see the potential growth and it s great because I am finally at a point where I can compensate with benefits

    Original URL path: http://www.womenandbiz.com/2007/12/21/interview-stacey-koerner/ (2016-04-26)
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