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Level 5

What She Said: Straight Talk From 16 Women Entrepreneurs

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In the last few weeks we’ve had the privilege of profiling the 26 awesome women you see above for Women’s History Month. From artists to business owners, inspirational speakers to consultants, all of these women got real about their strengths, challenges and inspirations. We thank them for sharing their insight and wisdom with our QB Community.

Here’s a round-up of a few of our favorite quotes from their profile articles.

julieball.jpeg Julie Ball, owner of Sparkle Hustle Grow, on the loneliness of being an entrepreneur:

“In my first few years of self-employment, I felt like I was working on a desert island. I knew a lot of solopreneurs get lonely, so when I started discovering these communities filled with other female entrepreneurs who wanted to collaborate and lift each other up, it was a life raft for me.” @mrsjulieball



Leane Reelfs, co-owner of Helming’s Auto Repair, on being a woman in an industry dominated by men:

“Having a woman owner puts some people at ease. But not everyone feels that way. One time, a woman sales rep called and asked for Mike. I said she could talk to me, she said, no, I need to speak with an owner. I explained I was the owner, and she said, ‘Oh, I wasn’t expecting the secretary to be an owner!’ I exploded, and I used some pretty colorful language.” @CarGirlLeane


 Lynda Artesani, owner Artesani Bookkeeping, on knowing your strengths:

Many clients are experts in their field but struggle with the bookkeeping side. I always remind them, ‘You’re good at your job, and I’m good at bookkeeping. Let me do what I do best, so you have more time to do what you do best!’” @lynda


ika.jpeg Ika Aliyeva, founder of Femigrants Foundation, on turning her challenges into a way to help other immigrants:

 “I will never forget the moments when I was praying for a fairy or an angel to bring food for my baby when I had a pregnancy-related health condition. All the challenges I experienced as an immigrant woman and mother with no support opened me up to seeing how many female immigrants are in need of resources.”

ana_square.jpg Ana Rivera, co-owner of The HVAC Guys, on why giving back to community is good for business:

 “I’m involved in volunteering, but everything I do ties back to helping the business. I need some sort of return – we’ve got five kids to feed! For example, I’m the fundraising coordinator for the Pop Warner football league. I reach out to local businesses for donations, which helps keep our company top of mind when someone local needs HVAC services.” @Thehvacguys


Sherrie Bainer, head of sales for GRACEDBYGRIT, on empowering the next generation of women:

We have a commitment to our community as well. We’ve created programs like Gritty Girls, where we teach young girls about feeling empowered, standing up for themselves and loving yourself no matter your size. GRACEDBYGRIT is all about being inclusive.” @sbainer



 Thea Villaseñor, owner of Thea’s Vintage Living & Estate Sales, on helping her customers through a downsize:

I can relate to loss and because I know about working with treasured things. I understand possessions are important because they represent amazing moments from the past. I treat these clients how I’d want to be treated if I was going through an emotional change of life.”


 JGW_sq.jpg Julie Gordon White, CEO of TheWELL, on charging more than you think:

“Here’s one more straightforward tip for women entrepreneurs. Whatever you think you should charge for your services, double it. I guarantee, you’re undercharging.” @Anonymous



tinsel_sq.jpg Erica Taylor Haskins, co-founder TINSEL Experiential Design, on beating the odds:

We frequently revisit that statistic that only about half of all businesses survive the first five years and that only a small fraction of women-owned businesses make it to the ten-year mark. Knowing we have built a successful business against such odds keeps us going and propels us to pursue even bigger goals, year over year.” @TINSEL



Dawnet Beverley, Business Exec & “Protector of Integrity,” on being a woman of color in the working world:

Women, especially women of color, have to navigate a workplace culture where they may be distinctly different than their ‘team’ in terms of race, ethnicity and experiences. They have to contribute an intelligent voice in the dialog around harassment, discrimination and equity.” @DBeverley


Kat Gordon, CEO of The 3% Movement, on why diversity in advertising in important:

“...when people who don't think alike sit down to make ads, the ads are more interesting. They contain fewer stereotypes and have more nuanced storylines. These fresher perspectives are more likely to grab your attention and make you think.”


monique_sq.jpg Monique Greenwood, owner of Akwaaba Inns, on establishing a legacy:

“When I weighed whether I would leave my job or close my business, I chose my business, because ultimately I believe in legacy-building. I knew I couldn't leave my daughter my job, but I can absolutely leave her a business and a portfolio of real estate if she chooses to receive it.” @AkwaabaInns



Dr. Pauline Leong, co-owner of OptimEyes Vision & Vernon Gantry Eyewear, on finding your voice as a boss:

I’m pretty soft-spoken, so sometimes I feel like I’m not always heard or things I say aren’t always addressed with quite enough urgency or attention. It’s something I’m learning to work on -- finding my voice as a business owner and a boss.” @PaulineLeongOD



Erin Williamson, co-founder of Engender International & owner of Pier Coffee, on creating an equitable world through the power of money:

“As a single mother, I know all about the importance of money. Economic stability is power and a type of power that is often kept from women all over the world. Our goal at Engender is, quite simply, to change this. We see a world where women have economic equality and that world is healthier, more vibrant, and more profitable for all.” @Anonymous


Kari Browne, former cafe owner, on life after selling her businesses:

“With the cafes, I was on 24/7. I was glued to my phones. That’s the reality of running a small business in the hospitality industry. I’m so glad to have had this past year to devote all the time to my children, to myself, to my family. No one is trying to get in touch with me, and it’s wonderful!” @Karibrowne



Desiree Wood, truck driver, on becoming an accidental advocate for women in her industry:

“I just wanted to work hard and make decent money. But when I saw how big the problems were in this industry, I realized I had nothing to lose. I want to encourage other women to advocate for themselves, because that’s what I ended up doing. I hope people will start trying to fix a problem, not just sit back and let things be done to them.” 


Read even more profiles on our featured Women Entrepreneurs:

Level 2

Thank you! What a blessing to be part of so many amazing women!! I hope to meet in person some day!! 

Level 7

@Thehvacguys, that's such a great idea. We should do a QB Connect event for women entrepreneurs so we can all get in the same room together!!


In the meantime, at least we've got Julie Gordon White's M2$1M group. So glad you'll be participating, and see you online!

Level 6

This is absolutely inspiring - what a terrific round up @SarahGonzales. I'm so moved!

Level 5

You know what's super awesome @Sarah @EmilyCowan@LeslieBarber? This impressive compilation reflects the wisdom of just a handful of the countless women entrepreneurs in our QB Community -- let alone in the world! There are so many inspiring quotes here, but I applaud Ana at @Thehvacguys for thinking strategically about everything she does, including volunteer work. As a business owner and a mom of five, spare time just doesn't exist. 

Level 2

Thank you Willow. It’s not easy, but it’s possible to do it all just not all at once. 

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