We are thrilled to bring our readers an interview with Amanda Catarzi of Inkery Co. Amanda’s story is incredibly powerful and her experiences have been and still are a driving force for her work. Inkery Co. creates copy and provides social media training for small businesses. But it’s not just a job, it’s a passion. Amanda doesn’t just want to help her clients sell products. She is dedicated to helping her clients to find their own voice in their business, and their life too.

We found Amanda to be absolutely amazing – and we think you will too!

Tell Us a Little About You

Amanda Catarzi, Inkery Co.

I was raised in a cult and I am a survivor of sex trafficking, too. I am grateful that I was able to escape that situation and because of that, I dedicated 10+ years of my life to fighting sex trafficking. My work has led me to counseling the New Zealand Government, writing federal legislation, and even as far as going undercover to bust and break up trafficking rings.

Writing has always been an outlet for me – especially when I had no voice and no say in my daily life. I am grateful to have been able to take that love for writing and turn it into a successful business. I am a seasoned copywriter and I am passionate about giving others a resonating, impactful voice.

Talk to Us About Your “Why.” What Motivated You to Start Your Business?

I was burned out from social work but really enjoyed the writing I had done for the non-profits I worked for – I loved giving others a voice. It was a natural transition for me to continue writing and helping others with their messaging.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

My social work background gives me the ability to get to the root of who you are, what your brand is about, and find your authentic voice. I can peel back the layers of life and clean up your message, reviving it, allowing you to connect with your audience.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Know your worth and stick to your guns – limit who can speak into your life. Not all coaches and influencers are interested in your personal success.

Get In Touch

Visit Amanda’s site, Inkery Co at https://www.inkeryco.com/.

IG: @amandacat

Twitter: AmandaC.

LinkedIn: Inkery Co.

Hungry for More Inspiring Stories?

Head over to our blog page and read all about the amazing businesses we have been lucky enough to highlight.

We are very excited to introduce you to Emily Soccorsy of Root + River and a fellow member of the W Source Arcadia. We are also thrilled to announce the launch of her personal website that Hammersmith Support built!

As one of the cofounders of Root + River, a brand strategy practice, Emily works to help her clients create their brand from the inside out, utilizing their values and mission. The result is a strong, relatable, and unique brand for each client.

Read on to see Emily’s story and her advice for other entrepreneurs.

Tell us a little about you.

Lately, I’ve been telling people that if I had a religious practice, it would be language. I am a lover of language, of words, of narrative. I am a creative. I paint, I draw, I collage, I create digital drawings and I also craft prose and poetry and I recently co-authored a book called “Rooting Up: Essays on Modern Branding.”

I am also an entrepreneur who brings that creative spirit and passion for wordsmith-ing into my work as a CEO and co-founder of our brand strategy practice.

Being emotional, creative and business savvy are all one and the same to me. No separation needed.

I believe as humans, far too often, we push the creative or passionate or emotional parts of ourselves to the side. This is unnecessary and detrimental to our growth as human beings and business leaders. I want to integrate my many talents and interests in compelling ways to create things that are unique, true, innovative, revelatory for clients, good for the world, and profitable, too.

Of all the aspects of me, I am most proud of being a mother to two funny, kind, creative and smart daughters and a partner to my husband, Jason, who works in non-profit development.

Talk to us about your “why” and how that motivated you to start your business.

At Root + River, we believe that all great brands are spiritual experiences. We work with mission-driven leaders who are defiant about expressing their purpose, standards and beliefs in their brand. We help them uncover those core truths, once and for all, then coach them on how to integrate them into their culture and into their marketing.

We practice and teach what we call intrinsic branding (from the inside out) and pair that with humanistic marketing (marketing that engages an audience by appealing to common humanity and shared beliefs).

What is unique about your style and product offering?

We were motivated to form Root + River to alleviate business owners’ writers’ (and speakers’) block! Most business leaders, even those with a marketing background, struggle to articulate clearly and consistently express who they are and what they believe. If they can’t do that as well as they want to – they lose the chance to build their culture, attract amazing people and clients, and build a lasting and meaningful brand.

Our mission is to inspire leaders to go inward, to guide them to uncover the root truth of themselves and their brands.

Our gifts are uncovering and articulating those core truths and coaching leaders on using them in marketing. We wanted to share our gifts with the world.

We do everything differently at Root + River! After all, one of our core beliefs is in defiance. Here are three specific differentiators for our brand strategy engagements and coaching:

1. You are guided, not told. We are non-prescriptive. You are smart and grounded and know who you are. You live your brand every day. So we will never tell you what your brand is. Instead, we partner with you to guide you to uncovering and articulating it. Once we do that work together, we will refine and hone your brand message until it sings. Then, together, we will integrate strategy for how we share that with your ideal audience.

2. You will be branding long after we’re done. Our work long outlives our engagement. Our objective is to uncover and articulate a brand that lasts for the life of your business and teach you how to keep it going. We go that deep and are that specific and intentional. We don’t believe in drop-in consulting or learned helplessness. We don’t use taglines or manipulative, flash-in-the-pan marketing. We don’t want to sell you ongoing marketing tactics. Instead, we craft everything with a long-term mindset, hand it over, then stay available for future growth or strategy shifts, should they occur.

3. Your branding will touch every part of your business. Branding is everyone’s responsibility, not just the leader of the company or for the marketing director. It’s a practice everyone in your organization is already engaged in daily. We work to increase the organizational brand intelligence and solidify the common language of the brand. We engage with whole teams to roll out brand language and collaboratively apply it to sales, culture and HR, as well as brand and marketing.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

My advice to other entrepreneurs is multifold:

  • Develop a tribe. Entrepreneurialism is frequently lonely work. It requires a tribe for support, for curbing loneliness and isolation, and for challenging your thinking. It is too easy get stuck in the echo chamber of your mind and not have anyone to play devil’s advocate or challenge your thinking. As an entrepreneur, you need this.
  • Find someone to hold you accountable and love you up. Again, being an entrepreneur is arduous, constant and full of forks in the road. I have found that making progress depends on having someone holding you accountable because you will always have 1,000 things to do. The accountability person can help you focus on the one most important thing in front of you. This person can also be a cheerleader, a mirror for your successes and someone who loves on you on those days you feel crappy. I recommend this be someone outside of your business, like a coach, a mentor or a good friend who is also an entrepreneur.
  • Take breaks. It’s too easy to work your heart out as an entrepreneur. Pretty soon you’re also working your mind and your body off and de-prioritizing your friends and family, too. The sooner you can develop a discipline around taking breaks, taking time off, sequestering yourself in something joyous, goofing off regularly, and doing nothing at all regularly, the better you will be as a leader, and as a human.
  • Finally, tend to your brand by doing the deep work. Your brand is how other people experience what you believe. Your root beliefs are the reason people want to work with you. They power you every day. If articulated and shared, they could also be attracting people who believe what you believe, while repelling from you the people who do not believe what you believe. This repelling effect will save you so much time, energy and resources as an entrepreneur. Being truly different in your brand provides a huge return on investment.

Contact Emily

www.emjoyinc.com

@emilyatlarge

www.RootandRiver.com

@rootandriver

humans@rootandriver.com

Want More Interviews?

Click over to our blog for interviews, industry information, and more!

It’s finally here! We are excited to bring you an interview with the Hammersmith Support founder, Heather Locke. Heather has grown Hammersmith Support from just her and her laptop to a full-scale team! The Hammersmith Support service models have changed and expanded as well, growing from building websites to partnering with design specialists in the build process, and now website maintenance packages. With all that growth, Heather has learned some things along the way and is sharing her thoughts with fellow entrepreneurs.

Tell Us About Hammersmith Support

I started Hammersmith Support in 2010 as a solo-preneur after working for several years in the website development industry. My experience from that time was invaluable. But while I enjoyed the projects I worked on and the clients I worked with, I always knew that I wanted my own business. I wanted the freedom to control my own destiny, and I wanted to be an example to my daughter, London. It is important to me that I’m able to not only encourage her dreams, but to show her they are achievable when you work hard for them.

Why Is Being a Certified Woman-Owned Business Important to You?

When I came across the Woman-Owned Business certification, I realized it was something I needed to do for Hammersmith Support. Being in a male-dominated industry, this certification gives us one more way to set ourselves apart from our competition.

From the business side, Woman-Owned Business certification gives us access to government contracts and other opportunities, as well as increased visibility with our clients.

What Are 3 Tips You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. There’s a limit to how much we can do on our own – surround yourself with people you trust, and then trust them to do what you ask them.
  • I read this quote and it has always stuck with me; “If you’re going to eat Moby Dick, bring tartar sauce.” Having a successful mindset, even when you’re not quite there yet, is key. Always present yourself as a successful person.
  • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Let their knowledge be the driver pushing you to the next level.

Get in Touch

Contact Heather through the Hammersmith Support contact form, or using the information below. Read more about Heather’s journey from her Voyage Phoenix interview!

info@hammersmithsupport.com

602-391-8024

@hammersmithsupport

Want More Interviews?

Click over to our blog page to read more from other successful business women, industry insights, and more!

Our Hammersmith Support interview this week is with Allison Kierman of Kierman Law. Hammersmith Support created a dynamic, engaging and informative site for Kierman Law. It was important for information to be not only easily accessible but also user-friendly. In her professional practice, Allison strives to make the process of consulting with a lawyer unintimidating. Hammersmith Support was able to reflect that in the site design, yielding a functional and easy-to-navigate site.

We found Allison’s business and her “why” fascinating, and we’re excited to bring her interview to you!

Allison Kierman of Kierman Law, Photo by Blush Cactus Design Studio

Tell us a little about you.

I am an estate planning and probate attorney in North Scottsdale. I work with individuals and businesses to ensure their wills, trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and business plans are consistent with their wishes for their legacy after they have passed on.

I am a wife to Alan, who is also my business partner. I’m a mother to two elementary school-aged kids, Bond (10) and Felicity (8), and to two Labradoodles, Linus and Dodger.

Talk to us about your “why” and how that motivated you to start your business.

I grew up on a ranch and farm in West Texas with my grandparents. Our family saw many families needing to sell their farm to pay estate taxes once the family patriarch or matriarch passed on. That idea of giving up so much, after already losing someone special always resonated with me. Because I spent much of my youth with my grandparents, I knew I wanted to do something to help individuals and families like ours through life’s emergencies.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I work with individuals to create estate plans that are right for them. I spend time getting to know my clients, their families, and their hopes and goals for their loved ones’ futures. I do not rush clients – my goal is always to be a good listener and guide. I never speak in legalese to clients. I always work to educate my clients that form documents that can be found online are often insufficient to meet the needs of individuals in the event of a medical emergency or when losing a loved one. Which is why it is so important to take time to plan with a professional so that each individual’s wishes are clear and able to be carried out.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Be consistent. More importantly, strive to consistently do good work and help others – and work hard at that. Those are my keys to success!

Get in Touch

Visit https://kiermanlaw.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/kiermanlaw/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/allisonkierman/

Phone: 480-719-7333

Looking for more interviews and information? Click over to the Hammersmith Support blog!

Thinking About Updating Your Site?

Good news, Small Business Owner! Hammersmith Support is running a contest through May 27th for your chance to win a 2 month Essential Web Maintenance Package. This includes site service for 2 months as well as 4 hours of development to get your site spruced up! Click over to our entry page to submit your information and see contest details.

This is a topic that has plagued all small business owners at one time or another; how do I use social media for my business? Which platform? What’s appropriate? We sat down with Ashley Richards of E Squared Marketing to get the scoop on business and social media.

How Do I Decide Which Social Media Platforms to Use for My Business?

This is a question we get often and it all depends on your business and where your ideal audience is. However, we always recommend you have a presence and business page on the most popular and active social media platforms which include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The other social media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest will be variables depending on your end goal and campaigns you are trying to promote to evaluate if it makes sense to use them. A bonus tip for you – if you have a social media profile on specific platforms, be sure to keep it active and relevant. No one wants to see that your last post was from November 2016.

Facebook and Instagram Stories…Do We Really Need Them for Our Business?

Stories are a large component of these platforms, and we highly recommend using them often. A few tips for stories: Every post you add to your feed, you should add to stories to let your audience know you have a new post. Use gifs, stickers, polling, and fun hashtags to liven it up. If you have content that is not grid-worthy, stories are also another great place to showcase it. Behind the scenes, sneak peaks, consumer polling, and tagging other business partners and clients is a great way to use this feature as well. It helps keep the ‘social’ in social media, driving more attention and engagement to your pages.

So Should We Use the Same #’s for Stories as for Our Static Posts?

No, we always recommend adding 1, maybe 2 relevant hashtags to your story that go well with the image/video you are posting, but we always recommend using the tagging feature over anything else. This allows your brand to tag another brand/individual and the ease of sharing is incredible, giving you more exposure from that original story.

Do I Need to Separate My Personal Page From My Business Page?

Personal Vs Business Pages very much depend on your business and the model you are after. Current trends on social media are all about personal, raw, and authentic, so letting a little personal slide into your business is never a bad thing. A Happy Holidays from your family is a great example, where it is still business driven but has that personal side as well. All pages should be set up as a business, so you can take advantage of all the tools available to you on social media that are available with that type of page.

LinkedIn: Publish an Article or Link to a Blog on My Website?

One tip we give to our clients is to think—what if your social media page went away? What if that platform you rely on for business suddenly shut down? It is a scary way to think, however it helps our clients realize to never put your eggs all in one basket. Our goal is to get followers on all of your platforms and your web page to gain more brand recognition and trust in you as a business. With that said, we recommend sharing a link with a teaser in the caption to encourage followers to click to read more.

Does TikTok Have a Place in Business Marketing?

It can, but it really depends on that target audience again. As of January 2020, 60% of TikTok users are between ages 13 and 24, and 60% are women. Advertising is fairly new on this ever-growing platform, so they recommend adding content and staying extremely active to gain an organic following before investing money for ads. They did roll out a TikTok Creator Marketplace that is great for connecting with influencers on the platform to start a discussion about developing a campaign together. This will cost you and that price varies from person to person, but it’s a great way to expand your reach on the platform if you want to utilize it for business.

Is Twitter Dead?

No Way! Just a relevant platform for certain industries to capitalize on. Business types that generally do well on Twitter include politics, sports, and entertainment (including celebrities). It is a great conversation platform where you can jump in, make recommendations, sprinkle some humor, and also drop facts and tips. Most of our clients use the platform to share content but are utilizing ad dollars on other platforms since they don’t fall into the categories above.

Any Tips on How to Increase Organic Reach?

As the algorithms change on all platforms, so does the opportunity to reach your audience organically. There are several factors and things we recommend to increase your organic reach. Some of our favorites are:

  1. Post Consistently & Authentically – share content and tips, don’t just try to sell.
  2. Ask Questions/Utilize Polling – use the feature on your page to engage your audience to get involved.
  3. Tag Friends & Businesses – Tagging businesses and individuals helps get your post found and increases your engagement even more if that friend or business shares your post. Keeping that “social” in social media.”

About Ashley and E Squared Marketing

Ashley Richards

We’re a dedicated team of marketing professionals who take your business’ goals and knock them out of the park. We bring a personal touch to everything we do – And we’re just as committed to having fun as we are to flawlessly executing results-driven marketing strategy.

In 2017, Ashley launched E Squared Marketing to provide creative digital solutions and heightened value to small to medium-sized businesses. Whatever your needs, Ashley provides a fresh perspective and creative yet pragmatic leadership to lead your business to success. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and when she’s not working, you can find this Arizona native enjoying hikes with her husband of 7 years, Brandon, and their two adorable children, Ellie and Eli.

Website: www.esquaredmarketing.com

Instagram: @esquaredmarketing

Facebook: E Squared Marketing

Want to read more interviews from women in business? Click over to our blog for industry topics and insights.

One of the parts we love most about our business is getting to know our clients. Not only does having a relationship help us build a better website for our clients, but we enjoy networking with and learning from our clients too. We’re thrilled today to bring you an interview with Margo Crawford, owner and founder of Wave Productivity. As a Productivity Coach, Margo is charged with training her clients to use tools to improve productivity through organization of their work space, time, and goal setting. Read on to get to know Margo and her “why” with Wave Productivity.

Tell Us a Little About You

I am the founder of Wave Productivity and as a Productivity Coach, I work with Serial Entrepreneurs, C-level professionals, and Small Business Owners to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace.

I have been in the productivity and organizing industry for over 15 years, and I continue to receive training that will enhance the experience my clients have and to continue to evolve in my process. I earned my certification as a Certified Organizer Coach (C.O.C.) and my Specialist Certificate through the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). In 2017, I was a finalist for Tempe Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year and I am member of Leadership Rhode Island Class 2020, Pi II. 

I make my home on the East Coast and I am an avid surfer – I’ve traveled the world searching for perfect waves. When I’m not on the beach, I love to volunteer and hang out with my gorgeous, very fast Whippet.

Talk to Us About Your “Why” and How That Motivated You to Start Wave Productivity.

There are so many business professionals who struggle day to day to keep doing great work. They are overwhelmed and stressed out with email, time and workflow management. There is so much to do and never enough time. I work with people to shift the way they work with productivity tools and techniques that make a difference in their day to day. With Productivity Coaching people increase revenue, gain clarity and most importantly feel more in control and confident.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

As business owners we don’t often get someone who listens to us. My work as a coach is about deep listening. From that, we take brave next steps in changing the way you work for the better.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Celebrate in your success. As Entrepreneurs we tend to gloss over our wins and milestones because we are on to the next big thing. Taking time to step back and see what went right and how we can replicate it has great learning. Plus, you can always celebrate with a little bubbly! <clink!>

Ready to Get Started? Click Over to Wave Productivity’s Website to Contact Margo:

www.waveproductivity.com

margo@waveproductivity.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waveproductivity/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/crawford-organizing-solutions/about/

Want to Read More Interviews? Click Here for More on the Hammersmith Support Blog

All of us at Hammersmith Support have been anxiously waiting to share this interview with Lindsay Danielson with you! Not only is Lindsay a valued client, she has become a friend as we have learned about her story – it is fascinating. Lindsay is a mortician turned life coach…you may be thinking “that’s a hard left turn,” and you’d be right! Her journey is amazing and we consider ourselves privileged to know her story and to create a website for Lindsay that truly represents her passion as she works to champion others.

Tell Us a Little About You.

Embalming was my first professional passion. I always knew I wanted to serve in a unique and profound way but I did not know what that looked like for me until around 21 years old. You may be thinking, why embalming?! Well…unexpectedly, death became a part of my life when I was 13 when my father was suddenly killed in a car accident. As you might expect, it ripped my life apart.

When I mustered up the courage to see him prior to his cremation, what I thought would be traumatizing became a moment of comfort and curiosity. This curiosity evolved into me dreaming of becoming a therapist to help other youngsters who had lost a parent. The idea of therapy evolved into more of the medical side of pathology, which later sparked my interest in embalming. And as they say…the rest is history.

Since entering the industry almost 13 years ago, I have worked in various roles including 10 years of leading several crematory, embalming, and decedent removal teams.

What Does Being a Life Coach Mean to You?

Leading and supporting other leaders is my passion now. I have learned that everyone wants to be seen and heard and as leaders, we achieve that by acknowledging and validating our team in a meaningful and compassionate manner. Communication and community is everything in the workplace and building a culture that allows your associates to thrive is critical in today’s competitive work force.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

What I offer is not about me, it is about clients and guiding them to move past their bullshit so they can gain momentum and ultimately achieve what is most valuable them. Although the majority of my time is spent coaching leaders in the funeral industry, I continue to work with and take on private clients. My style is a unique blend of coaching and mentoring with a dash of tough love to lock in the most important piece of the client and coach partnership, accountability.

In addition to working with me one-on-one, you can get some free life coaching from me and my co-host Jena on our podcast, The Art of Getting Your Sh*t Together (TAGYST). Jena and I started TAGYST because with the constant demands in life and business, we wanted to create an impactful platform of real talk, expert advice and actionable steps to help others live their passion-filled purpose.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Remember, everything you want is outside your comfort zone but you have to be ready to fight against all the shitty stories you are telling yourself and you do not have to go it alone. Get support! Seeking support does not mean you are stupid or weak. It means you are resourceful and resilient. The most successful people did not get to where they are because they hustled their ass off alone. Do what you need to do to get you to where you want to be. No excuses or apologies.

Want to Know More?

Click on the links below to visit Lindsay’s website, follow her on social media, find the postcast and more:

www.lindsaydanielson.com

Instagram: @lindsay.danielson & @tagyst_podcast

Facebook & LinkedIn: Lindsay Danielson

For more on inspiring women in business, click over to our Hammersmith Support blog for other profiles.

This week’s blog focuses on our colleague and friend, Lyndsay Clements of Ellen Grace Marketing. We have worked with Lyndsay on countless projects, some remodels, some ground up builds – and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it! We know you’ll enjoy hearing about how she moved from the corporate marketing world to building her own company.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

women in blazer and denim shirt looks up smiling from computer ellen grace marketing


I grew up in Scottsdale and then went went to college in Northern CA (Santa Clara University).  I ended up in San Francisco for 10 years working mostly in corporate retail and then getting my MBA in Marketing before I relocated back to Phoenix for a job promotion.  I am inspired to help small business owners grow faster and more efficiently.  I have a business partner (Craig) who is also my brother.  Combined we bring over 30 years of corporate retail experience to our clients and are passionate about helping them accelerate their growth and increase profitability.

Why did you decide to start Ellen Grace Marketing?


Prior to starting this business in 2015, I worked for larger retailers and really learned the ins and out of retail.  Large companies are smart in how they look at their marketing and sales data, to help them make strategic decisions.

About 4 years ago, I started to realize – mostly through conversations with friends who had either opened up a retail store or were selling products and services online – that there was an opportunity.  Most smaller business owners were brilliant at sourcing products and really passionate about understanding their customers’ needs but sometimes neglected their marketing or analyzing sales data because they wore so many hats.

It was then that I decided to go out on my own and bring the corporate way of going-to-market I had learned into the hands of smaller businesses, primarily retailers.  This also gave me the opportunity to be more flexible and present with our family.  My husband and I have two daughters whose middle names are Ellen and Grace, hence the name of the company.  I wanted to create a business that gave me the flexibility to work hard while still being present for those valuable moments that I saw myself missing while working in a corporate office.

What is unique about your style and product offering?


While we are a marketing company at the core, we are hyper-focused on driving profits for our clients.  Marketing can bring customers in the door and drive sales, but at the end of the day there are so many factors that contribute to our clients’ bottom line.  Our reporting and data analytics encompass key figures that a typical marketer would not normally unveil.  These areas include profit margins, churn rates, customer lifetime value, customer & product segmentation, as well as taking a deeper dive into the Financials/P&L statements and helping businesses develop sales tracking and forecasting.

What advice would you give other women business owners?

Don’t be afraid of your business numbers and data.  It’s so empowering to know what’s working.  At the end of the day we only have so much bandwidth to execute our plans and having visibility to what’s working will help you stay focused on the right marketing efforts, make smarter decisions and ultimately increase sales & profits.

Contact Lyndsay at:

www.ellengracemarketing.com

@ellengracemarketing

Facebook

We absolutely love working with Jena and Blush Cactus. Jena’s vision for branding and marketing focuses on not only stunning visuals but also loads of other creative resources, as well as strategy planning for your business. Being like-minded women entrepreneurs, Hammersmith Support and Blush Cactus make the perfect team. We hope you enjoy learning about Jena and her company as much as we have.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I’m the owner and creative force behind Blush Cactus Boutique Design Studio. Like many people here in the greater Phoenix area, I’m a transplant. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota, went to college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and eventually settled here in AZ a little over 8 years ago.

As a business owner, I’ve learned the importance of personal development and it’s a big source of my inspiration and what keeps me going. I love listening to podcasts and reading books about business and self-development and I’m passionate about helping other creatives like myself navigate starting their own businesses or work it in supplementing their full time job with freelance. I love what I do, and I love helping others succeed doing what they love, too.

Why did you decide to start Blush Cactus?

I’ve been a graphic designer for over 12 years and a business owner for 5 of them. Originally my business started with my name on the door – Design by Jena. I know, so creative! But as my business has grown, I realized the need to scale my business and it isn’t just me doing all the work any more! I love being able to collaborate with other creatives to provide my clients with a variety of services I couldn’t do by myself, and also do it with the best of the best talent in their industries.

Soon we’ll be offering an online course that will help other creatives start their own businesses, coaching them how to get clients as well as the money they deserve. My hope and goal is to also create a community where creatives can find support and guidance from other people who are doing what they do. It can get lonely being a business owner and wearing all the hats, so having a community to lean into will help others feel like they’re not alone and have support. I’m super excited about that!

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I have a passion for making things beautiful and delivering an end result that the client didn’t even know they wanted or needed. Our team helps clients brand their businesses from the inside out, and create the all the supporting design assets to go along with it. A brand is so much more than a logo: it’s knowing who your customers are and how you want them to feel that makes a big difference. I care deeply about the success of my clients and operate by a set of values that is never compromised. It’s our secret sauce for creating loyal customers for life.

What advice would you give other women business owners?

Never stop learning! Find a mentor who you look up to – whether it’s books, influencers in your space, or even someone in-person who’s further along than you. Surround yourself with people who are doing big things and learn from them. Keep your eyes open for opportunity, but also learn the art of saying “no” when it’s appropriate. Take time to care for yourself and fill your own cup – as business owners we can get a little carried away working ALL the time (because we love it, duh!), but it’s just as important to take time off and regroup. Your creativity depends on it! Remember community over competition – it’s more important to be supportive than to try and compete to be the best. And remember that people will never forget the experience they had with your brand, so lead with that.

Follow and Connect with Jena and Blush Cactus:

www.cactusblush.com

@blush.cactus

https://www.facebook.com/blushcactus/

e.jena@cactusblush.com

p.480.540.7794

woman in pink head wrap and light blue suit Hera Hub Phoenix

We are huge fans (and clients) of Hera Hub! This female focused co-working space offers various forms and levels of office space for busy professionals that may not need a full office every single day. Whether it’s a quiet room to focus or shoot a video, meeting room, or a co-working space, Hera Hub has it all. What makes Hera Hub so special, is that it’s not just a business. Their mission is to foster women’s businesses and build up the community by providing productive work space and opportunities for collaboration. It is that mission that makes Hera Hub so special to us. We hope you enjoy reading about Shatha, the CEO of Hera Hub, Phoenix.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I was born in Homs, Syria, moved to Chicago as a young girl and settled in Phoenix as an adult. I’ve traveled the world, spending a lot of time in the Middle East. Witnessing so many diverse cultures throughout the world has been my inspiration to build figurative bridges across industries, communities, cities, and more. I believe women have innate capabilities and gifts that can bring people, families, cultures and minds together, once she has stepped into her full leadership potential.

Why did you decide to open Hera Hub Phoenix?

I stepped away from my corporate career knowing I wanted something different out of life. After soul searching, I founded a non-profit which became my full-time job. We began to grow our family and I found myself completely underwater managing the non-profit and our family. While in this state of chaos, I discovered Hera Hub and I was blown away by the concepts and their mission. I knew this is what I had been searching for; a space that allowed me to bring my passion for uniting women and fostering small business growth for our community.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I wanted to create a working environment that was not only conducive to business, but one that created calm inspiration. Hera Hub is just that; a zen, spa-inspired, productive work space.  A place where people come in and really feel that this is the office space they always wanted. Where they are surrounded by people that they can relate to, collaborate with, and be comfortable around doing business. Our space is flexible; it works well for both short visits for focus, to full days of work that require both quiet and collaboration. We offer meeting rooms, conference rooms, training rooms, and event space all in one location making it easy to accommodate many different levels of business.

In addition, Hera Hub is absolutely dedicated to our mission of supporting women in business.  We’ve partnered with many organizations and groups to pull resources and connections to provide and support women to thrive in Phoenix.  Our aim is to be that inclusive and diverse landing spot and launching pad for women in the valley!

What advice would you give other women business owners?

I would say to female business owners is to not underestimate yourself or undervalue yourself. I talk to many women who don’t want to highlight their accomplishments and share their wins.  If this is still uncomfortable for you, then write it down, have it on your website and your brand content.  Then, surround yourself with others that will not only cheer you on, but can also highlight and be your advocate.  You’ve worked hard for all the work that you’ve done and deserve the recognition!