Roundtable: Front Facing – When to Hire a PR team

Author Published July 29, 2018
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Roundtable: By The Book – Know Your Numbers

Author Published July 24, 2018
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Expert Mentoring Power Hours with Virginia Santy

Author Published July 23, 2018
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Legal Power Hours

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Event Recap

Software Tools for Efficiency & Scale

Author Brazen St. Louis Published July 18, 2018
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Brazen St. Louis was thrilled to host our very first Software Tools Event on Wednesday, June 27th! We kicked off the evening with a warm welcome from our Executive Director, Mindy Mazur, who introduced our wonderful tech experts: Alex Haimann from Less Annoying CRM, Mayda Barsumyan & Amiee Mertz from Technology Partners, and Jennifer Ehlen & Aimee Dunne from Brazen Global. They volunteered their time to help our hardworking sister CEOs learn various software programs* that they could integrate into their companies.  

It was a two block session event with a “crash course” in 5 different sample platforms from which to choose. Even if you couldn’t make it to the event, consider the following tools to more efficiently run your business: 

 

Customer Relationship Management (also know as a CRM) – Alex Haimann gave a brief demo of Less Annoying CRM, a tool to help track customers and potential customers in your sales pipeline. If you have lists in a million places, post-its out the wazoo or a stack of business cards gathering dust, a CRM could help you more efficiently connect with your customers.

 

A Better Way to Schedule – How many emails and hours have you wasted trying to align schedules and book meetings? Tools like Calendly can take the pain and time out of bookings.

 

Project Management – If you’re looking to get your to-do’s better organized and prioritized, Trello can help. Mayda Barsumyan & Amiee Mertz showed us how Trello’s projects using boards, lists and cards can keep projects on track.

 

One Stop Solution  – G Suite offers a better way to connect, create, access and control to business basics like email, documents and spreadsheets, all in one suite.

 

Information Gathering and Surveys – If your business requires to collect customer information or you’re looking to survey users, Typeform offers an easy-to-use solution and elegant consumer interface.

 

 

 

At the end of the event, it was unanimous — everyone learned something new and beneficial that they could apply to their business… and many were left wanting more.  We’re already thinking about setting up our next software tools event. Stay tuned! And as always #BeBold & #BeBrazen because #YoureTheCEO and #YouGotThis !

 

*Brazen St. Louis does not endorse any particular platform, but aims to introduce representative technologies and solutions to our members.

 

Looking for opportunities to learn more and meet your fellow female entrepreneurs? Check out our calendar for upcoming events. 

Brazen Events

Legal Power Hours with Sammetria Goodson

Author Published July 16, 2018
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Partner Event: Black Girl Ventures Summer Pitch Competition

Author Published July 12, 2018
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Event Recap

Is Retail Dead? No Way!

Author Brazen St. Louis Published July 11, 2018
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At another inspiring and engaging Brazen St. Louis Member Roundtable event — Is Retail Dead? No Way — we heard the relatable struggles AND success stories from two powerful and influential women entrepreneurs. Guests speakers included Kara Newmark, the Founder and President of Sweetology , a Do-It-Yourself cake and cookies decoration location and Tendai Morris, also known as The Hair Whisperer, who developed and trademarked her very own line of products and techniques.  

 

 

Kara, a former corporate lawyer, said once she began with her first startup there was no turning back. She took multiple leaps and encourages others to do the same. Even though you could fall on your face, which she bravely admitted experiencing a few times, when you end up flying, the payoff is extremely fulfilling. As the CEO of your business, you have to be constantly in control of your company, how it’s running, the decisions that are going to help it grow, and never being afraid of taking risks. Most of all, Kara mentions, you have to love what you do every day and have a strong network that is there to support you.  (At Brazen, we hope to always be that network for you!)

 

Tendai began her discussion by revealing that she expresses her artistry through hair, but she didn’t always know it at first. She started doing hair when she was 12 years old, under the supervision of her father, who was a barber. Tendai went on to cosmetology school and worked in salons and in the corporate world, but it was never the right fit. Once she started branching off and doing things her way she was able to discover new, safer, and gentler methods of hair treatment and it became her passion… and her business.  Her parting thoughts were: you must be flexible, don’t get so stuck on an idea that you miss other great opportunities, and most of all don’t give up, be persistent in your passions!

 

Both Kara and Tendai agreed that discipline is important for success in the retail world and that creating milestones, feedback loops, and accountability (Growth Groups, anyone?!) can help you move your business forward.

 

Being specifically designed to be a small gathering, Roundtables are created to be a safe space to feel comfortable asking any questions related to your business no matter what stage you’re at, without any sign of judgment.  The “Is Retail Dead? No Way” Roundtable was made possible with support from Anders CPAs + Advisors, and Stephanie Spangler of their firm welcomed the group kicked off the event. It was a fun night that including learning, laughter and, yes – cupcakes!

 

Looking for opportunities to learn more and meet your fellow female entrepreneurs? Check out our calendar for upcoming events. 

Brazen Events

Roundtable: Time for a Desk, or an Office of Your Own? Negotiating Real Estate Contracts

Author Published July 9, 2018
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Being Brazen

Being Brazen with KT Speetzen

Author KT Speetzen Published July 3, 2018
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Tenacity and daring to do things differently. KT Speetzen, of Mother Cluckers Comedy, LLC, tells us how she used these two “superpowers” to go from stay-at-home mom to CEO.  KT Speetzen

 

My company, Mother Cluckers Comedy, LLC is itself a brazen act. I founded my company 18 months ago as a response to soul-crushing creative boredom as the mother of two young children in the suburbs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but Girl. As a woman who’s worked her ass off since she heard in 9th grade what it took to get into the college of my dreams (and my eventual alma mater), Northwestern University, I’ve never stopped working. Or figuring out weird paths. I’ve been in the stand-up comedy community since my teens, and my first career was behind the scenes in documentary television.

 

Despite being on a team that was nominated for an Emmy, I followed my love of teaching to earn my Masters in Education, and eventual National Boards Certification, to teach Middle School for the Chicago Public Schools. I *loved* teaching, especially for the age group that is roughly my maturity level. However, once my eldest daughter was born in 2011, I made the decision that staying home was the best for my family at the time. And for the next five years I became a stay-at-home Mom.

 

While having baby time with my kids was a gift, at other times it was soul-crushing. I thrive on community, collaboration, and leadership. And my kids are just starting to get sarcasm seven years later. So, after re-entering the Chicago comedy scene, I realized two things: my kids woke up too early in the morning for me to be hanging out exclusively at open mic nights, and there was no opportunity for female comics to perform in the Chicago suburbs.

 

With that, I pounded the pavement and cold called numerous businesses in person and found a home for both the show and after party for my stand-up and storytelling troupe, The Mother Cluckers.

KT Speetzen

 

The mass majority of the businesses I approached turned me down, even though I would be providing them with free entertainment and a way to drive increased foot traffic. I held firm, however, and found two amazing organizations to partner with.

 

My first show consisted of three new comics that I had pulled from my daughter’s Kindergarten playground class, two of which are now pursuing their own comedy careers through classes and national bookings. I’m extremely proud to have provided an outlet for these women’s creativity and to give them support to share gifts they weren’t aware they had.

 

We now have over 30 women from the Chicagoland area performing with The Mother Cluckers, some who have been featured on Netflix, Last Comic Standing, and headline at Zanie’s. I’m additionally proud that The Mother Cluckers have a reputation of one of the best shows for talent: I pay my comics well above scale, and ensure they are cared for when they perform.

 

I was so excited by the birth of The Mother Cluckers because it showed me that my love for educating and encouraging others could meld with this next phase of my life. It also proved that my superpower — my tenacity — will continue to get me anywhere I want to go.

 

My advice to other female entrepreneurs? The no’s you hear today don’t translate into the no’s of tomorrow. Keep tweaking, keep asking, keep pushing. You will find your open door sooner than you think, and it will launch you into places you can’t imagine.

 

During the past year, I’ve branched out into corporate storytelling training, and my company is exploding in ways I didn’t think was imaginable.

 

KT Speetzen is a comedic storytelling strategist, who helps organizations leverage storytelling to increase sales, attract and retain clients, and increase workplace happiness. In addition, KT produces a monthly stand-up and storytelling show, The Mother Cluckers. A 20+ year veteran stand-up comic, KT has told stories through both documentary television production and as a Master Educator for Chicago Public Schools middle school students and Illinois State University teaching fellows. She’s here to help you Find Your Funny™.

 

Want to meet more incredible women like KT? Consider becoming a Brazen Member. 

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