Welcome to “Meet Brazen Member” an exclusive Brazen series featuring our Brazen Members. We are excited to share a little bit of their professional and personal stories with you!
Teresa Densmore is a Team Brazen Member and the director of Art Restart, a social enterprise which provides opportunities for women experiencing poverty to transform their lives through the sales of their art. Art Restart is a business of The Gathering Place, Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women, children and transgender individuals experiencing poverty.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The women we serve. Our artists are women experiencing poverty, some of whom are homeless. We provide opportunities for them to use their artistic talents to earn money. By helping them sell their designs, we enable them to take charge of their futures.
What do you love most about being the boss?
Paying our artists. For every product purchased, they receive a royalty check. It’s the most tangible experience of impact I can imagine.
Which of your personal attributes do you think equips you the most to be an entrepreneur and why?
My “get it done” attitude! And understanding that my “perfectionist” tendencies don’t mesh well with my entrepreneurship identity. Sometimes it’s best to just get it out there and adjust as you go versus waiting and waiting for it to be perfect.
What is the hardest part about being a female entrepreneur and how do you overcome it?
In my experience, the hardest part is meeting people who assume I don’t know anything about business. Well, I definitely know my business, my vision, and what it’s going to take to succeed. My passion for what I do eventually shows people I know about business. But the areas where I’m not an expert (hello financial scenarios), I seek out people to help me create rock star materials to prove I know what I’m talking about.
What is your favorite piece of business advice?
“Attract and repel.” Focus on those who are attracted to your business and don’t spend energy on those that don’t get it. The ones who do are much more important to the success of your business. Don’t be everything to everyone. Courtesy of Olivia Omega, Director of Brazen Denver.
What is your favorite app/software that helps you with productivity?
Asana helps me track progress on all of my projects.
What is your preferred accounting software?
What service does your company outsource?
What is your favorite business / startup podcast?
What is the first position you hired?
What is the most important piece of technology your company uses?
What is your favorite book?
One skill you’d like to learn this year?
How to make a solid pitch.
What business woman or woman-led business do you admire and why?
Women’s Bean Project. A Denver social enterprise which hires chronically unemployed women and teaches them job skills. They sell great soup products while providing opportunities for women to become self-sufficient.
What is your favorite non-work related hobby?
Exploring new microbreweries!
What is your favorite quote?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine
Who from history would you most like to meet and why?
Jane Addams. She’s known as the mother of social work and devoted her life to women’s issues. I’d love to speak face to face about her philosophies.
How do you relax after a long day? Is there a small luxury you treat yourself to?
I listen to KUVO! A radio station in Denver which plays nonstop jazz and blues. On especially long days, I add a glass of wine to the listening session!
Besides social media and news sites, what website do you check often?
Evernote. My husband and I organize and share interesting articles with each other.
If you had an extra hour in every day, how would you use it?
Yoga and meditation to focus and refresh my mind.
How did you hear about Brazen and why did you decide to sign up as a member?
My colleague, Olivia Omega, was asked to launch Brazen in Denver and offered an opportunity for me to get involved. I am excited about Brazen because my company is in the growth stage and Brazen’s focus is a perfect fit for me right now.
How has being a Brazen Member impacted or changed your business?
The people! I have met so many amazing people! I’m building a strong community of women who support each other. I’m leaning from my colleagues and that has helped me improve my business and opened up opportunities and strategies I didn’t know about.
How has your business grown since you joined Brazen?
The exposure I have received by being part of this group is amazing. We’re heading into our busiest time of the year and my connections have positioned us to have our best holiday season yet.
Have you become more bold since becoming a Brazen Member?
Yes! Having this community of support has empowered me to think even bigger!
What is the #1 benefit you feel you receive as a Brazen member?
The reciprocation of ideas and feedback. I now have a built-in community where I can receive feedback but I also have the chance to give back to our community and help others think through challenges. It’s a win-win!
Want to meet more incredible women like Teresa? Consider becoming a Brazen Member.