Everywhere I turn, I hear the word “empowerment”. In the office, there is a plethora of training offered on the best ways to empower your employees or colleagues. Outside of the office, there are books on leadership and empowerment; however, there are few books and articles written that target how women in particular can learn to empower themselves AS WELL AS empower other women through words and actions. The more I noticed the absence of women-specific empowerment articles, blog posts, and books, the more I felt I had to write something about it.
Now, let me start by saying I'm no expert. I am simply a career-driven woman, wife, mother, and now, small business owner who believes a tribe of strong, supportive, ambitious, and courageous women can become uber powerful and make a change in this world when we all choose to band together, encourage, and support one another, rather than cutting each other down.
This post is not intended to be a step-by-step guide to becoming empowered. Instead, a post that shows through words and actions how I, Shayna, co-founder of Trinity Clothing, choose to rise the tide so that all boats are lifted.
The Artisan & Small Business Owner
Meet Tanya Filippova, owner of Tatiana Filippova Design. Tanya has an amazing story. One that is inspiring and illustrates that no matter your background, dreams can turn into a reality with dedication, hard work, and passion.
St. Petersburg is arguably one of the prettiest cities in the world. Tanya grew up there and was surrounded by art, music, architecture and if you are familiar with the history, there are many cultural influences as well. Interestingly, when it came to school, children and young adults did not have the opportunity to study what they were interested in. Instead, they completed a test and based on the results, a path was set for them. For Tanya, her path was logistics.
Tanya attended the University of St. Petersburg and graduated with a degree in Logistics. It was not until she came to America that she really started focusing on her artistic pursuits. She started focusing on jewelry and for the last 10 years, she has been creating wrap bracelets and other jewelry. For Tanya, she enjoys seeing the different colors come together in patterns and designs. From the chaos of the beads and stones and all the other materials that Tanya has available to make her bracelets, she always strives to create new and inspiring pieces. Tanya credits her education in logistics, which helps her manage the chaos of the beads to create a unique masterpiece. Tanya loves seeing how her jewelry inspires others and the joy it brings them. She hopes you are inspired and will love her bracelets.
Rising Tide: Women Business Owners – The Stats You NEED to Know
American Express conducted a study in 2017 about the State of Women-Owned Businesses. Though I was already familiar with the statistics between women-owned businesses vs. non-women owned, this study solidified how AMAZING women are and the NEED for more women-owned businesses.
The Short and Sweet:
- Women-owned businesses have grown 114% since 1997 vs. 44% of non-women owned businesses. Growth rate is more than 2.5 the national average
- As of January 2017, there were 11.9 million women-owned businesses in the US, which employ nearly 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenue. YES….that says “trillion”.
- The employment growth rate over the last 20 years was stronger for women-owned businesses than all other businesses: 27% vs. 13%
- Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the US
- In 2017, 1,821 net new women-owned businesses were launched every day. Women of color founded 64% of those new businesses
- Women-led organizations have higher increased profit margins than male led organizations. The profit margin increase is roughly 1 basis point.
- A study published by Credit Suisse 3000 identified that women led organizations have greater returns for shareholders
Empowered Women, Empower Other Women
Understanding that women-owned and led organizations are AMAZING and contribute $1.7 trillion in revenue annually as well as have generally better financial performance than non-women owned businesses. Here are a few tips to see those organizations flourish and become more of a staple in our society. We all rise by lifting others!
- Be purposeful. Seek out women-owned businesses
- Take the time to learn about these companies. If they have a website, visit it. Navigate to their “About” page. Understand their “why”, their mission and vision.
- Talk about these companies! Yes, you heard that right. Tell your friends, family, co-workers about these organizations. Talk about the women who started these businesses. Lift these women up.
- Follow them on social media and engage with them
- Choose to shop small. Sure Amazon is great, but what about the woman who owns a small tech company? What about her and her products or services? I bet you did not know that 62% of women-owned businesses rely on their business as the primary source of income. BUY FROM THESE COMPANIES!
- Hustle next to her. Be one of the 9 million employees whom work for amazing women.
- Write about them! This is not sponsored. I'm not getting paid or compensated for talking about Tanya from Tatiana Filippova Designs. Nope, I'm just practicing what I preach. I have a platform to talk about great women and I'm using it.
- Encourage entrepreneurship. Have a friend or family member wanting to start a business? Encourage her. Support her. Lend a hand. You could be the backbone to the next Apple or Google.
In summary, as women, we need to band together. Embrace all of our differences and show case what makes us unique and individual. Together we can build a beautiful tapestry. Together we can change the societal norm and women-owned and led businesses can become the rule, rather than the exception. Support, encourage, love, and empower!