Women Who Own It

Nan Bush of Nanland

Women Who Own It

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Nan Bush

 


President & Founder of Nanland

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What inspired you to start your business?

After years of searching, I finally found the perfect roaster for my coffee. I wanted only single origin, organically grown and certified beans to bring you great socially responsible coffee. 

Nanland specializes in certified organic single origin coffee packaged in single serve cups. Our coffees are carefully sourced, evaluated and approved by expert Q Arabica Graders licensed by the Coffee Quality Institute assuring you that nanland is indeed premium 100% Arabica coffee.

What is behind the name?

When our daughter, Allison was young, I noticed her writing in a notebook. When asked she said, “Mom, you live in your own little world.  You live in nanland.  I’m writing down all the crazy things you say and some say I’ll publish my Notes from Nanland.”  Allison died suddenly at age 24, her notebook disappeared, and we thought it was gone. While preparing for a move, we found her notebook bringing us both laughter and tears. Our company name keeps her memory and sense of humor alive.

What three traits define you?

Persistence, organization, Christ centered

What women inspire you?

Nikki Haley, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business? 

Provided a differentiating entry point to businesses.

What do you love about being a business owner?

Working for myself. 

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

There are threats that can significantly impact my business that I have no control over – political upheaval, weather damage to coffee crops.

How do you define success?

Being able to spend my time the way I want to.

What are you reading or listening to now?

I am a member of a book club and we read one new book a month.  The one I enjoyed the most in the last 12 months is “Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I Love.”  My husband and I have lost two children and this book rings true as we grieve their deaths.

What’s the best way to start your day?

I get up and make myself a cup of nanland coffee and sit and read the Bible and then pray with my husband.  It focuses my mind on what is important, gives me the opportunity to be thankful for my many blessings and to pray for those people in my life that are important to me especially those that need God’s blessing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I wanted to be an elementary school teacher.   I loved my elementary school teachers and they were my earliest role models.  I wanted to be like them and help young people appreciate the joy of learning.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... say a prayer. 
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... have more fun along the way. 
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... love, and a glass of wine at the end of the day. 
By this time next year, I will be... unpacked. My husband and I just moved into our new home. 
The best thing that happened to me last week was... I got a diagnosis and treatment plan for chronic pain. 
To get my creative juices flowing, I... exercise. 

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About nanland

Nanland Organic Coffee, a single origin, organically grown and certified beans to bring you great socially and nutritionally responsible coffee. 

Learn more. 

Jordan Windschauer Amatea of Base Culture

Women Who Own It

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Jordan Windschauer Amatea

 


CEO & Founder of Base Culture

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What inspired you to start your business?

I developed the original Base Culture recipes to satisfy my own cravings after I completed a 30-day paleo challenge with my Crossfit gym. I found that I loved this lifestyle, however, my sweet tooth was the one thing that kept me from staying 100% true to the paleo lifestyle. After coming up empty handed searching for Paleo friendly baked goods, I researched the fine details of paleo approved baking and began to create recipes I enjoyed. Sharing my creations with others opened my eyes to what these products provided to so many people. Not only did these products provided delicious dessert alternatives that could be consumed by those with celiac disease or gluten intolerances, they were simply good products for everyone to enjoy. Once I saw how the products I created for myself were changing peoples’ lives, it was my goal to provide these products to everyone all over the nation to ultimately make Base Culture a household name.

What three traits define you?

I would say three traits that define me are determination, passion and loyalty.

What women inspire you?

The woman that inspires me the most is my mom. She started a business in her early twenties that became a big success. Once she got pregnant with my older brother, she sold her company and became focused on being a mom. She gave birth to 8 children throughout the next twenty years of her life, and just recently graduated with a doctorate in Eastern Medicine.  She is the definition of inspiration.  

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Don't every let anything stop you from achieving your goals. You should just put one foot in front of the other every day, and never stop.

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business? 

Being involved in the WBENC organization as a certified WBE has allowed me to form relationships and network with many organizations such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, PepsiCo and Kellogg's. Without this organization, I would have never been able to form the relationships that I have with these large corporations. 

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

As the concept of paleo continues to gain acceptance through all retail channels on a national level, I believe there will be many new emerging brands and products that grasp onto this concept. In looking at 2018/2019, I believe the biggest trend that is on the horizon is smaller, grab & go style paleo products that taste as if they were homemade using only the highest quality ingredients, without preservatives or chemicals in a single serve, convenient style packaging for the busy millennial who is always running from one thing to the next.

What do you love about being a business owner?

I love the opportunity to create something new to the industry that can bring joy to peoples’ lives. Being a business owner is wonderful, however it always comes back to the passion I have for my products, and how they are influencing people every day.

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

The hardest part of being a business owner is the fact that business never stops. There are moving parts in a business 24/7, every day of the year. It is hard to put down the work and walk away to maintain a personal life. However, I truly believe that a successful business owner is well balanced with family and friends that understand their daily demands.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

Absolutely everything.

What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?

The biggest obstacle I see for young female entrepreneurs is the fear of failing, or the idea of not being enough for the job. The fact is, a person only fails if they give up. Additionally, a person is not enough if that individual truly believes that. Young entrepreneurs need to believe in themselves and pursue their passions no matter what challenges get in their way.

How do you define success?

I used to say that when we make X amount of money we would be successful. However, the day we hit that X dollar amount, the goal then changed to something twice as much. It was after this happened about 5 times that I realized that success is not measured by the amount of money you are making. Rather, it is measured by the difference you are making in other peoples’ lives along the way. 

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

The best career advice I have ever received is to view each challenge I face as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Altering my perspective to fit this mindset was life changing.

What’s your favorite career moment?

My favorite career moment was our very first day in our newly built 44,000 square foot manufacturing plant. It took us two years to build this facility. The first day we officially moved in was something magical filled with so much potential.

What are you reading or listening to now?

I just finished the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This is a book about the importance of mindfulness and how transformative it can be in both business and your daily lives.

What’s the best way to start your day?

I start my day with a 15-minute meditation as soon as I get to the office. I believe this really sets a positive tone for me, and how I want my day to go.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... make a plan, and move forward. 
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... to let go of the fear. It will always be scary, but that is a good thing because it means that you still have something to lose. 
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... my husband who supports me and my dreams every day. 
By this time next year, I will be... continue working towards expanding distribution into all of stores in the USA. 
The best thing that happened to me last week was... spending quality time with my family for my sisters 22nd birthday. 
To get my creative juices flowing, I... get a good night sleep, and turn on some music at the office to get in the zone.  

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About BASE CULTURE

Base Culture is revolutionizing the way consumers look at paleo products by creating the very best tasting almond butters, breads, brownies and granola using a blend of clean, real ingredients. Consumers are embracing paleo products for a variety of reasons, including physical well-being, food sensitivities and sustainability, and Base Culture is at the forefront of creating products that are satisfying this demand without sacrificing on taste. Base Culture's are 100 percent Paleo-certified, certified gluten-free, kosher certified, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and non-GMO verified that are conveniently located in the frozen food aisle.

Learn more. 

Gina Allen of Birlon Sacs

Women Who Own It

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Gina Allen

 


President and CEO of Birlon Sacs

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What inspired you to start your business?

My son and a group of his high school and college friends decided to start a travel group. After every return, he spoke about how travelers bags all looked the same and how everyone was trying to charge-up their phones. After his third excursion, I said: “We are starting a luggage company.” He said with much excitement, “Ok, Mom, I'm in!”

What women inspire you?

My mother spent my entire life making a change in my community, always focused on the education and support of youth and seniors. In 1985 she started her non-profit. She had after-school programs, tutoring, clothing closet, food pantry, and summer programs. She wanted to provide the service where the service was needed. She networked with senior volunteers, the public school districts in the area, the city, public housing and family neighborhood services.  I watched, supported my mother, and learned that I will use my voice for those who are not being heard.

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business? 

I have had the opportunity to network with some of the country's empowered female entrepreneurs. I am devoting a lot of effort to building strong relationships within the WBENC community. I value these relationships that have led to strong friendships.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

Technology. The travel industry is realizing that today's travelers have a need to be connected. Everyone has an electronic device -- cell phone, laptop, or tablet. Birlon Sacs is part of that cutting edge – 55 percent of our products have technology.

What do you love about being a business owner?

Believe it or not, feedback. I enjoy talking to business women learning about their journey and asking customers to be brutally honest about my product. This feedback is necessary for me to give the customer what they want.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

What's next. I must stay ahead to get ahead.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Sleep. Being a small business owner, there's never enough time to sleep. Five more minutes please!

What are you reading or listening to now?

Everyone's in Sales by Todd Cohen

What’s the best way to start your day?

I start and end everyday with yoga. Yoga is a total mind, body and spiritual connection. It's a dog-eat-down-dog world out there and you've got to have your body in shape and ready for whatever comes your way.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... focus on the problem, switch the approach to find the solution.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... start on your business in your 30s.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... my son. His honesty and support is what makes it all worthwhile.
By this time next year, I will be... hiring more staff, giving back to my community and moving into great prosperity.
The best thing that happened to me last week was...  Going to the Walmart Open Call. I've formed some great relationships with some positive business owners that I can say have inspired me to reach pass the stars.
To get my creative juices flowing, I... go to the mall, train station or downtown and people watch.

         

   

   

About Birlon Sacs

Birlon Sacs are inspired by globetrotters who explore the World. Travel bags for the 21st Century traveler who appreciates our company's uniqueness, organization, durable and finely crafted travel essentials and accessories. Birlon Sacs are designed for travel, business, school, and everywhere in between.

Learn more. 

Alina Kravchenko of SwipenSnap by Better Way Goods

Women Who Own It

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Alina Kravchenko


Founder and CEO of SwipenSnap, by Better Way Goods

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What inspired you to start your business?

I had always wanted to invent products and run my own company, I just didn’t know what to start with. It was when I had my son that I was faced with the challenge of taking care of him while balancing my career that it all came together and my idea of SwipenSnap came to life.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Walk into your fears, if you are scared of making a mistake - make it. If you are scared of being alone - be alone. If you are scared of asking for help - ask. And stop making excuses for why you can’t do something, there will always be roadblocks and sometimes very high walls - be a bulldozer

What three traits define you? 

  • Determined - I go for whatever I set my mind to and don’t let anything or anyone stop me.
  • Optimistic - I can always find the positive out of every situation.
  • Creative - I have a passion for bringing ideas to life.

What are the biggest obstacles you see facing young female entrepreneurs?

Themselves, their mindsets and what they think they can’t do or accomplish. So many women have the skills and abilities to go beyond what they can even imagine, but they often limit themselves by not being confident and not believing that they can do anything they put their minds to.

What do you love about being a business owner?

The ability to constantly learn and grow, not just in the business but as an
individual. I really love the challenge of trying to find solutions and
strategies to all of the different situations that arise

How do you define success?

A healthy balance between, a career that you are passionate about, spending quality time with people (that you love who bring you up and empower you) all while nurturing your body mind and spirit.

What’s the best way to start your day?

With gratitude for the simple things in life - warm bed, clean water and hugs!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An inventor that runs my own company and a painter.

How do you unwind after a long workday?

Yoga, run and mediate.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... run through it like a bulldozer!  
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... everything
is going to be awesome..  
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... right now it is my
mom, she is truly and angel.
By this time next year, I will be... launching another
invention.
The best thing that happened to me last week was... receiving a really sweet email from a happy customer and a hug from
my son.
To get my creative juices flowing, I... go on a nature walk
or run.

         

   

   

About Swipensnap

SwipenSnap™ is a Rash Cream Applicator. Invented by a mother that dreamed of helping parents with the problems associated with applying diaper rash ointment onto their babies bottom, by allowing the them to keep their hands clean and baby safe.

Learn more. 

Tiffany Cartwright of Amarra Products

Women Who Own It

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Tiffany Cartwright


Owner and Founder
Amarra Products

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What inspired you to start your business?

My daughter was born with eczema and I refused to treat her skin with steroids and decided to mix natural remedies instead. And they worked!  I would give scrubs away as birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day gifts until someone encouraged me to share this product with the world as the world needs it!

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Never take NO for an answer!

What three traits define you?

Resilient, determined, hard-working.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

The excitement of watching my dreams unfold right before my very eyes!

What do you love about being a business owner?

I love the freedom and flexibility afforded and the opportunity to work harder for yourself than any employer, as well as being in a position to bring real change.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Never give up on your business, your dreams, your purpose or your vision.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Work my business.

What are you reading or listening to now? 

Think and Grow Rich and Earl Nightingale

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... remain focused and positive while determining the best strategy for overcoming it.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... there is no obstacle you will face that you cannot overcome.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... GOD!
By this time next year, I will be... a multi-millionaire soon to be billionaire business owner!
The best thing that happened to me last week was... being afforded the opportunity to talk to buyers from Whole Foods and Target and being selected for Walmart Open Call 2018!
To get my creative juices flowing, I... RUN!

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About Amarra Products

Amarra Naturals' mission is to provide high quality chemical free, all natural body scrubs and bath salts products promoting timeless, ageless beauty using all natural and organic ingredients. No chemicals. No additives. No preservatives. No animal testing. No artificial colors.

Learn more. 

Carol Gilbert of Fairy LiceMothers

Women Who Own It

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Carol Gilbert


Co-Owner of Fairy LiceMothers

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What inspired you to start your business?

I started Fairy LiceMothers 10 years ago with 2 business partners. Based on our experience as mothers, we saw a definite need in the community for a business like this. Lice letters were sent home daily in our children’s backpacks. Once I started doing my own research on lice I noticed so much misinformation out there that led families to unnecessarily panic.  This inspired my partners and I to do something about it. I found a lice research center and committed to getting educated on the real facts. I was eager to start this business and educate the community on the real facts about lice, to offer a service that will guarantee results, and to provide the community with non-toxic products that work.

Clients have the choice of having us do their treatment or they can purchase the same non-toxic products we use and we show them how to do the treatment themselves.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

First and foremost, I would urge that they are passionate and believe in themselves. Additionally, I would advise other women entrepreneurs to concentrate on their own goals, more than what the competition is doing. Emphasize what sets you apart from the competition and always be honest and patient with clients. 

What three traits define you? 

  • I believe I am resilient. When things are going perfectly that’s great but, how problems are dealt with are more important. 
  • Time management is also very important to me. I have a knack for gauging how much time things will take and making sure never to be late for an appointment.
  • I’ve been told that I have a lot of patience. Patience is key when dealing with frantic moms. You hear the same story over and over and you have to repeat the same information to each and every client. Sometimes I feel like a broken record but it’s the only way to get the real facts communicated to the public.

What women inspire you? 

I would have to say Oprah is my biggest inspiration. She started with nothing and not only rose to the top, she did it with class, never compromising on her integrity. I have never heard a negative story about her. 

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?

We are newly certified WBE and we are still getting our arms around how to fully leverage the certification. I fully believe it will pay dividends for Fairy LiceMothers as we look to expand our footprint. We are going to the WBENC National Convention in June and hope to catch the eye of CVS and other big box pharmacies. Our product is non-toxic and should be on the shelves of every pharmacy for people to have a non-toxic option for lice removal.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

We are noticing the negative stigma of lice is slowly going away.  At least in our community where we provide the service. I feel that this local trend is a direct result from all of the education we have provided in our community.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

The biggest problem with this industry is that you never know when the phone will ring. We have 4 locations that are open 7 days a week. The biggest challenge is the staff appropriately. We want to give employee hours but we can’t have them sitting around when it’s not busy. I have lost many nights sleep over this dilemma.

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

When you are a business owner, the day is never over. You have to make a conscience effort to end the day. Having a full personal life is also important.

How do you define success?

People usually define success by how much money they have accumulated. I define success by how many people leave my business with a smile on their face and peace of mind that the issue was taken care of properly. I believe if you are passionate about what you do the financial success will follow. Don’t look for a job that makes a lot of money. Do what you love and it will all fall into place.

What’s the best way to start your day?

I love starting my day by going to the gym. After exercising I have a ton of energy and my mind is clear.   Physical fitness goes hand in hand with mental acuity.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a child I loved styling my dolls hair. I remember telling my dad I wanted to be a hair stylist and the response was, “No, you are going to college.” I’m not a hair stylist per say… but doing lice treatments is another way of working with hair.  I did take my father’s advice; I went to college and graduated with a degree in MIS. I then spent 20 years in corporate America managing a technical support group. It’s ironic how after all this time I ended up working with hair.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... pour myself into learning everything there is to know about this challenge and then step up and tackle it.  
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... to take more pictures, eat healthy, and savor the special moments.  
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... mental clarity.
By this time next year, I will be... getting ready for my daughter to go to college.
The best thing that happened to me last week was... relaxing on Miami Beach.
To get my creative juices flowing, I... search the internet for ideas.  

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About Fairy LiceMothers

Fairy LiceMothers are dedicated to eliminating the persistent lice problem and educating the community on the use of safe and effective lice treatment methods. We utilize the proven Shepherd Method™ for effective lice and nit removal without the use of chemicals or harmful pesticides. We offer a personalized, guaranteed safe and effective lice removal treatment that will ease the minds of families dealing with this devastating problem. We help keep children in school and help parents get back to a normal life. We use the finest non-toxic treatment products to remove, repel and prevent lice that are affordable and easy to use. Learn more. 

Laxmi Hiremath of Laxmi's Delights

Women Who Own It

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Laxmi Hiremath

Founder & CEO of Laxmi's Delights

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What inspired you to start your business?

I was looking for ways to create healthy school lunches for my children. I combined flaxseed with other ingredients and smeared them on sandwiches. They turned out to be a favorite with my children as well as their PBJ-loving friends. So much so that they began trading their turkey sandwiches to our sandwiches. A unique line of exquisitely delicious Flaxseed Spreads was born. My business is an accidental business!

What three traits define you? 

I am focused, very energetic, and of course very mindful of just about everything. It has made me a better person.

What do you love about being a business owner?

My space and my own time. I do find time to volunteer when I can and give back to the community, as that’s very important to me.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?

I am driven and very creative! I am always thinking and innovating several things at the same time in my mind. 

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?

It has most definitely helped me getting into large accounts such as Costco Wholesale, Kroger, and Safeway.

What's your favorite career moment?

When my business was selected by the San Francisco Super Bowl 50 Host Committee as a preferred business; designated as Small Business Advocate and Leadership Council at the National Small Business Association (NSBA); and awarded a scholarship by Google to attend the Tuck Executive Education. Laxmi’s Delights is also a two-time recipient of Outstanding Product Innovation, Specialty Food Association, and recipient of Best New Functional Food Gulf Food International Awards, Dubai. These are my favorite moments!

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I am a workaholic. I have been one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s most popular food writers for two decades. My highly acclaimed cookbook is called "The Dance of Spices," and published by Wiley. I would use the extra time to write more books. My first hobby, however, is oil painting and I have created over 200 paintings as a youngster. I would love to immerse myself with paints, palette, and canvas!

What’s the best way to start your day?

First, I remind myself of the awareness, then gratitude and mindfulness of my surroundings. My morning drink consists of hot water with fresh lime juice, ginger juice and tad honey. I continue my day with yoga and meditation. In meditation or in silence I find most inventiveness and originality.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I...pause first and think it through.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... be that carefree teenager. 
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... bread, all kinds, French sweet loaf, croissants, herb laced focaccia and biscuits!
By this time next year, I will be... expanding with more product lines!
The best thing that happened to me last week was... it was my special day, birthday, and my family surprised me with celebrations!
To get my creative juices flowing, I... take the time out to be with nature, jog during the day and get refreshed!

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About Laxmi's Delights

Laxmi’s Delights manufactures award winning, unique food product lines that are nutritious and delicious! At Laxmi’s Delights, our mission is simple — We Value Wellness! We manufacture diverse all natural, gluten free, organic, non-GMO, gourmet lines of one-of-a-kind Flaxseed Spreads, Sweet Spiced Roasted Nuts and Specialty Curries. Products are proudly made in California. Learn more.