When we support women, we support our collective economic growth. Over the years, female empowerment has become a top priority for many companies--and there's good reason for it. Women-owned businesses account for 30% of all new businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.5 trillion in revenue and employing over 7.9 million workers. The numbers don't lie. The world needs more female entrepreneurs!
In honor of Women's History Month, we reached out to our awesome Domi ladies to talk about their entrepreneurial experience. This is what they had to say:
Carolyn Reoyo | Proper Channel
My entrepreneurial journey began in August 2015 as a web development intern at Proper Channel. Coming from a pharmaceutical background and being new to the startup culture, I have to say the experience so far has been life changing! William, our CEO, has been incredibly supportive and helpful. I have learned more in this internship than I have in the majority of classes I've taken in college.
In January of this year, I attended SwampHacks, the annual Hackathon at the University of Florida. This was the first time some of my teammates and I had attended an event like this. When we arrived, I noticed we were the only all-female group out of 350 participants. It was very weird having to almost be a representative of my gender. It made it very obvious to me that we need more female participation.
Because I'm a full-time student and a pharmacy technician, I usually come to Domi after-hours. As a female, there aren't many places in Tallahassee where I feel safe going to at night, but I have never felt unsafe or unwelcome at Domi. If I could give any woman looking into entrepreneurship advice, I would say do what makes you happy and take risks! The bigger regrets most people have are missed opportunities.
Christine Urban | UberOps and Domi Station
Entrepreneurship was a natural fit for me. I've always been on a relentless search to find a scalable business model that I can be a part of. At the moment I am working with UberOps and I lead the Get Started Cohort in customer discovery at Domi Station.
What attracted me to entrepreneurship was the people. I connect very well with disrupters, rebels, and go getters. I like intellectuals who like to get things done. Also, it's great when you don't have to wait around for anyone and just do your thing! The experience so far has been very difficult but at the same time very rewarding.
As a female entrepreneur I have noticed that my ideas don't always get taken seriously and I often get talked over or interrupted. Sometimes I resort to planting the seed in a male colleague's mind and let them take ownership. Sad, but a strategy I have employed at times because it ultimately gets the job done.
Domi has been a great place for me. I feel like it's a very safe and supportive place. The people that I have met and the level of expertise I have been exposed to is really astounding. If I could give any woman a piece of advice in entrepreneurship is think bigger! Work on a business model that involves technology and scale up.
Pamela Jones-Smith | Bernexis Construction & Development, LLC
I've always been an entrepreneur. It's in my blood! Right now I'm a certified general contractor and certified roofing contractor, and before that I was a realtor. I'd say being an entrepreneur is challenging but so worth it. As a female entrepreneur you face many challenges. You hear things like "you're a girl in what people call a man's world". But that does't bother me. I'm just going to kick those challenges with my high heels on!
Although I don't rent a space in Domi, I have been there to meet other entrepreneurs who are members. The experience is always great. It's a very welcoming environment for everyone. My advice to future female entrepreneurs is in the words of Joel Osteen "Stay prayerful, stay strong, stay focused and dedicated to your dream. God will take you places you never even dreamed of".
Alissa Rudloe | Train. Fight. Win. Tallahassee and Total Knockout, LLC
Entrepreneurship won me over when I realized I could be my own boss and embrace my creativity. I am only attracted to things that have a purpose. With my day job at the State of Florida, I work towards stopping crime. As a co-owner of Train. Fight. Win. Tallahassee and Total Knockout, LLC, I am motivated to install confidence in other women.
Being a female entrepreneur definitely has its good and bad days. I've had to give up a lot to gain a lot, but it's all been worth it so far. I wouldn't change it for the world! From where I was 10 years ago to the woman I am today, I can see a more confident version of myself. One of the challenges I often face in this industry is when people come into the gym and immediately assume I'm the front desk girl or part of the marketing team. Once I tell them I own the gym, alongside with my husband, they are either shocked or impressed. Same goes with any encounters we have with people when we're out. They tend to only address him rather than both of us. I don't let it bother me and it really helps that my husband is incredibly supportive and treats me as an equal in the business.
My experience with Domi has been pretty good! Barbara Wescott from Point Catcher has been the most welcoming woman I have encountered and I thank her for making me feel at home so quickly. My best advice for any woman looking into entrepreneurship is don't wait! Do it. It will be the most fulfilling career path you could take. You are a warrior queen and the world better watch out! Here's one of my favorite quotes: "I'm not bossy. I'm the boss".
Barbara Wescott | Point Catcher
I've been an entrepreneur for a long time. Whether flipping houses, creating a vacation rental company, or now with Point Catcher, creating the world's best loyalty points platform! I think what inspired me to follow this path is the MacGyver spirit. The "where there's a will, there's a way" mentality. The act of figuring things out and finding a way to make good things happen is what excited me.
Even though entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things I have ever done, it has toughen me out, helped me grow as a person, and connected me to amazing people. For that I am incredibly thankful. One of the challenges I see for female entrepreneurship is that there aren't more women entrepreneurs. Having more women helps change the culture, which benefits the entire entrepreneurial community. As both a female founder and the very first company admitted to Domi Station, it has been a pleasure to watch the growth of women in our startup community. With such a female friendly environment here at Domi the future is bright!
Right now there are ample efforts and incentives to attract talented women. So, whether you want to start your own business or bring your talents to an existing team or company, know that the entrepreneurial community want and needs you! How do you start? My advice, sign up for domistation.com/getstarted and Get Started with some training under your belt, surrounded by a community that wants you to succeed.
Christina Todd | C. Todd Designs
C. Todd Designs is my first entrepreneurial endeavor. Before that, I was working at a local architect firm as a designer for about a year. I was also lucky enough to work with another private architect in town, who is now my mentor and a great supporter of my work. The entrepreneurial experience so far has been really great. Even though it has been hard and it will continue to be, it's really nice being your own boss.
Being a female in what seems to be a male dominated industry, I feel like you face innate challenges. But, as a young entrepreneur, proving my work has been important when working with new clients. Being affiliated with Domi has really helped my company as well. People instantly recognize the Domi brand and it gives my startup a modern image and vibe that resonates with clients right away, which I really like.
My advice to any woman looking into entrepreneurship is just got for it! Seriously, if you have any doubt about an aspect of your business, it will all work out, and probably better than expected. As long as you do great work, find a market and product people want, and most importantly have good intentions, it will be the best decision you've made in your life.
Sabrina Torres | Domi Station
I never thought of entrepreneurship as an option until I started working at Domi. I come from an advertising background where all you hear is "move to New York City as soon as you graduate!". I used to only look forward to working for an advertising agency, but now with my job as Domi's marketing and event coordinator, I want more.
Entrepreneurship is really hard. I would never tell anyone it's easy. However, it is very rewarding. I love being able to help startups get where they need to be and just watch them succeed. There is also more flexibility in this environment. I have never felt scared to try something new, because I'm always encouraged to experiment and be creative. Female entrepreneurship definitely has its challenges. There's a silly stereotype that entrepreneurship is a "man's world", but that's not true at all. The best part is when you find places like Domi and realize that the stereotype is just that - a dumb, factless stereotype. This community provides a very welcoming environment full of people who just want to see everyone grow!
I know this will sound cliché, but if I could give any advice to women looking into entrepreneurship I would say just do it! Stop thinking so much about it and go for it. Things will never go exactly as planed, so you might as well figure it out as you go and learn from the experience.