Imagine a world where every woman-owned shop is filled with customers from open to close, and women-owned products fly from the shelves in a frenzy of women supporting other women. This beautiful reality is possible, but only with our help!
This year, we’re providing a listing of a few woman-owned businesses and products you can consider for your holiday gift-giving. These [lightly edited] recommendations were submitted by our community, either the owners or valued patrons of the brands mentioned here.
Use this resource as a starting point to learn about opportunities to support women in business, but being a great advocate doesn’t end with a one-time visit. Seeking out opportunities throughout the year will help these companies thrive, grow, and scale to new heights.
Adventure: Your Passport to Inspired Living
Submitted by Susan Golicic; Written by Susan Golicic
Like the Phoenix, Adventure provides the fire through which you transform to live the life you desire. Adventure gets you out of your comfort zone and enables you to learn more about yourself as you shift your boundaries. Because it stretches you, it moves you forward on your journey. It helps you be the leader of your own life! So how can you get more of it? All of this is explained further in this easy to read book, available electronically on Amazon, or in signed hard copy from the author (www.UW.coach).
From what adventure is to its risks and rewards, you can begin to imagine how fulfilled your life will be with more adventure. It makes a great gift for you and/or someone you love!
Get it at: https://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Your-Passport-Inspired-Living-ebook/dp/B07TDLX8HC/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=golicic+adventure&qid=1574275832&sr=8-1
Submitted by Rhoda Johnson; Founded by Rhoda P. Johnson
The products focus on developing a personalized style for women, to authentically expresses their personality and skill set with classic and contemporary beauty and fashion elements informed by wellness for self care.
Each gemstone jewelry design is a one-of a-kind, created by Rhoda Johnson and named affectionately to describe what she experienced in the design process. Clients often receive compliments when wearing the jewelry designs. These designs are created with classic and contemporary styling to be versatile for casual to dressy outfits for years to come.
You will be self assured to show up with a personal brand embodies your signature style to help increase your social and financial capital. Great gift for women who like distinctive jewelry!
Get it at: https://rhodadesigngroup.com
Everyday Mindfulness From Chaos To Calm In A Crazy World
Submitted by Holly Duckworth; Written by Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP
There are good days and bad days. Then, there is every day. This daily reader book invites us each day to apply mindfulness practices. Whether you read once each day or pick up this book from time to time, the experience will leave you calm and inspired.
From the host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, Holly Duckworth.
“Holly has exceptional high energy, thoughtful insights, and a dynamic stage presence. Her willingness to truly understand the client’s or audience’s needs makes her stand apart from most. She is a pleasure to work with.”
Megan Denhardt- Denhardt Group
Get it at: https://hollyduckworth.com/books-by-holly-duckworth/
Copper Door Coffee
Submitted by Hannah Ulbrich; Founded by Hannah Ulbrich
100% Woman Owned Coffee Roasting Company. With a variety of roasts and origins, Copper Door Coffee Roasters sources a majority of coffee from Woman Producers around the world.
Since its inception in 2006 by Sinjin Eberle, up until 2014, the café had been solely a wholesale business, roasting coffee out of a garage. In 2014, Hannah Ulbrich took over the business, fostering a vision of expansion and community mindedness.
We are extremely proud to be Denver's only 100% female owned coffee roaster. In a male-dominated industry, we are proud to support females doing amazing work in the Denver coffee community.
Our purpose at Copper Door Coffee Roasters is to provide you with the best possible fresh roasted coffee--coffee that reflects tradition and craftsmanship practiced around the world over hundreds of years.
Get it at: www.copperdoorcoffee.com
The Gratitude Connection: Embrace the positive power of thanks
Submitted by Amy Collette; Written by Amy Collette
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul. The stories and practices in this book help you connect to the positive power of gratitude every day:
May you embrace the positive power of gratitude!
Get it at: https://amzn.to/2r9USR1
Serein Naturals: The Sampler Box
Submitted by Angela Wells; Founded by Angela Wells
Serein Naturals offers a collection of vegan hair, face, and body care products for women, men, and children. The Sampler Box allows you to try almost everything Serein Naturals offers while saving $50 versus ordering individually.
We’re all about the good stuff here at Serein Naturals. That means no nasty chemicals, no synthetic fragrances, and no ingredients that require a fancy science degree to pronounce. We keep our products clean and natural, using mostly organic plant-based ingredients and pure essential oils that nourish your hair, face, and body.
Serein Naturals; where hydration reigns, naturally. You will feel great as you use these body care products every day.
Get it at: www.sereinnaturals.com
Bella Envie Clothing
Submitted by Karen Kirkland; Founded by Karen Kirkland
Welcome to Bella Envie Clothing! Bella Envie is the destination for women’s apparel. We offer clothing with affordable prices and amazing quality. We receive new merchandise weekly and offer impeccable customer service.
Customer satisfaction always comes first.
Our mission is to make every person feel comfortable in who they are.
We offer a wide variety of clothing for women.
Get it at: www.bellaenvieclothing.com
Submitted by Lynn Clark; Founded by Raven Faber
EngErotics is short for “Engineered Erotics” and their mission is simple: We aim to bring high-quality, well-engineered intimacy devices along with expertly formulated CBD (cannabidiol) infused intimate body care products to market. The founder and scientists behind the products are women!
“I adore EngErotics' CBD products, and specifically their Soaking Sand Bath Shots. The scents are delicious. And even more importantly, there is enough certified CBD content to provide tremendous relaxation and pain relief. I've also used their Salve Stick both for sore muscles and for intimate use, and it's terrific.”
The products are hypoallergenic, heat resistant, and completely inert causing no reaction with a person’s natural body chemistry.
EngErotics, bringing you pleasure derived from Science.
Get it at: http://engerotics.com
Rsport Athletic Apparel
Submitted by Shauna Armitage; Founded by CJ Riggins
Plus size women move, sweat, chafe and abrade differently than any product currently available on the market supports. Big brands will size up the designs they already have instead of designing their clothing specifically for plus size bodies. With unique product features like a crossover waistband, abrasion panels in the thighs, and opaque fabrics, Rsport gear was designed specifically for plus size women.
Rsport is building athletic apparel like capris, tops, and jackets for active plus size women who the industry has left behind. We believe that all women are strong and deserve products that focus on performance, craftsmanship, and style that fits each unique female form, which is why Rsport is dedicated to building an inclusive brand that supports women in more ways than one.
Get it at: www.RsportLife.com
Submitted by Celeste Ferro; Founded by Celeste Ferro
Mala necklaces are beautiful pieces of jewelry, but did you know that they are tools to help you in your meditation practice? Each mala I make is unique and comes with an intention tied into each knot. Every step of the process, from creation to the tassel, it is done while chanting a Sanskrit mantra specific for that Mala. Your necklace will come with instructions as to how to use it during your meditation practice through Japan mantra meditation.
“Celeste is an extremely gifted massage therapist. Her healing touch and intuitive sense allows for the deepest parts of my physical body to experience healing while in her care. Her knowledge and wisdom as a conduit for the Reiki Ki energy is an extra added bonus, as is, the medicinal oils she uses. I highly recommend her to all my friends and clients.”-esteemed client.
Get it at: www.wholeheartedlywellbeing.com
Pony Pondering Daily Inspiration Cards
Submitted by Kami Guildner; Created by Kami Guildner
Pony Ponderings© is a deck of 50 beautifully illustrated daily inspiration cards bringing positive, thought-provoking guidance to your soul path. Inspired by the heart and wisdom of horses, the messages provide a pathway to your deepest inner knowledge, playfully engaging your mind, body, emotions and spirit. Written by Kami Guildner and beautifully illustrated by Diana Lancaster of Lancaster Arts these cards will breathe new meaning into your life and inspire your deepest aspirations!
Kami Guildner believes women’s voices matter. She helps her clients raise up their voice, their brand and their business so they can make the impact they desire in the world. Kami weaves soulful-inspiration into mindful business strategies, helping her clients succeed in business and worldly impact.
With a passion for leading change-making women to their purpose, she helps her clients “Live Out Loud” and step into intentional action fueled with vitality and courage.
Get it at: https://www.kamiguildner.com/product/pony-ponderings-inspiration-cards/
Works of Heart
Submitted by Holly Duckworth; Founded by Gina DiPalo
Looking for that special one of a kind gift, book, or card? The Works of Heart store is full of inspirational items for home or office. Here you will find statutes, quote signs, books, and more hand selected by the team to connect heart to heart.
We honor and support fair-trade artisans, and by purchasing these products you have a hand in directly supporting our brothers and sisters. Our Works of Heart store stocks fair-trade products, inspirational books that promote positive living and socially conscious gifts, jewelry, apparel and home décor. We also carry a wide array of spiritual icons. We strive to keep prices low, and our inventory is constantly changing to keep you coming back.
Take a break from your busy day and experience our peaceful, loving environment while you shop.
Find us at: https://www.milehichurch.org/Store
Submitted by Erika Righter; Founded by Erika Righter
Hope Tank is a woman-owned gift store in the heart of the Baker neighborhood that sells gifts that give back. We partner with small local nonprofits, raise awareness about their impact in the community, and get our customers activated. We sell everything from baby gifts, jewelry, menswear, to local art.
Hope Tank opened in February of 2012, and we started off selling handmade products by local artists who joined us in donating a portion of their sales to a charity of their choosing. We have expanded our inventory to include all kinds of awesome products from companies all over the world that we use to connect our customers to our local nonprofit partners.
Contact us to host your private shopping party, podcast recording, workshop, pop-up or to assemble a custom gift basket.
Find us at: www.hopetank.org
Submitted by Maureen Patterson; Founded by Maureen Patterson
Stitch Boutique has a love for fresh and effortless style and enhancing your closet at an affordable price. We bring statement making pieces to Denver and will. Since its inception in 2012 by Nicole English and Maureen Patterson, Stitch Boutique has become one of the admirable stores in the woman's fashion scene in the Denver Metro Area.
Opening their first location in the bustling, trendy, chic neighborhood known as The Highlands, Stitch Boutique promises nothing short of a variety of excellent clothes to pick from.
“Stitch Boutique breathes new life into the Denver fashion scene with a unique and inventive inventory of stylish threads.”
Find us at: https://www.stitchboutique.net/
House of Pod
Submitted by Catherine De Medici Jaffee; Founded by Catherine De Medici Jaffee
Want to start a podcast? Welcome to House of Pod, Colorado’s first podcast incubation hub. We’re your one-stop shop for launching a world-class podcast and connecting with a global podcast community. Join as a member - annual or monthly, give the gift of a podcast production consultation, and so much more!
House of Pod is here to help you produce your show, connect with other creators through classes and workshops, and level-up your content. While shared podcast studios are becoming more and more common, House of Pod remains unique because they are an active and passionate production company collaborating with leading names in radio and making things every single day.
Find us at: https://www.houseofpod.org/
Submitted by Rhoda Johnson; Founded by Rise Jones
TeaLee’s TeaHouse & Bookstore is located at the gateway of Denver’s Historic Five Points, in an afro-centric atmosphere. TeaLees Tea Co. sells books, quality loose leaf teas, offer High & Afternoon Teas by reservation along with a daily selections of quiches, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries & specialty beverage drinks including; beer, wine, spirits & kombucha.
Most importantly, the founder sees TeaLee’s as a safe, congenial, relaxed, and regular gathering space, which moves to the Rhythm of Tea.
This is a place where guests can enjoy each other’s company and a variety of books, chocolate, and selected sundries.
Find us at: https://www.tealeesdenver.com
Amanda Gordon, Owner, Gojo Auto
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
I help people get reliable transportation so they can do their daily necessities such as getting to work, getting to the grocery store, getting to the gym, picking up their children from school, getting to family activities, going on family vacations, and help them not worry about breaking down on the side of the road when having to do these daily tasks. I also help women get promoted into positions of power within the car business or the automotive space.
How did you get started in the business?
I was going to college and working the Gap when a woman named Carmara Hughes came into my store. She originally visited for coats and blouses, but I ended up selling her three pairs of denim after she stated I wouldn’t find her size. Afterwards, she invited me to work with her. I took her up on the offer and was trained by a team of women who were selling 20+ cars a month. The rest is history.
What makes you successful?
I am at any given time probably the hardest working person in the room. I'm currently working 12 to 14 hour days at my dealership, and wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing is given to you, and you have to get your butt out there and earn it. You've got to work. My success is a direct reflection of the work that I put into it, and I want to give more than I take. Becoming the first black female car dealer in the state of Colorado and one of five in the nation was an honour, as well as a disappointment. Here we are in 2019, and there's still a first black woman category in something as major as the car industry which is something that I don't take lightly. It's another reason that drives my purpose and my passion because I can't fail.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
It’s my duty, my passion, and my purpose to grow the female workforce within the automotive space. Right now it's only 20% at every capacity. The car business is not just my job, it is my life, and hopefully you'll be seeing plenty more from me when it comes to women in the automotive industry and building a female workforce. The automotive space has so much growth and earning potential, that it's really a place where women need to look when they feel they’re underutilized. They can always come to the car business and make a decent living for themselves and their family.
Karen Hertz, Founder of Holidaily Brewing
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
Some people can’t eat or drink gluten because it makes them sick, and Holidaily makes beer that doesn’t have gluten so all adults can drink it without getting sick.
How did you get started in the business?
Holidaily was a combination of my education, work life, and personal life. I utilized my MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies to help understand multiple aspects of the business, worked for Miller Coors for around ten years, and had beer industry experience that helped guide me as well. Lastly, after receiving a second cancer diagnosis, I was given a treatment plan that included a gluten-free diet. I decided to combine my experience, dietary restrictions, and love for beer to start a 100% certified, dedicated gluten-free brewery.
What makes you successful?
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses. I focus on utilizing my strengths and surrounding myself with amazing people who fill in where my weaknesses are.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
3% of breweries are owned by women, however, we are a growing force in the industry, especially in Colorado. I support women in the industry not only as (hopefully) a role model but through my involvement in groups, speaking at events, and mentorship, while encouraging all women to go for it! We have two separate female customers who have started their own food trucks since Holidaily opened. Women empowering and inspiring other women is contagious.
Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, Founder of Gaudiani Clinic
How would you describe your job/business to a 5th grader?
I'm an internal medicine doctor who specializes in what happens to people's bodies as a result of eating disorders. Eating disorders carry the highest risk of death of any mental illness, and people who don't take in enough nutrition, or purge what they eat, or binge eat, can have a lot go wrong with their medical health.
How did you get started in the business?
Having had a family member recover from an eating disorder, I've experienced the fear and also borne witness to the triumph of a full recovery. When I got to Denver in 2007, I joined the Hospitalist staff at Denver Health. A year into my employment, I had the opportunity to join a service within Denver Health that was the highest level of multidisciplinary internal medicine care in the country for adults whose anorexia nervosa had become so critical that they could not receive care anywhere else.
What makes you successful?
Without a doubt, my privilege lies at the core of the opportunities I've had, and I think about that on a daily basis to remind myself of certain structural inequities that benefitted me, so that I am able to use this to pay it forward and do good for others. Also vital were and are my parents' support through my education, my own good health, the fortune of having fallen in love with my husband when we were in college and having his constant encouragement these past 23 years, having two wonderful daughters who inspire me and remind me to be a good role model, and having dear friends and remarkable colleagues within the clinic.
In what way do you help advance the careers of other women in your field/industry?
I set and personally hold strong boundaries between work and life, and I model these and ask my work mates to do the same. For women especially, who often juggle so many diverse obligations and roles outside of our professional lives, this is vital to preventing burnout and feeling whole. I have mentored young women since my training days, and in my lectures and writing I try to both model and recommend a realization of each person's unique needs, strengths, and challenges. The field I'm in allows me to rail against diet culture, narrowly-defined traits that denote beauty, health, and acceptance, and the deeply harmful and unscientific beliefs so common today about food (and its restriction). My hope is that in the 1:1 work I do with patients and their loved ones, in the workspace I get to create and nurture, and in my public speaking or writing, I'm able to inspire and help women in lots of ways, by means of expressing my gratitude for all that I've received.
Written by Kelsey Krahn - Freelance writer, online English teacher, and globetrotter—will only travel and work in places where she can watch hockey online (basically anywhere in the world).
It’s more common for men to pursue careers in trades, but some companies and organizations aim to inspire more women to join the industry. One welding company in Denver hopes to destroy the common stigma that surrounds welding jobs. For the most part, society views a career in welding as a job meant for men. It’s dirty. It’s gritty. It’s hard work. But more and more reports reveal that the welding industry has a shortage of workers—and women can help.
Dirty Hands Fabrication, a welding company providing training in Denver, has a different approach to teaching the trade, one that suits women. Some women may find the thought of joining a male-dominated program at college or trade school daunting. Therefore, inexpensive, female-focused programs have worked to entice women to learn a life skill that can help to provide a living wage and steady opportunity.
The video below showcases one of the classes held by the company and how women in the program get to interact with trainers and hands-one projects.
Women In Welding is a Denver, Colorado based workshop ran by Neal Jordan of Dirty Hands Fabrication (dirtyhandsfab.com). The intent of this course is to introduce women into an environment that has been labeled as a man's territory in the past.
Contributed by Phylecia Jones, Budgetologist & Solopreneur Money Management Expert www.keepupwithmrsjones.com
Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. A score of 800 opens up many avenues for better loan options, approved applications, and lower interest rates. But what does it take to get there? I had the pleasure of interviewing Lydia Thomas, a Senior Accountant and Women of Denver member, about her journey of moving to the United States from Ukraine five years ago, alone and with little money.
Lydia knew that focusing on her finances, establishing credit, and educating herself about money was the key to reaching her dreams. In a short amount of time, she launched a successful career, quadrupled her salary, paid off a car loan, and reached a credit score of 800. Her story will not only inspire you, but give you a glimpse of what it takes to achieve a financial transformation.
Lydia, you started with virtually no established credit when you moved to the United States and now you have an 800 credit score. How did you do it?
I started working on my credit score as soon as I moved to the U.S., because I knew how important it was in order to get a good rate on a loan if I needed one. The most important rule I learned was to keep my credit card usage to a minimum and pay off the balance every month. NOT a minimum payment, but the full balance. To fast-forward credit score growth I did not close my oldest credit card, I requested an increase of my credit line, had various credit cards and loans, and avoided unnecessary credit inquiries. It works and your credit score will move up, only if you pay off the balance regularly, or pay the monthly payment if it’s a car loan or a mortgage.
Coming from Ukraine to the US, what did you find different about money and personal finances?
In Ukraine, there is no trust in the economic and banking system. People tend to save their money, “under the mattress,” meaning that the best way to save is to convert the national currency into dollars or euros and keep it in cash at home. Talking about money is generally taboo and personal finance education is non-existent. In the US, conversations about money are more open. There’s more information about various ways of managing finances online and in print, and there is more stability and trust in general. I learned very quickly in the States that when you have it together, do some research, and organize your finances, you are likely to succeed financially.
Having a budget is very important to managing money. How has it been living on one?
I have been living by a budget for a few years now. Having an effective budget is pretty hard, I have to say. A budget made me go from an extreme of watching every penny, (exhausting, to say the least), to splurging when I felt like I’ve been a good girl for a while, (which would turn into the feeling of guilt and regret).
How did you get over the extremes of watching every dime to feeling guilty for ‘splurging’?
After a while I came up with the expense vs. investment rule. Take a pair of shoes for example: If you buy a pair of cute sandals that will be your fifth pair of sandals, you will probably wear them only a few times. This is an expense. If you buy a pair of good leather shoes that you need for your job interview that will serve you for a few years, this is an investment in your future. Following this rule helped me shop less, save more money and end up with the purchases I really needed.
With your smart money moves, what is your biggest financial goal right now?
My biggest financial goal right now is to buy a house. It is one of the most important financial decisions I will make in my life, and what I learned from other people’s experience is that buying one is easy, but paying it off is hard.
What are three simple things readers can do right now to get ahead of their finances?
First, set up a direct deposit to your savings account from your paycheck. The psychological aspect of the “invisibility” of such transaction does wonders. Make it $20 or $200, whatever you can afford. Second, watch your budget. Make your budget real and attainable, not ideal (otherwise you’ll get discouraged very quickly) and have Friday “dates” with your budget and the expenses for the past week. Taking control is gratifying and reduces stress. Third, get a debit card for your “shopping” needs and have a certain amount deposited there from your paycheck. This will be the only money you can spend on the things you enjoy. It is a great controlling tool. Speaking from experience!
As the end of the year draws near, let’s place a spotlight on the importance of financial planning. Due to varying circumstances, many of us do not know if we are prepared for retirement, and as a result, may be playing catch-up when it comes to investing for retirement and other long-term financial goals.
Life expectancy in the US has increased around to around 80 years of age. This longevity, along with potentially volatile financial markets and life’s uncertainties, translates into changing questions and complexities regarding our future. Having the resources to achieve your long-term goals and support those you love, depends on making sense of that complexity, which you can start to address via financial planning.
Financial planning can seem like an overwhelming project, so here are some tips to help you simplify achieving your financial goals:
1. Determine your retirement assets. As you progress through your career, watch your family grow, and retire the way you’ve always dreamed, it is likely that you'll have to make adjustments to your portfolio along the way. You should develop a system with your financial advisor to periodically review the investments you've chosen and make sure they are still an accurate reflection of your current and future financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.
2. Assess your income tax picture. You may be able to reduce your tax burden, sometimes significantly, by making strategic tax decisions before the end of the year. Your tax professional can alert you to any tax planning strategies that might make sense for your situation.
3. Review critical documents. Because life's circumstances continually change, you should review your legal documents and beneficiary designations every year. This will entail combing through any wills, trusts, retirement plan documents and life insurance policies to make sure they are up-to-date. Seek the assistance of a qualified advisor if any modifications are necessary.
4. Establish goals for next year and beyond. A year-end review is an excellent time to start thinking about next year and setting or revisiting long-term goals. Take a close look at your day-to-day finances to see if you can reduce expenses and save more. Then assess which of your goals are most important to you and commit to accomplishing them.
Financial planning is a lifelong endeavor. Make sure you have a trusted team of advisors to help you in achieving all of your goals.
By Mimi Roberson, CEO, PIVOT
The Center for Creative Leadership recently surveyed more than 500 female leaders about ways to attract and retain top-notch women. As someone who currently leads a nonprofit but has been president and CEO of a hospital system with 2,500 employees and 1,000 medical staffers, the top answer hit home. The women surveyed tended to be motivated by opportunities to make a difference in the world. They saw their careers as a calling, one that they wanted to be meaningful and enjoyable.
My experience in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds (in addition to my current role at PIVOT, I’ve served on many nonprofit boards over the years) has been that women’s innate tendencies and acquired skills lend themselves to success in both. But many of us don’t quite appreciate that the nonprofit world a great place to find a career that’s a calling – if only we let ourselves make the leap.
Women excel across all industries and job functions. We have great female software engineers, construction workers, pilots, doctors, lawyers, and, yes, hospital executives. But it’s also true that women are drawn to certain professions in large numbers – particularly professions involved with caring for and nurturing others. That nine in 10 nurses and more than three-quarters of U.S. public school teachers are women (and nearly 90 percent of primary school teachers) is no accident.
Nonprofits fit those same molds. A nonprofit’s calling is to make a difference in the world. Nonprofits run after-school programs for disadvantaged kids, they feed the hungry, they protect animals, they preserve the natural environment – they engage in all sorts of areas of need in their quests to do what they can to make the world a more just, safer, healthier place. But for diverse reasons, the sorts of women who can do so much for nonprofits are often hesitant to join and lead them.
I earned a law degree and wanted to use it. As my career progressed, what drove me was to do meaningful work, do it well, and to include others by being a part of – and, later, creating and leading – teams of people who aspired to do good things. I always kept a toe in philanthropic endeavors. But I wasn’t alone in associating my success as a human being to my success along a career path that fit neatly along societal expectations. That is, if you have an accounting degree, you become a CPA; if you have a law degree, you practice law; if you have an MBA, you go into corporate management; and so on. Such expectations can give rise to the belief that you’re somehow shortchanging yourself if you dedicate business hours to work not directly related to your hard-earned educational and professional qualifications.
My time at PIVOT has taught me otherwise. I have learned that the skills successful professional women have honed indeed apply wonderfully to nonprofit work. What kinds of skills do I mean? Pretty much all of them: communication and networking skills, skills in managing people and relationships, strategic planning skills, money-management and budgeting skills, data-management skills, strategic planning skills, and on and on. If a skill is valued in corporate America, it’s valued in nonprofit America.
I think what’s holding some of us back from making the leap to an immensely rewarding career in nonprofit leadership is that we feel that doing so would mean sacrificing the career we had envisioned. My sense, though, is that idealized career paths exist mostly in one’s imagination, and my experience has been that doing something deeply meaningful to me and of great benefit to children and young people in need – as is the case with my work at PIVOT – quickly washes away lingering doubts.
And you don’t need a law degree, an MBA, or even a paid job to flourish in the nonprofit sector. Women who have dedicated themselves to raising families have quietly developed many of the competencies that nonprofits covet. Managing a home involves bargaining, budgeting, managing, planning, communicating, relationship-building, empathizing – and, lord knows, multitasking. It takes a ton of energy and an ability to deal with stress triggered by everything from “what’s-for-dinner-Mom?” to medical and veterinary emergencies. These are qualities that nonprofits thirst for.
Pivot certainly does. We connect existing nonprofits to help them achieve together a greater good than might be possible on their own. Our need to empathize, build relationships, and communicate among organizations with apparently divergent – but upon closer inspection shared – goals makes ours one of many nonprofits particularly suited to a woman’s perspective and capabilities.
As the nest empties, a “stay-at-home” mom (they do leave the house) can make a huge difference as a part-time or full-time contributor to the sorts of nonprofits they often volunteer for anyway. For such women, the challenge is to have the self-awareness to recognize all you can bring to a nonprofit and the self-confidence to just go for it. The nonprofit world will welcome you with open arms.
Whether you’re a corporate warrior or one who has dedicated your life to your children or your parents or others, I invite you to join me in the nonprofit world. We women have the chops; it’s really just a matter of marshalling the courage to dive into a true calling.
By Mimi Roberson, CEO, PIVOT
PIVOT (a 501c3) was founded by John Elway, Larry Mueller, and George Solich to harness the power of doers and dollars to help Colorado’s NextGen succeed.
by Krystal Covington, MBA
While delivering magazines to one our members in Cherry Creek, I found myself lost, knocking on a door, not realizing that Vive+ wasn’t open that day. In my haste to find an entry, I mistakenly opened the door to a restaurant that was under construction with someone busily working inside.
Quickly throwing the door closed while attempting to run from the scene of my mistake, I tried to get down the block, and was called back. Tiffany Fixter, the owner of Brewability Lab, was inside preparing for the grand opening of her new venture, Pizzability, and wanted to see how she could help.
Tiffany greeted me with warmth, confirmed that she knew who I was and was familiar with the magazine. After offering to take the delivery off my hands, she provided me a tour of her new restaurant, sharing the innovative strategies she’d implemented to create a supportive environment for both patrons and staff.
While I’d heard of Brewability and had the location on my list for a possible Women of Denver event, I hadn’t actually visited yet and knew little about its social enterprise mission. Through Tiffany’s tour, I was astounded to find that her businesses are run by adults with disabilities ranging from autism to blindness -- a population often believed to be unhirable. Through her background in special education, Tiffany became familiar with the tactics required to engage and support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In both of her businesses she’s created systems that allow her team to work effectively using tools specially designed to allow them to provide services independently.
I’ll have to be honest in saying that I’m truly in awe of the uniqueness of her endeavor, and as a lifelong volunteer and “giver” I admire a woman who creates pathways to help others achieve. Even more inspiring were the responses Tiffany provided to the questions I asked in our interview. I believe deeply in the power of authenticity when it comes to women supporting each other. If we’re not honest about our journeys, challenges, and needs we can’t learn from each other or help one another.
Tiffany is generous with what she shares, providing incredible insight for those desiring to follow in her footsteps. While knowing someone else’s journey can’t save us from mistakes, it can certainly help us navigate with a bit more confidence that we can tackle anything that comes our way. To follow are a few highlights of the Q&A I had with Tiffany and the wisdom she shares.
WOD. Social enterprise is a model I love to promote because it blends social impact into the typical profit model of business. What inspired you to start a social enterprise business?
TF. As a former teacher and day program director, I knew I wanted to create employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Craft beer is a hot industry in Denver and I wanted to combine my passions together: hence, I created Brewability Lab and now Pizzability. I wanted to do a social enterprise because I think it is important for customers to know this is a real business. We are not here for pity. We want to be a part of the community, but in order to thrive, we must have customers.
WOD. What are a few examples of things your restaurants do to provide a venue conducive to helping differently abled individuals?
TF. Our menu and point of sale are visual, which makes ordering easy for our staff as well as our customers who are non or low-level readers. We built a sensory wall which includes a light-changing bubble wall, marble panel, wiggle seats, noise canceling headphones, fidgets and more. These adaptive items are free to use while dining or working within Pizzability. We also have adaptive dining items available to staff and customers to make dining out more accessible for children and adults who need those accommodations. We have weighted silverware, bendable silverware, adaptive cups, plate guards, EZPZ mats, etc. We also cut up and blend food on request.
WOD. Is Brewability your first business? If not, what other businesses have you launched in the past?
TF. My first business was an iPhone app called “My Video Schedule.” It was a video based scheduling app which used video models and pictures to motivate and educate individuals with autism on daily living tasks. It is no longer on the market due to financial constraints with constant updates. I am not a developer, and each change was very expensive. Ultimately, larger educational apps copied the concept and I was unable to compete with the market.
WOD. How did you acquire the capital and other resources required to get started in business?
TF. I’ll be very honest. My credit score is terrible. I have been turned down by so many banks and loan officers, I couldn’t tell you how many “no’s” I’ve actually received. It is hard. It hurts. It is a constant struggle. When I decided to do the brewery, I wanted to trial the idea by doing a Kickstarter to see if the community would support it. We were able to raise $34,000, but unfortunately I did not start my business in the same fiscal year as the fundraiser so it all went back in taxes. Yet, I am very blessed. My parents own three businesses in Estes Park and were able to help me purchase the Brewery, formerly Caution Brewing Company, that I found on the market as a turn-key.
Zoho One is a customizable, integrated operating system for your business—and on November 14th, Zoho's experts are coming to Denver to go over exactly what that means.
The folks at Zoho are always looking for ways to educate and empower women entrepreneurs, so we've teamed up with them for a half-day event all about streamlining your business. Their experts will be there to answer all your questions and share tips and tricks and best practices for automating day-to-day tasks so you have more time to focus on what really matters.
Join us at the Magnolia Hotel to learn how to optimize your efficiency, giving you time and resources back to take care of yourself and to concentrate on your business' growth. Oh, and did we mention Zoho is bringing breakfast (and coffee)?
Don't miss out!
Zoho One is a sponsor of Women of Denver
In this series from Flatiron School, we’ll be talking to women in tech about their career journey, the essential lessons they’ve learned, and how more women can follow the path to join essential roles in computing.
This month we're featuring Remmy Clay who currently works for Sawatch Labs. Remmy made a career switch from Sydney, Australia based Litigation Lawyer to US based Software Developer. Catch a glimpse of her exciting journey in her interview.
How would you explain your role to a 5th grader?
Being a Software Developer is like solving puzzles, all day every day. I have to figure out which piece goes where and how the pieces all fit together. I build puzzles that help people figure out if they should buy cars that are good for the environment.
What inspired you to follow this particular career path?
Before I enrolled at Flatiron School, I was a litigation lawyer in Sydney, Australia. Two of the things I enjoyed most about my job were that I was always problem solving and learning new things.
I originally considered a career in tech because of the exciting, fast-paced nature of the industry. The more I looked into software development, the more it appealed to me. While in many ways development and law couldn't be more different, there is some overlap in terms of problem solving and learning - things I already knew I enjoyed. I started teaching myself to code on night and weekends and, before I knew it, I was hooked.
If you could go back 5 years ago and talk to yourself at that time, what would you share with her about her future in this career?
That you absolutely made the right choice in making this career switch! Yes, resigning from work to study something completely new is daunting, but it is also incredibly rewarding and invigorating! There will be highs and lows and you will learn so much, so quickly and be a much stronger person for it.
What were the most important actions you took that helped you land the job role you have now?
Networking! Not only was I embarking on a new career, I was doing so in a new country. I didn't have an existing network to draw on, so I tried to meet as many people in the industry as I could. In the end, both of the job offers I received came about directly or indirectly from networking events. I met the CTO of Sawatch Labs, the company I now work for, at a 'Develop Happy Hour'.
Tell us about the most exciting (or inspiring, or creative) thing you've done so far in your career?
The most exciting accomplishment so far was seeing version 2.0 of our Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (ezEV) go live. I was involved from the start of the process, and got to work on numerous aspects of both the front and back end. Seeing it rolled out to our clients was incredibly rewarding.
What was it like attending Flatiron School?
I had a fantastic experience at Flatiron School. I graduated from the online full-stack developer program (self-paced). Studying online gave me the flexibility to travel between Australia (home) and the US, allowing me to visit family and friends, and plan the move to Colorado. Between the technical instructors, and the great network past and present students I never had much difficulty getting my questions answered and always felt supported. Flatiron School equipped me with the skills and confidence to continue learning throughout my career.
Learn Coding Basics Free at This Upcoming Event
Learn to code for free at this day-long workshop with world-class instructors
Sat, August 10, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
WeWork The Hub, 3601 Walnut St., Denver, CO 80205
At Women of Denver, we love featuring impact-driven leaders making moves in their career. One of our newest members, Taj Kattapuram, MD Radiologist at Radiology Imaging Associates, PC, certainly fits that mold with a passion for supporting women's health initiatives at the state and national level. Learn more about Taj and her inspiring work in the Q&A below.
What unique impact do you make on the world through your work?
My specialty is breast cancer imaging. I'm passionate about women's health and a strong advocate for patients to receive appropriate and timely health services with as much access as possible. I support reducing barriers to obtaining healthcare.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment you're proud of?
Every year I testify on several pieces of legislation at the state and national capitals. This year I'm particularly proud to have assisted in writing and testifying on a piece of legislation that made it all the way through to become an official bill.
What actions do you take to support and empower other women?
The bill I helped push through this year was HB19-1301, a bill on breast health care. The reason we pushed this bill so hard is because we know a big barrier to patients receiving appropriate healthcare is cost. This bill "should" guarantee all women with private insurance will not have any co-pays or other cost sharing when it comes to breast cancer imaging evaluation starting in 2020. It's not perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction.
How did your career take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
My passion for advocacy took off while I was in training in Boston. One of my male colleagues said I'd make a good leader and recommended I join organized medicine.
How do you keep yourself passionate and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
My patients inspire me. Finding breast cancer early and helping guarantee women a higher quality of life and years to come means the world to me.
What do you see as the future of your industry?
It will be very interesting as artificial intelligence tries to make a play in medicine, but at the end of the day I feel nothing beats the humanism in medicine.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
There is no harm in asking.
What's been inspiring you lately?
What do you love most about Women of Denver?
I am most excited about the opportunity to connect with women who are as passionate and driven as I am, but likely in different career fields. I'm looking forward to learning from different perspectives.
What else would you like our readers to know about you?
You can find me at any Invision Sally Jobe breast imaging center, Good Samaritan Hospital, and few other outpatient facilities should you ever have a breast concern.