It's International Women's Day this weekend and I sincerely struggle with marketing ourselves as a women owned/led business. For me, I want you to buy our cookies cause they are good, not because a lady made them. I struggle mighty hard with terms like "girlboss" too. I don't know why I'm like that, but here we are.
For a lot of my adult life, my best friends have been guys. My corporate experiences with other women coworkers, well it was touch and go. With very few exceptions, I found corporate to be pretty competitive with my female coworkers. However, when I took the leap to entrepreneurship - I found a lot of amazing female entrepreneurs that just got me and I got them and it has been a really amazing change in my life. I truly have found my tribe (I hate that term too!) I try to bring enthusiasm and honestly into these newer relationships. I find more give and take with these women and I feel incredibly grateful to know them. Throughout the day we'll be sharing these ladies info, but let me use this space to tell you a little more about them and what they have done for me to keep me motivated and trucking along. While this doesn't cover all the lovely ladies I admire, here are a few.
Kim - RingComm - When I first met Kim, it was after a long time talking hockey on twitter. She has been a friend to Top Shelf Cookies when it was still a twinkle in my eye. Kim always has a kind word, someone I should meet and gives the most sincere hug. We try as often as we can to donate to her many charitable efforts throughout the year.
Melissa - SuperFrau - Melissa was a neighbor in our kitchen while she was starting her company. She is everything you could ask for in a neighbor and friend. She is insanely smart & unbelievably kind. She helped me a few weeks back with our biggest delivery ever and when I got stressed out, she kept encouraging me.
Renee - Blonde on The Run Catering - When I first met Renee, I couldn't believe someone so easy going was such a fancy caterer. She immediately inquired about taking our cookies on the Cape Flyer train and was one of our first steady weekly orders. Renee has been an amazing friend and I can always count on her for a good idea, honesty and a great time.
Sarah - Partea - Sarah and I did a pop up across the hall from each other a few years back for a whole week, we got to be friendly right off the bat. Whenever I see her, I leave with 2 good ideas for Top Shelf Cookies and I hope that I give her the same in return. She's insanely smart and always makes me laugh. I'm forever grateful our paths crossed
Meg - Third Cliff Bakery - Feels like I've known Meg forever. She is a talented baker and I admire her sense of community a lot. She makes beautiful things, but she's a more beautiful human. I can always count on her for empathy and excitement - I cannot wait for her location to open SOON.
Jackie - Central Square Florist - When I had to give my first business relationship a birthday gift, I found Central Square Florist and ordered. I looked like a rockstar and left a glowing review. Jackie followed up and thanked me for the review and the response was so genuine. She has been so kind to us, she sent me a beautiful arrangement to celebrate a business milestone and I always enjoy her company and learn a lot from her. Her shop is 4 generation owned and it's amazing.
Celeste - Lyndigo Spice - I don't think there is anyone that I respect more than my friend Celeste. She makes chutneys, relishes and spice rubs. She also gives the best hugs and makes the best "I'm not playing faces" I would never want to be on the wrong side of Celeste, I admire her for a lot of things, but probably her "take no crap" attitude is what I admire most.
Jennifer - Sam Adams - while Jennifer isn't an entrepreneur - she's a friend to many entrepreneurs and she deserves a mention in this space. Jennifer is a Bruins season ticket holder and Fours regular - she saw me with my cookies and watched the whole thing unfold. When I confessed to her that I might think about turning my superstition into a profession, she told me about Brewing The American Dream and said she would help me. Other than being at the same bar at the same time (albeit many games a season for many seasons) we didn't know each other all that well. Jennifer has been a huge champion for me and Top Shelf Cookies since the beginning. There would never been enough time to tell you everything she has done for us, so what I will tell you is - she's a genuine gal and I feel really glad to have her on my side.
However, last but not least - my amazing all female staff.
AnnMarie - she's been my best friend for nearly 20 years. She does the books now, but she used come in and scoop cookie dough and lug crap all over the kitchen and do dishes. She held me accountable for following my dream, now she keeps me on budget. I'm glad there was no social media when we were in our 20's, because we had a damn good time.
Megan - my right hand girl. Megan and I had many mutual friends and finally met the day I announced to a lot of friends that I was leaving my cubical to go work in a bakery and figure out if I was going to start Top Shelf Cookies. I told Megan that night that I hoped to hire her. She's been with me forever and while she still hasn't made employee of the month (it's been CDO Brady for56 months straight) she is great with a playlist, she's funny, she's a great baker (which I hope we can showcase more soon) and she's so warm and friendly that people like to buy cookies from her. I'm insanely grateful to her for taking a chance on me to come work for me.
Anne -She's newer staff member, she actually works on the production team that makes our cookies now and one day told me she really likes customers and if I needed help she'd love to help us sometime. Anne is amazing, nobody gets by her without a sample, she is friendly and kind to our customers. She has a big heart and she wears it on her sleeve. I'm always so impressed with how seriously she takes her job. She is a delightful human and I'm so very grateful that we crossed paths in life.
I hope you learned about some amazing women in this space and will check them out.....