Larger than Life: From Concept to Launch, The First 60 Days of WEofC

I asked Joanna to meet me for coffee on March 24 to share my idea. I asked her if she'd help me and she said yes.

A few days later, Anne was next, and then we had a plan.

On April 1 we opened applications for Women Entrepreneurs of Charleston and on April 15 we closed with 25 founding members.

Last Friday, (May 17) was our first Learning Intensive, (a pillar of our organization), and a chance to learn from a women entrepreneur who would inspire us and give us tangible tools to take back to our business.

Caroline Nuttall was our speaker and she didn't disappoint. She spoke to us on a topic chosen by the members in our Member Survey - burnout. 

We began our first morning together by indulging in fresh-pressed juices, coffee, and all the breakfast carbs, donated by 6 women-owned local foodpreneurs. I kicked us off by sharing my vision for the organization and asked each woman to be vulnerable and "shed a couple of layers" for the sake of making real connections with one another for personal and professional growth. Our photographer, Kelly Vann Calaway, was there to capture it all.

Since then ... 

We decided to offer 3 must-have marketing tools for our members: Headshot, Elevator Pitch, and Professional Bio.

We are vetting multiple local and national organizations about partnerships.

We are creating an Advisor Board, seeking sponsorships, growing our behind-the-scenes team, and getting some press

And, we are planning to expand into 3 markets in 2018.

I'm crazy about the women of WEofC. People say that "business isn't personal." But, I disagree. Our member's businesses are very personal to me. And, I'm determined to create runway for the women who will come after us: The women who are graduating from college and want to change the world, not earn a pension, the mothers who want to be able to stay home and nurse their sick kindergartener, and the women not ready to retire, but seeking their next career challenge, this time, an idea of their own.

In 60 days I have seen a pit-of-my-stomach and top-of-my-mind idea come to life. Here's to the next 60 - its going to be an amazing ride!

Melissa Barker