In honor of Women’s History Month, we interviewed four female business owners to learn their tips and tricks to succeed. The women behind these four stores have proven that much can be gained with grit and a positive attitude. Keep reading to learn how they’ve strengthened their businesses.
What advice would you give other women starting their own business?
Cassie Streit, who runs Streit Sandblasting in Salina, Kansas, has many pointers for potential female business owners. First, she says not to wait to open your business. She says, “Do it! You won’t be any more ready in a year or two than you are now! Your family will thank you…and your heart will beat happier!”
Cassie also advises, “lean on your support systems…They are happy to do nearly anything to help you get ahead in your business!”
And finally, she tells us that it’s OK to cry when something goes wrong. She says, “Sometimes our emotions just need to fall out of our bodies in tears. It doesn’t mean you are weak…It means you are a human who is putting your heart and soul into this project, building a better future for your family…Get it out and move forward!”
What kinds of challenges have you faced? And how have you overcome them?
Carolyn Biter, who runs Happy Owl of Highlands in Sebring, Florida, carries multiple responsibilities for her business.
She says, “My greatest challenge is being in charge of everything from cleaning to IT. I knew little about marketing and relied on buying into a brand name; However, people still have to find you and know where you are.”
Luckily she says, “Wish has helped us with that by bringing people into the store…Wish users have provided us a fan base who come back for our items, as well as their Wish pickup.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Melissa Parkes, who runs Friendz Apparel and Leggings in Langley, Canada, struggled to find merchandise.
She explains that she “pivoted to [help] the local community, and offered market vendors a place to display their wares and provide a covid safe pickup.”
By pivoting to help showcase local vendors and offer a new, safe way of pick up, Melissa weathered the pandemic. She truly has excellent advice and tells us, “If something doesn’t work, don’t be scared to change it for the better!”
How do you celebrate your achievements?
Tyronda Horrison, who runs Sprinkle of Glitz in Swartz Creek, Michigan, knows the value of celebrating success with her employees. She rings in achievements by “treating [her] employees to a good dinner or a bonus.”
Have you ever had the feeling of imposter syndrome? If so, how do you overcome it?
Tyronda Horrison tells us, “not at all! I have learned that others will not determine my own success.” These are wise words, indeed!
What inspires you?
Carolyn Biter’s grandchildren inspire her the most. She explains, “I homeschool my grandchildren at my store. I love watching them become entrepreneurs by talking with and helping our customers!”
Cassie Streit’s inspiration comes from her bold mother. She tells us, “Women like my mother spent decades raising a family, growing the economy, [and] helping to foster a love for the basic foundations of American Life. She has worked since she was 17 to give us a better life. She’s going to be 80 this year. Had she been 17 in the year 2021, with all her talents, knowledge, and dedication, she would have been even more of an unstoppable force! She’s made a clear path, and it’s up to my generation to make it a well-paved road [to success.]”
Finally, how has Wish Local helped your businesses?
Melissa Parkes says that “Wish really put our store on the map. It has now become a ‘hidden gem.’
Carolyn Bitter agrees! “Wish put us on the map [too]. Wish brought customers to us that would not have found us otherwise…We’ve met many wonderful people and made friends because they came up to pick up a package one day!”
These women are truly an inspiration. They have used their dedication, skills, and talent to build successful small businesses.
Read more about other Wish Local participant’s success stories.