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REPLAY: Shop Latinx Founder & CEO Brittany Chavez Wants You to Grow Your Business NOW!

When it comes to growing a business, Brittany Chavez has laser-focused vision. No excuses.

Don’t have a mentor to guide you? Create your own! 

No time or money to do focus groups? No problem! 

Make mistakes along the way? Correct your course.

Don’t know what you’re doing? Ask questions.

Brittany has spent the last five years building Shop Latinx, the first curated e-marketplace for Latinx creative entrepreneurs. Shop Latinx offers offers beauty, skincare, apparel, and lifestyle products to the fastest-growing market in the U.S., Millennial and Gen Z Latinas. She started it as a side-hustle, surveyed potential customers while driving them as a rideshare driver and has since built a team and secured funding. 

She knows what it takes to build a business and the founder and CEO is happy to share her journey so that you can learn from her wins and missteps—and build your own success!

She wants you to know you are not alone. You got this! 

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REPLAY: Julissa Prado Talks Being a Self-Funded, Latina-owned Business

For Julissa Prado, starting a business was a childhood dream - and an act of serving her community. Growing up the Los Angeles native played with natural ingredients, creating concoctions for managing her curly hair and sharing her mixtures with other women in her neighborhood. Years later her company Rizos Curls launched in 2017, urgently addressing the hair care needs of women in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. 

“I love to always say that a business is simply a solution to a problem,” said Julissa during our interview last week. “Rizos Curls was literally my solution to my own personal problem of not knowing what products to use to style my own hair.”

Today Rizos Curls can be found on shelves at Target, Ulta Beauty, and Walmart in 57 countries, generating $1 million within its first year. 

We connected with the entrepreneur and beauty influencer during a live event, where she shared how she built a thriving beauty brand...

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REPLAY: John Lynn Wants You to Get Your Money

When it comes to funding a new business, John Lynn has a 360-degree view.

Started a business and got funding himself? Check.

Helped raise money for a venture fund? Check.

Selected start-ups for one of the best-known accelerators out there? Check.

Set up accelerators himself, and seen how hundreds of businesses lifted off? Uh, yeah.

In fact, over the last decade-plus, John has gone from entrepreneur himself (yes, he’s been there!) to becoming a guru in the overall accelerator space, helping grow businesses just like yours over and over again.

 John is the co-founder of Cela, which builds startup accelerators with the world’s most influential institutions, including investor groups, universities, governments, and corporations. John has spoken at theWorld Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as well as in multiple locations within China, throughout Japan, Haiti, Aruba, and the USA. His work has been published in Forbes, TechCrunch, and at the Nasdaq.

The bottom line:...

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REPLAY: Andi Smiles on Creatives’ #1 Money Mistake

finance founder interview Aug 24, 2021

A decade ago, Andi Smiles had a secret.

She was working as a bookkeeper, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses track and manage their finances.

But her own business accounts, she says, were “a hot financial mess.”

“I was undercharging, and just ignoring and leaving my taxes for the last minute,” says the Parsons Entrepreneur Academy instructor. “I used to get sick to my stomach filing my annual taxes. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, how much am going to owe?’"

So how did she get from there to becoming the financial educator, coach and all-round money badass she is today?

Andi will tell you that it had far less to do with numbers than with tackling her preconceptions, attitudes and mindset—an approach she brings to her no-judgements work with entrepreneurs today.

“Money is a relationship like any other,” she says. “If you have a friend and never call them, never text, never go out, how deep is that friendship going...

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REPLAY: Shobana Mani Talks Start-Ups, Mentoring, and Why You Should Launch NOW

There can’t be too many people in the world who’ve both juggled numbers as a managing director at Goldman Sachs and handsewn textiles for ateliers working with designers like Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.

But Shobana Mani has.

“I've always been two things: a commercial person and a creative person,” says the Parsons Entrepreneurial Academy mentor.  “My grandfather was a dyer in India, so I grew up among textile looms and seeing saris woven in front of his house. But then I did my master's degree at the London School of Economics, and in my first career, I worked in investment banking.”

When, after a dozen years, she found herself drawn back towards creative work—dreaming of launching a sustainable womenswear brand—she approached it with the finance sector’s rigor.

“A lot of people said to me, ‘You already have this background, why don't you just start the brand?’ But I just don't believe in that. I...

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Interview with Arlan Hamilton: Entrepreneurship is a Winding Path

Think of the most successful entrepreneurs that come to your mind. You may immediately think of their large social media following, their beautiful website, or their high profile connections. What you don’t see are the sleepless nights, the struggle and the triumphs along the way leading up to their massive success. You know, that not-so-glamorous part of the journey. 

What if the most challenging parts of your entrepreneurial journey were the same parts that will help you grow your business? 

Arlan Hamilton proves there is power in sharing your authentic story and why being an industry outsider is your greatest asset. As the CEO of Backstage Capital, she helps underserved founders of color gain resources for their dream. She is the author of It's About Damn Time, but before then she was building her business while homeless. 

We had the opportunity to connect with the author, podcaster, and founder one-on-one last week, where she shared her...

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I Lost Rights to My Own Name: How to Safeguard Your IP

Do you know if your intellectual property is protected? 

Legal considerations aren't usually something entrepreneurs get excited about when they're first starting their business. After all, it's way more fun creating products and finding a customer base who resonates with and appreciates what you do, right?

But, failure to at least think through how you're protecting your work can lead to a lot of problems that can bring your business to a grinding halt - or, worst-case scenario, lose you the rights to your own name or your creative work.

Most entrepreneurs figure this out the hard way... 

But in this panel discussion, you can tap into the experiences of three very successful entrepreneurs who faced - and OVERCAME - early IP issues and don't want you to make the same mistakes. 

Meet the Panelists:

Kay Unger is the CEO of Kay Unger Design and Chair Emerita of Parsons School of Design. She's a fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and top designer...

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Social Media Advertising Best Practices: How to Profitably Grow Your Business on Facebook & Instagram

Advertising on social media is something that a lot of creative entrepreneurs tell themselves they should be doing... After all, it's a proven way to raise awareness for your brand, drive traffic to your website, and get your products and services in front of a new audience of consumers.

... But few entrepreneurs actually take the steps to create and manage long-term ad strategies on Facebook and Instagram. 

You might think it's too expensive to run ads on Facebook and Instagram, or that it's just not in the cards for a startup that might have limited marketing budget.

But social media advertising can actually be very effective for companies at any stage with any budget - IF you approach it the right way. There's a lot of iterating that goes into finding the top performing ads for your unique business. And not only will a winning ad help your business grow, you'll also gain valuable insights on your customers and what messaging resonates with them! 

To help you...

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5 Questions: Featuring ‘Atmos’ Sustainability Magazine Founder Jake Sargent

founder interview Apr 21, 2021

Jake Sargent is a leading voice in sustainable design companies, in part because he takes such a holistic, multi-pronged approach. 

He’s the founder of Atmos, a sustainability-minded magazine and media company that considers environmental issues through a design and culture lens. 

On top of that, he cofounded Magic Hour VC in 2017, and has since backed companies that further environmental consciousness, human wellness, and cultural resonance—like Buffy sustainable bedding, Seed probiotics, Naadam fair knitwear, and This Saves Lives snacktivism products, to name a few. 

Given his wide and deep knowledge of entrepreneurship in service of sustainability, we asked him about inspirations, essentials, and what it means to really think big in this space. Watch the full interview right here:

 

Q: Who are two people inspiring you right now?

Jake Sargent: One thing that really came to the forefront this year is the role that capitalism plays in oppression, and...

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How to Craft a Value Proposition for Your Creative Business

Your creative work is so unique. But how do you convey that value to customers and clients? That's where your value proposition comes into play!

A value proposition is a concise way to describe the unique value you, your company, and your product or service will provide your customer or client. It's a way to differentiate yourself from all the other creatives and creative businesses out there. But it goes even further than that. A strong value proposition allows you to attract the people who truly align with what you're all about. 

Now, actually writing a concise statement that accomplishes all that can definitely feel overwhelming, and that's why we brought in PwC strategy and design expert John Jones to lead an interactive workshop guiding our members through writing their very own unique value proposition tree. 

John has 20 years experience in service design, product design, strategic planning and brand development across multiple consumer touchpoints...

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