Meet the Heads of St. Pete’s Girl, where women support each other’s businesses

Greater than 50 ladies sat round a circle inside the doorway corridor of the St. Petersburg Metropolis Theater on Friday morning for a gathering with St. Pete Woman Pussy.

The networking group’s communications director, Taylor Adams, entered the circle with microphone in hand, sporting pink earrings that learn “Screw It Up.” Let’s do it.’ I began assembly.

She mentioned of the group, “We’re the most important, quickest rising, and most engaging feminine entrepreneurial group within the Tampa Bay space.” Girls cheered round her.

The theater corridor was a step away from The Crislip Cafe on Central Avenue the place St Pete Woman Bosses started assembly practically a yr in the past. The networking group has transcended the house with the unfold of phrase of mouth—ladies in enterprise have been coming collectively to be cheerleaders for one another of their ventures.

The St. Pete Woman Bosses Fb has grown to over 3,100 members since its launch. About 160 individuals are a part of a paid membership program that debuted final summer season. The group additionally launched their very own podcast known as “Bosscast” on the finish of the yr.

As they do each week, the St. Pete women meet within the theater corridor on Friday mornings to debate a selected matter. In early December, they targeted on the matters of utilizing social media and different Web instruments. The assembly started with the leaders saying their first passport to wellness, and members may join entry to almost a dozen life coaches, power readers, or psychics—all of them ladies.

Kimberly Clark leads the audience in a group discussion during the St. Pete Girl Boss Network event on Dec. 9.
Kimberly Clark leads the viewers in a bunch dialogue in the course of the St. Pete Woman Boss Community occasion on Dec. 9. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Then they broke into smaller teams—which introduced collectively ladies from a wide range of industries, like actual property, espresso bean distribution, CBD retail, yoga, and extra—to jot down recommendation on pink sticky notes. They shared their notes anonymously with a random individual within the room. They went on to debate their earnings for the week, what on-line instruments helped them run their companies and the way chasing cash can distract from their duties.

Whereas many ladies got here to community, many members mentioned they stayed as a result of they discovered individuals who understood what they have been coping with. The group’s sense of group made it a protected place to make associates and get suggestions on their work.

Founder Sandy Bean, 45, mentioned she began the group after she went from being a trainer to proprietor of a tutorial enrichment middle for presented college students — realizing she was lacking out on group within the course of.

Whereas psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of wants prioritizes integrity and consistency, Bean mentioned, new entrepreneurs normally flip the hierarchy to deal with self-fulfillment and sacrifice safety as a way to attain enterprise objectives. Having a group they’ll rely on is vital to rebuilding these security nets, she mentioned.

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Bean mentioned she tried different networking teams however struggled to make actual associates. I observed that some ladies’s voices weren’t heard.

“Going to those networking teams, the ladies are so wonderful. It’s totally completely different whenever you’re in a blended crowd. I am not making an attempt to throw guys underneath the bus or something, nevertheless it’s fully completely different.”

From left, team members Sandy Bean, Taylor Adams, Kimberly Clark, and Jennifer Schultz speak to attendees during the St. Pete Girl Boss Network event.
From left, workforce members Sandy Bean, Taylor Adams, Kimberly Clark, and Jennifer Schultz converse to attendees in the course of the St. Pete Woman Boss Community occasion. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

So Bean invited 5 different ladies she already knew to satisfy on the espresso store and created a Fb group, selecting the title St. Pete Woman Bosses “paradoxically”. She hoped 20 folks would enroll. Inside a number of days, she mentioned, there have been a number of hundred within the group, then a thousand. Now, there are ladies from Dunedin, Sarasota and even Lakeland who come to the conferences.

“We began operating in-person workshops and volunteer occasions, and (St. Pete Woman Boss) shortly changed into an organization that was by no means what I anticipated to occur so shortly,” mentioned Bean.

As for Clara Clayton, a 57-year-old wellness coach, she mentioned lots of the networking teams she was a part of have been shut down throughout COVID-19 and by no means resumed.

Name tags are laid out on a table for the St. Pete Girl Boss event.
Identify tags are laid out on a desk for the St. Pete Woman Boss occasion. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

At first, Clayton joined a Fb group and began attending Zoom co-working periods. Then I began going to completely happy hour occasions earlier than becoming a member of the larger weekly get-togethers.

The group helped her get new shoppers and in addition recommendation when she wanted it. She loved St Pete Woman Bosses a lot that she turned a model ambassador for them.

“It isn’t nearly exchanging enterprise playing cards. It is about forming deep relationships.” Clayton mentioned. “Passing chilly threads, that is not for me.”

Jennifer Schultz, vice chairman of St. Pete Woman Bosses and proprietor of The Crislip and the present store connected to The Service provider Café.

“The magic of this group permits me to search out people who find themselves specialists in areas that may assist educate me and different ladies in areas that may not be our sturdy go well with,” Schultz mentioned. “I by no means wish to be the neatest individual within the room, I wish to meet different individuals who may help me study and assist different ladies study.”

While many women sought out the Girls' Heads of St. Pete to connect, several members said they stayed because they found people who understood what they were dealing with.
Whereas many ladies sought out the Women’ Heads of St. Pete to attach, a number of members mentioned they stayed as a result of they discovered individuals who understood what they have been coping with. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Many ladies additionally collaborate and go to one another’s retailers or guide periods with one another.

One medical health insurance company instructed her small group that the excessive level of her week was that each appointment she had previously seven days had been booked by a lady boss.

When Central Avenue’s residence decor Canary present store Proprietor Allie Padin opened in November, and has credited the group for serving to her join with a business actual property agent, small enterprise lawyer, and basic contractor—all of which helped expedite getting her enterprise off the bottom.

Schultz hosted a pop-up in her store in the course of the vacation season to help fellow flower arranger, The Roaming Petal.

Roaming Petal’s Erica Holland, 29, mentioned the group helped her triple her community in a brief time frame and opened up new alternatives for collaboration with different native companies.

“I run my very own enterprise, it is simply me,” mentioned Holland, 29. “Having a help system of different folks to ask questions once I want bounce concepts or whenever you really feel overwhelmed by the craziness of the entire entrepreneurial factor has been actually useful to have that right here.”

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