12 Reasons Why Women Start Their Own Businesses

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Hiya, Boss Babes! Let’s talk about your ‘why’. No matter what industry you’re in, what binds us together is that we wanted to start a business for a specific purpose. The ‘why’ can have multiple parts, but at it’s core there’s something we knew we needed, so we built it. Our 'why' for Boss Babe Club & Babe Crafted is to share women's stories of success, challenges, goals, & more. We also strive to raise awareness of & give back to non-profits that are directly empowering women & girls to get closer to living a creative and fulfilled life. Our 'why' is our guiding force, and this is true for other women who are living intentionally, too!

I’m beaming to share with you the stories of ‘why’ from 12 amazing women, all with unique small businesses from all over Tampa Bay and the world. Whether you're an established Boss Babe or a new Babe on the block, I hope their stories re-energize you to stay in your lane and keep your ‘why’ in focus at all times as you continue to create the business of your dreams. Stay boss. xx

-G

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Crystina Castiglione | The Messy Painter // IG

“My 'why' goes back to before I was even in college. I watched so many people in my life go through the ups and downs of careers they didn’t really seem to like, but did for the money, or the glory— or both. It never seemed worth it to me to sacrifice your happiness or well-being for those reasons. I also learned early on after losing a sibling while in high school just how short life really is, and that you should do what fills you up every single day, and not wait until you’ve hit the perfect moment in your life to do so. I made a vow to myself that I would do something that made me happy to wake up to every, single day. When I graduated college and went into teaching, it didn’t take long for me to begin to feel dread when my alarm went off each day, and to feel absolute burn out. As soon as I realized what was happening, I made a plan to start my business and worked towards that goal until it was financially sustainable and I could leave teaching. It wasn’t always easy, it still isn’t, but it makes me work harder knowing it’s all mine. Ultimately, I started my business because I wanted autonomy; I didn’t want someone hovering over my every move at a job where my input landed on deaf ears, I wanted control over the hours of my day and to be able to travel when I wanted, and I wanted to be able to create my own destiny doing as many or as little projects at a time as I wanted.”

St. Petersburg, FL

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Erika Vidal Holmes | Erika Vidal Holmes // IG

“I started my business because I wanted to be in charge of my own schedule and earning potential. I also want to show my kids that you can make a damn good living doing what you love (even if your major was English).”

Tampa, FL

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Heather S. Saunders | Ameriprise Financial 

“I love this question! I think that effectively communicating your “why” to prospective clients is so much more impactful than communicating the “what” or the “how.”  Empowering our clients and protecting their families is the very heart and soul of why we do what we do. There is a sense of empowerment and confidence that comes from having control of your finances, and I really love helping clients to feel that – it is so incredibly gratifying! Preparing for the unexpected is a necessity that most people don’t like to think about, but facing those possibilities and putting plans in place is like writing the ultimate love letter to your family. With confidence and protection, we hope to instill peace of mind in everyone that we work with.”

Tampa, FL

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Jennifer Bingham | Cru Cellars // IG

“There are definitely different layers to this question. I am driven on the wine-side first and foremost to actually bring good wine to people in Tampa. You don't have to drink grocery-store wine and you deserve a good glass or bottle of wine for not a ton of money, and I am super passionate about spreading good wine around. Secondly, as we've grown and added an amazing staff around us (Cru Crew), it is super important to me that I support them in having a great career in achieving their goals!”

Tampa, FL

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Kamina Wust | We Write You // IG

“I went to a goal-setting workshop where we were encouraged to write down all the emotions we'd like to feel on a regular basis. I wrote down about ten emotions in small letters around the margins of the page, and in the centre, taking up most of the space, I wrote the word 'FREE'. I started my business so that I could be free of working for other people. Why did I pick copywriting and branding, and why do I do them the way I do? Because I believe everybody has something to offer the world by being unapologetically themselves. It's my job to help you find your voice, and use it loudly.”

Brisbane, Australia

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Melissa Meredith | Marketing With Mel // IG

“I worked in service based jobs all through high school and college and realized I had a huge passion for helping and serving people. I decided I wanted to continue that path in my adult career but on a different level. 

Marketing, to me, is identifying a problem or pain point in someone’s business and creating solutions to help alleviate the problem to grow the business. I love having the opportunity to meet with clients to collaborate and learn about the different ins and outs of their businesses, what's going well, and what could use some help and then creating campaigns and strategies specific to their business and goals. I realized early on that my passions and ideas were more aligned to women-owned businesses and that we were under-represented in the business world and it created an even stronger WHY for me to go out and seek the women entrepreneurs who were looking for ways to grow.

Nothing brings me more joy and reassurance in knowing ‘my why’ is on point than hearing about the growth a client is having in different areas of their business.”

Tampa, FL

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Rana Tierney | Roohi Photography // IG

“Because I love creating a memory that will be one of the most treasured things someone will have... and will be passed down from generation to generation. What an honor.”

Tampa, FL

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Ren Altizer | Wolf & Rabbit Marketing // IG

“When it comes to why we started our business, we could simply say that it's because we wanted to change the world, but that would only be half of the story. The truth is, we saw marketing companies taking advantage of small business owners simply because the business owners didn't know any better. They would use fancy jargon to create confusion and make projects sound extra complicated so that they could charge more and not be held accountable for delivering results (or even explaining in clear language what was happening). When this happened to a business owner I'd worked for 6+ years, I had to speak up. Thankfully I had the skill set to offer solutions and that's when everything started. From there, we received more requests from other business owners and we knew it could be a sustainable and profitable business, so we jumped in with both feet. 

We're thankful to have built a brand now on being happy, kind and respectful while delivering quality at a reasonable price. Now we have the opportunity to impact our community in bigger ways and Wolf & Rabbit Marketing will eventually be a stepping stone to the second part of our ‘why’ which is to start a non-profit to fill the needs in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. 

We believe the universe guides you where you're meant to grow and we're thankful that our path is in supporting small business.”

Tampa, FL

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Rowena Sjovall | Vêtue Boutique // IG

“My ‘WHY’ is two fold. First is to show women how to feel confident through clothes regardless of their age, size or shape. Love your body everyday. I want to become a part of a movement of empowering women to help them look and feel good and be inspired to help others to do the same with their talents. This is the reason I created a small community group/movement called Fabulous & BeYOUtiful. We are so busy taking care of others that we forget to do that for ourselves. 

Second is to teach both my kids, especially my daughter, that you are not stuck with the vocation you choose right now. That what you do now is a mere stepping stone to the path you create for you. Re-inventing your life/career is a part of life they need to embrace as well as be passionate and fearless about.”

Tampa, FL

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Sheila Vaske | V’Enza Creations // IG

“The main reason for my why is to give back. I am an Empath, and my whole life has been spent trying to help inspire and motivate others in many different ways. This has always come to me naturally and has been a common theme for me. Over the years, I have recognized that this quality is truly the essence of who I am. The more successful I am, the more I can do for others and the more I can also give back to others. Also, after being blessed with my two daughters, I felt like I needed to make sure I set the best example possible for them. By this I mean, as a human being, and also for themselves personally. I want them and everyone to know that ANYTHING is possible. The roads may not be straight or easy, but always possible! My jewelry allows me the opportunity to share that inspiration with others. The feeling that my creations provide to the user fulfill my why.”

Tampa, FL

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Shontay Lundy | Black Girl Sunscreen // IG

“I do what I do because I am my own customer. Black Girl Sunscreen was born from a need for a product that offered broad-spectrum sun protection and blended beautifully with dark skin tones—instead of leaving a white residue. Underwhelmed by the lack of products on the market for people of color, I knew there had to be something that could work. And I knew that if I could figure out how to make it happen, it’d be a game changer. With this motivation, I started looking for a solution and discovered that there were natural ingredients that could boost melanin production, offer proper UV protection and be fully absorbed by our skin; hence the evolution of Black Girl Sunscreen. 

That was initially the ‘why’ behind Black Girl Sunscreen, but given the overwhelmingly positive reaction to our product, now my ‘why’ is to create awareness globally around people of color to protect their skin from the sun. Black Girl Sunscreen will create a legacy that will influence future generations to be skin-conscious and dispel stereotypes related to people of color and sun protection.”

Miami, FL

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Theresa Chu-Bermúdez | Get Out! Custom Travels // IG

“I started my business because I wanted to be able to shape my own success, and I wanted to do it in an industry I had grown to love because it changes so many lives. Traveling opens our minds because it allows us to get a glimpse into the variety of ways people around the world live. We experience other foods along with other perspectives on life. We find out what makes us different, but more importantly, we find out how we are the same. Traveling also allows us to escape our daily lives and recharge in new surroundings. One thing many people don't realize is that tourism employs millions of people around the world. By traveling, we are contributing to the local economy of the residents who live in those communities. I wanted to be a part of helping people see the world in a way that fits their personality and lifestyle. In this way, they are better able to make the most of their time. Instead of stressing about their travel plans, they can fully immerse themselves into their destination and benefit not only themselves but also the people they encounter.”

Tampa, FL