Earlier this week, I attended an event sponsored by Savor the Success, a social network for female entrepreneurs. And in a holiday season marked by pessimism, this one provided some welcome cheer (not to mention, some delicious apple brandy cocktails made by Dr. Mixologist, one of the rare men on the scene).
The party took place at Delluva Day Spa & Salon in lower Manhattan, and rooms that normally would be used for massages and facials had been converted into mini-shops, where women business owners were selling everything from green fashion to organic beauty items. Savor the Success is essentially a cooperative, launched four months ago, and the concept is that its members (3,000 to date) can better generate buzz and sales by working together as a group, rather than alone. Attendees at the event received copies of the Savor the Success Holiday Catalog 2008, featuring members’ products, which is available in print and online.
“Instead of letting the economy get the best of us, we decided to band together for abundance,” said Angela Jia Kim, co-founder of Savor the Success, who wore a sleek silver dress and, during an upbeat speech, reminded members to lean on each other for support. Gretta Monahan, a style expert on “Tim Gunn’s Guide To Style” who owns several salons, gave the crowd some tips on building a business empire. (Her biggest piece of advice? Never stop being a hands-on manager, no matter how many employees you have. She currently has 147 of them.)
For me, the highlight of the evening was chatting with the female entrepreneurs, many of whom are just starting out. And despite the gloomy economy, they’re optimistic. That’s no surprise – if anything, entrepreneurs can be an overly confident lot (see our Cash Fix column on that here) – but I’d forgotten the excitement in a new business owner’s voice as she talks about quitting that soulless job to launch her dream. It was good to hear that. And it was good to see entrepreneurs coming together to give each other a needed boost. That’s a smart strategy for tough times – and a fitting way to celebrate the holiday season.