CLEmpower | Female Entrepreneur Panel Recap


Happy “Throwback Thursday'“ everyone! Yes I am saying throwback Thursday because today is the day that I FINALLY recap the Cision Global’s CLEmpower female entrepreneur panel that I had the pleasure to participate on! Along side two of my favorite girl bosses; Maria of Your Local Girl Gang and Lisa Quine, Muralist & Creative Consultant, we shared our journey to business ownership with the employees at Cision Global here in Cleveland!

Just a heads up to you all reading this, I formatted this post by question! So one question three answers! Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thank you, Cision Global for having us!

Was there ever a time when you faced professional bias because of your gender?

Maria | Your local Girl Gang

I’m sure there was, but honestly I think I was too young to understand it. I worked for one summer for the US forest service in a tiny town in Colorado. I was the only girl on the crew, and although my crew mostly took care of me, there were some uncomfortable times. It’s never held me back from a job though (that I know of). Especially coming from a teaching background, where the profession is dominated by women. I was never worried about getting about bias in that space.

Lisa | Lisa Quine Creative

Not really, but when I'm in a male-dominated environment I feel more of a need to prove myself

Janae | Auden & Company

Yes, as a female business owner that has had to pitch to male clients or has been the only female sitting at the table, I have felt the gender bias. I read an article about how men are more likely to cut off a women mid sentence in a professional setting. I have been in meetings where I have had to put on a tough persona to make sure the males at the table listen.

What does your tribe/support system look like? How did they support you along the way and how do they support you now?

Maria | Your local Girl Gang

My biggest support is my family. They are so incredibly supportive. From editing the website pre-launch late at night, to purchasing merchandise and liking every social media post. They’re the best. I’ve also found such an incredibly supportive group through the Girl Gang! I feel like my tribe grows daily. I’m very fortunate.

Lisa | Lisa Quine Creative

There are pockets of people here and there, like the Local Girl Gang for fun events and networking, and then a small group of women freelancers from across the country. We hop on a call each week and go through freelance related issues and solve them together. We also celebrates each other's wins too!

Janae | Auden & Company

I find so much support from the amazing ladies that participate in the Local Girl Gang events, hosted by Maria. My boyfriend has been fantastic in pushing me and reminding me of why I started. It is always good to have someone there who can remind you of why you started!

Are there any books, websites, networks or other resources that you would recommend for females in general and female entrepreneurs?

Maria | Your local Girl Gang

YES. I keep a stack of books in my office that inspire me. They are:

  • In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney (open this every time you need a quick dose of inspiration. Every woman needs this book on their coffee table.)

  • Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

  • Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling (can you tell I love books by comedians?)

  • Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (I was an anthropology major in college, so I love this book because Martin studied the women of the Upper East Side of NYC through an anthropological lense and writes about how they connect and form communities.)

  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

  • Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

  • #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Every time I look at this collection I feel inspired to be the best woman I can be, as cheesy as that sounds.

A podcast every entrepreneur should be subscribed to is How I Built This. I delete podcasts as I go usually, but I keep the HIBT episode with Whitney Wolfe, founder of Bumble, on my phone at all times for whenever I need some inspiration to push through.

lisa | lisa quine creative

  • "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck"

  • You Are a Badass at Making Money"

  • "Overlap"

  • "Crushing It"

  • and the podcast "How I Built This"

Janae | Auden & Company


  • Brand Brilliance” by Fiona Humberstone

  • Capture Your Style” by Aimee Song

  • “# Girlboss” by Sophie Amoruso

  • How To Style Your Brand” by Fiona Humberstone

  • You’re A Badass” by Jen Sincero


  • Goal Digger Podcast

  • The Influencer Podcast

  • WorkParty

  • Girlboss Radio

What has been the most helpful app/tool/piece of technology in getting your business of the ground?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

Instagram and Squarespace. The Girl Gang would not exist without them. I will sing Squarespace’s praises from the rooftops.

Lisa | Lisa Quine Creative

Wunderlist: I have a warm, warmer, and HOT list of things I need to do and strive to accomplish 3 a day.


Janae | Auden & Company

My business runs on apps & technology! My business would be no where without my laptop and my phone! Here is my list

  • Instagram

  • Squarespace - I only recommend this to clients

  • Canva - For quick designs

  • VSCO Cam

  • Unsplash

  • The entire Google Suite

  • Planoly

  • & The note app on my Iphone

What does your pre-morning routine look like? How do get ready for the next day of work?

maria | your local girl gang

Make the coffee and set the timer. The smell of coffee is sometimes a better alarm than an iPhone. I really need to start making a “morning priorities” list because this often takes away from my sleep. That’s a goal of mine.

Lisa | lisa quine creative

Look over my schedule and review what I have to do the next day and what I need to take care of ASAP in the morning.

janae | auden & Company

I am a morning person. The earlier I wake up the better start to my morning I have. Coffee, Breakfast, & throwing on a podcasts and inspiration seeking is my beautiful mix! I like to be inspired before diving into my top 3 priorities for the day! I also love the mornings because I am more than likely to not get an email or form of communication!

Do you have any mentors?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

No official mentors, but the Girl Gang has given me so many women who have been through almost anything I could find myself up against--and they’re all super willing to help. I’ve also had some really amazing founders who have given me tough, unapologetic, and real advice, which I am so grateful for.

Lisa | Lisa Quine Creative

No, I've been meaning to get one! Right now, I rely on my peers and other freelancers when I get stuck or need guidance.

Janae | Auden & Company

No not really. I have people I admire but no mentors that I could rely on for guidance and conversation

How did you know you found the career/job that was right for you?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

It didn’t feel like work! Working for myself and growing the Girl Gang has been the most fun thing I’ve ever done.

lisa | lisa quine creative

When I wouldn't stop getting projects and when the clients got bigger and bigger!

janae | auden & company

I am naturally a creative person so you think being a brand stylist would be a no brainer but I actually stumbled upon my career through fashion blogging and researching what it took to build an authentic brand. Once I found that branding is what I wanted to do I went for it and never looked back.

How long before you stopped freaking out that you might fail?  How long do you think it took from conceiving the idea to execution?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

I still might fail! But I’m not wasting time freaking out about it. I didn’t take a huge risk by starting this, money-wise. And now I’m just determined to make it work. And if it doesn’t work out as a full time job, it will always be a side hustle of mine.

lisa | lisa quine creative

I'm always freaking out hahaha. When you're on your own all the responsibility of the company is on your shoulders so it can take a toll. But I trust in myself not to fail because I'm willing to stick it out through the tough stuff. I'm not sure I can give a timeframe on that, but I did work on lettering outside of a full-time job before I saved enough money and had enough clients to make the big leap! That took roughly 4-5 years of mastering a lettering style and building a roster of clients.

janae | Auden & Company

I embrace failure. I tell myself all the time that I have never done this before so I am bound to fail. I have never launched a business before launching Auden & Company. You can only prepare yourself so much but honestly you can’t! You have to embrace failure in order to learn.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

Start before you’re ready.

lisa | lisa quine creative

Hire a coach or get a mentor, use every resource you can – it helps to have a network cheering you on! And above all else, make sure you LOVE it!

janae | auden & company

Go for it! No such thing as perfection. Edit as you go!

What challenges did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

Leaving a job where I wasn’t happy. It took a lot to decide that what I went to school for (education) wasn’t right for me, and it was hard to tell people in my family that, because I had thought that was my passion.

Lisa | Lisa quine Creative

I had to overcome fear and self doubt. I had to be frugal with personal finances and focus solely on the business. I had a balance a ton and work every single day.

janae | auden & company

I call it the trifecta. I am a young black female business owner. Although sometimes those work in my favor, I definitely have had to work 10x harder. People are naturally cynical of you so I don’t like to give anyone any reason to doubt my capabilities. Which means I have to be on my A game!

What do you want to do next?

Maria | Your Local Girl Gang

Continue to grow the Girl Gang! I have plans for expansion to other cities. I want to build out the website, and I want everyone to have access to this amazing network.

lisa | lisa quine creative

Maybe get an agent so I can get some big-name clients, but also make time for personal work because that's where the most growth comes from!

janae | auden & company

So many things. Really launching the education & resource side of Auden & Company! Client education is such a passion of mine so I am working behind the scenes to work on getting all of that launched!