Nurturing Creativity with EWI Entrepreneurs, Tiffany and Breann

17 Apr

“Thinking in Cups”

 
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Tiffany Carter and Breann Whitcomb graduated from EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success program in Fall 2011. They co-own “Thinking in Cups”, which sells one of a kind handmade hairpieces, jewelry and bath products.When Tiffany and Breann first got involved with EWI, they did not originally plan on utilizing its services. Instead, they approached the organization with an initial business hoping to donate money directly to the organization. However, this soon changed following a meeting with EWI’s Founder and President Marga Fripp. It quickly became clear that they still had a lot of work to do in order to make their business successful. As such, Marga suggested that they enroll in the ETS program in order to improve their business skills and reach their true potential as entrepreneurs.Things changed for the two once again during the initial ETS intake. Tiffany and Breann happened to show a few photos of some of their hobby projects to EWI staff members and were immediately encouraged to seriously consider these projects as a possible business venture. After that meeting, they decided to take the advice of the EWI staff members and change their business idea into one that allowed them to pursue their creative passions.

In less than three months, Tiffany and Breann were able to develop a strong product line, a solid business plan, an online shop and marketing materials to promote their business. They credit ETS as the birthplace of their new business. The course gave them the courage to work full-time in the creative industry pursing projects they were truly passionate about. Furthermore, the course also provided the tools necessary, through a holistic approach and a supportive environment, to begin building and later growing the business(es) of their dreams.

According to Tiffany, “At EWI, I was not only asked to learn to perform the technical tasks such as business planning, budgeting, marketing, etc., but I was asked to face my personal fears in order to grow and excel as a woman and a business owner. My most prized possession that I walk away with is a newly found confidence that I can carry with me in all areas of my life.”

Along with confidence and skill building, the training helped Tiffany and Breann conquer the always nerve-wracking elevator pitch. The pressure of trying to figure out a way to describe what they do in a concise way really helped them develop a clear idea of what they wanted out of their business. Through the help of their classmates, this lesson also helped them develop some very unique catch phrases that they were able to use to market their business. For Tiffany and Breann, it was a real pleasure to be surrounded by students, mentors, and speakers with such creativity, insight, love, and support. This was something they felt was very unique to the ETS program.

Aside from learning about business skills and development, Tiffany and Breann also learned a lot about the importance of self-care, personal wellbeing, and nurturing their creativity throughout the process of becoming an entrepreneur. As a business owner, it can be easy to get caught up in to-do lists, meetings, or orders and forget to take out enough “me time”. They are now much more mindful of treating themselves well in order to avoid burn out. ETS taught them that it is ok to have fun and enjoy what you do; work can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

Tiffany and Breann recognize the distinctive set up of the training as being extremely conducive to networking, reaching out to others, and building not only relationships, but also communities around their work. This has been really integral to the way they conduct business. Tiffany and Breann no longer just look for people to sell goods to; they are interested in building relationships with their clients, being active in their communities, and giving back- which doesn’t always equate to monetary donations. Through this they have found that gratitude and a willingness to share it tends to often be payment enough.

Based on the insight and experience they have gained through participating in the ETS program, Tiffany and Breann have the following advice to other entrepreneurs interested in taking their businesses to the next level:

“Often, we avoid risks for the wrong reasons. There’s a time and a place to be risk averse, but know that for every leap you fail to take, there’s an opportunity missed. Failure is just a lesson learned – which is needed to gain perspective on how to do better the next time around. We’ve been faced with our fair share of “leaps of faith” and wouldn’t have it any other way. Take risks. Take the leap. Love what you do, and don’t be afraid to tell everyone about it!”

Since completing ETS, Tiffany and Breann have been working hard and keeping busy with their new business venture. They are reaching out to boutiques and continue to be proud participants in the EWI Micro-Enterprise Program. They also are planning on selling their products at home parties and customized events.

Their products can also be found at EWI’s online store:http://www.etsy.com/shop/empoweredwomenintl.
 
 
 
 

“Vesica’s Splendor”- Tiffany Carter

Tiffany Carter 1

Tiffany Carter-Owner, “Vesica’s Splendor”; Co-owner, “Thinking in Cups”

 
 “Life is filled with many “Aha!” moments. Vesica’s Splendor was birthed from a series of those moments. From the realization that being creative was more than just a “hobby” for me, to the courage it took to leave my office job and pursue what I love full-time, the VS journey has been littered with  serendipity – teaching me to always keep an open mind, as I never know in what form inspiration will come. In chasing my joy, I have had the fortune to be surrounded by an amazingly supportive group of friends, family, and mentors. Vesica’s Splendor would not exist without them, and my goal is simple: To share with others the things I love in hopes that they, too, will be inspired to chase their joy. Oh, and the name? Vesica is borrowed from the Vesica Piscis, said to be a building block for some of the most complex constructs in the universe. It reminds me that from the humblest of beginnings, big things can happen – and that all those big things started off quite small. And Splendor (meaning: brilliant or gorgeous appearance, great brightness, adorn lavishly, etc.), well, I think you get the idea.” -Tiffany Carter 
 
Watch EWI’s interview with Tiffany to learn how becoming an Entrepreneur Training for Success Graduate has impacted her and her goals for the future as an Empowered Woman!
 
 
To learn more about Tiffany and her fantastic products, visit her website!http://www.vesicassplendor.com/
 
 

“Mimulus Design”-Breann Whitcomb

vesica's splendor- On The Rails collection

Breann Whitcomb- Owner, “Mimulus Design”; Co-owner, “Thinking in Cups”

“Hello! My name is Breann Whitcomb and I create, design and build items to transport your mind into a world of imagination. Colors and unusual themes are my specialty as well as the stories to go with them. Gaining inspiration from everything from leaves on the ground to electricity; I encourage the owners of my products to play in the lands I create for them and become the stories I tell.As a little girl I loved to take my mother’s old clothes and make them into something new. An old nightgown would become so much more with just a few safety pins and belts. My childhood love of interesting apparel and accessories has only grown through the years, leading me to expand my interests into unique body products, knickknacks and interior design. With my pieces, I hope to encourage people to come out of their shells and play “make-pretend” every day. I believe life is a lot more fun when you walk out of the house with a little more pizazz, a burst of color and a smile; ultimately, making people more confident.”- Breann Whitcomb

Watch EWI’s interview with Brea to learn how becoming an Entrepreneur Training for Success Graduate has impacted her and her goals for the future as an Empowered Woman!

To learn more about Breann and her products, visit her website! http://www.mimulusdesign.com/#

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