Women in Business
Hartford ranks #4 in the nation for female entrepreneurs. Here IDH spotlights Hartford-area women-owned businesses, startups, and leaders.
Local Entrepreneur Helps Strengthen Others
“My biggest piece of advice, which I had to learn the hard way, is to value your personal development as much as your professional development—and to make time for it. You can’t grow a business if you don’t take care of yourself and consider the path you’re on,” suggests Aronson Consulting, LLC Founder Amanda Aronson.
EC-WBC Hosts Women Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition
“At the WBC, we’re excited to provide this opportunity to reward and spotlight innovative ideas from women entrepreneurs in Connecticut,” emphasized EC-WBC Program Manager Milena Erwin.
Startup Party Supply Store Brings Joy to West Hartford
"We’re big on keeping money in our local communities and supporting other women-owned small businesses,' says Pink Flamingo Party Co. Founder Ashley Sodipo.
2021 InsureGood Women with Impact Virtual Summit
“This summit is an opportunity to step away from your business to help you work on it rather than in it,” explains InsureGood Founder and CEO Meredith Messenger.
Baking Enthusiast, Community Supporter, Food Entrepreneur
Find out how Bria Day turned her passion for baking and giving back to the community into Disheveled Diva, a cottage food business that creates bespoke sweet treats and makes a local impact.
Connecticut STEM Leaders Earn Women of Innovation Awards
“As these finalists demonstrate, women in STEM in Connecticut are leading innovation, achieving breakthroughs, and encouraging girls to do that and more,” says Giovanni Tomasi, President/CTO of RSL Fiber Systems and Board Chair of the Connecticut Technology Center.
CT Entrepreneur Helps Women Manage Their Worth
“When you have a passion and your passion is aligned with providing value, there’s no limit to the amount of money you can make,” emphasizes Raicheen Blanks, Founder of The Worthonomics Company.
Hartford Startup InsureGood
"It’s easy to look at other business owners and think: It seems like I should be as successful as them or I should be doing the same things,” says InsureGood Founder and CEO Meredith Messenger. “A lot of people don’t realize that many of us have been working on building our dreams for many years.”
Virtual Solutions Company Finds a Home in Hartford
Velia’s Virtual Solutions Founder and CEO Tashalee Cruz offers advice for other entrepreneurs: "Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to collaborate. Don’t be afraid to be yourself."
CT Custom Charcuterie Make Food Lovely
Find out how Emily Love turned her passion for creating beautifully displayed, fun, colorful food boards into a side business she calls Make Food Lovely.
New England Ballet Theatre Brings Innovative Performances to Hartford
“We joined the Hartford Chamber of Commerce because, as a new organization in the city, we knew it could help us make valuable connections,” says New England Ballet Theatre Co-Founder Rachael Gnatowski.
Meet Branding, Lifestyle, And Photography Expert Leslie M. Gomez
"Some of the biggest takeaways for me have been being consistent, showing up, and being visible. Consistency can take you very far," says Leslie M. Gomez of LMG Photography.
Women In Bio Launches 14th Chapter in Connecticut
“The Connecticut life sciences ecosystem has affirmed its footing in the biotech community," says Kayla Valdes, Ph.D., Women In Bio President and Board Chair.
CT Strategic Consultant and Diversity & Inclusion Champion
“It gives me a lot of hope and it makes my work that much more impactful, because I’m working in my community,” says ExecMommyGroup, LLC Founder & Principal, Joelle Murchison.
Celebrating and Supporting Women in the Hartford Region
Several organizations are hosting events for all types of women in all types of industries in the upcoming weeks.
CT Portrait Photographer Celebrates Women in Our Community
Rebecca Rose of Rebecca Rose Fine Portraits is passionate about painting, photography, and recognizing inspiring women in Connecticut.
Weddings & Events Planner Finds Her Place in Collinsville, CT
“I have a vision. I know where I want this business to go. But I need to take it one step at a time, because if I try to go too fast, I could end up completely failing. And if I go too slow, I am never going to get anywhere,” says Pearl Weddings & Events Founder Chelsea Suddes. “So, I take it slowly but pursue it with everything I have. That’s what I’ve found has worked for me.”
UConn Programming Supports Women Entrepreneurs
“UConn launched/rebranded our xCITE program to be more of a hub for women in entrepreneurship where they can receive support and networking opportunities to engage with each other,” explains Jennifer Murphy, Director at the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) at the University of Connecticut.
Women Entrepreneurs in Hartford: Turning Failure into Success
“These types of failure-to-success stories show how we can support one another, help each other develop, and uplift our community,” said WBC Program Manager Milena Erwin, who moderated the event.
Global Entrepreneur Prati Kaufman is Happy in CT
"We all have 24 hours a day. If somebody can produce a lot more in those hours, it’s because they’re managing their energy, they’re not just managing time," says marketing consultant Prati Kaufman.
CT Serial Entrepreneur Finds Her Niche
“Every single thing I’ve learned in every business has gotten me to the point where I am today,” says Her Podium Founder Pamela Mulhearn. “And now I feel completely in alignment. I don’t see myself stopping. This is the one.”
Smashe Consulting Co-Founder Shares Entrepreneur Journey
Smashe Consulting Co-Founder Stephanie Bealing shares about selling her first company, finding a niche, teaming up with a co-founder, and creating a new company “drastically different” than her last.
CT Entrepreneur Helps Women Thrive with Health, Wealth, and Happiness
“Understanding your energetic blueprint can help you work less hard, more efficiently, and with better success,” advises Connecticut entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and self-care expert Kristi Sullivan.
CT Entrepreneur Shares the Scoop About Building and Growing Her Business
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to just sit on stuff. You have to try something to see if it works,” says The Scoop Glastonbury Founder Jackie Brousseau Post.
CT Business Owners Celebrate Growth, Evolution, and Change
Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (EC-WBC) Milena Erwin underscored that having good people and resources are key to taking the entrepreneurial journey.
Nala’s Kitchen Innovates and Grows
10.21 Nala’s Kitchen co-owners share about how the business has grown and weathered the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experiential Branding Consultant Helps Small Businesses
“I have never let a setback or any one person keep me from growing, pivoting, or learning more about what it is I do or am becoming,” says Caili Elwell Designs Owner Caili Elwell.
Meet Small Business Champion Annisa Teich
Annisa Teich, Founder of The Small Business Collective and Co-Owner of West Hartford Coworking, shares about running two businesses, how the businesses complement each other, and how she’s managed to keep her businesses afloat during the pandemic.
CT Business Owner Relies on Determination, Grit, and Persistence
Your Mind in Bloom, LLC Founder Angela Capinera talks about her experience as a female business owner.
CT Female Entrepreneur Encourages Others to Dream Big
“I attribute my success to my combined professional background as well as my constant networking and collaboration with people who encourage and challenge me to deliver my best consistently,” says Audra Garling Mika, Owner of The Write Fit Career and College Prep Coaching.
CT Graphic Designer Works with Women Entrepreneurs
“Women in leadership need to establish a support system to continue to learn and share with like-minded entrepreneurs for continued growth and success,” says AG Design Owner Annmarie Sirotnak.
CT Entrepreneur Runs Successful Virtual Assistance Business
“Going into business ownership and developing this from something I was passionate about has really been rewarding,” says Busy Bee’s Virtual Assistance & Management, LLC Owner Brittany Stephenson.
West Hartford Therapist Talks Innovation and Business Ownership
Laura Renfro LMFT specializes in helping people through all types of life changes. Working through a pandemic, she’s learned to transition, adapt, and innovate.
CT Entrepreneur Provides Money Management Strategies
“Don’t wait for perfection” advises Patrina Dixon, of P. Dixon Consulting.
Connecticut Writer and Speaker Offers Insight and Inspiration
"There’s always somebody out there who will say yes. Go to those people and forget the people who say no,” advises motivational speaker, workshop facilitator, and author Amla Mehta.
Woman-Owned Healthcare Company Finds Its Place in CT
“I’ve spent a good amount of time working in my business. Now that everything is ebbing and flowing, I need to work on my business,” recognizes Phoenix Professional Services CEO and Director of Integrative Medicine Tamar Draughn.
Untapped Potential Continues to Create Opportunity in CT
“I’ve learned there is power in bringing people together to solve a problem,” says Untapped Potential Founder and President Candace Freedenberg.
WBC Encourages Female Entrepreneurs at Women Innovate Pitch Competition
“We’re proud to be part of the region’s efforts to highlight and support women entrepreneurs and innovators, encouraging high-potential technology solutions as well as ideas with social impact,” said WBC Program Manager Milena Erwin.
CT Entrepreneur Says “Hello, Hartford!”
"Basing my business in Hartford is like my opportunity to help grow Hartford and share the message of Hartford," says Hello Consulting Founder Robin Zaleski.
Hartford-Based Root Down Power Yoga
"I knew I had an entrepreneurial mindset," says Root Down Power Yoga Owner Nicole Bengtson.
Women Support Women Through Ladies’ Power Lunch
“Women like the comradery and the support they’re getting from other women,” says Dr. Davia Shepherd.
Meet reSET’s New Impact Strategist Emily Reisner
reSET Impact Strategist Emily Reisner on her first experience at reSET: “I walked in and I just felt like I belonged here. It feels like it has all the pieces any space in a big city might have in terms of connections with very experienced specialists in different industries.”
Women-Owned Law Firm Makes Its Home in Hartford
Freed Marcroft LLC owners founded the company in 2012 and purposely created a space for their business and personal lives in downtown Hartford.
Female-Owned Startup Plants Seeds for Success
“I want to support Connecticut small businesses and the people who patronize those Connecticut small businesses,” says PlantHer Founder Jillian Shea.
CT Photographer Enjoys Building Her Business in the Hartford Region
“A lot goes into running a business,” says Allegra Anderson of Allegra Anderson Photography. ”As a business owner, you wear a million hats and there’s such a huge learning curve. I’m still constantly learning.”
Hartford-Based Vsoulful Eatery Enjoys Being in A Vibrant City
"The best thing about working in the Greater Hartford area is the diversity,” says VSoulful Eatery Founder Azaria Drakeford.
Meet reSET’s New Managing Director Sarah Bodley
“In terms of Connecticut entrepreneurs, there’s room in the entrepreneurial space beyond tech and manufacturing startups and beyond the “typical” entrepreneur. There’s been a wave of growth and support in the three big pillars here—insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing—and it certainly has been great to build up an environment that’s welcoming to entrepreneurs,” says reSET Managing Director Sarah Bodley.
Female Founder Finds Community in Hartford
“Women are the true visionaries. Most spaces I find myself in where true visioning is happening, where people are investing in passionate work… it’s all women. Every time,” says Veo Veo Owner Constanza Segovia.
Hartford Entrepreneur Encourages Entrepreneurship
Find out how Hartford entrepreneur Tahara Chapman is using her array of credentials as a business owner and a realtor to help people feel confident about themselves.
CT Entrepreneur Makes an Impact Through Consulting and Mentoring
Tracy Allen is a mentor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She launched TVA Consulting to help nonprofits and social entrepreneurs.
Small Business Owner Transitions into Entrepreneur Coaching
Beth Bolton is taking her years of entrepreneurial experience and launching a new consulting business, where she will focus on coaching and mentoring early-stage entrepreneurs.
Kiyomi Beauty Founder Shares Entrepreneurial Journey
"I’m very new to entrepreneurship, but I’m loving the high highs and even the low lows, because I feel like both have helped me get to this point where I am able to say that Kiyomi could potentially be something very big in the near future, says Kiyomi Beauty Founder Eliana Cardeno.
CT-Based Woman-Minority Owned Small Tax Firm
"If you’re providing value and have a great service/product people will pay what it is worth. Stay focused and persevere through all trials and tribulations that will come your way," says Whitehead Tax and Financial Services LLC founder Amber Whitehead.
Girls For Technology Encourages and Empowers Youth
"It’s exciting to see the business growing. It’s even more exciting to see it making a difference in young girls’ lives. We’re hoping to scale the organization across the state and increase awareness of our programming and initiatives," says Sabrina Tucker-Barrett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girls For Technology.
CT Women-Owned Wellness Startup Embraces Health Tech
“The more you incorporate into a community of entrepreneurs, the more you gain. They’re excited to share with you lessons they’ve learned so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since I’ve learned to network with likeminded people, our company has picked up major momentum,” says Solstice Strategy Partners, LLC Co-Founder Delanea Davis.
Women’s Empowerment Center Director Helps Encourage Professional Prosperity
“We’re helping the Hartford community launch new startup businesses from minority women who are looking to create their own legacies,” says Tenesha Grant, Director of Women’s Services at the CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center.
Small Business Spotlight: Sweet Equations
"I see Hartford as the economic engine of the state with more businesses and people moving back into the area in the next few years," says Sweet Equations Owner Sade Owoye.
Female Founder Leads CT FinTech Company
“I see a lot of innovation happening here in the BioTech, FinTech, and InsurTech space. I hope Hartford continues to grow and become more of a vibrant city,” says WealthConductor LLC Co-Founder and CEO Sheryl O’Connor.
CT-Based Creatives Launch Event Styling Company
Aglow Event Styling co-founders talk startup challenges, relationship building, and creative entrepreneurship.
CT Entrepreneur Founds Social Impact Publishing Company
"I feel like I pivot all the time because, as a business owner, you have to take chances and try things," says Publish Your Purpose Press Founder Jenn T. Grace.
Entrepreneur, Writer, Photographer Cara Paiuk
Find out how Connecticut entrepreneur, writer, and photographer Cara Paiuk turned her creative talents into a business.
Hartford-Based Dance Collective Empowers Creative Women
What differentiates The Dance Collective from other dance troupes is Jillian’s commitment to make it entirely female. Her goal was to level the playing field for women in professional dance.
CT Business Owner Offers Kid Activities, Parties, Events
Connecticut mom Tia Miller didn’t set out to be a business owner. Like some entrepreneurs, the opportunity came from personal need and eventually developed into a business concept.
CT Woman-Owned Business KARO Swimwear
KARO Swimwear CEO Kasia Roginska had the idea to launch a company when her innovative swimsuit designs gained notoriety and she recognized her businesswoman capabilities.
CT Women-Owned Startup Helps Empower Businesses
The Bolder Company’s founding partners, Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher discuss their startup journey and how they encourage others to be bolder.
Girls For Technology Encourages STEM, Entrepreneurship
Sabrina Tucker-Barrett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girls For Technology, shared about the process of launching a nonprofit startup and the progress the organization has made since its launch.
Women Business Founders Shares Updates About InspireCorps
Where Are They Now? Follow Up with InspireCorps
Entrepreneur Creates Innovative Fitness Equipment
Entrepreneur Marien J. Zanyk is Founder of the Connecticut-based startup, Zaneez™ Freestyle Fitness.
Woman Entrepreneur, Innovator, Event Strategist
Connecticut entrepreneur Carmen Veal followed her dream and launched her handmade clothing startup in 2008. Since then, she has launched an event planning company and created a brand for herself.
Entrepreneur Founds Innovative Variety Fitness Studio
Find out how Karla Medina’s entrepreneurial spirit and mission to support a healthy community encouraged her to open Sudor Taino Fitness Studio on New Park Avenue in West Hartford.
Entrepreneurial Center Supports Economic Consulting Services Startup
Connecticut Center for Innovative Entrepreneurs Founder Naranchimeg “Nara” Mijid discussed her experience as an independent, woman- and minority-owned business founder, her involvement with Innovation Places, and the benefits of networking with like-minded women entrepreneurs.
Startup Clothing Boutique Finds Success in Hartford
Latoya Gibbs, Owner of How Bazaar Fashion, shared about how she turned her passion for vintage clothes and fashion into a successful small business in Hartford.
Entrepreneur Creates Fitness Startup Success in West Hartford
Entrepreneur and fitness powerhouse Debra Fountain launched LIFER Fitness Studio in 2015. She spoke about her entrepreneurial experience and what it’s like to launch a startup in a competitive market.
Entrepreneurial Center Fosters Hartford-Area Startup Bakery
Beth Bolton, Owner/Pastry Chef at A Little Something Bakery provided some insight about launching a startup in West Hartford and discussed some of the challenges she’s experienced as an entrepreneur.
Startup Provides Mentoring, Contributes to Job Placement in CT
"Untapped Potential is contributing to the community/economic growth/job creation in multiple ways," says Founder Candace Freedenberg.
Cosmetics Entrepreneur Creates Startup Success
“When you’re an entrepreneur and you’re starting a small business ... you’ve got to do things yourself, but then you need to know when to ask for help,” says Mizzi Cosmetics Founder Brenda Mierzejewski.
Startup Focuses on Sustainable Inspiration and Leadership Agility
InspireCorps Co-Founder Allison Aboud Holzer shares about how her company got started and what it means to focus on sustainable inspiration and leadership agility.
Hartford Startup Tainted Inc. Is Committed To Empowering Women
Hartford-based Beauty Collective/Creative Studio Tainted Inc. was recently accepted into the reSET 2016 Accelerator program. Founder Andrea Cortez says, “Tainted is more than just makeup. We empower women to love themselves and express themselves in a positive, powerful way.”
Embracing Entrepreneurship: Black Diamond Body Piercing
“I’ve always had a very hard time following the rules,” says Georgina Schiavelli, Owner of Black Diamond Body Piercing. “As a kid I was told I was a rebel. And it wasn’t that I was very rebellious, I just had a hard time not being myself. So I guess, in a lot of ways, I’ve always been an entrepreneur and I just never knew that’s what it meant to be one. In hindsight it’s very obvious.”
Hartford Entrepreneur is on a Social Responsibility Mission
With regard to her entrepreneurial spirit, “It’s a matter of chasing passion,” says Trudi Lebron, Founder and Executive Director of ScriptFlip!