4 Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs Give Small Business Advice

Four inspiring female entrepreneurs tell us about their small businesses, challenges, and give their best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Inspiring Stories of Our OwnersMarch 11, 2022 7 min read

Meet Kaci, Amber, Angela, and Brandy, four inspiring female entrepreneurs with thriving small businesses who are ready to share their success story. 

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 12 million women-owned businesses. However, women-owned firms still only make up 20% of all employer firms. Although the number of women entrepreneurs is less than their male-owned counterparts, women-owned businesses have employed “10.1 million workers and [have] accumulated $1.8 trillion in receipts.”

Female Entrepreneurs on Their Challenges, Successes, and Best Advice

Here is what four inspiring female entrepreneurs had to say about their journey to becoming a female entrepreneur. Plus, their advice for others hoping to become successful entrepreneurs:

1. Kaci Kai, Chief Executive Officer of Krav Maga ATX

First up in our roundup of inspiring female entrepreneurs, Kaci Kai of Krav Maga ATX. She shares about her experiences with unsolicited input in a male dominated industry and what gives her confidence as a female entrepreneur.

Kaci’s Background

My background is in marketing, design, and photography. Before starting my business, I worked for Whole Foods Market as a web designer, developer, and product owner for wholefoodsmarket.com.

About Her Small Business

Very simply, we teach our members how to defend themselves with reality-based, modern self-defense techniques in a safe, encouraging environment. My job as the CEO is to have the vision to move us forward toward our goals, to navigate challenging situations (hello COVID!), and to keep our business alive and thriving. But I’m also an empathetic ear when my students have a triggering experience on the mats. I’m a community builder, connecting students together who might be good resources for each other and providing a safe place for people to find friends.

Challenges as a Female Entrepreneur

I’ve never had so many dudes tell me how to run my business — people who have no experience owning or running a business in the gym industry or even just running a classroom. I think there are probably a lot of assumptions that, because I’m not the loudest person in the room, or the guy in the room, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m smart, I’m stubborn, and I don’t give up; I’m not afraid to try new things for the sake of learning.

And I know my target audience: I’ve learned where my ideal clients hang out. I know enough about marketing to go find them, tell them what we do, and attract the people who are looking for us and what we offer. If I had listened to the dudes who have told me I’m wrong or that I’m going to fail, I probably would have failed. At some point, I realized I’m succeeding here. I’m making good decisions, because I’m making informed decisions.

Inspiration as a Female Entrepreneur

It’s all about the people. I want to create a world in which people don’t feel scared to leave their homes. I want people to feel confident walking down the street and to be able to protect their families and friends. What I thrive on are a million tiny successes that happen every day in our classes — students having an “ah ha” moment for something they’ve been working on, watching them improve their technique, or just having someone come in who had a bad day, get to punch and kick some stuff, and leave feeling better.

Advice for Small Business Owners

Find a “why” greater than yourself. Something that makes the really, really, really hard days (because there will be many of those) all worth it. For me, it’s specific people I’m hoping to serve. Create a network of really smart people you can call on for advice. Do your homework. Find out everything you can about the people you’re trying to serve (regardless of whether you’re creating a product or service). What do they care about? What keeps them up at night? Find ways to make their lives better with whatever you’re creating. Run tiny experiments to find the things that work without risking your whole business and allow you to learn. And probably most important: don’t give up. Keep going. Be stubborn. You can do this.

2. Amber Ferrell-Steele, CEO and Founder of Timeless Vodka

Next up for inspiring female entrepreneurs, Amber Ferrell-Steele of Timeless Vodka. Here’s how other women have inspired her as a female entrepreneur and how to manage the busy schedule of a small business owner.

Amber’s Background

I was working for a Fortune 500 company as an account manager for large fleet commercial truck tire sales for the greater Houston market! Basically I flipped 18 wheeler truck tires!

About Her Small Business

I am the CEO and  Founder of Timeless Spirits and Drinks, the parent company of premium lifestyle brands Timeless Vodka and Zeal Rum. We believe that you and your moments are as Timeless as we are! Moments Matter, Make Them Timeless!

Challenges as a Female Entrepreneur

Sure, There have definitely been some challenges as a female owner navigating the alcohol industry because it’s still a newer concept. However, for every challenge there have been just as many unique opportunities! Each year I feel as though there are more resources and networks becoming available that we are able to tap into to look for guidance, help, or bounce ideas around. It’s really exciting to see!

Inspiration as a Female Entrepreneur

My biggest inspiration as a female entrepreneur is actually other women! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard keep going, I’m proud of you, you’ve got this! It’s like I’m running a marathon and each checkpoint is a new group of motivating inspiring women ready to cheer us on!

Advice for Small Business Owners

There will never be a perfect time! Just do it! Don’t feel like you need to have everything done before you go for it. There is never a perfect time! For the women who are worried or feel they do not have enough time because the laundry isn’t folded, your kid had a Lunchable for dinner, or you yourself had cereal for dinner (which I actually kinda love!) you are busy at work, or you’ve canceled friends plans to watch Netflix, instead, take 15 minutes to work on your dreams your business plan! I promise those 15 minutes will turn into 30 then an hour and then a light bulb will go off! Do this for you and no one else; you deserve that much. You deserve this!

3. Angela G. Solomon, Founder of Queens on the Greens

Meet Angela G. Solomon of Queens on the Greens, our next successful entrepreneur story. Angela’s business empowers women of color to learn and play golf.

Angela’s Background

I’m an attorney who left the practice of law so that I could have a more flexible schedule for my children. For many years, I helped my husband build and grow his business. As my children got older, I became passionate about having a business of my own.

About Her Small Business

I launched with a sold-out golf clinic and luncheon on Women’s Golf Day, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. In less than a year, we’ve established chapters in Maryland, Michigan, and Illinois with over 100 engaged members. All of our biweekly events this past summer had waiting lists due to high demand.

Golf is the vehicle, but our movement is about much more than golf. Queens on the Greens is improving women’s health and wellness, expanding networks for business and career growth, and normalizing women of color playing golf at country clubs and golf courses. We’re excited to be chartering chapters in even more cities this year. I would describe my small business as a community and a movement of women of color learning and playing golf.

Challenges as a Female Entrepreneur

A major challenge I faced as a female entrepreneur was belief in myself. Growing up, I was told to go to school, get good grades, and get a good job. I did that. I aspired to become a C-Suite executive at a major corporation. When I became a mother, my priorities changed. I wanted a better work-life balance. I’d never run my own business before, so there was a learning curve. I took as many classes and courses on online business as I could and amassed a significant URL collection from registering every business idea I had. I jumped from concept to concept because my belief in my ability to succeed as an entrepreneur wasn’t solid. In other words, I didn’t stick with anything long enough to see if it really could work.

Inspiration as a Female Entrepreneur

I’m inspired by successful female entrepreneurs and I love to learn their business origin stories. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and women can be expected to wear a lot of hats in addition to operating their businesses. Being able to create and maintain a profitable business despite internal and external obstacles is definitely worthy of respect and accolades. I’m always inspired by them and continuously learning from them.

Advice for Small Business Owners

My advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs is to never quit. You’ll doubt yourself, but never quit. People you know and love will question you, but never quit. Very rarely is anyone an overnight success. If you have the entrepreneurial passion burning inside of you, keep going, keep stoking the fire. The journey will be challenging, but when you finally discover how to make money doing something you love, it’ll feel like a dream come true! You’ll be so proud of you. And they will be, too.

4. Brandy Wykes, Creative Executive of Mayes NYC

Last but not least, Brandy Wykes of Mayes NYC.

Brandy’s Background

I have been working in the fashion industry for the past 15+ years, including Lane Bryant, where I learned all about the Plus-Size clothing business and customers.

About Her Small Business

Mayes NYC is sustainable luxury for plus-size women, we design clothing to make women feel confident and sophisticated. All women should have that chance.

Being the founder and creative executive of a small business, I touch all aspects of it. I follow trend, select colors and prints, order the fabric, sketch the garments, oversee the pattern-making and fit sessions, style the photoshoots and shoot the “behind the scenes” videos myself. I also do quality control on the factory line on West 36th street to make sure all my designs are perfect for the Mayes NYC woman.

Challenges as a Female Entrepreneurs

Yes, it’s still an old boys club. Women have fewer options for funding and resources. (Did I mention we are currently fundraising?)

I’m inspired by how supportive and appreciative other women are of Mayes NYC’s efforts.

Advice for Small Business Owners

Start now, every small step you take will get you closer to your goal. Do your research. Who else is in your space? What makes you different or better? Research your company name (which is insanely important, you want to be found, right?). Google it, what comes up? Does another company already have it? Is the URL available? Don’t just take anyone’s funding — find out if an investor’s goals and ethics line up with yours.

We hope you enjoyed hearing from these inspiring female entrepreneurs! For more small business tips and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.