Pink petals and industry professionals filled the Crowne Plaza this weekend. The Ladies of Business Conference brought together ambition, business strategy and floral décor.
The first day consisted of a series of workshops. Participants shuffled from room to room discussing everything from increasing your social media presence to managing finances. Speakers like Brandy Kennedy (ChycStudio) and Kendra James (The Finance Femme) socialized with conference-goers in between classes, answering questions, and sharing their expertise.
The second day incorporated the headlining brunch panel. Speakers included Rasheeda (recently recognized by Forbes), Courtney Adeleye (The Mane Choice), and Adi Halevy (TeamiBlends).
The welcoming atmosphere allowed the women to openly discuss their goals and the nature of their businesses. Social media influencer, Abby Roselynn, attended the conference with her business partner Christie Sasha. They shared their optimism, saying they were looking “to be inspired, meet other women and get empowered” as they began the process of starting their company together.
For some women, the Ladies of Business Conference had a more personal meaning. Owner of Lavish Essentials, LLC, Cassandra Jones, discussed she wants to learn ways to grow her business. She started the company after dealing with post-partum depression back in 2013.
“That lead me to find my purpose in life, which was to be creative. I didn’t know I wanted to start a business, I just knew I wanted to help. Hearing other women’s stories about going through post-partum depression and how different products help them relax, that basically helped me.”
The range of business women vary widely and they all have a story to tell. Speaker Gabrielle Deculus reminisced on when she started her first business back in college and how that lead her to the entertainment industry.
“I saw the need within my college campus. A lot of the events that were being marketed to black students were not really the taste that we all enjoyed. A few friends of mine got together – some being creative with design online, some being creative with strategy, photography and so on. We just jumped into it. I went from creating events to facilitating PR for Drake and Houston Appreciation Weekend.”
Using the resources and contacts around you to enhance your business are key themes each speaker touches on. Even the founders of the Ladies of Business Conference, Bianca Rush and Dayybella, agree that networking should be one of the major focuses of being an entrepreneur.
Dayybella says to “make sure you have a goal. When you go out to these events, make sure you reach out to at least 5 to 10 people because you never know who could benefit you and who you could benefit.” She explains their connection was a result of networking. “We actually didn’t come in to business as friends. We met and just created a business relationship and it grew as a friendship. So now we work perfectly together.”