This Female Founder Friday I’m happy to share the story of woman entrepreneur, Kristin Marquet. Kristen is the founder of FemFounder, an online resource where female entrepreneurs can go to get free tips, tricks, advice, tools, and resources on just about every aspect of running a business. Kristen left the safety of a corporate PR job to go out on her own, and learned more than a few things on her journey. One of the harshest lessons she had to learn was the art of promotion. Little things like yard signs really went a long way. You can learn more about super cheap signs online.
So, if you’re entrepreneur-curious or currently building your business, don’t miss Kristin’s honest answers about working in a job she didn’t enjoy and struggling to find the clarity that eventually led to the success of her business. We’ve all struggled and wished for a “magic 8 ball of clarity” as entrepreneurs. It’s reassuring for those in the turmoil of startup world to know that fact, and realize that if you keep going you will find your way and grow your company.
What inspired you to create your company?
After college, I had worked as a manager for a law firm for a year because I was considering applying to law school. At the time I really wanted to work as an appellate attorney. In case you were not already aware, appellate attorneys seek to correct errors of trial court judges and change the law by persuading appellate courts to overturn lower court decisions or to expand or change the interpretation of statutory law. You see, although all cases should initially be tried at the trial court level, the losing party may appeal their case to higher courts known as appellate courts. For me, appellate law was a way to put my research skills to use, all while helping others to get the best possible outcome in civil matters.
Of course, I am still passionate about civil justice and upholding the law, but after a while, I realized that I was more interested in the PR and marketing side of things, so I went on to work in consulting for four years. During the financial crisis, my office in the Northeast shut down and I was laid off. At that point, I had a tough decision to make: “Do I look for a job, or do I start my own business?” After a few days of weighing the pros and cons, I decided to take the risk and launch a PR firm (originally Marquet Media, now Creative Development Agency.) It’s been 10+ years and I never looked back after that.
About a year ago, I decided to launch FemFounder.co (after receiving numerous requests from entrepreneurs who could not afford to hire a PR firm). FemFounder.co is a one-stop shop for female business owners that publishes content on anything related to business.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
There were two things really. The first is Money. If you’re not earning enough to put a good amount of savings away then it can be a big struggle to get the financial support for your business. If you want help, you can go to the banks and ask for loans but some people want to do it themselves. You can start saving more money, maybe go on some forex trading courses and start trading, go down the passive income route, there are lots of options.
The second thing was Lack of Clarity – Not knowing what industry I wanted to serve cost me a lot of time and money. When I first started out in business, one week I would want to do professional services, the next I would want to focus on medical and health, and then the next I would want to focus on fashion. I would get so frustrated and agonize because I wouldn’t know where to spend my time. I finally figured out where my best contacts were and my strongest skill set and committed to beauty/lifestyle/wellness. Once I figured out the markets I would serve, it was a huge relief. I could finally get back to serving my clients without agonizing where my passion fell.
I am working on a variety of projects but the most interesting projects we’re working on right now are launching the high-fashion model agency DebutModels.com, growing emerging beauty brand BubblePopBeauty.com, working with entrepreneur Dr. Tasha Holland-Korneygay, as well as rebranding the clean beauty magazine and e-commerce platform, TheBeautyLyst.com.. Maybe one day she will decide to rent some office space kings cross when her businesses bloom.
What is a life or business hack that you recommend to help other female founders?
You can have both a life and a business. Make it a point to take time for yourself and take care of yourself. No one else is going to take care of you but you.
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Being an entrepreneur is tough, can be lonely at times, and can suck overall. But when things get tough (and trust me they will), make sure to have a strong support system and make friends with other entrepreneurs who can relate. It’ll be a lot easier to weather the bad times. I have my FemFounder.co network so it makes the process of entrepreneurship much easier.