When starting her business, Rebecca Barnes' goal was to highlight the arts, support charities, and promote the local economy in Prince William County. As the Publisher of Prince William Living
, she's had a chance to do just that.
Barnes has created a successful platform for the Prince William County community through Prince William Living. "Success, to me, is in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the day, if I accomplish my goals, have the respect of my peers, and seek out a living to boot - I am successful."
"I couldn't begin to guess how many hours I put in. Everything I do, whether personal or business, is focused and goal oriented. If I am awake, I am working, thinking, planning. Even resting or playing is part of work overall because it is what keeps me going."Describe yourself in three words:
Servant, teacher, friend.What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
I have been told I hold the distinct honor of being the only person to win the PW Chamber business of the year award three times. Being the Chair of the Chamber was a huge privilege as well. However, I think my greatest professional achievement was my involvement with Leadership Prince William. Seeing something go from task force stage, all the way through to reality, and knowing how many lives it has and will continue to touch, is very satisfying.What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To create as many new opportunities for Prince William Living as possible, so we can continue our work. Our contributors have such unique and wonderful ideas, that it makes everyday a new exciting adventure!How does your company stay connected through social media? https://www.facebook.com/PrinceWilliamLiving http://pinterest.com/pwliving/ http://www.linkedin.com/company/prince-william-living What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Fire Marshal -- because the only thing cooler than being a firefighter is being a firefighter that gets to carry a gun.How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I don't know if you ever get a perfect balance. The key is to be flexible, don't procrastinate, ask for help and know your limits.What websites do you visit every day? www.pwliving.com www.bizjournals.com/washington/ www.pwchamber.org
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Coke Zero - at any corner grocery store.What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Wait. There is life outside Prince William County? ;)
When I am not working or with my family, I spend my time at Occoquan Woodbridge Lorton Volunteer Fire Department with my second family. So I would say Station 2, Station 12 and Station 14.What is your goal for retirement?
I don't think I will ever "retire" but I will travel between PWC and Orlando Florida depending on the weather. My last job will be "Philanthropist".Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Make sure there is a strong need or want for what you are doing. Just because you are good at "making widgets" doesn't mean people will beat down your door to give you money for it. It also doesn't mean just because you are a good "widget maker" that you are a good business person. Have a strong business plan, a meticulous accountant and a good business lawyer.
If you own a woman-run business and would like to be highlighted in our Leading Ladies series, please apply here: Leading Ladies Interview.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Megan PodoIsky has over 15 years experience in retail management, buying, and merchandising. Her love of children and fashion makes owning 529 Kids Consign
her “dream come true”. Between her business partner, Pouneh, and herself, they have four growing boys to dress. “Shopping for and dressing these little guys is something that we both love. However, we were shocked at how quickly these wares are out-grown – and we decided that we were probably not alone.” And so, 529 Kids Consign was born.
Megan realized that she was doing what she loved: Being a mom, starting her business venture from home with her kids at her side, and helping other moms save money. Her dream started as an online boutique and quickly grew into a well-known "pop-up" boutique. Now, you can find 529 Kids Consign with a brick and mortar storefront in historic Old Town, Alexandria.
“I always knew I would own my own store, I just didn't think it would happen 6 months after my second son was born. I dragged that little guy in his car seat to Home Goods once a week to purchase furniture for the store. Late nights merchandising the store with both boys in tow were both tiring and rewarding… Now I walk into the store every day and pinch myself!” Describe yourself in three words:
Enthusiastic, Motivated, Hard-WorkingWhat do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Opening 529 Kids Consign. After spending 15 years in the retail industry, it was always my ultimate goal to own my own store – and kids' consignment makes so much sense nowadays!What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To expand our business and our brand!How does your company stay connected through social media?
We post pictures
of new product on a daily basis to stay in touch with our customers. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Possibly social media marketing- I have become pretty good at it!How do you maintain a work/life balance?
My husband is my rock. He, too, works for himself...so together we are raising our two boys and living the American Dream. He helps with everything from cooking to changing diapers!What websites do you visit every day?
Facebook, Twitter, NordstromWhat is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Grey Hound with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice at Virtue Feed & Grain!What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
-Cameron Station: My Neighborhood in Alexandria where most of the amazingly supportive women in my life live.
-Restaurant Eve: A dinner at the bar with my husband is one of my favorite night's out!
-Hanging with my little boys at any of the wonderful parks in Alexandria.
What is your goal for retirement?
To be comfortable enough to enjoy our kids/grandchildren and not have to worry. And travel, travel, travel!Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Do not be afraid. Keep a positive attitude!
Wendy Wade started her career as an Art Director at a local design studio, but did freelance in the evenings. Over the course of several years, her clients and freelance business grew to the point that one day, she felt it was right to take the leap of faith and start her own business. "And that's what it was... a leap! I was hopeful that I had waited until the time was right and couldn't have done it without the support of my husband who is my biggest cheerleader."
Her path to get her to where she is today has been nothing but constant drive for a dream that she won’t allow not to come true. "I won’t be settled until Weswen Design is as big as it is in my head, and I still have a long way to go. My internal drive and the new clients I meet along the way is what makes my goals ever changing and constantly brighter. While I might work myself to death at times, I can’t imagine having everything handed to me on a silver platter. I don’t think I would appreciate it as much."
Wendy stays positive and thrives off of amazing feedback from her clients.Describe yourself in three words:
Motivated. Sassy. Hard-working.What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Seeing my business grow AFTER having a baby. When it seems I've had less time to focus on the business, no time for networking and less working hours, my business is booming now more than ever and I'm thrilled to be working with a host of new clients who have been referred my way. What are your professional goals for the next six months?
-Figure out Quickbooks! (oy, makes my head hurt just thinking about it)
-Host a branding seminar to teach small business owners what exactly a successful brand is and how they can achieve one.
-Branch out into the hospitality industry and work with a client(s) from a vineyard/winery, restaurant, coffee shop, etc.
-Have work featured on blogsHow does your company stay connected through social media?
It's difficult to say the least, especially when all the time I have needs to go to the actual client work. The place I tend to keep up with most is Facebook, and of course, I always try to sneak in a blog post at least once a week. I need to get better at more blogging time and figuring out what people want to read and is helpful to them.What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Dancer, makeup artist, winemaker. All still in the artsy category I think! How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Oy, it's hard! In my deadline driven world, I try to prioritize the projects that must have immediate attention and the ones that I can push back a day or two. And no matter what deadline I have, come quitting time, that's it. Family time takes over until the next morning when I can gather myself again and tackle the day's work. I find I actually have to close the doors to my office (since it's in my home!) and tell myself not to check or respond to email. It's difficult, but I don't want to be that mom that is doing everything in life at 50%. I'm 100% committed to whatever I'm doing and always stay in the moment. What websites do you visit every day?
For Print Only http://www.underconsideration.com/fpo/
Beauty Bets http://www.beautybets.com
(I LOVE beauty stuff!)
Bayside Bride http://baysidebride.com
United with Love http://www.unitedwithlove.com
Daily Dishonesty http://dailydishonesty.com What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
The Wimbeldon at Tallulah in Arlington. It has pop rocks! What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
Clydes of Willow Creek. El Tio's Mexican restaurant. Zinga Frozen Yogurt. (all food related of course!)What is your goal for retirement?
To be happy and fulfilled! I'm not setting an age when I want to be retired. With my work, I'm happy every day, it honestly doesn't feel like working. That saying is true! So if I'm doing this when I'm 70, great! I just hope I'm still current and trendy enough to get away with it :) Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
It's not easy, it's a ton of work - but the payoff and rewards are infinite. Nothing is more empowering than working for yourself. The successes, the failures, they are all yours. You can't give credit or point the finger at anyone else. So that makes you want to be the best you can be and work as hard as you can.
Also, don't feel intimidated. Sometimes it can be difficult to prove that even though I’m a younger female entrepreneur, I should be taken seriously. I can walk the walk and talk the talk. Age shouldn’t matter; that’s one of my biggest gripes. Do your best to establish yourself as a professional in your field. And I always say, just because I work from home does not mean it’s my hobby.
Finally, I’m a huge advocate of having a voice and using it. When I see girls who are afraid to speak up and stand up for themselves or their company, it really irks me. I don’t know how you’ll ever get ahead in the business world if you don’t have a backbone!
After several years in the corporate world and "surviving" company-wide layoff after layoff, Jennifer Sharman realized that she didn't like the feeling of letting someone else control her future. Jenn was determined to be a successful businesswoman. “A lot of my friends say they would be too nervous to start their own companies, but I saw it very differently. I was too nervous not to!”
Jenn faced many obstacles along the way. But with the right perspective, she saw the obstacles as challenges – and overcoming the challenges has made the end result that much sweeter.
The first business Jenn started after graduating from college was a successful salon in Reston. She ran the salon with her twin sister for several years until her sister decided to step down as owner to focus on her growing family. They sold the salon, but Jenn was not yet ready to give up her dream of running a successful business that provided a valuable service to the community. With two little ones at home, Jenn was certain the concept of Sport Bounce
would be well received. Thankfully, the community has graciously agreed!Describe yourself in three words:
Independent, Funny, HappyWhat do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Creating two successful businesses in a world where a significant number of new businesses fail.What are your professional goals for the next six months?
My husband and I are currently exploring franchising options for Sport Bounce and we are also developing another company called Scribehead (www.scribehead.com
). How does your company stay connected through social media? (please provide links!)
LinkedIn, Constant Contact, Facebook
, and Twitter
. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
As mentioned above, my husband and I are also busy working on a new company called Scribehead
. Right now, we're just beginning to find resources and opportunities. In the meantime, he's busy improving the concept every day. How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I hire the best people in the world to help take care of our day-to-day operations! The team at Sport Bounce is an amazing group of people. When I'm not physically there, I am very confident that our customers are being very well taken care of. Because we are a busy place, it can get crazy sometimes. Laughter helps and my team and I really try to keep it light and fun. Afterall, how can a kids' party place not be FUN?! :-) I'm glad that my daughters see me working hard and having fun at the same time. I hope I am setting a good example for them.What websites do you visit every day?
I love staying "in the know" with Facebook. I also love visiting fitness-centered sites that provide motivation and education for staying healthy and active.What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
I'm not a big alcohol drinker, so I'm going to have to say Starbucks chai tea latte. If they had almond milk, I'd be there every day!What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
My daughters and my husband. They inspire me every day.What is your goal for retirement?
To stay physically active and independent while helping those who cannot be.Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Seek advice and information from business owners who have succeeded in your field... but follow your own heart and trust your own instincts. Create a business much like the place YOU would enjoy going to and surround yourself with people who make your life better and happier.
In 2005, CPT Jaspen Boothe was a single mom in the Army Reserves living in New Orleans. In July 2005, she learned that she would soon be deploying to Iraq. Shortly after, her life was torn apart by two significant events.
In August, she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. Not letting material loss get her down, she tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership through the upcoming deployment. A few weeks later in September, Jaspen received a diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer that would prevent her from deploying.
Jaspen’s options were limited, but because of the illness, the military was willing to discharge her. However, she needed medical care, a job, and a place to live with her child.
When searching for what assistance might be available, Jaspen found welfare and food stamps were the only options presented. Jaspen found these options unacceptable for a woman who had honorably served her country. After six months at Brooke Army Medical Center, she was found fit for duty and immediately began looking for employment and a place for her and her son to live.
Four years later, CPT Jaspen Boothe founded non-profit organization Final Salute
so that women who have honorably served their country could seek assistance with dignity and respect -- and not be subject to the process of humiliation that welfare provides.
Jaspen’s motivation lives in knowing that she has made a difference in the lives of women veterans and their children. Describe yourself in three words:
Proud. Faithful. Resilient.What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Opening 3 homes in less than 3 years for homeless female Veterans and their children. We are the only organization in the DC Metro Area that provides this service. What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To open another home for women Veterans and their children, the need is great. I also plan to finally start to write a book about my life. How does your company stay connected through social media?
Social Media has been the backbone of gaining support and spreading the word about our organization. It works!What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Talk show host!How do you maintain a work/life balance?
The work life balance is a myth. I am A Soldier, Mother, Wife and Non-Profit Leader. I don’t wake up and 25% is magically sprinkled across the balance. The balance is to keep your life organized so that you can give 100% to what you are doing in the moment. When I am with my kids, they receive 100%. When I am with my husband, he received 100% of a wife.What websites do you visit every day?
Among the many other things I have started, I created the Miss USA equivalent for women who have served our country. Who doesn't love a women who can strut her stuff and kick your a$$!
Ms. Veteran America 2013 will be held at the National Conference Center on October 13th. http://www.msveteranamerica.org/ What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Wine! I prefer moscato hands done, but live just a hop, skip and a jump from LaGrange Winery in Haymarket.What are your favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
1. La Grange Winery
2. My family
3. Networking with women through social media and sites like Real Housewives of Northern VirginiaWhat is your goal for retirement?
I will retire when every homeless female Veteran and their children have a home. My work isn't done until then.Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
People do not look at a non-profit as a business; it is! It takes a unique entrepreneurial spirit to start, run and maintain a non-profit organization. How do you get someone to write a check and what he or she receives in return is knowing they helped someone? You have to sell your cause!
Twenty years ago, Brenda Hyde was in the midst of raising four kids. After being unable to find a local children’s store, she realized that she wanted to create a resource for busy moms in the Washington DC area. Today, she is the Editor of one of the largest publications in the Washington DC region - FAMILY Magazine
. Describe yourself in three words:
Innovative, Energetic, and involved What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Developing our print magazine into something more than just a magazine – an online community, where moms can find great events and resources for their families. We just want to help make mom’s life easier…we aim to provide something of value that helps the families in our community.What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To keep innovating and pull together more and better resources for parents…and we want to continue growing.How does your company stay connected through social media?
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/familymagazineWhat profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I would love to be an adventure traveler. I have been scuba diving with sharks (no cages) and went on a photo safari in Africa. I’d love to have a program on adventurous travel for moms! How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I’m very lucky – what I do at work blends nicely with being a mother and wife. We have a company policy that your family comes first and I model that for my employees. My husband and I have date night every Friday, and if my kids need me at any time, I’m there. I’m getting ready to take my granddaughter on a college tour – family means everything to me.What websites do you visit every day?
I love the Huffington Post online, the Wall Street Journal, and of course, FAMILY Magazine’s! When I get a chance, I love checking out the local mom bloggers, like Real Housewives of Northern Virginia too! JWhat is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Grey Goose Martini, dry, shaken, not stirred, 3 olives. We love to go to the top of the W Hotel in Washington DC…At sunset, as you sip, you can watch the American flags light up around Washington. It’s just beautiful.What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
We LOVE the wine tours in Northern Virginia. There are so many great new wineries in the area - we love Bluemont, Sunset Hills and Barrel Oak Wineries. My favorite way to tour is to go with a bunch of friends and rent a limo!
I also love the Reston Ice Skating Pavilion. My husband and I love to sit and watch as people whiz by us on skates!
If you love art, the Lorton Workhouse is great! One of our graphic artists who has worked with FAMILY Magazine for over 10 years exhibits there! We love supporting local businesses and artists – this place is truly a treasure! What is your goal for retirement?
Retirement? You mean when we don’t work? Never! I love what I do and working with the magazine. Although, I’d love to take more time to photograph sunsets and relax on the beach!Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Just do it! If you have a passion and you have the skillsets needed, just go for it! You’ll love it and you’ll never “work” another day in your life.
When Souny West was laid off from Corporate America 3 years ago, she decided to start her own business: W Salon
. Realizing that her talents were more concentrated in business development, she recognized the talent of her sister, Sue, who is a fabulous hairstylist of 15+ years. Having always had an entrepreneurial spirit, it was inevitable that she would start a business of her own some day. Her sister’s talent was what she truly believed. Souny knew she could successfully brand her sister’s skills using her background in social media and marketing. Together, they have created a recognizable salon brand in less than 3 years through their focus and determination to be unique in their industry. Describe yourself in three words:
I am known to Dream Big, Motivate and Inspire Others.What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
I would have to say being asked to represent small business owners for the 2012 Presidential Candidate Campaign for Gov. Mitt Romney and also being recognized as The Small Business Owner by Springfield Chamber of Commerce for 2012.What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To seek additional location's for the W Salon... How does your company stay connected through social media?
Due to my background in Social Media and Marketing, it has become a part of our lifestyle and behavior to always keep a pulse of various industries through my hootsuite dashboard daily. We follow various fashion & beauty brands, trend-setting bloggers and also sites like Entrepreneur.com and Ted.com to continually grow and think outside the box.What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Would love to try owning a hotel one day... How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I try to work a 9 - 4 schedule and keep my evenings and weekends open to being a mom and wife. Although at times it becomes challenging as I find myself working when I put the kids to bed, I try and stick to that schedule as much as possible. What websites do you visit every day?
Ted.com, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, Refinery29.comWhat is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Being allergic to alcohol limits me to some extent, so I'll share a drink I often find myself enjoying twice a week in the afternoon as a treat. Sweet Passion Iced Tea Lemonade by Starbucks - An infusion of hibiscus and natural tropical flavors, mixed with lemonade and hand-shaken with ice. My favorite.What are your favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
I love visiting Old Town Alexandria with my family. We love walking up and down king street with ice-cream, cupcakes and a warm cup of coffee in hand. What is your goal for retirement?
I don't find myself pondering on the idea that one day I will quit and sit along the beach watching sunsets. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. I find fulfillment building a business and watching it grow. It may be a hard habit for me to break. Would love to leave a legacy enterprise behind for my children and family. Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Create your brand and allow others to absorb your company brand. People don’t consume based on what you do; people consume based on WHY you do it.
Today, my best friend from college is deploying to Afghanistan. So very thankful for her courage and defending our freedoms here at home. Love you, Anne!
Thank you so very much to everyone who came out last week to make my blogiversary (and my birthday!) a night to remember! Huge shout out to AT&T
for sponsoring the event and supporting Mission Sleep
. If you missed it - you can check out photos of the event thanks to Valerie Bey Photography.
don't forget to swing by South Moon Under's
GRAND OPENING PARTY @ Mosaic District on November 13 from 6-9!