So, I am going to tell you a few stories about the early days of E&O… and how women have supported us and helped us grow!
When Mary and I first began this little venture, I was living in Barbados, and she was living in New York. We had only a few products: our Stainless Steel Dia Bracelets, a few rings & earrings from a few female jewelry designers that we knew, and handmade pieces that Mary made. So, Mary came down to Barbados to visit me and we snuck off to a little hotel we often hung out at to have a drink. We meet these two older women there, get talking about starting this business together and one of them says, “Show me your stuff!” Well, we had nothing, no website, pictures, nothing! So we ran back to the house, grabbed a bag full of jewelry and took it back to the hotel bar... She bought everything! She told us how happy she was to support women entrepreneurs and that we should stick with it. We went home singing and dancing that night with cash in our pockets, so excited that whatever we were doing was working! We later found out that this wonderful woman was the owner of one of the largest beer brands in Canada. Women supporting women.
When I moved back to Rochester, Mary & I did EVERYTHING ourselves. We would sit at parks while the kids played, assembling & packaging bracelets. When I was at my daughters softball game, I was twisting & packaging Dia, when a few moms offered to help… we began meeting at a friends pool with a bin of product and packaging, and would get it done while the kids played! Then they started offering to take the product home to assemble and package… Suddenly “mom-bins” were created. Very organically we had just created our very own “work from home assembly team”! We freed up some time and they made some extra money while sitting on the sports field, in their kitchens, or at the pool. Women supporting women!
The Rochester female entrepreneur community is VERY strong and there are AMAZING women who have supported us along the way! From bloggers, to business owners, these women get it done. We set up tables outside of several coffee shops, bars, hair salons… you name it! We did any and every event we could and were welcomed into their fold from day one. The women in that community are amazing and we are so lucky to call it home to E&O.
For us, we know that E&O would not be where it is today without the support of other women lifting us up. Which is why it is SO important to us to continue to learn from each other and teach each other and grow as a community.
Incredible things WILL happen!