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“Who we are, or where we come from, should not dictate how big we’re allowed to dream,” says Juliette Technologies Founder Rechelle Balanzat

Rechelle Balanzat is the CEO & Founder of Juliette Technologies. She’s a solo female tech entrepreneur and launched Juliette in Sept. 2014 from a basement laundromat in Murray Hill. She’s a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a Tory Burch Fellow, an All Raise Female Founder, and a graduate of the International Drycleaning & Laundry Institute. Rechelle was also awarded Distinguished Filipino Women by the Philippine Consulate. 

Rechelle Balanzat

Rechelle Balanzat is the CEO & Founder of Juliette Technologies. (Photo courtesy of Rechelle Balanzat)

Her story begins in the Philippines where she was born to teenage parents and later became the first in her family to attend university, graduating with  honors from Fordham. Over the years she traveled and studied languages, worked in private equity and later digital marketing for brands like Max Mara, Pepsi, and Fresh. Then, in 2014, Rechelle set her sights on making a dream come true. 

“Juliette Technologies is my third venture. It is a comprehensive software solution for laundry and dry cleaning. Through our app, clients can have their dirty clothes picked up, cleaned, and delivered within 24 hours at the tap of a button,” Rechelle explains. 

Growing  up, Rechelle wanted to accomplish great things, do good work, and give back to her community. She looked for role models and found them, but few looked like her or represented where she came from—her gender, socioeconomic background, or diaspora. 

“It’s hard to be something you can’t see. But I didn’t let that stop me. I set out to become category leader in laundry and dry cleaning—a big dream, I know. But it’s my dream. Should who I am, or where I come from dictate how big I’m allowed to dream?” says Rechelle. 

Rechelle launched Juliette Technologies in September of 2014 after a year and a half of working on her prototype during her night while freelancing to pay the bills by day. 

“In 2012/2013 I was using Seamless frequently for food delivery. Around the same time, I would have to call my local cleaner to pick up and/or drop off my laundry.  Sometimes they would come, sometimes they wouldn’t. That was my a-ha moment!  I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t there an app that could pickup and deliver my laundry & dry cleaning?’” 

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Working nonstop for the next few years, Rechelle built up her company brick by brick. She watched as her competitors raised—and lost—millions. Meanwhile she had nothing and raising money was a constant struggle. 

As a female technology entrepreneur, one of my biggest challenges was fundraising.  Even though I had customers from day one, a profitable business model, and a scalable solution – I failed to fundraise.  As a result I fell into a depression.  I questioned my skill set and my abilities.  Perhaps I am a failure?” Rechelle shares.   

“Then I learned that the systems and paths to success thus far were made for people who do not share my background.  For example, of all VC funding only 2% go to women.  Of that, less than 0.2% go to women of color.” 

While money does not always equal success, it does take money to make money and for Rechelle and her story not raising capital meant her path to success was longer and more difficult. 

Still, Rechelle continued to work harder in the face of these challenges. She would not give up on her dream and eventually she hit her stride in 2017 when she began doubling her revenue. By the summer of 2019 she expanded to a second location. Then the pandemic hit and she lost 90% of revenue in 2020. 

“It wasn’t until Q4 2021 that I was able to stabilize the business. Today we are back in growth mode. We expect to triple our revenue this year.” 

“We pickup, clean, and deliver clothes with the tap of a button.”  (Photo courtesy of Rechelle Balanzat)

Through these challenges and setbacks Rechelle has learned to lean on her strengths. Her “superpower” is her ability to activate the people around her and build strong communities. She leads with empathy and always finds ways to empower the people around her so that they in turn can empower their communities too. 

“I am an empowered woman.  As such, I empower my team to make the right decisions when it comes to running our daily operations.  In the end, we become aligned with our vision and our values and that is a win-win,” says Rechelle. “As immigrants, we are natural survivors, natural entrepreneurs, and natural problem solvers.” 

See Rechelle speak at our exclusive event the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit! REGISTER NOW: Space is limited. 

For other minority women starting their own entrepreneurial journeys, Rechelle says, “It’s not about the challenges or the setbacks. It’s about never losing faith in yourself. It’s about believing in yourself when no one else will; believing in your dreams when no one else will. Standing up for those dreams. Standing up for yourself. That space of self-discovery can be intimidating. But I promise you, it’s the most powerful place you can be. All the challenges, all the obstacles, they refine you—they make you stronger, wiser, sharper.”

Along her own personal journey Rechelle has learned that being an immigrant does not have to be a setback and that each person has the power to change the narrative and create new pathways. 

“Who we are, or where we come from, should not dictate how big we’re allowed to dream – even if the world thinks we’re dreaming too big,” says Rechelle. 

“Be prepared to work twice as hard. Be prepared to get declined and rejected. And when that happens – see it as an opportunity.  Because it is up to us to break the cycle and find new pathways to success.” 

“In our daily hustle, in our daily fight striving towards excellence – we forge the future and create new pathways for the women after us.  Know this: no one can take power away from you. You have to give it away. As you strive to make your mark in the world, do so with grace and compassion. Because in many cases, you may be the first!”

You might be interested: Strong lineup of speakers announced for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit


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Bibi Hidalgo

“We don’t need to do it alone” says SBA’s Bibi Hidalgo, to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs 

Bibi Hidalgo is the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting & Business Development at the SBA and is the first ever woman appointed by the President for this role. 

In this role, Bibi Hidalgo oversees and reviews procurement policies for small businesses hoping to work with the Federal Government. This includes for Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Veteran-owned firms, HUBZone firms, Woman-owned small businesses, and firms in the 8(a) Minority Business Development Program.

In her prior role, she was the SBA Government Contracting Policy Lead for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, developing policies that President Biden could execute in the first 100 days, with an emphasis on underserved communities. In 2014, Bibi and her brother Patrick Hidalgo co-founded Future Partners, LLC, which advised Fortune 500 corporate executives on procurement and minority business strategy, and created a model for how to facilitate significant opportunities for both.   

Bibi Hidalgo is dedicating her work to the memory of her brother Patrick who passed away suddenly at the age of 41 in March of 2020.

“We don’t need to do it alone” 

Working closely with Latinas and other women entrepreneurs, Bibi knows it can be easy to think we must do it all on our own in order to be seen as successful or capable, but that is not the case. 

“We don’t need to do it alone. And that’s really important for us to remember that we don’t need to do it alone. Because every day, we’re asking ourselves, is this the right thing? Am I doing the right thing? Am I alienating myself, or am I ingratiating myself, and you need to kind of touch base with someone to get a temperature check,” says Bibi. 

As women, having a supportive circle is crucial, especially in male-dominated industries where support may be hard to come by. 

“Whether you want to be an economist, finance expert, astronaut, or the best app developer, there is very much your place in your world to be there. And to and to be sure to lean on other women for support. Be sure to create that circle of support, that really wants to see you rise, and that you help each other do that. I have such a strong support system that I’m so grateful for.”

For Bibi, her support system helped her stay strong in the face of challenges and adversity. She advises women to seek out those mentors in their industry, lean into support, and also stay strong and believe in your knowledge and technical capabilities. Don’t question yourself. 

“I am the first woman appointed by the President to be an Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development. And if I have caved into some of my self-doubt, I would never be here because it’s very much a man’s world. And yet, I set that aside in my brain, and knew that I could tackle this issue, and hang with the guys on such a complicated topic. And now I’m able to lead and we’re effecting change together.” 

Jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey with inspirational titles on Audible today!

“Keep driving it home and pushing hard” 

As a woman in a male-dominated field you may not always be the most popular. You might be the first ever woman in your role, and that can be tough. 

“I very much learned in business, that you have to make tough decisions that not everyone’s going to agree with. And those are sometimes the loneliest moments, as I’ve heard other leaders say, leadership is lonely,” says Bibi. “And so that’s why you have to make sure you have that network of support, where you can get a pulse check every once in a while, and where you can continue to believe in yourself. Because as long as you do that, you’re going to be able to affect change, and then you get to look back on your career and say, ‘Yeah, I did that. It was tough. I have the battle scars to prove it. But I did it.’”

44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Pete Souza, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

For Bibi, there have been many challenges and wins. One story that always stands out is when she first joined President Obama’s Administration, in 2009. 

“Within a matter of weeks, my agency got a call from the White House saying that they were hit hard, they were getting hit hard on the issue of the recovery stimulus, and not enough contracts going to minority owned businesses. And so I was tasked with staffing our deputy, but what they asked us to do was do events around the country, which we did. And the challenge was that there were some folks who were not too excited about this issue…there was a lot of angst about it, and a lot of pushback.” 

Facing these pushbacks made it difficult for Bibi to do her work and as the struggles persisted she began to have doubts that she could get the job done and affect positive change. 

“I had to navigate a lot of complexities and really try to keep faith, which was hard, and it was getting harder day by day. But sometimes you don’t realize you’re at that point. At a tipping point, you don’t know until you’re there and sometimes it can get really, really hard, really tough until you get there and especially as a woman, in my case and Latina.”

However, Bibi persisted and really focused on driving home her key issues. This strategy was critical to her success. 

“If you try to be everywhere at once, you really have to pick one or two things and to drive it home. And so that’s what I did. I learned it really made all the difference to keep driving hard to keep pushing hard.” 

Her hard work was eventually recognized by higher up officials and Bibi was called to the White House to be acknowledged for her work.

“That’s what I mean by ‘don’t give up.’ Follow your instinct, follow your gut, know what’s most important. Because that changed my life permanently. I always go back to that day, that day that I got that request to go into his office, it was the last thing I could have ever imagined. And yet it affirmed the work I was doing and made me realize I was on the right track.” 

You might be interested: Latina career coach and author Cici Castelli shares key tips to unlock your success mindset in new book

Today, Bibi Hidalgo is grateful to be back and able to pick up her work where she left off. 

“So much has happened in the interim, and we have our work cut out for us in so many different ways. Businesses, minority women businesses were not always prioritized. And so we’re trying to get that back in a direction, where it is an important priority among all of our priorities in advancing socio economic groups,” says Bibi. 

She is excited to continue working to create opportunities for women and minority business owners across the country and continue working with and supporting women in business.


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entrepreneurs' happiness,

Why entrepreneurs have the most stressful – yet most satisfying – jobs

Ute Stephan, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Aston University shares key insights on entrepreneur stress, happiness, and well-being.

Entrepreneurs have some of the most stressful jobs. They must grapple with uncertainty and be personally responsible (and liable) for any decision they make. They have the longest working hours of any occupational group. And they have to rapidly develop expertise across all areas of management from finance, marketing, procurement, and operations to human resource management in the process of starting and managing their business.

Yet despite all this, research finds that entrepreneurs are happier and seemingly healthier than people in other jobs. So how can we explain this paradox?

To understand entrepreneurs’ happiness, I conducted a comprehensive and systematic review of 144 empirical studies of this topic, covering 50 years. Here are the five key findings that sum up the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur.

1. It’s not all about pay

Work on the economics of entrepreneurship traditionally assumed that entrepreneurs bear all the stresses and uncertainty associated with their work because over the long term they can expect a high financial reward for their effort. Yet the evidence shows that entrepreneurs earn less than they would if they, with their particular skill set, were working as employees.

When you ask entrepreneurs how they measure their success, happiness often comes out on top, alongside autonomy. Income features much less prominently.

2. Highly stressful

At the same time, there is substantial evidence that entrepreneurs face myriad stressors that diminish their happiness. High workload and work intensity, as well as financial problems facing their business are top of the entrepreneurs’ stress list.

stress at work

Entrepreneurs face more stress, yet have the most satisfying jobs. Photo created by gpointstudio on freepik.com

Although they diminish entrepreneurs’ happiness, some stressors have an upside. While they require more effort in the here and now, they may lead to positive consequences such as business growth in the long term. Some entrepreneurs appear to interpret their long working hours in this way – as a challenge – and therefore turn them into a positive signal.

3. Autonomy is both good and bad

The autonomy that comes with being an entrepreneur can be a double-edged sword. Entrepreneurs can make decisions about when and what they work on – and with whom they work. Having the freedom to make these decisions is one of the key motivators for the majority of entrepreneurs to start a business in the first place.

But, as the saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing. Recent research into how entrepreneurs experience their autonomy suggests that, at times, they struggle profoundly with it. The sheer number of decisions to make and the uncertainty about what is the best way forward can be overwhelming, especially when the constant high workload means that there is little time to carefully think through decisions. Then there’s the fact that investors and other stakeholders can significantly limit entrepreneurs’ autonomy.

4. It’s not only personality traits

There is evidence that people with certain personality traits such as self-belief or emotional stability are more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs. And, in turn, these personality traits are associated with higher levels of well-being. But studies that consider personality traits and autonomy at the same time are scarce.

Nonetheless, autonomy still seems to be the biggest reason for high levels of job satisfaction among entrepreneurs. Plus, the personality traits that are most characteristic for entrepreneurs are relatively specific and malleable such as self-belief and initiative-taking. This kind of entrepreneurial mindset can be trained.

Emerging research also finds that the nature of people’s work can shape their personalities. This, intriguingly, suggests that people can develop an entrepreneurial personality through their work as an entrepreneur.

woman leading meeting female leadership

Photo unsplash.com

5. An addictive mix

The evidence review confirms that, by any stretch of the imagination, entrepreneurs’ work is highly demanding and challenging. This, along with the positive aspects of being their own boss coupled with an often competitive personality can lead entrepreneurs to be so engaged with their work that it can become obsessive.

So the most critical skill of entrepreneurs is perhaps how they are able to manage themselves and allow time for recovery. Prolonged exposure to work that is as intense as that of entrepreneurs takes a physical toll on peoples’ bodies. Hence future research into recovery strategies of entrepreneurs can help them manage their highly stressful, albeit satisfying, jobs.

Entrepreneurs’ well-being matters

Entrepreneur happiness matters not just for the entrepreneurs themselves, it also matters for their partners’ and children’s well-being. Plus, happy entrepreneurs are less likely to give up and close their firms. They are in a better position to recognize opportunities and be more effective at work, which culminates in more successful businesses.

Many features of the world of work today reflect challenges faced by entrepreneurs – high levels of uncertainty, intense work demands, and personal responsibility among them. So understanding entrepreneurs’ happiness affords us a glimpse into how we all may manage the demands of this new world of work.The Conversation

You might be interested: Stress Awareness Month: Coping with stress at work 


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Dr. Angela Zeng’s Karuna empowering consumers to make better choices for happier, healthier lives 

Dr. Angela Zeng is the CEO and founder of Karuna Beverages. With a Ph.D in Pathology and over fifteen years experience in the functional beverage and juice industry, she has a passion for natural healing that is rooted in her strong belief in traditional Chinese medicine and herbal sciences.

Karuna Beverages was founded in 2017, when Angela combined her love of Eastern Medicine with her entrepreneurial spirit. As a Chinese immigrant who moved to the U.S. about two decades ago for her Ph.D studies and training in medical research, Angela focused on topics ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Following her research training, Angela went on to earn her MBA at Washington University in St. Louis then worked in business development in a pharmaceutical company. 

It was while working in the pharmaceutical industry evaluating the commercial potential of many products, that Angela began to notice something that made no sense to her: while we are getting better at diagnosing and treating diseases, people are getting sicker. 

“Many disease prevalence rates have kept rising despite the improvements in healthcare. I started to look for answers, and I found the root cause has to be our modern lifestyle, in particular,  industrialized food production,” said Angela. “I was able to see the connections of regular  consumption of high sugar, high salt, and deeply processed food and chronic  inflammation, which then lead to many diseases, including diabetes, arthritis and even  cancer.” 

Upon this realization, Angela combined her knowledge of Eastern Medicine, science, and entrepreneurship to launch Fulfill Food & Beverage doing business as Karuna Beverages in 2017 with the belief that Food is Better Medicine. 

“The first thing that came to my mind is to develop a line of tonic as traditional Chinese medicine believes liquid forms have the strongest potency in improving health, and I chose juices and smoothies as I love fruits and I also have experience in the juice industry,” said Angela. 

She created her first five drinks under the brand name, Karuna—which means compassion—and launched her product inside her local Whole Foods Market store in Missouri. 

“I was very fortunate that a local Whole Foods Market store manager believed in me enough to allow me to come into his store, talk with customers myself and explain my products. Some of the ingredients in my drinks might be unusual to people who aren’t aware of the benefits of say goji berry – which has been used since the ancient days to strengthen immunity, improve eyesight and promote skin and hair health.” 

mykaruna Our Detox Whole Plant Juice earned the World Beverage Innovation Award and offers more antioxidants than three and a half cups of blueberries. At only 70 calories per bottle and filled with prebiotic fiber, this is the perfect drink to cleanse and fortify the body. (Photo via Instagram) 

Since its start, Karuna has grown from a local brand in a single store to an innovator in functional beverages with a presence in stores and online nationwide. As a brand, Karuna is fueled by a strong passion towards finding innovative ways to empower today’s consumers to make better choices to live healthier and happier lives. 

Karuna Beverages now also includes a line of healthy recovery drinks for athletes and a line of alcoholic-free wine replacement juice. For athletes, Karviva ACE drinks combine antioxidants, collagen, and electrolytes and unlike other popular sports drinks, Karuna Recovery is low in sodium and calories and has no added sugar. Karviva Unwined recently launched this holiday season exclusively on Amazon and created a brand-new category as a functional alcohol-free wine replacement juice made of super-berries that help fight inflammation and relieve stress. 

Karviva Unwined has already become a success and has been selected as a finalist in the World Plant Based Awards – Best Beverage 2022. 

Karuna Beverages

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Overcoming hurdles and measuring success 

Anglea has fond memories of walking through an herbal medicine shop at age 5 where she found the aroma and experience to be absolutely magical. From that point on, she developed a deep curiosity for Chinese herbal remedies and started collecting and experimenting with herbal recipes to learn about the ancient healing art that uses the power of plants. Her own experience taught her that the journey to self-compassion should begin by feeding the soul, caring for the body, and stimulating the mind. Karuna strives to cultivate harmony for all three, by combining the simplicity of wholesome, plant-based ingredients with the innovation of modern science. 

“My experience growing up in China and my education here in the United States have offered me a wonderful view of both ancient wisdom and modern medicine. I  have combined the years of knowledge I received about Traditional Chinese medicine with the lessons I acquired through my studies.”

Over the years, Angela has worked to surround herself with people who believe in her products and mission. Initially, some advisors wanted her to market her products solely to the Chinese community. However, Angela felt strongly that her health-focused drinks were for anyone seeking good health and she was determined to provide a better plant-based functional beverage than what was out in the market. 

mykaruna picnic essentials 🤩🌻🍁(Photo via Instagram)

Competing with other competitors who are backed by powerful legacy brands in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) market is not easy. Angela quickly learned that the war on the shelves can be fierce and sometimes it is not quality that wins shelf space but rather the money behind it. 

“This can create strong hurdles for young emerging brands, especially  those owned by minority women, to overcome due to the perception that women of  color lack understanding of the culture and needs of mainstream consumers,” said Angela. “My advice is to have strong faith in yourself, be a constant learner and listener, work hard, and  believe in the consumers you serve.” 

One of Angela’s personal strengths that has served her well on her entrepreneurial journey has been her ability to seek out and form partnerships with those who will help her achieve her company’s mission. She has grown her network of supporters through social media and other channels, putting in the hours traveling and seeking opportunities to get the word out about her company, its mission, and the work they are doing in the community. 

And the hard work has paid off. Karuna Beverages has been recognized with a variety of innovation awards within the food and beverage industry from the Expo West NEXTY Awards to the World Food & Beverage Innovation Awards. Recently, the Higher Education Channel did a profile on Angela which won a 2021 Regional Emmy Award, and she was also featured on the PBS show “Food is Love.” 

You might be interested: Maya Jacquez shares Mexican food culture and heritage through The Pinole Project 

These recognitions are markers of success, showing how hard work, passion, and dedication have helped grow a brand that started in one Whole Foods store to be recognized nationwide and an innovator in the world of food and beverage. Still, the true success is measured beyond awards, in the brand’s mission to cultivate harmony in mind, body, and soul and empower consumers to make better choices to live healthier and happier lives. 

‘Wonder Curl’ founder Scarlett Rocourt shares hair-care secrets to perfect curls 

Scarlett Rocourt is a Haitian-born “Jersey Girl,” an entrepreneur, plant-based vegan, plant mom and gardener. She is passionate about living a healthy life and helping others to do the same. 

She is the founder of Wonder Curl, the leading indie Black-owned, vegan and eco-friendly hair-care line for all natural and curly hair textures. All products are free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, and are cruelty-free.

Wonder Curl specializes in hair-care and has developed a three-step system that simplifies customers’ wash day routine, helping customers embrace their natural curls with cruelty-free and vegan ingredients. Their signature hair-care bundle includes the Detoxifying Clay Cleanser, Moisturizing Hair Pudding, and the Get Set Hair Jelly.

From battling humidity to homemade remedies, Scarlett discovered the secret to perfect curls  

Scarlett’s entrepreneurial journey began unexpectedly in her home kitchen in 2010. At the time, she was living in Florida and her hair was losing a battle against the humidity. After struggling to find the perfect hair gel that would hold up against the weather, Scarlett decided to try her hand at creating her own homemade product. 

‘Wonder Curl’ founder, Scarlett Rocourt began her business in her home kitchen, searching for a hair-care remedy that would battle Florida humidity. (Photo courtesy Scarlett Rocourt)

Originally, she had plans of becoming a blogger and purchased the domain name ‘Wonder Curl.’ After a few weeks she realized this was not the path for her and instead, she found that she had a knack for creating products that helped keep her curls hydrated and defined. 

“I knew that if I had this problem, then other people with curly hair would too,” she said.

Working out of her home kitchen and determined to find a solution to her hair gel problem, she created her first product, the Get Set Hair Jelly. This first product would become one of three in Wonder Curl’s signature hair-care bundle, with  the Detoxifying Clay Cleanser and Moisturizing Hair Pudding later joining the line. 

Her blog domain soon became repurposed as her company name, and Wonder Curl was born. 

Scarlett set out on her mission to create products that would simplify the hair-care process for those with curly hair of all types. “I wanted to take the work out of our hair and I formulated the products, so you only need two products for styling your hair,” said Scarlett. 

Her greatest strength starting out as a minority business owner is that she is also a customer. When formulating her products, she created products that she would want to use herself. 

“My customers have the same issues with their hair as I had. I can relate to them because I am them. I always say that people will buy from who they like and who better than someone who is just like them and understands them?”

With her mission clear in her mind, Scarlett continued developing her line over the following years. She moved from Florida back to New Jersey, got a job in marketing, and kept working on her business as a side hustle. She managed this for over 3 years until her job discovered she was running a whole business while working for them. 

“They let me go and I decided not to look for another job but to pursue Wonder Curl full-time. That was about 2015 and I never looked back!” said Scarlett. 

The magic three-step process to getting those wonder curls

Over the years, Scarlett has perfected her products and now holds the secret to getting those perfectly styled curls with her three-step signature process. 

Made with all natural ingredients known to nourish hair, the unique formulas moisturize and keep hair hydrated for days, improve texture, and enhance natural curl pattern. 

“Those with curly hair know that wash days can be complex and include multiple cleansers, creams, masks, and gels. Even after spending hours on hair, it still may need to be restyled or refreshed within a couple of days. Don’t let all of that hard work go to waste. Wonder Curl has developed a new system that has everything needed in just three products,” said Scarlett describing the process. “The three-step system leaves hair hydrated and defined for days, without refreshing. Not only does this streamline hair-care routines, but it also makes it easier to achieve naturally beautiful hair.”

hair-care, Wonder Curl, Scarlett Rocourt

Scarlett shares the secret to perfect curls with signature three-step process. (Photo courtesy Scarlett Rocourt)

To get the perfect curls for yourself, start with the Detoxifying Clay Cleanser. This product does it all. It washes, detangles, and conditions. The Detoxifying Clay Cleanser was developed to combine all these steps, simplifying the process while leaving hair moisturized and fresh. Many cleansers leave curly hair dry and tangled, but the Wonder Curl formula guarantees hydration.

The second step is the Wonder Curl Moisturizing Hair Pudding, made with shea butter, castor oil, and aloe vera. This leave-in cream hydrates without becoming greasy, enhancing natural curl patterns while increasing the hair’s elasticity.

The Get Set Hair Jelly is the last step that sets hair in its natural curl pattern, without becoming dry, flaky, or crunchy.  

“We know that many hair gels promise hold but fail miserably in humidity. Not the Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly. Hair will have a flexible hold that is perfect for every curl type and is humidity-proof. It is also great for eliminating frizz and elongating your curls,” said Scarlett. 

Healthy hair happiness and giving back

Over the years Scarlett has helped countless people through her products. Starting out, she began attending hair events in NYC to promote her business and putting on workshops. Her hair demonstrations often gather crowds wherever she goes. 

“It’s so important to always give back,” says Scarlett.(Photo courtesy Scarlett Rocourt)

I was giving at a natural hair show in Philadelphia once. It was at a hotel, and they gave me an auditorium. I showed up a few minutes late and it was standing room only which I was not expecting,” said Scarlett, sharing a favorite memory. “I was demonstrating my products on my hair model, who in all fairness already had great hair, so one of the women in the front row who had tightly coiled hair asked ‘But will it work in MY hair?’ I responded, ‘I will do your hair next!’ So, after I was done with my hair model, she came on stage. I wet her hair and applied my products and as soon as the products touched her hair you could see her curls form beautifully. She was so happy.” 

Later, after the demonstration, Scarlett would find her booth mobbed with people from the auditorium who had seen the demonstration and were eager to try Wonder Curl for themselves. 

“We sold out of the products and even had people asking to buy our demo products!”  

These live demonstrations are one of Scarlett’s favorite parts of her job. “This is where I shine the most. I love the look on people’s faces when they see what their hair looks like using my products. They can’t believe how soft and defined their curls are.” 

A decade after starting her journey in the world of hair-care, Scarlett started the Healthy Hair Summit in 2020 to help others to grow their healthiest hair through proven expert tips. She never imagined her personal hair-care journey and homemade remedies would lead her here today. 

To other aspiring entrepreneurs, Scarlett shares one more secret

If you are looking to gain success or grow in your career then you should seek out 3 different types of people. 

The first is someone who is where you want to be. This is the person who has achieved most of their goals and will give you valuable business advice. They don’t have to become your friend, but someone you can text/call every so often when you come across an obstacle. 

Second, is someone who is where you are now and trying to achieve their goals. These are the people who will be struggling or have had a similar struggle as you. This is also the person who talks you off the ledge. 

Finally, the third is someone who wants to get to where you are. It’s so important that we always give back and help the next generation come up.” 

For more information, visit wondercurl.com or follow Wonder Curl on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia tells you how to leave a secure job to launch your dream business

Jennifer Garcia is a multi-faceted business professional and leadership coach with a passion for empowering people and transforming businesses. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), a collaboration with Stanford University driving research, providing education, and cultivating a growing ecosystem of 800 scaled Latino and Latina entrepreneurs across the United States and Puerto Rico, who contribute nearly $4.9 billion in annual revenue. 

Jennifer Garcia, founder of Fluential Leadership. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

Jennifer is also the founder of Fluential Leadership, a business and leadership consulting firm focused on elevating small-to-medium-sized business performance through developing and executing growth strategies, recruitment, and retaining talent.

Cutting the ‘golden handcuffs’ to start business from zero 

Like many entrepreneurs, Jennifer was driven to start her own business out of a desire to pursue her passion and make an impact. For fourteen years, Jennifer worked in the finance industry and in a variety of leadership roles at Bloomberg, a global financial data provider. Through her work, she recognized her strength in developing people, transforming teams and departments. 

Her work at LBAN has also allowed her to continue elevating Latino businesses to the next level by creating growth pathways. Jennifer’s passion for helping women and Latino business owners and leaders grow is what ultimately led her to launching her dream project, Fluential Leadership in 2018. 

Jennifer wanted to make a greater impact and use her expertise as a leader and consulting coach to help others achieve their own career goals and dreams. 

“I positioned myself to equip business leaders and elevate small-to-medium-sized businesses, which are the driving force in the U.S. economy,” says Jennifer. “I have a unique perspective with a long corporate career, first-hand experience as a business owner and a birds-eye view supporting businesses through LBAN and Fluential Leadership. I’ve learned that there are systematic challenges and barriers for women in professional careers, and in entrepreneurship.”

Launching Fluential Leadership was the first step for Jennifer was both exciting and challenging. She was stepping into the unknown and leaving the comfort, certainty, and stability of her career. 

“I stepped away from a successful career, a secure job inclusive of all the benefits provided by a top-tier corporation. I often describe it as the cutting of ‘golden handcuffs’.  The challenge was going from zero to one, building from scratch, doing the role of a CEO, CMO, CFO, content writer, content deliverer, and much more,” says Jennifer. 

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Jennifer Garcia mentoring at an event. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

However, these initial challenges only helped to further fuel Jennifer’s passion and determination. Launching Fluential Leadership afforded her the opportunity to pursue something she was passionate about and build something that was all her own. She says there were many long days and nights, but she put in the time and effort, determined to make an impact and follow through on her dream. 

“Each of our journeys are unique, our entrepreneurial dreams or careers are personal, and so is the price that is paid for it,” she says. “It’s important for me to understand my ‘WHY’. Why am I doing this? Why am I putting in the long hours, why did I step away from a secure career?  It is that understanding that sustains me through the season.  And I do remember that seasons change.”

Owning your story

Like the changing seasons, life can be unpredictable. However, change is good and necessary for any progress or growth. Every entrepreneur is on their own personal journey and that journey becomes your story. Where you started from, how you worked to get to where you are today, where you stumbled and failed, and where you succeeded. 

“My story is my unique strength, and so is yours,” says Jennifer. “It is my story and experiences that shaped who I am today, how I approach business, and the lens in which I propel other business leaders. I grew up selling Christmas trees and firewood on the side of the road with my father, not around the dining room table discussing stocks and bonds or venture capital. The conversations and the work I do today with my kids, with women professionals and business owners, has the ability to empower and elevate leaders, creating exponential and generational impact.  Regardless of my starting line, my purpose is consistent and that is to move the needle for women, business leaders and the Latino community.” 

business, leadership, mentor, storytelling

“Don’t mute your story. Let the world know!” (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

For entrepreneurs, both established and aspiring, embrace your story and own it. Your story is what will set you apart from others. Your story is uniquely yours. 

“Don’t mute your story,” says Jennifer, “let the world know!” 

Writing your story, telling it to the world, and following through on your dreams can be daunting and even downright terrifying. But the alternative is never trying, never sharing, never starting. Jennifer took a chance on her dream, stepping away from the comfort of a corporate job to build something new. 

You might be interested: Employees are quitting in record numbers to start their own business

To the aspiring entrepreneurs looking for that final push, Jennifer says, “Go for it! Jump and grow wings on the way down. There will always be logical reasons why today is not a good time to start your business or aspire for the new career move.  I’ve found that opportunity doesn’t always present itself in opportune times and we just need to embrace it.  Learn what you can from the season.  To borrow a few lines from the powerful poem by William Arthur Ward:

Believe while others are doubting

Plan while others are playing

Begin while others are procrastinating

Work while others are wishing

Persist while others are quitting

Employees are quitting in record numbers to start their own business

You may have heard about the “Great Resignation” in recent months, in which more and more employees are leaving their jobs in a mass exodus, no longer satisfied with their work. The movement has been brought on by a variety of factors according to a survey released last week by Digital.com. 

The survey cited many concerns that have influenced employees in their decisions to leave their jobs including desire for better pay/benefits (44%), focus on health (42%), finding a job they are passionate about (41%), and the desire to work from home indefinitely (37%). Additionally, one-third (32%) of respondents expressed the desire to start their own businesses and be their own boss. 

the great resignation,

The Great Resignation: Why employees are quitting in record numbers. (Map photo created by rawpixel.com on freepik)

Employees are reluctant to give up their “new normal”

COVID-19 pandemic completely changed our way of life and how we work and how work is valued. As we all adapted to the changes, many grew to enjoy the freedom of working from home

The pandemic showed us a different way of life, one where work could still be accomplished without being chained to a desk in a drab cubicle for eight hours a day. The flexibility of remote work is something many are not eager or willing to give up. Workers are prioritizing themselves more since the pandemic began, focusing on both their physical and mental health. As COVID-19 variants continue to spread, some worry about their health with the return to in-person work. Others are putting their mental health first, finding more joy in working from home. For these individuals, returning to the confinement of the office is a deal-breaker. From these concerns and desires, more and more employees have embraced The Great Resignation, finally putting themselves first and prioritizing their needs. 

In a Bloomberg article, one employee shared her story, in which a six-minute meeting drove her to quit her job. Portia Twidt, 33, said that this meeting was the last straw, “I had just had it,” she shared. 

The six-minute in-person meeting was one that could easily have been a remote video call. Instead, Twidt got dressed, left her two children at daycare, and drove to work just for a brief chat. 

In recent months, this scene has become more and more frequent as bosses attempt to return to the pre-pandemic “normal” and reign their workers back into the office. However, many employees are just not willing to go back to the inconvenient ways of years past. Remote work has allowed many to achieve a greater sense of work-life balance, spend more time with their families, and just feel better in general with the option of working from the comfort of their home, a park, or anywhere in the world. The Great Resignation has highlighted just how important these values are to employees who are now opting to quit their jobs rather than endure unsatisfactory conditions. 

remote work, working from home

Many are not willing to give up the comfort and convenience of remote work and their “new normal.” (Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash)

The Bloomberg article highlighted that a big part of the push to return to the office is due to the generational gap between bosses and employees. “There’s also the notion that some bosses, particularly those of a generation less familiar to remote work, are eager to regain tight control of their minions,” the article states. 

Twidt added, “They feel like we’re not working if they can’t see us. It’s a boomer power-play.”

Gen Z and millennials, being more tech-savvy and adaptable, are no longer interested in the old ways of working. In an article by CNBC, Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said, “Gen Z and millennials are the most mobile participants in the workforce for a number of reasons. They aren’t making as much money as their older, more senior counterparts, so they’re more eager to find higher-paid jobs, and they tend to be more technologically savvy, so they’re in a better position to take advantage of remote work opportunities.” 

“I want to be my own boss” 

Not only are younger employees interested in working from home indefinitely and increasing their pay and benefits, many are also turning toward entrepreneurship. 

According to the survey conducted by Digital.com, one-third of respondents revealed they are interested in starting their own business with 62% of those stating they want to “be their own boss.” Additionally, 60% state they are interested in starting their own business to “pursue an idea they are passionate about.” 

The Great Resignation is inspiring more and more people to start their own businesses. Photo by rawpixel.com – on freepik

The pandemic served as the perfect time for many aspiring entrepreneurs to work on making their dreams a reality. The survey found that 60% of aspiring business owners used their free time during the pandemic to educate themselves on starting a business. Others were able to use the stimulus money they received to help fund their ventures. 

Currently, the three main areas in which people are starting businesses is computer and information technology, retail, and personal care services. The key for many, is following their passion and doing something they love. 

industries new businesses

Infographics: Digital.com

Startup consultant and small business expert Dennis Consorte, said on Digital.com, “Many people believe that business ownership means setting your own hours and answering to no one. The truth is that for many business owners, a half-day is twelve hours, every single customer is your boss, and you have to hustle to stay afloat. However, by pursuing a passion, work won’t feel like work, but will instead give you purpose, which is far more valuable than the dollars earned.”

Consorte also highlighted the importance of having an online presence as a new business in 2021. The world has become increasingly more digital in the past year, so even “brick-and-mortar” shops need to consider their online presence as a crucial aspect of their business marketing. 

“New small business owners need to develop some kind of online presence. Social media is a good start, and a website will give you a lot more control over your database and marketing options” Consorte advised. 

You might be interested: Cloffice: The latest work-from-home trend to transform your workspace

It’s unlikely that we will ever return to the pre-pandemic “normal.” The Great Resignation has shown that people are not willing to go back to the old ways. Our new normal is now one that is digital, remote, and independent. Employees have learned to value their time and labor. Others are venturing out on their own to follow their dreams. The pandemic helped put it all into focus and re-prioritize what is important: freedom, health, and financial stability.