Meet wegg® Treasurer and Founding Board Member, Nancy Stachnik

nancy_stachnik

Wegg® makes amazing educational opportunities available to women!  Where else would a person find access to so many experts?  I truly believe women business owners who avail themselves of wegginars®, weggchats® and wegg® workshops, will find a path to taking their businesses global.” 

-Nancy Stachnik, wegg® Treasurer and Founding Board Member

Meet Nancy Stachnik, a founding board member and treasurer of wegg®! Our Communications Intern, Lucy Brooks, interviewed Nancy on her background and roles for the organization. Check out our feature on Nancy, to learn more about her incredible contributions to the success of wegg®.

Lucy Brooks: What are your positions at wegg®, and how long have you worked for the organization?

Nancy Stachnik: I was one of the founding board members for wegg®, and accepted the post of treasurer for the organization.  In my capacity as treasurer, I pay the bills, keep track of our donations and expenses, prepare an annual budget and deliver an “actual to budget” statement monthly. 

LB: What has your professional background been like, and how did you end up working for wegg®?

NS: I was a community banker in Chicagoland for 45 years, worked for several financial institutions, and retired from MB Financial Bank in 2014.  I started working full-time at twenty years of age. I worked my way through college and graduate school, by attending school on weekends. I earned an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, which is where I met Laurel Delaney, President of wegg®.  Laurel and I have been friends for many years, and have been very supportive of each others’ professional endeavors.

I held a great variety of both line and management positions in banking over the years, and really enjoyed working with both colleagues and customers.  While working as a banker, I found many opportunities to serve as a volunteer for area not-for-profits, and learned I had an affinity for this work. I especially enjoy working with educational institutions, and currently serve as Corporate Board Chair of Resurrection College Prep High School, a Chicago all-girls school (and my own alma mater!). I am a past president and current board member of the Mundelein College Alumnae Association.  Mundelein College was one of the largest womens’ colleges in the midwest.  Mundelein merged with Loyola University Chicago in 1992, and I now serve on Loyola’s National Alumni Advisory Board, representing Mundelein grads.  I also enjoy working with the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, which is the Mundelein legacy group within Loyola, and which provides scholarships to some absolutely incredible young women.

LB: What part of wegg®’s mission, “To educate women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their communities,” resonates with you, and how does your work connect with or support this mission?

NS: As a woman who attended a girls’ high school and a womens’ college, and who mentored many young professional women over the years, making  opportunities for professional success available to women is very important to me!  As a community banker, I saw how important it was to support local small and medium business enterprises and help them grow.  Wegg® makes amazing educational opportunities available to women!  Where else would a person find access to so many experts? I truly believe women business owners who avail themselves of wegginars®, weggchats® and wegg® workshops, will find a path to taking their businesses global.

LB: What moves, projects, or strides do you hope wegg® takes in the coming year? Do you have a personal goal in terms of your work here?

NS: I am looking forward to wegg®’s on-the-ground workshops, and am happy we are able to increase the number of in-person workshop opportunities this year. One of my personal goals for wegg® is to see our organization grow in membership, and attract the support of additional top-notch sponsors.

LB: What has been your most meaningful project to take on, event you have been apart of, or moment you have had during your time here?

NS: I have a background in marketing, advertising and branding, and I very much enjoyed working on the new wegg® logo launched in 2018.  We worked with an amazing designer who provided wegg® with a unique look, and it was great to work with wegg® board member Laura Fairman on this project.  

LB: Anything else you would like wegg® supporters to know?

NS: I love being retired and finally getting to direct my full time to the organizations and opportunities that interest me!  I have many hobbies I can now indulge.  My financial experience and expertise proves helpful to the groups I work with – like wegg® – and I’m happy to be able to meaningfully contribute!

Nancy is a vital member of the wegg® team, and we are honored to shine light on everything she brings to our table. We look forward to our continued partnership and friendship with Nancy in the coming years. 

If you would like to become a member of the wegg® community, and attend one of our workshops that Nancy mentioned, we have one coming up with Jacqueline Smith, CEO of Kiesque. Join us on March 13th! 

 

12 Questions for CEO Jacqueline Smith, Kiesque during our weggchat™ 2/6/19

Here is an excerpt from our hashtag #weggchat (follow @weggtoday) held on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Central time.

Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global

weggchat™ guest: Jacqueline Smith, CEO
Kiesque (www.Kiesque.com)

weggchat moderator: Laurel Delaney, President
Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™ (www.womenentrepreneursgrowglobal.org)

Welcome to our weggchat™ everyone. Thank you for joining us. Today we are excited to have Jacqueline Smith, CEO of Chicago-based Kiesque (www.kiesque.com) with us. Morning Jacqueline and all!

weggChat with Jacqueline SmithHere is how our weggchat runs. We have 12 questions. I’ll send the first one as Q1, which shows it is official and then Jacqueline @Kiesque can respond w/A1. Everyone feel free to comment or share your experience relative to the questions. Let’s have fun, learn and grow global together! Don’t forget to include #weggchat in every tweet. Here we go!

Q1: What prompted you to start your business @Kiesque?

Jacqueline Smith:  I always wanted to have my own company some day. When I had the concept of my first product it seemed the right time to begin.

Q2: What does @Kiesque stand for?

JS:  Kiesque, pronounced key-esk doesn’t have a specific meaning but the name was created with a few goals in mind. It was to have a distinct uniqueness to it, have no google returns, and not have any translations in a foreign language.

Q3: You have a patented product called Liquid Palisade. I’ve heard it called “painter’s tape” for nail art. How did you come up with that product? Explain what’s unique about it.

JS:  I imagined a liquid applied to the cuticles before polishing and peeled away afterwards to reveal a clean manicure.

Q4: You received a patent on Liquid Palisade. What steps did you take to make that happen?

JS:  The very first thing I did was to spend hours researching patents on the internet and searching every store I entered to see if this concept existed. Next, I paid for a professional patent search to double check my findings and spent time learning about the process.

Q5: Can you share a video on how the product works?

JS:  All videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kiesque1

Q6: Think back: when did you first start selling internationally and how did it happen?

JS:  I was very fortunate that several international outlets reached out to us directly after we had exposure in the press.

Q7: Where’s your biggest market outside the USA and why?

JS:  My biggest market outside the states is the European Union because I signed an exclusivity with Sephora Europe for an all store launch.

Q8: You have received phenomenal press coverage (https://kiesque.com/pages/liquid-palisade-in-the-press). How did that come about?

JS:  When I was ready for market, I emailed 3 influential nail bloggers to ask if they would like samples and within a week or so they posted their reviews.

Q9: Tell us about any recent awards you earned, if any, and what that experience was like?
e.g., http://www.telva.com/premios-telva/album/2017/02/01/58917f5f468aeb302e8b4638_12.html

JS:  Most recently, I was invited to participate in an Export Pitch by Chicago Metro Exports (http://www.metrochicagoexports.com/pitch_competitions-2-2-2/) and sponsored by Chicago Regional Growth Corporation along with UPS.

Q10: What’s the most fun thing that happened while running @Kiesque?

JS:  One of my best memories was going viral on Instagram but not for the reason you might think.

Q11: What’s the biggest challenge you experienced and how did you overcome it?

JS:  One of the biggest challenges was creating educational packaging for a prestige market. They just don’t go hand in hand.

Q12: What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs and business owners in growing a business globally?

JS:  Move at your own pace and make decisions that are best for you. Listen to your instincts.

Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global with Jacqueline Smith

weggChat with Jacqueline Smith

On Wednesday February 6th at 11:00 am CST,  Jacqueline Smith will be leading our first weggchat™ of 2019 on Twitter. Smith is the CEO of Kiesque, and her chat will cover “Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global.”

Why should you participate? Glad you asked.

Not only are all of our weggchats™ free of charge to participants, but they can help you get answers to all of your questions about taking a business global. During the the weggchat™, we will field questions and add insights on global entrepreneurship.

Here are just three of the questions that Smith will cover in her talk:

  1. What prompted you to start your business?
  2. How did you develop a patent?
  3. When did you first start selling globally?

Use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation with #weggchat. Small business owners are especially encouraged to chime in with questions and answers! In the last five minutes of our chat, all participants are invited to share their “140 character” elevator pitch on their businesses.

A full description of the event can be found on our website.  See you there!

Mark Zuckerberg: “I Wasn’t Trying to Build a Global Company”

You can scratch your head and think, I’m no Facebook founder yet we all have one thing in common when we start a business.  We take a leap of faith to do what we love and shoot obsessively for a successful outcome. In the case of Mr. Zuckerberg’s Facebook, he wasn’t trying to build a global company.  Instead he:

… realized you could find almost anything on the internet—music, books, information—except the thing that matters most: people.

And that became his brilliant idea.  Build a service people can use to connect and learn about each other, where anyone can start a business from scratch, and be heard no matter no matter where they are located.

Mr. Zuckerberg is also a fan of providing services for free, very similar to our business model here at wegg®.  In the case of Facebook, free services are supported by ads.  In the case of wegg, free services are supported by the support of our great sponsors.  This is a way to ensure everyone has access and can expand — that is our goal at wegg for women entrepreneurs and business owners who aspire to take their business global.

So whether it is Facebook or wegg, we are focused on allowing people to share, connect and learn together.  Hence in wegg’s case, we want, through our help, more female entrepreneurs and business owners to thrive globally.

To learn more about Mr. Zuckerberg’s business model, read the article Facts About Facebook.  To utilize wegg’s upcoming free services, participate in our next program, a weggchat™.  Get ready to share, connect and learn together on 2/6 while CEO Jacqueline Smith, founder and CEO of Kiesque talks about how she started up and took her personal care product(s) global.

More information can be found here

Photo above courtesy Sara Kurbeb on Unsplash

Turning Your Passion into a Global Brand

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wegg® wants to help women everywhere transform their passions into global brands. Making the dreams of women entrepreneurs a reality is wegg®’s purpose. We are here for you. 

You might be wondering, “How could anyone change their hobby into an international business?” Well, we recently read about one woman’s success story in this Forbes article.

Becky Burns, a woman living in Kauai, founded Anahola Granola  as a cross between her love of healthy food and Hawaii. Much like you would expect, the initial development of her business was a huge risk. This risk did not prevent Burns from maintaining the original vision that her brand was founded on, as she strived to go global. She explains,

“I had to be crazy starting a granola business on Kauai in 1986. At that time, the only people who ate granola were a few hippies that made their own. But I was motivated by the people who loved Anahola Granola, who said, ‘Your granola is so good you should sell it.’ Some of those people bought a small bag every week. I couldn’t stop making the stuff; I thought, ‘What would my new fans eat?’ Obviously, I wasn’t motivated by crunching numbers and looking at the bottom line. It was never about the money. My vision of making granola was 100% clear…I never wavered from my direction, never overthought my plan.”

Burns’ focus on the purpose of her business was a key to her success. Not getting discouraged, and keeping the people she wanted to serve in mind, is a lesson that we can all learn from. Burns illustrates her process and mission,

“My core value was getting a healthy and delicious granola out to people. I love people and love making people happy. My product had to taste, smell and feel delicious. I valued the best ingredients I could find, making food that I would want to eat. It may sound corny, but to me, Anahola Granola is more than food, it embodies everything I care about: Hawaiian heritage, healthy food, respect for people and an experience of the extraordinary place found in Hawaii.”

Becky Burns is an excellent example of a woman who was able to take something she loved, and turn it into her full-time job. wegg® wants to help you do the same.

One upcoming resource that could answer any questions you might have is our weggchat™  on 2/6/2019, with Kiesque CEO, Jacqueline Smith. The FREE event will cover, “Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global.” More information can be found here

Make Things on a Small Scale and Then Grow Global

While Solange Nisingizwe was on vacation, she designed clothes for herself.  When she returned to Switzerland, she met so many people who admired her outfits and were asking where they could get similar designs that she began making them on a small scale until the number grew.

Based on wegg’s® experience working with hundreds of women business owners, that’s how many women grow global.  They start small, gather ideas, explore options, and then sell to the world.  Kati Kollhoff, CEO, NUMiX, presented a wegginar® related to this, “Small Startup, Big Global Impact” (listen free of charge).

In the case of Solange, she spent a whole year conducting business research and searching for customers. Then in November 2016, Sola and Wax Design Ltd. was born.

The company makes clothes and accessories for export in Europe, and is supplied on the Rwandan market on a small scale.

Knowing that running a business in different countries can be hectic, the plan is still to take Sola and Wax Design Ltd. global.  To expand its reach, Sola and Wax Design Ltd. will look outside their borders.

Read the entire article about how two Rwanda women entrepreneurs found their niche in exporting Made in Rwanda clothing.

Join us for Jacqueline Smith’s weggchat™ via Twitter February 6 at 11:00 a.m. Central time with the hashtag #weggchat. Jacqueline will focus on Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global.  Go here to learn how to join the discussion.

If you have any questions on how to participate, email Laurel Delaney, ldelaney(@)womenentrepreneursgrowglobal.org, who will be moderating the program. Meanwhile, follow us on Twitter @weggtoday and get ready to take it global on 2/6!

 

Why Women Don’t Start Businesses and How wegg® Can Help

In 2019, wegg® wants to help all women entrepreneurs, from the seasoned to the aspiring, achieve their business ambitions. We can help you go global, and assist with the obstacles that usually prevent women from reaching their full business potential.

What are some of the barriers women face when trying to start an entrepreneurial career, that wegg® aims to alleviate? Glad you asked.

In a recent report from The Economic Times, a group of women in India were polled on the reasons that they are not able to start their own independent businesses. The Times states,

“Of the homemakers who aspire to start their own business or pursue a hobby to make money, 69 per cent said the greatest barrier was lack of sufficient funds, 63 per cent said home responsibilities took up most of their time, 39 per cent said it was lack of guidance and 36 per cent reported that it was a lack in confidence.”

When the women were asked about what kinds of solutions would aid them in overcoming the aforementioned obstacles, the results were,

“62 per cent said it was financial/funding support, while 51 per cent said they needed self-confidence or counseling the most.”

Enter wegg®. We provide FREE monthly webinars that cover a varying array of topics. At these events, “wegginars®,” we have an entrepreneurial expert present on a business subject of their choice, combined with a participant Q&A. Anyone around the world can participate in these accessible events, and all at no charge. Get a head start on your resolutions this year, and let wegg® help you take your business to new heights.

Registration is open and free for Laurel Delaney’s 1/9 talk. She will present her annual global trade trends report 2019.  Join us. Register here.

Happy New Year from Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global!

What a fantastic year here at Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™!  We’ve accomplished a lot in 2018 (check it out here) and we look forward to delivering even more impactful educational programs in 2019.

Thank you for your readership and active engagement to wegg®. We also thank our sponsors because without them, our progress would not nearly be as great.  Oh, and need we give a shout out to our wegg team?  Of course!  Put your hands together and let’s applaud them too.  They make wegg sing and dance and help women expand businesses beyond borders.

Best wishes for a new year filled with joy, pushing boundaries, good health and prosperity. Connect with you on January 9th at our next wegginar®!


wegg® Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.


Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID #47-2956522.

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