Archive for the 'Exporting' Category

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.

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!

 

Everything You Need to Know from Our wegginar® with Cristina Bandal

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This past Wednesday, wegg® had the pleasure of hosting the Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS, Cristina Bandal. Bandal lead one of our free online wegginars®, which provide monthly, accessible education to women entrepreneurs everywhere. Bandal’s talk covered how to overcome the obstacles that people face when trying to sell their products to the global market. She also answered the questions of wegginar® participants. Read their inquiries, and her responses, below:

  1. What’s the single biggest challenge on why people don’t setup an online storefront?  Setting up an international store may sound complicated if you are thinking of creating a country site – but with only a few enhancements, you can make international customers feel at home. 
  2. What are your thoughts on how to factor in taxes, (shipping and duty), to price my products profitably, yet make them affordable to my customers?  With the solution available, your catalogue will provide the information needed to calculate a duty and tax, and offer a landed cost to your customers (and protect you from abandoned goods!)
  3. How does our current trade war with China impact the information presented in this wegginar®?  Whatever tariff regulations are passed are updated to protect the shipments.
  4. Is there a way to target one foreign market when I launch my e-commerce site so that I can test the waters?  YES!!  You can choose what countries to target.
  5. What’s the best way to setup a payment method, in your own currency or the customer’s?  International consumers would like to see their own currency to avoid surprises. By using the UPS i-parcel solution, you are protected by allowing transactions to be processed through UPS, and provide fraud protection.

To read Bandal’s extended answers to these questions, and more, you can view the full presentation (PDF) from the wegginar®, here. wegg® was honored to have Bandal share her experience and knowledge with us.

If you were not able to participate in this month’s wegginar®, we already have registration open for our 12/5 talk with Andrew Molinsky, Ph.D. He will talk about how, “if you are not outside your comfort zone, you won’t learn anything.” Register here.

Make Your Global Online Shoppers Feel at Home Wherever They Are

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Registration is still open for our FREE November 7th, 2018 wegginar®, with presenter Cristina Bandal, Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS.

Cristina has an extensive career with UPS, working within the marketing functions. She has worked with merchants in the retail and high tech industries. Cristina makes customer experiences valuable, by improving the shopper’s experiences. Her most recent assignment helps enable merchants to sell outside the US through UPS technology.

If 95% of the worlds population lives outside the US, why are some merchants still only selling to the domestic market? Complex rules, costly risks and high transportation costs make it difficult for small businesses to merge into new markets. UPS i-parcel not only offers a solution to these merchants, but provides a frictionless experience to international consumers.

wegginar® participants can expect to learn how to…

  1. Offer international consumers the same shopping experience on your website that you offer to shoppers in the US.

  2. Avoid complicated and costly international shipping that will ultimately improve your conversion rate.
  3. Enable new international markets with just a click and reach a world of consumers.
  4. Make your online shoppers feel at home anywhere

wegg® aims to make resources for going global accessible to all women entrepreneurs, and our wegginars® are free thanks to our sponsors. To register for the event, visit this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8810009934736118275 

Women Entrepreneurs, the Global Market Needs You

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According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, In 2016, 97% of all exporters in the U.S. were small and medium-sized companies. The other statistic from this study that can’t be ignored is that only 12% of businesses that export are owned by women. Why are more women not accessing the vast world that is global business?

In Devishobha Chandramouli’s recent Entrepreneur article, “6 Global Trends Reveal How Women Are Redefining Entrepreneurship,” she reports the ways in which women entrepreneurs are critical to the global market. Within Chandramouli’s findings, WEGG founder, Laurel Delaney, reports on why women are often absent from business at a global level:

“Even in a developed economy, women business owners are less likely to explore and expand their products or services because they think they can’t do it, or that they don’t have access to the right training, education, advisory networks, mentorships and community programs. This perceived deficiency makes it difficult for women to access markets, conduct marketing and establish relationships.”

If women do not believe they are capable of global success, they will not achieve it. The secret is, that women are not only capable of global business, but are also exponentially beneficial to their communities when they have it. Chandramouli notes,

“As globalization is breaking down the barriers that limited businesses by cultures, gender and geography, many partnership and trade agreements have been developed in an attempt to encourage global economic activity among women. Women are known to give back about 90 percent of their earnings to the health and education of their communities and families, contributing to development directly, so it’s easy to see why it is critical.”

Women entrepreneurs, the global market needs you.

You can read Chandramouli’s article here, to learn more about how women have the ability to transform global business, for the better, from within.

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Why go global?  How do you start?  Where can you find customers?  How do you get paid?  Find out these answers and learn other best-kept secrets to expanding a business globally. 

JOIN us for our first weggchat™ (#weggchat) Wednesday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central time on Take Your Business Global! and facilitated by Laurel Delaney, President of WEGG and founder of GlobeTrade.com.  Laurel will field questions and add insights on how to take a business global.  Small business owners can join the conversation by using the hashtag #weggchat to chime in with questions and answers.

Event is free of charge but you must use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation using the hashtag #weggchat.  See you there!
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Congrats to Women in Export Scholarship Winner Dalene Wray!

Dalene Wray, Managing Director of OBE Organic, an Australian company specializing in organic beef, wins the Women in Export Scholarship 

Ms. Wray has pioneered sustainability and disease management programs, aimed at boosting farmer productivity, improving animal health and welfare and reducing supply chain waste.

Her prize beyond the satisfaction of doing amazing work is that she will attend Harvard Business School’s Disruptive Innovation – Strategies for a Successful Enterprise course in Boston, Massachusetts.

Congrats to Ms. Wray.  We are very proud of you. To many more awards in the future!  What an impact you are making not just for women but for the farmers everywhere.

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What is cloud computing?  As an SME, how can you benefit from it?  Find out key growth lessons from more than 50 startup owners using cloud computing. 

Join us for our next WEGGinar™ 7/11/18 on “Intro to Cloud Computing and How It Can Benefit You,” presented by Jayger McGough Tomasino and Carly Kizorek, Technical Evangelists at IBM.  They will give you the scoop on cloud computing, convey how SMEs use it to grow, and even show a demo of IBM Watson services.  Register here.

Event is free of charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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Middle Market Women-Owned Businesses Are on the Rise

According to the report The Middle Market Power Index:  Economic Might of Middle Market Firms, “Exporting is also increasingly important to middle market firms. While only 6.9% of middle market firms currently export, this number has grown steadily in recent years. The number of middle market companies that export their goods or services has quadrupled during the past six years, surging from 2,766 in 2011 to more than 12,341 in 2017.”

Middle market is defined as firms that have between $10 million and $999 million in revenue.

Middle market firms are increasingly owned by women. The number of women-owned middle market firms has jumped 119.6% from 2011 to 2017, and the total share of women- owned middle market businesses has increased from 6.0% in 2011 to 7.2% in 2017. Middle market firms are also more likely than average to be women-owned enterprises (7.2%) than companies overall (6.5%). As we look toward the future, small businesses that are on the cusp of crossing the middle market threshold − those with between $1 million and $10 million in annual revenues − are even more likely to be women-owned (10.1%).

KEY FINDING:  The number of middle market exporters is increasing rapidly and the number of minority- and women-owned businesses across the U.S. also is on the rise.

Read the report to learn how middle market firms are growing smart and growing globally.

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What is cloud computing?  As an SME, how can you benefit from it?  Find out key growth lessons from more than 50 startup owners using cloud computing. 

Join us for our next WEGGinar™ 7/11/18 on “Intro to Cloud Computing and How It Can Benefit You,” presented by Jayger McGough Tomasino and Carly Kizorek, Technical Evangelists at IBM.  They will give you the scoop on cloud computing, convey how SMEs use it to grow, and even show a demo of IBM Watson services.  Register here.

Event is free of charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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Export Success with Women Entrepreneurs In Ireland Remains High

It shouldn’t surprise you that women entrepreneurs and business owners in Ireland are leading the way in exports and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon (pictured far left) is behind the push to get more Irish businesses into global markets.

In Ireland, as in many countries, exports are a primary driver of economic success.

Read more about how women are leading the way in Irish exports.

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGGinar™ 4/4/18 on “How a Wicked Road Trip to Minturn, Colorado Inspired a Thriving Global Design Business” and presented by Julia Knight, founder of Julia Knight Collections. Register here. Event is free of charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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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.


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