Archive for the 'global branding' 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.

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!

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

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.

See You in the New Year for our wegginar® with Laurel Delaney!

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wegg® wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday! We will see you in the New Year, with wegginar® NO. 34 on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. This wegginar® will be presented by  Laurel Delaney, President, wegg® and Founder, GlobeTrade.com. Join us at 11:00 am CST, noon Eastern for Laurel Delaney’s Global Trade Trends Report 2019.

wegginar® participants will get an in-depth look at what matters for global traders in 2019.

Laurel is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses go global. The United States Small Business Administration has recognized Ms. Delaney as a world-renowned global small business expert by naming her the Illinois Exporter of the Year. She is the author of several books on exporting, with the most popular being, Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably (2nd edition 2016) published by Apress Media.

She is the creator of The Global Small Business Blog, which is ranked No. 1 in the world for entrepreneurs and small businesses interested in going global, President of Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global and organizer of the Global Small Business Forum. She serves as the former About.com Import & Export Expert, is a charter member and a board member by appointment of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and also serves as the Chicago Chapter Chair for the Women Presidents’ Organization. For more information on Laurel, click here.

Register for Laurel’s free January wegginar®, here.

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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 

President and CEO Julie Smolyansky on “Following Your Gut”

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This past Wednesday September 12th, President and CEO of Lifeway Kefir, Julie Smolyansky lead a wegg® workshop about the importance of following your gut on business and personal endeavors. Her inspiring talk covered the journey of Lifeway beginning in her parent’s basement, in the mid-eighties, when they began making Kefir, a food inspired by their home country, the former Soviet Union.  It is now a $120 million publicly-traded company, thanks to Julie. She grew Lifeway to the size it is now, without a business degree, and became CEO at age 27, when her father suddenly passed away. Smolyansky shared the story of how one of her father’s friends reacted when he died and she was made CEO…

“[He said] ‘forget it, the company is done. Sell all of your stock tomorrow. There’s no way a 27 year old girl could run a company.’ This is done. Lifeway is over…I go into the office Monday morning…and everyone had sold their stock….It was devastating…[I] picked my head up and moved forward. Then, we had 70 people, today we have 320. We’ve grown our business from 12 million to 120 million…We continued to execute on the strategy we believed in, and continued to follow our gut, and worked really really hard….That man who said ‘she’s never gonna do it,’…I literally think about him every day. I say ‘thank you’, ‘thank you so much for underestimating me, for pissing me off, and making me angry…You gave me the fuel to move forward.”

Smolyansky went on to describe how being a young CEO became a strength for her. She followed her gut and made Lifeway one of the first businesses ever to have an active social media presence. She explained, “We were ahead of the game…Vogue called us ‘avant garde’ for being on social media.”

She also shared her beliefs on the importance of female entrepreneurship,

“If women were employed at the same rates as men, we know the global GDP would rise exponentially…That I think is really important. A rising tide raises all ships, and when women create jobs, an entire community is more safe and stable….Women are the key to saving the world…Entrepreneurship…can heal the world.”

Other inspiring takeaways from Smolyansky’s talk…

  • Keep moving ahead no matter what your challenges are in life.
  • Make a big impact:  it only takes one person one step at a time to change the world.
  • Follow your gut (we should all listen to our intuition on important matters in life).

Thank you to Julie, and her team, Justine and Maria, for making our on-the-ground wegg® workshop a success.  And thank you to Bank of America, Moji Eagan and Aneta Mazur, for hosting us.

If you were not able to make this wegg® workshop, we are having a wegginar® on Wednesday, October 3rd with Katie Kollhoff, CEO, NUMIX.  She’ll present on “Small Startup, Big Impact.”  Thanks to our sponsors, IBM, UPS, Bank of America and GlobalCare Clinical Trials, the program is no charge but you must register to attend, here.


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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