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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

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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Teach a Woman to Fish & Go Global, and You’ll Feed Her & Her Business for a Lifetime

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Everyone knows the classic adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

But wegg® knows, “Give a woman a fish, and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish and go global, and you feed her and her business for a lifetime.” This idea is the essence of wegg®’s mission: “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.”

Our goal as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is to teach the women entrepreneurs of the world how to take their businesses global, and we are always thrilled to hear about the triumphs of women entrepreneurs around the world. Recently, we read a New York Times article covering the reform of Rwanda’s fishing industry, from an exclusively male world, to a community of women entrepreneurs. Author Shannon Sims describes the change,

“The intense physical work and danger that comes with fishing on Lake Kivu, along with reinforcement from traditional gender roles, kept women from fishing for generations, tending to backyard farms instead. But in post-genocide Rwanda, that seems to be changing. Today, women form an essential part of the national market for Lake Kivu fish. Besides fishing on the lake at night, women also gather along the shores in the early morning to buy the fish the fisherwomen deliver. They then haul those fish home to their small villages, or sell the fish to cooperatives.”

This newfound emphasis of women on the business side of Rwanda’s fish economy has inspired the development of Projet Pêche, a fishing cooperative made up of 87 women, in Kibuye, a town along the banks of Lake Kivu. This collective has had a supremely positive impact on the lives of Rwandan women. Just listen to one woman, Bonifrida Mukabideri’s, account,

“A lot of women have used the cooperatives to fight poverty. Here in Rwanda we now have the idea that women and men can do every job…Now a woman can say: ‘I can build a house by myself. I can look after my family properly. And even if my husband dies, we can live a better life.’”

wegg® would love to help global women entrepreneurs like Mukabideri feed themselves, their families, and their communities for a lifetime…by fostering an expanding global business that thrives for generations. For more information on the resources wegg® has to offer women entrepreneurs, check out our education page.

 

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

wegginar_NOV_2018_website

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 

Kathrin Bussmann Offers Tips and Advice on Global Podcasting

Kathrin Bussmann, Ph.D. is someone that everyone should know. She is Founder and Principal of Verbaccino and has been hosting the famous Worldly Marketer Podcast for as long as I can remember, more than 100 episodes, and she doesn’t just host it well, she hosts it magnificently. Each podcast features a different expert in the field of global marketing to learn more about the challenges and the rewards of reaching out to a multi-regional, multilingual and multi-cultural audience. Anyone who has been on her show, like I have, knows she’s a real pro.

Recently at WEGG, we had the good fortune to have Kathrin present a WEGGinar™ on “Building Your Global Brand Through Podcasting.” You can access it here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3759262530790572546 along with her SlideShare deck. Her bio can be found on Slide No. 46.

In follow up to Kathrin’s talk, I passed along five questions from WEGGinar™ participants that we didn’t have time to address. What follows are the questions and her answers.

1. WEGGinar™ Participant: How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) affect podcasting?

Kathrin Bussmann: The thing about podcasting is that it’s a very human, very personal medium. That’s a big part of the appeal. As a listener, you’re getting a real sense of the person behind the microphone. You’re listening to the sound of the podcaster’s voice, often through a set of earbuds, and you’re forming a picture in your mind of the podcaster’s personality. So it’s a much more intimate experience than if you were reading a blog post by that same person, for example. The only medium that’s potentially more personal is video. But as a content creator, you can’t expect to hold people’s attention for more than a few minutes at a time with video, whereas an audio show can keep people tuned in for 30 minutes or more. That’s the beauty of an eyes-free, hands-free format. As for the potential influence of AI, the only way I see it contributing to podcasting in the future is in the way it might help to better connect podcasters with their target audience. There’s still a lot of people out there who have never tuned into a podcast, and who may not even know what a podcast is, let alone where to go looking for one. That’s starting to change, as more and more people discover the world of on-demand audio, and AI can definitely help people find more of the kinds content that is likely to interest them.

2. WP: Do you think the podcast bubble is going to pop?

KB: Bubble? What bubble? I think podcasts are only just getting started as a medium. Surveys show that the vast majority of people have yet to discover them. Yet, in the Digital Age, we’re getting used to consuming content on our own terms, on our own schedule. In the same way that more and more people are switching from traditional TV to Video-On-Demand platforms like Netflix, I think audio consumption will go through a similar shift. It’s just the way things are going now: people are looking for more specialized content, greater convenience, and less advertising. I don’t think those are temporary trends. No wonder public broadcasters like NPR, CBC Radio and BBC Radio are now offering podcast versions of all their most popular programs. They’re doing what they need to do to retain the audience they already have.

3. WP: There are a lot of podcasts to choose from; how do you make yours relevant and distinctive enough for people to sign up?

KB: First of all, you need to do your research. Who is already producing a podcast in your category? Listen to those podcasts, and take notes. What are they covering? What aren’t they covering? Which ones appeal to you, and why, exactly? Quite often, a big part of the appeal is the person behind the microphone. If you’re already a fan of the genre, you probably have some favourite podcasts. So ask yourself: what keeps you tuning in regularly? It probably has something to do with the host(s), their personality, and how they deliver the content. So as a podcaster, you need to be willing to make yourself part your show’s Unique Selling Proposition. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Your style might not appeal to everyone, but that’s OK. You’ll attract and retain those listeners who do connect with your approach, and at the end of the day, that’s your target audience.

Of course, you also need to deliver valuable content on a consistent basis. You’re asking people to give you their most precious commodity: their time. Never take that for granted. Make it worth their while to tune in. And make it easy too, by having a predictable schedule. Show up with new content on a regular basis, so your growing audience has something to look forward to. Of course, that takes time, effort and an ongoing commitment on your part – something that a lot of podcasters can’t manage in the long run. In fact, a lot of your success as a podcast producer will depend on sheer endurance and outlasting your “competition”.

As for getting people to sign up, just know that most people prefer to stream their podcasts, rather than subscribing and/or downloading them. When you look at your analytics, don’t get discouraged by the number of downloads. Try to engage your audience in other ways. Give them calls to action that will reward them for their loyalty in some way. And make it easy for them to interact with you and to share your content on social media.

4. WP: How do voice-activated devices — smart speakers — such as Amazon Echo and Google Home play into the future of podcasting?

KB: There’s no doubt that smart speakers are going to facilitate the consumption of on-demand audio generally, and that includes podcasts. As podcasts become more widely known as a medium, as platforms like Spotify make them more easily available than ever before, and as people get used to searching for content through voice-activated devices, the future podcasts looks very bright.

5. WP: How do you embed a podcast into a website or blog?

KB: There are different ways to do it, and your podcast hosting platform (e.g. Libsyn) should be able to provide exact instructions. It involves generating a HTML code, and then embedding that code into the page where you want the podcast displayed for downloading and/or streaming purposes. If you’re not a techie, there’s a bit of a learning curve. But there are lots of online communities of podcasters where you can ask for help. There are also lots of online courses you can take now, to teach you all the basics of starting your own podcast. And once you’ve learned the basics, it’s really a matter of developing a repeatable system that works for you.


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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