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Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman

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I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?” 

-Laura Fairman, Design and Technology Lead for wegg®

Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman! She has had the pleasure of being involved with our organization since wegg®’s inception in 2008. Our Communications Intern, Lucy Brooks, sat down with Laura to interview her. Check out our feature on Laura, to learn more about her, and what goes on behind the scenes at wegg® .

Lucy Brooks: How would you describe your position at wegg®? What do you oversee and do for the organization?

Laura Fairman: I have a unique relationship with wegg® because I work for wegg® as a contractor for design, art direction, project management and technology support. I am also a founding board member, serving on the board since 2015. My goal as a board member is to be the voice of design, guiding the organization toward supporting key design initiatives, like rebranding and launching a new website. At the same time, I’m always looking to strengthen the organization’s visual cohesiveness and continuity across their many print and digital offerings.

LB: What has your professional background been like? How did you come to work for wegg®?

LF: I’m a creative through and through. I graduated from Vanderbilt University as a Fine Arts major with a double minor in music and European studies. I began my career in the arts as a portrait painter, but swiftly moved into graphic and web design to supplement my passion with consistent work. In 2001, I began my own small business, Blue Canvas (bluecanvas.net). 17 years later, I’m still creating print and digital work for small- and mid-size businesses across many industries: medical practices, nutraceuticals, health and wellness, financial advisors, law firms, technology, trade shows and events, engineering, publishing, restaurants, and nonprofits.

Through a shared client, my path crossed with wegg®’s founder, Laurel Delaney. My earliest project with Laurel Delaney dates back to August of 2007, with the redesign of the Globe Trade website. This early site was developed entirely in html, and content management systems had not yet become the norm. A lot has changed in the digital space in the last decade! Clients are managing their website content entirely on their own, and they are constantly pushing new information to their audiences. To achieve this, they are relying heavily on social media outlets, creating video blogs, online community groups, and organizing live webinar presentations with 100s of attendees online. Websites used to be simply an extension of a business card. They have become the digital handshake for a company, where making a great first impression is paramount. It’s fun to see the evolution of the digital space, and Laurel is consistently folding the current trends into her businesses, particularly with wegg®.

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?

LF: I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?

I have found joy working with non-profit organizations because they are doing good things, and because the leaders are so passionate about what they are trying to achieve. In wegg®’s case, the mission is to educate, and they are meeting this goal with the production of free monthly wegginars® on a variety of topics designed to help women business owners and execs improve their businesses, their communities, and their lives.

I have created the outreach graphics and participated as an organizer on over 30 wegginars®. Truth be told, I have been actively involved in every single wegginar®. I’m proud to be able to say that. Each of these wegginars® are available to watch on the wegg® website, so the work is continually giving back (and hopefully inspiring!)…and that feels great.

LB: What moves, projects, or strides do you hope wegg® takes in the coming year?

LF: wegg® is still in its founding years, and we have big plans ahead. In recent months we have been focusing on sharing expertise, and we are continually meeting this intended goal. What I’d like to see in the months to come is a focus on the women of wegg®. Let’s share the stories of those women that have been measurably impacted by the resources wegg® has provided them. I’d like to see wegg® do focus features and videos of these success stories.

The second part is to see this piece realized globally. Is there a woman-owned factory in India producing woven textiles and is now exporting these products globally because they’ve learned how to do so from wegg®? Has a woman from Bangladesh achieved success for her family and community because of a business connection she made through wegg®? We want to meet these women! And, I’d like to share these global stories of impact visually.

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?

LF: My personal goal was to help wegg® rebrand and build a global digital platform to aid them in achieving their education mission. Under my art direction, we launched the new logo at the beginning of 2018, and we are very close to realizing our goal of launching a new education-driven website. These two projects have been the most meaningful to me, because rather than stepping in and creating a brand, I helped guide and direct the process of wegg®’s new identity. I was able to connect wegg® with an incredibly talented designer from Seattle, Gabriel Lopez. Bringing the visual goals for wegg® to fruition has been a laborious process, but when you have great people on your team, like Gabriel and Laurel, who are willing to collaborate and put the time in, it makes the work worthwhile.

wegg® thanks Laura for sharing her story with us. She is an integral part of our team, and has helped our organization thrive. To learn more about what wegg® can do for you and your business, visit our website.
Registration is open and free 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.

WEGG Welcomes Lucy Brooks to our Communications Team

We are delighted to announce that Lucy Brooks has joined our WEGG team as a Communications Intern.  She will be responsible for editing written content, managing our social media accounts, and composing blog posts.

A little bit about Lucy:

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Lucy is currently a senior at Columbia College Chicago, studying Comedy Writing and Performance with a minor in Cultural Studies. Her areas of study center around analyzing and composing literature pertaining to Women and Gender Studies.

She is a copy writer, editor, and producer. Lucy has served as a Hospitality Intern at Cards Against Humanity LLC, and is the social media manager for the nonprofit organization ShopColumbia.

In her free time, you can see her performing her written work at various comedy theaters in Chicago. Lucy hopes to write content for a feminist publication, and aims to educate and empower women in everything she does.

Please join us in welcoming Lucy.  We are excited to have her with us, and look forward to her assistance with developing our writing, brand and web presence.

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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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Spread the Good Word: WEGG Is Set to Help Women Business Owners Export

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It’s official!  Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) has been launched and is committed to helping women-owned and women-led businesses increase their access to knowledge about exporting their products or services, grow their revenue, create jobs, and make an even more impactful contribution to their families and the economy.

Read the news (11/18/15):  New Education-based Nonprofit to Help Women Business Owners Export

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.58.19 AMAnd be sure to sign up to receive information about our first webinar scheduled for Wednesday, January 6, 2016.  We call these educational webinars WEGG Wednesdays and they will take place the first Wednesday of every month in 2016 with the goal to help you take your business to the next level of growth through exports.

Best Resources (Sites) for Women Entrepreneurs in 2015

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We are thrilled, honored and humbled to make the prestigious Top 20 list of resources for women entrepreneurs in 2015.

Here’s what StarterPad said about Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG):

As the name suggests, the mission behind Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is to introduce women-owned businesses all over the world to the global opportunity. They want to empower every woman worldwide to go global. Originally started in 2008, the website …

Learn about the other great resources and sites mentioned for women entrepreneurs in the StarterPad list:  20 Best Sites for Female Entrepreneurs in 2015

We’ll say it for you:  We rock!

Illustration courtesy:  StarterPad

Accept and Deal With Challenges: Global Success Will Come Your Way

Screenshot:  Linda Bi, President, Chicago Expert Importers

Screenshot: Linda Bi, President, Chicago Expert Importers

It’s clear that thanks to technology and the Internet, all businesses are becoming global.  That’s what Linda Bi, President of Chicago Expert Importers (CEI) says in the Chicago Sun-Times article (6/28/15).  CEI is a top importer of casting components in the mobile home/RV axle manufacturing industry. Over the years, Bi expanded the business into areas including, but not limited to: sporting goods and forklift- and school-bus components, to importing parts to also providing sourcing, logistics and warehousing and distribution, leading the 17-employee company to $40 million in yearly revenue — a sixfold increase from where it stood when Bi’s husband died 15 years ago.  Bi’s tip for success:  “Accept and deal with the challenges.”

Screenshot:  Shea Soucie, co-owner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. (Chicago)

Screenshot: Shea Soucie, co-owner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. (Chicago)

Shea Soucie is another prime example of women leading the charge in global trade.  Soucie is co-owner of the custom residential design firm Soucie Horner, Ltd., at 208 W. Kinzie St. in River North (Chicago), started a new business, SHIIR to import fine rugs and decorative carpets and sell them across the country and worldwide.  The company started exporting in 2013 to specific clients, such as a hotel in Delhi, India, and a super-yacht that travels the world.  Soucie’s tip for success:  “Look for female mentors in groups like the Women Presidents’ Organization — womenpresidentsorg.com.”

In the same Chicago Sun-Times article, WEGG is mentioned:

Only 12 percent of businesses that export are owned by women, which shows there’s room for growth, says Laurel Delaney, Executive Director of Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global, a new nonprofit organization that aims to boost the number of women business owners in exporting.

Read the entire article:  Women At Work:  ‘All Business Becoming Global,’ Chicago Importer Says

Meet Our New Board of Directors for Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global (WEGG)

WEGGIn order to meet the needs of fast-growing women-led/owned business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself, we are changing the formal structure of WEGG and will announce more about it soon.  It takes a village to accomplish great things in our world so I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our new Board.  With International Women’s Day today, this is great time to feel proud to be a woman and for WEGG to make this announcement.  After all, the women of the world make it happen not just today, but everyday.

The following individuals have committed to building WEGG into an educational organization where every women business owner and entrepreneur can learn everything imaginable about how to take a business global — wherever she might be located.

Laurel Delaney

Laurel J. Delaney is founder and president of Chicago-based GlobeTrade.com, a management consulting company that helps 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 … read more.

Laura Fairman

Laura Fairman is the Founder and Lead Designer of Blue Canvas, a web and graphic design consultancy. For 14 years Laura has enabled small and mid-size businesses to have confidence in all facets of their online and printed marketing.  Laura is motivated by … read more.

Patti Ross

Patricia Ross is President and Founder of Patricia Ross & Associates, Inc., a consulting company that provides one-on-one coaching to individuals who are interested in building key business relationships and strengthening their leadership skills. She helps clients create and implement a strategy for successful career growth.  Ms. Ross was formerly … read more.

Nancy Stachnik

While working her way through Mundelein College as a bank teller, Nancy discovered she had a knack for numbers. This led to a long and rewarding career as a community banker in Chicago. A seasoned veteran of the rollicking financial M&A … read more.

Kati Suominen

Dr. Kati Suominen is Founder and CEO of both the equity crowdfunding platform TradeUp Capital Fund and the trade research firm Nextrade Group, LLC.  She is also Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  She previously served as Fellow … read more.

A big welcome to these new Board members, each of whom brings the kind of intellect, creativity, commitment and energy that WEGG needs to to grow in the future.

Photo courtesy:  WEGG

 


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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