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Words of Wisdom from Successful Female Entrepreneurs

There are more than 9,300 female-owned businesses in St. Charles County, and many more that are co-owned by a woman. St. Charles County Lifestyle asked several local female entrepreneurs about what motivated them to get into the industry or business they are in and what advice they have for other women business owners. Their responses are as unique as each one of them is. 

Beth Mohr

Abigail's Apparel 

"I am not a conformist and have loved not being tied down with a 9 to 5. Prior to owning my own boutique, I was a real estate agent, which gave me flexibility while my kids were in school. When the market became volatile, I was contemplating what I wanted to do next. While visiting a clothing boutique on a family vacation, I learned it was a franchise, and something made me want to look into it further. I joined that franchise. I had never worked in retail, but with my love for fashion and the training I received, I developed a brand that has been on North Main Street in St. Charles for almost eight years. I love helping women feel good about themselves and empowering them with their fashion choices."

Angel Walters Likens,

Bogey Hills Country Club

"Bogey Hills Country Club has been my family’s business since 1962. I have watched my grandparents and parents run the club throughout the years. At first, I did not think I wanted to be in the golf business, so after college, I worked for a document imaging firm. After about a year, I started to get the golf itch and began working at the smaller golf courses. A position opened up at Bogey Hills for membership director. I took the position and never looked back. I worked my way up to food and beverage, to clubhouse manager and now general manager and president of the Club. My main motivation was the love of the members and the family atmosphere we have at Bogey Hills. 

Advice

"My advice is to never back down. Working hard, keeping your head up and staying focused is what will get you to your goals. Listen to yourself and what your gut tells you. If you stay true to yourself, do the hard work, then success will follow.

Susan Brewer

Susan Brewer Service First Real Estate

"I bought my first home when I was 20 with interest rates at 18.5 percent, so I have loved real estate from a young age. I am excited about home decor and design as well, so those two came together in my desire to become a realtor. My background in customer service and retail helped me to easily transition to this field.

Advice

"Owning a business is a goal many people have, but I'm not always sure they know how much work and responsibility it really is. Ultimately, everything is on your shoulders, and there are people who are relying on you to be successful in order to earn a living for the family. However, knowing that you have achieved the dream of owning your own business and built something from the ground up that has become successful is the best feeling and one that I wouldn't trade for anything."

Melinda Nolan

Roemer Originals

"My love of everything sparkly began when I was a little girl. I admired all sparkly stones and rocks and studied them and jewelry-making, as a hobby, through my 20s. At the age of 32, after years of various sales/marketing jobs, I decided to get into an industry I truly had a passion for. Four years later, I bought the store. As glamorous as it sounds, running a small business is not for the faint of heart, though. The perks of being a business owner don’t come without a lot of hard work, long hours and drive to succeed."

 Sarah Corrigan

The White Hare

"I opened my store with Mom in 2003, and our motivation was based on a combination of things. Having been a real estate agent for more than 20 years, she noticed many homes she was showing were in desperate need of new decor, and that was something she could help with. Growing up, we enjoyed shopping together in decor stores, always saying how fun it would be to own one. When I graduated from college, I was doing murals and faux finishes, and the time seemed right to open that 'fun store,' and the rest is history."

Advice

"Never miss out on a chance to meet others already out there making a name. By making friends in the community with other business owners, you are opening yourself up to new leads, new ideas and new strategies to implement in your own pursuit. You may also find some great friends out of it as well!"

Robin Brengle

Cruise Planners

"I have always been passionate about selling, and after my first cruise, I knew I was meant to be part of the industry. From a field of 800, I was hired as a business development manager for two major cruise lines. Now, owning my own agency with my husband has taken me off the road and has allowed me to continue doing what I have always loved: sharing my passion for travel, my knowledge/experience and destinations I’ve been to."

Advice

"Don’t wait for it to happen; make it happen. Being a home-based agency, business doesn’t come to us, I have to go out and find it. We have to educate that we don’t just sell cruises but all travel. Cultivate relationships. In travel, it is all about relationships. And remember, if you think you can, you will."

Dana Fischer and Sarah Kaatman

Foxtail Lilies

"With both of us having twin daughters, we know how expensive it is to purchase boutique-related items. We wanted to be able to provide unique, quality items at reasonable prices to help mothers of singles and multiples afford our products and have a local community of women they could interact with on our Facebook page."

Advice

"My advice is to make sure you take into consideration the styles or preferences of your entire customer base and not only your style preferences. This will allow you to expand your reach of customers and have a more rounded business portfolio."   

Kim Zander

Zander’s Jewelry

"My father started this business a couple of years before I was born. I went to the University of South Florida and received a B.A. in psychology and then returned home and decided to see if this business was something meant for me. I got my graduate gemologist degree from Gemological Institute of America and really enjoyed the study of gems and the entire jewelry business. My father taught me that hard work pays off. Independence is so critical in being successful. I can only hope I’m doing the same for my children."

Advice

"My advice for women is to take pride in your success. Be confident in yourself, and don’t be intimidated due to stigmas of the past. Be proud of your accomplishments, and show yourself and others that no matter what gender you are, you are capable of reaching your dreams through passion and hard work. Own your successes; we are all winners!"

Cearra Jenkins

Ageless Spa/Naturo Health Solutions

"What motivated me to become an esthetician is that I take pride in looking and feeling my best! As the owner of Ageless Spa, I truly am dedicated to helping each one of my clients to not only look good but feel good too. True beauty comes from within, and I am here to help enhance their beauty and show every woman she is beautiful despite any outward flaws there may be."

Advice

"My advice to other women in my field and to other business owners is that it’s important to have a passion for what you do because that will show in your work! That certainly holds true for my mom, Dr. Christy Jenkins, who owns Naturo Health Solutions, the other 'half' of our business. She's the most caring person and doctor there is!" 

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