Business Leader Spotlight
Updated: May 28
Meet Melissa Rouswell and Ali Everhard – two inspirational business leaders and entrepreneurs who dedicated their time to run The Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs and Shop A Small Business projects. Below are snippets of full interview with Melissa and Ali.
Read full interview on Woodlands Mommy website.
About business: The Women's Council of Entrepreneurs is a group of women entrepreneurs who connect & support each other. Our mission is to promote, motivate, and educate female entrepreneurs and we do that through several ways. We have a FB group where we help each other with questions and issues, we host virtual monthly workshops on various business topics, network quarterly and we help promote small businesses at shopasmallbusiness.com.
When and How did it started?
We met while volunteering at our children’s elementary school in 2013. We realized we had a lot in common, not only being moms, but as business owners too. Ali was a solo entrepreneur with a photography & design business, and Melissa was in a direct sales business at the time. Even though we both owned businesses, they were very different. Melissa was able to receive training and support from her corporate office and Ali was swimming through the waters alone. Together we spent many hours chatting about our businesses and the different experiences we had. Ali was frustrated as a solo entrepreneur for although she was successful, she wasted precious time researching and finding all the information she needed for her business to be successful.
We decided that women solo entrepreneurs would benefit from a community like the one that direct sales offered where they had webinars/workshops, support, networking, and a place to go for help. We created the Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs (WCE) to do just that and so much more! WCE is a place that focuses on business development and a place to give all women entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with each other and share experiences good or bad. We wanted to build a community of support in a world that can feel very cut-throat and lonely. Everyone needs a Tribe! We also wanted to do something different than most networking groups -- we wanted to connect our small businesses with the public, not just with our members.
What do you consider to be your biggest strength?
Melissa- The ability to talk to anyone! I love getting to know our members, hearing why they started their business and helping them to get what they want!
Ali - I would say my biggest strengths are design and research. I love to create inspiring images. And I also love digging deep to find new tips and create articles that will help our members make their lives easier as business owners.
What makes your business stand out? Our focus really is on helping women owned businesses be successful. We do that in several different ways~ education, networking and helping them to get more traffic and more visibility to their site and helping people learn about their businesses. We always focus on "What is best for the business owner?" and "what do they need to be successful?". We know how hard it is to start a business, much less to be successful and we want to provide the tools they need to be successful as well as the support they need to keep going when they get discouraged!
What's your advice to other moms who want to start their own business?
Just do it! Don't wait for the right timing, the perfect idea or plan. The longer you put off starting, the longer you will wait! Jump in and figure it out as you go! It is also ok to fail at things. Some of the best ideas come from failed first attempts (or second or third!)