By Tyler Price
Continuing our celebration of Women’s Small Business Month, Krystal Bonner, lead designer and founder of Phoenix Forrester Events, also an informal mentee of our program, stopped by the NBIC for a little chat about why it’s important to highlight female achievement within the entrepreneurial world.
“It’s great, from a broader perspective, for women to know what other women are doing to start their businesses – to communicate on a larger scale how many women own businesses and are successful,” said Bonner.
Bonner said that having this platform is imperative for up-and-coming women. She believes it is important to witness and admire other people success – especially as a beginning entrepreneur.
One successful entrepreneur who helped encourage and inspire Bonner is our very own Angela Crane-Jones – the director of the NBIC.
“Meeting Angela truly helped me,” Bonner said. “She was and is the owner of several small businesses herself. She understands what that’s like, but also to be a woman in a male-dominated industry.”
“What I love about Angela,” Bonner continued, “is she’s so relatable and down to earth. If I had a question about any of these things, she’d answer me openly and full-heartedly.”
But, the truth is, women need relationships like Bonner and Jones’ not just because of the male-dominated nature of the business world, but also the immense pressure and stress which comes with owning a business.
“Being in small business sounds glamorous and great. But, it is hard work,” Bonner said. “It’s really lonely and can be isolating. And, sometimes, not appreciated very much.”
“So,” Bonner continued, “you need to think long and hard about what industry you are going into. Because you will be giving up your nights and weekends. You need to have passion so you can get back up when you are knocked down.”
However, even though the entrepreneurial world is intense and dog-eat-dog, Bonner is tough and was fully prepared by the NBIC.
“NBIC is very competitive. I like being a woman who is doing things amongst all these men,” Bonner said.
The NBIC also taught Bonner the value of fostering lasting relationships within the business world and how they can come back to benefit later in life.
“What I have learned as a business owner is that relationships are vital – they are the lifeline to your success,” said Bonner. “Every client I have received over the last 8 years, has been a result of word-of-mouth or a recommendation. Because the relationships I have built are strong.”
No one is discounting the fact that men are still incredibly important in the workplace. However, it is imperative for women to empower one another and nurture more relationships – all the while keeping the goal of equality in mind.
More women need to create jobs, said Bonner. The more women we have in the corporate structure, the more women we have making decisions – leading to more women being hired. The more women are hired, the greater opportunities for women to advance become. This is how equality will one day come to be – each and every woman making an impact on the whole of society.
Gender discrimination is intricate and institutionalized – but not unstoppable. Women simply need to focus on gaining more leverage.
So, if you are a woman, please consider becoming an entrepreneur in a field of your passion. It will be hard work and it will be stressful. But, you will feel accomplished and encouraged.
And, you will be creating more jobs for the economy and changing the world for all women.
Happy Women’s Small Business Month from us here at the NBIC.
“Phoenix Forrester Events (PFE) is a boutique-style, event planning and logistics management agency specializing in strategy and creative design. PFE provides custom solutions to companies in multiple industries,” according to their website.
Their mission is “to serve as an extension of our client’s personality by creating and designing events that offer extraordinary experiences, unique to its audience while distinctly representing the culture, lifestyle and long-term goals.”
Meet Reggie and Tanora Polk, NBIC graduates and the power couple behind Polk & Associates Construction in Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 2011, the firm gained momentum quickly in new construction, tenant improvements, real estate development, facilities maintenance, and civil development.