A Thriving Community Of Female Entrepreneurs Finds Success Together

By Tess Sangster The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Economic development director Tess Sangster introduces us to "a cluster of women business owners who are trailblazing their way to success."

San Diego

As the economic development director for the city of San Marcos, I have the privilege of working closely with our local business community.

Despite these tough economic times, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in San Diego County, and in a certain corner of San Marcos – La Costa Meadows to be exact – there is a cluster of women business owners who are trailblazing their way to success.

Here's the story of how five of these dynamic female founders found success in San Marcos.

Kerri Leslie of , a sustainable packing company, and , a clean beauty company, believes that the San Marcos area is a really well-kept secret with a buzzing entrepreneur community. She notes that it's a great place to manage overhead, and the location is close to everything she needs to manage her business.

Verity and Noniko are not alone. Women-owned businesses, including  Boobie Brands, Goverre and Wander and Perch also chose to open up shop in San Marcos. They are founded by women, and each advances a unique facet of wellness and responsible, healthy living. Inspired by their own experiences and expertise, these business owners are addressing market needs while advancing their personal passions.

Leslie's background in the medical device industry was the perfect primer for creating Verity because she was familiar with how to bring products made from metal from concept to market. She also has a lot of experience working with durable materials that can be sterilized and reused like stainless steel and highly recyclable materials like aluminum. Being in San Diego, and centrally located in San Marcos particularly, helps her tap into a pool of like-minded talent who share her commitment to reducing single-use plastics.

Wendy Colson, founder of Boobie Brands and the Boobie Bar that started it all, wanted to help her lactation patients get the nutrition they needed without the hassle of teas and multidose supplements. Her company focuses on making women, specifically mothers, healthier. Using her experience as a nurse and lactation consultant, Colson has been able to grow the business by identifying new ways to assist moms in finding nourishing and convenient products.

Colson has three distribution warehouses in San Marcos to meet the demand of retailers like Target, Buy Baby and Walmart.

Like Boobie Brands, was founded by Shannon Zappala and Regan Kelaher when they noticed a market gap they wanted filled – along with a nice glass of wine on the go. They were the first to create a portable wine glass made of actual glass. Based on their research, drinking wine from a glass container is preferred by most wine enthusiasts (including Zappala and Kelaher!), and is far better for the environment than plastic. But unprotected glass is not particularly ideal for an outdoor lifestyle, so they invented a new type of glassware – thicker with a silicon sleeve and lid. Zappala notes that after having success on Shark Tank, she and Kelaher realized they had to change their mindset from "What if we fail?" to "What if we succeed?" And that really shifted their approach to their business. Kelaher says their dual roles as working moms help their business perspective, too.

Eileen Zimmerman of Wander & Perch was inspired to create her line of eco-friendly waterproof travel tote bags after living in San Francisco and Encinitas. After experiencing the start-up culture in the Bay Area and the healthy living ethos of coastal San Diego, Zimmerman could not find a stylish waterproof bag for transporting her wet post-beach and workout gear, so she created one herself.

Zimmerman noted that the community this group of female entrepreneurs has created in San Marcos feels special and unique.

If you would like to learn more about launching or growing your businesses in San Marcos, the city is here to help. You can contact Tess Sangster at [email protected] or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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