A Q&A With 3 Female Entrepreneurs In NYC

By Heather Senison amNewYork, New York

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Three NYC women in business discuss the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.  At least two of the women remark that the biggest challenge has been the financial insecurity that comes from launching a business. 

New York

Women are catching up in business.

The number of women running their own companies in New York City nearly doubled in the past decade, data shows. However, there are still areas where they're falling behind their male counterparts.

amNewYork spoke with three female entrepreneurs based in New York City.

Scroll down to learn more about them.

Naama Bloom, 43, founder, HelloFlo

Question: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: I had an idea I liked and I had two small children at home who went to sleep early. After putting them to sleep and feeding myself dinner each night I had quiet time to think and dream. I decided to use that time to build something.

Question: What has been your biggest challenge?

A: The financial insecurity of running your own business and not taking in a salary cannot be overstated. Managing my own fears about running out of money has been the single most difficult thing I've had to do.

Question: What do you consider your greatest success in running it so far?

A: I'm going on three years in business, I employ two people full time, and I'm profitable. The odds would say I should have folded by now but I'm still enjoying my business and see growth potential ahead.

Dorie Smith, 29, co-founder, Of Mercer

Question: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: Of Mercer came out of a personal need. As a professional woman, I was frustrated by how hard it was to find stylish and well-made workwear that didn't cost a fortune. It was shocking to me that the clothes that I wore five-plus days -- and often nights -- out of the week should be so difficult to find. It was a problem that I felt would only solved by someone who had stood in the shoes of working women.

Question: What has been your biggest challenge?

A: Having not come from a fashion background, there was a steep learning curve entering this new industry.

Question: What do you consider your greatest success in running it so far?

A: I feel an immense amount of pride every time I get an email or note from a customer saying she wore Of Mercer for her big presentation/meeting/conference. We are fulfilling our mission if we are making clothes that give confidence to and help empower women in the workplace.

Makini Brereton, 34, founder, Makini Regal Designs

Question: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: I was inspired about to start my own business by my father who has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. After emigrating from Trinidad and Tobago when I was just an infant ... He opened a convenience store and rented out the residential and commercial units. I was always so inspired by his hard work and his fearlessness.

Question: What has been your biggest challenge?

A: The biggest challenge I faced when starting my own business was changing my financial perspective. When I was an employee, regardless of how much I spent, I knew I could rely on my next paycheck to carry me through. At the time, the money seemed infinite. I went from having consistent income and great benefits to living off of my savings.

Question: What do you consider your greatest success in running it so far?

A: Being an entrepreneur has had so my benefits in my life, such as being my own boss, determining my own schedule, and being able to do something that I truly enjoy and am passionate about. However, the greatest success in running my business is that it allows me the opportunity to work on building my own wealth instead of simply being someone else's employee and working to achieve their goals and dreams.

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