When We Are Women Owned founder Lisa Rosado found herself feeling isolated and alone in her own entrepreneurial endeavor, she turned to the one community she knew could help support her: other female entrepreneurs. A few years and several successful pop ups later, Lisa is taking We Are Women Owned to new heights with residencies at Artists & Fleas. We chatted with Lisa to find out more on her business and how Artists & Fleas supports her vision.
What inspired you to start We Are Women Owned?
Half a year into launching my online women’s boutique, The Style Theory Collective, I found myself cooped up working from home feeling extremely alone and isolated. I strongly desired connection & a community of female entrepreneurs who truly understood the journey of entrepreneurship to turn to, but found that I had very few in my personal network. So I began to seek out my tribe! Once I found my tribe, my life & business completely shifted for the better.
The desire for connection along with the need to market my online boutique led me to the understanding that the importance of creating an environment that would allow customers to touch, feel, experience our products in-person led me to host a pop-up with 3 other women-owned brands in July of 2017 out in Hoboken, NJ.
This little pop-up would forever change the way I saw & ran my business. I realized that it was so much more fun and impactful involving other businesses aside from my own!
Putting together a pop-up all on your own gets insanely costly incredibly fast (never mind all of the planning and marketing that needs to happen in between), so making pop-ups more of a collaborative effort makes it much more feasible & accessible when renting out a space in a desirable high-traffic neighborhood in a major city.
I wanted to continue to host pop-ups and introduce them as part of my business model. There was an opportunity to set our pop-ups apart from others by offering mentorship and a supportive community for our vendors in an effort to help them maximize their pop-up experience with us.
Creating an environment where female entrepreneurs in the retail space (& beyond) come together as sisters—not competitors and sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help further their dreams & businesses was my TRUE passion and energized me much more than being the owner of an online shop.
Three pop-ups later, I just felt it in my heart that we were onto something special and that this community we were building was very much needed and deserved a name of its own outside of The Style Theory Collective so, in March of 2018, we launched We Are Women Owned!
Aside from our pop-ups, we host masterminds, offer 1:1 mentorship sessions, have a growing online community of 300+ female founders, launched a blog with the focus on spotlighting women within our sisterhood and sharing business resources for entrepreneurs, and are planning a host of amazing events from panels, workshops, networking events & more in 2019.
Why did you feel Artists & Fleas was the right fit for your WAWO pop-up?
The Wing SoHo held office hours with Artists Fleas back in April and I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with two wonderful members from the A&F team about WAWO and learned more about A&F’s marketplaces and their process.
I had visited A&F a handful of times throughout the years, but I hadn’t realized just how aligned A&F & WAWO’s visions, missions & goals were until this moment. Little did I expect that this conversation would have planted a seed for a potential partnership with one another.
Their openness, willingness to give feedback & genuine interest in what we’ve set out to create through WAWO really meant a lot to me. I could sense that this was going to be an amazing mutually beneficial opportunity.
Our holiday 2018 pop-up will be our 3rd partnership with A&F this year! Our vendors have been incredibly happy with the outcome, the foot traffic, the atmosphere and the overall experience. I couldn’t be happier for the chance to showcase our vendors in the heart of SoHo with a company who’s been of great support to us every step of the way!
Why should shoppers consider shopping small for the holidays? And what do you think makes Artists & Fleas the perfect holiday shopping destination?
It’s so important that we consider putting more thought into voting with our dollars.
I personally love the quote: “when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a happy dance”. It’s so true!
Supporting small businesses not only help business owners to sustain their dreams and livelihood, which is a win in itself, but small businesses also help preserve their local community, create more job opportunities and add more vibrancy & diversity to their neighborhoods. Shopping small means your tax dollars stay local aiding in better schools, libraries, public services & more.
Artist & Fleas has created a marketplace that allows you to support many small business owners under one roof saving you time, stress and creating space for you to shop brands and make purchases you’ll feel great about gifting this holiday season.
What are you most excited about for the WAWO Holiday Pop-up?
The energy & the camaraderie you feel at our events is off the charts! It’s such a happy, joyous, supportive feeling. I love seeing our vendors rock it on the sales floor, sharing their stories, products & hearts with the world and seeing the smiles on attendees/customers faces as they make their way about the space toting around their finds with so much pride.
I’m excited for more people to experience WAWO, for the opportunity to introduce them to incredible purpose-driven brands that have been founded by powerhouse women and I’m even excited for the influx of tourists during the holiday season. I have dreams of taking WAWO all around the country (& even worldwide) in hopes of reaching & supporting as many women-owned businesses as possible, so the thought of tourists taking a piece of WAWO back home with them makes me really happy!
Anything else you'd like to share with our community?
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