Crowdfunding changes the way women in business shop and invest

SEATTLE – May 1, 2013

By Kristiina Hiukka
Crowdfunding for women in businessCROWDFUNDING platforms have become the new way to shop for the latest new and innovative things. More women are using their pursepower to shop for goods and services that are ethically aligned with their values or interest more consciously than ever. In the wake of the terrible garment company disasters in Bangladesh it has become increasingly important to choose carefully what you spend on – or invest in – your hard-earned money.

The crowdfunding movement has brought to light some unforeseen benefits. For example, the innovators and entrepreneurs who are presenting their products and services on various crowdfunding platforms have created an interesting pre-retail option for consumers and investors. As many crowdfunded projects are based on local manufacturing, there is a potential for creating new jobs as well.

Seattle-based innovator and entrepreneur Margaret Spencer’s DRES System Kickstarter project proved to be a successful example of a case in which people used it for pre-retail shopping, not just for investment purposes. Her dresses became popular both with women who want to look their best for their body types and also with some famed fashion designers who appraised her being the next “Donna Karan”! Among other things, Margaret uses sustainably harvested bamboo and has the dresses made in the Northwest.

Excited and enlightened by her success, Margaret will be teaching a Kickstarter Primer to help others succeed as well. She will be sharing tips and tangible tools based on her experience how to be successful in a crowdfunding campaign on May 9th in Bellevue. Go to our Events page to register.


If only I had known…

… Learning from failure:

Hindsight is a wonderful thing – but only if it benefits the second time around. Sometimes we even get another chance for a “do-over” but other times, the blooper is forever. Bloopers can be funny but they are even more fun if they can be useful. That’s why I’ve invited women innovators to send me stories about their BIG failures, the mistake or the oversight they experienced – and learned from. We’ll publish a blog series about innovators’ hindsight to benefit us all. If you are interested in sharing your BIG mistake and be featured, please write me your response to the following questions by the end of April:

1. What was your goal before you failed / made the mistake? What were you trying to do/accomplish?

2. What did you believe about yourself / your abilities to accomplish it?

3. Who did you work with? Was there a team involved?

4. What made it a memorable mistake? Why do you think it was a failure?

5. How did you feel? What did you think of yourself?

6. When the failure happened, who / what supported you? How?

7. What followed? What were the consequences?

8. How has it impacted you? What did you learn?

… Learning from success:

Sometimes hindsight doesn’t come after a failure. Sometimes we get it when we are successful. Hindsight is a wonderful thing if you share both the secret scars as well as what truly worked and help others have an easier path.

One of the lessons WIN community will be benefiting is the crowdfunding knowledge that Margaret Spencer Continue reading If only I had known…

Which way are women leaning?

By Kristiina Hiukka, Founder

SEATTLE – April 5, 2013

I’ve been fascinated by the conversations sparked by the two leading women of social media, CEO Marissa Mayer of Yahoo and COO Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. They represent the new look of corporate women leadership by being outspoken about the their life style choices and views on gender balance at home and in the workplace. Sandberg’s Lean In book and self development program have been the hot topic in all media since the International Women’s Day when it was launched.

Sandberg said in an interview that “it’s in everyone’s interest to support women whether they work in a home or in a workplace.” So, how do we support women? Do women need support?

Over the last few decades a myriad of women’s organizations have been created to serve the needs of professional women. But how are they serving the true needs of the modern woman of business? Are they addressing the issues with the rigor needed to affect the realities women are facing in business and in life in general? What are they actually advancing and advocating for? Are they places where women feel safe to “be themselves” or are they challenging women to grow and take risks? Are they places where women share the sorority spirit and friendship? Or are they places where women challenge each other and collaborate?

Are these programs and organizations inadvertently “fixing” women to be more like men in order to succeed in the “men’s world”? Is it required that women should become more competitive Continue reading Which way are women leaning?