WHO ARE WE?
The Collective (of Us) is a small business accelerator designed for women founders and small business owners.
Part synergistic mastermind, part strategic group coaching, we’re committed to collaboration as fuel for sustained success. We offer the support, validation, and expertise found in established businesses, without having to compromise your singular vision.
We strongly believe that together, we all rise.
WHY ARE WE HERE?
Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among overall businesses. This means that the number of women-owned firms has continued to thrive, growing five times faster than the national average over the last 9 years.*
There are more women-led businesses now than ever in history.
But for all of the freedom that creative entrepreneurship affords, it can also be a lonely, overwhelming, and uncertain experience. Successes are often met with challenges that, without the proper support system, lead to setbacks.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’; 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and 50% of small businesses fail by their fifth year.
Starting a business on your own is far less daunting with a resourceful, badass community to support you. As women business owners, founders and artists, we know that building sustainable, highly profitable businesses takes action, expertise and a community behind us.
The Collective (of Us) is an impactful place of fostered creativity. It’s a space for gaining insight and feedback into those initial ideas so they translate into sustained growth.
*2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report- American Express OPEN
WHO ARE OUR PEOPLE?
Ok, enough of the politeness; The Collective (of Us) is for collaborative kick-ass women in various fields and stages of their businesses and lives. These women are moms, non-moms by choice, and otherwise brilliant women who have (mostly) seen the other side of 30, gracefully. We're seeking accountability, growth, and digital "high-fives." This is a place to get your business shit together while receiving support from incredibly creative women. We're here to get work done and have fun, authentically and intentionally. Every step of the way.
Behind every successful woman is a group of powerful women teaching, empowering, listening and connecting her. The Collective's In-House Council is this group.
These women are experts in their fields who generously share their collective wisdom and professional knowledge while teaching others about the operational aspects of running a small business.
Expert SEO Guidance for Small Businesses
Myrna Plaisir Daramy is a tech savvy creative powerhouse who is Co-Founder / CEO of Mezzohead Media Corporation and the mind behind Newlybride.com, the first rich content marketing platform and network for bridal. Myrna has spent her career deep in the world of digital analytics, strategic branding, Technology Management, and SEO with over 13 years of experience working with luxury bridal brands like Mark Ingram Atelier, Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Christian Oth Studio, and Anne Barge. Her natural ability to clarify the blurred lines between technology application and spontaneous creativity is what makes her one of the most insightful digital marketing strategists today.
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Legal Expertise For Start-Ups, Investors and Creatives
Hannah Pianko is the co-founder of the law firm Kluk Pianko Law, which is based New York, New York. At KPL, Hannah represents founders, start-ups, creatives, investors and advisors across a variety of industries, including e-commerce, retail, media, software and technology. She works with clients on a variety of corporate and commercial matters, including business formation and structuring, fundraising, contract negotiations, partnerships and joint ventures, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property matters, employment and equity matters, corporate governance and compliance.
Hannah lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with her husband Matt and their two cats, Luna and Stella.
Expert Sourcing + Manufacturing Guidance for Product Entrepreneurs
A leader in the "maker's movement," Liz Long has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs to bring their product ideas to life. Through classes, live events, and one-on-one support, Liz demystifies topics like design, sourcing, and quality control, and provides a step-by-step formula for turning concepts into successfully manufactured goods.
Liz is the creator of Learn to Make a Product, the "in-house sourcing expert" at Maker's Row, and has a decade of experience running her own product-based business, Bag the Habit.
Erika Velazquez Alpern
Public Relations Expert and Founder of Tactile
Erika Velazquez Alpern founded Tactile to #changetheratio in business. The agency helps ambitious women build ambitious brands and launches products that aim to support women globally.
Before diving headfirst into running an agency, she spent close to a decade in brand marketing and communications across media, tech, and the arts. She was the VP of Marketing & Communications for The New, led brand marketing for The Guardian and NewsCred, built an artist program for AOL and was the brand manager across all of their media properties. In a previous life, Erika was an independent curator and ran an arts magazine for emerging artists. She grew up in the Bronx and currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and puppy.
Brand & Web Designer for Creative Small Businesses
Laura Huebner is a graphic designer and owner of Dotted Design, a boutique design studio that creates visual brands for small businesses they can be proud to share. Through beautiful and functional design, Laura builds brands that truly share the core of what they do and connect with their audiences. She places timelessness above trends and helps businesses learn the strategy design can provide rather than simply seeking to make something pretty.
After working in marketing and creative for nonprofit arts organizations for many years, Laura felt the call to do something bigger. She took the leap to launch her studio and fell in love with the passion and spirit of her small business owner clients. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband.
I'm Cyndie Spiegel, a Brooklyn-based Small Business Consultant, Coach, and Speaker specializing in strategy for creative entrepreneurs. My motivational coaching and strategy sessions have inspired creative start-ups, independent entrepreneurs, and renowned luxury designers alike, helping them to develop extraordinary businesses and lives.
Before launching my current practice, I spent 15 years on the business side of the New York fashion industry. I'm also an Adjunct Professor at Parson’s School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology where I teach students how to navigate life, fashion, and entrepreneurship in an ever-changing creative world. I'm wildly passionate about yoga, bold lip color, and supporting others to fearlessly follow their entrepreneurial dreams.
Be sure to click here to learn more about membership to The Collective (of Us).
And if you'd like to know more about one-on-one coaching and strategy, you can find me here as well.