Man Repeller: Myth of the "Female Entrepreneur"
Have you ever thought about the term, "Female Entrepreneur"? As owners of a female owned and run company, NAME GLO has been celebrated for it's female entrepreneurship in many ways. While we've been grateful for the recognition, we've always felt a little off about the term --- like, can't we just be entrepreneurs?
So, we were thrilled when Man Repeller took-on this timely topic and invited us to share our perspective along with 3 other incredible women!
Below are some excerpts from the interview. Checkout the full article here.
There’s been a lot of conversation in recent years about what it means to be a “female entrepreneur,” and what it takes to get there. Do you like this narrative? Do you feel like you “fit” it?
We wrestle with this one a bit, because by calling out our gender it feels like we are diminishing what we do. Almost like saying, “Wow, you run a business AND you’re a girl!” It feels degrading. We are entrepreneurs, plain and simple, regardless of the fact that we are women. However, at the same time, we do celebrate that we have entered a male-dominated field and found success. It feels special and celebratory to bring a feminine edge to the world of neon.
Ultimately, what this little seed of an idea has blossomed into so far has nothing to do with us being women who run a business. Then again, it’s nice that the recent attention given to female entrepreneurs has opened up doors and cohorts for us that would have been harder to open three to five years ago.
What parts of your daily routine have you not always done but now deem critical? What parts have you had to let go of?
We’ve both had to step outside our comfort zones several times. Running a small but mighty business means there are a lot of jobs and tasks that need to get done that are outside our world of expertise. We handle everything from client relations to PR to designing to accounting. We wear a gajillion hats a day. We’ve both had to make room for all of this in our schedules. We take calls in the most unlikely of places and work less than ideal hours to fit it all in.
It’s not as glamorous as it might seem. As far as our daily routines go, we’re still workshopping. We’ve created many processes that we’ve scrapped or changed. One thing that comes to mind is we used to text each other all day long and it became hard to keep track of decisions, so we agreed to limit work texts to time-sensitive matters and set up a system in Slack for streamlining communication and ensuring that our phones aren’t constantly blowing up! Little changes like that make a huge difference.
How does your work environment affect you and how have you learned to control and manage it?
It’s safe to say that when work is stressful it bleeds into our non-work lives, so we always wrestle with work-life balance. If anyone has any tips for business owners, send them our way. The one thing that we remind each other of — especially when the other person is super busy or crazed — is that the main goal of our line of work is to light up people’s lives, both literally and figuratively. We try to find moments once in a while to just pat each other on the back and say, “Hey, today was really cool,” rather than always getting caught up in the minutiae of what’s right in front of us. We’ve also incorporated a moment to share celebrations in our weekly meetings which has been really nice. We are all about celebrating here
Did you have a mentor in the classic sense?
We don’t have one specific mentor, but rather several people we look to for guidance or inspiration. We both have really strong, supportive partners, which is a nice added bonus. Also we try to be as much of a support system for one another as possible. Since we both do wildlydifferent things within the company, it’s easy to lend an ear or be a pillar for the other person if they are having a hard day or challenging moment.
So many of us want to give back, but struggle to find ways to do that while staying on top of our own lives. How do you interpret “giving back” and how do you find the energy and time to do it?
We give back financially by trying to involve NAME GLO in as many charitable pursuits as we can realistically take on. It’s important to us to make the moment shine for all occasions, and it’s particularly special when we can make an important cause shine. We loved working with Man Repeller on our B(.)(.)BS collaboration for International Women’s Month; all proceeds went toward Planned Parenthood.
In addition to that, we really try to help or mentor other people who want to start their own businesses. We always try to make ourselves available for a call or a coffee if someone needs to chat through an idea with us or wants to pick our brains. We know how helpful those conversations have been and continue to be for us, so we want to pay it forward.