Every March, people across the U.S. celebrate Women's History Month and International Women's Day by learning about the women who have shaped America and diving into the history of women's rights.
But Women's History Month doesn't have to be solely about the past — it's also a perfect opportunity to learn about and support modern women founders who are changing the world with their small businesses. For this month's #INCspiration, we're featuring three inspiring women entrepreneurs who started their businesses with Incfile.
Alyssa Abrahamson, The Wellness HQ
More than half of American adults have at least one chronic condition, and the prevalence of those conditions is highest among women.
Alyssa Abrahamson knows firsthand how difficult it can be to fight chronic conditions, which is what drove her to get certified as a Functional Nutritional Therapist, become a Holistic Wellness Coach and start her own wellness-focused business, The Wellness HQ.
Specifically, Alyssa helps "women with chronic conditions overcome self-judgment and heal pain through self-compassion and mindful, healthy lifestyle changes that support an inspired and vibrant life."
The road to success wasn't always easy, though. "As a single female business owner living with the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis," she explained, "one of the biggest hurdles has been doing everything on my own with the limitations of having a chronic illness."
But Alyssa is nothing if not resilient. "It's keeping myself motivated, disciplined and staying in alignment with my values of serving other women who need support on their healing journey that keeps me going." Perhaps she manages to do so because, in her own words, "I lead with my heart."
In the future, Alyssa hopes that her industry will continue to grow. She'd like to see "more grants and funding, especially for female podcasters in the wellness world."
Cyla Mitchell, Ky's Coffee Shop
Founded in Gary, Indiana in 2020, Ky's Coffee Shop was born from founder Cyla Mitchell's love of great coffee. From mugs to apparel, her small business is all about coffee.
But when she's in the process of running her business, Cyla finds herself prioritizing her daughter more than anyone or anything else. "I conduct myself and my business differently because I am a mother. I can’t give up or half-step because she is watching me."
In other words, "I lead by example. I have to ensure my daughter not only has a good role model, but I also want her to be involved in the business." So, Cyla teaches her "little things to instill a good work ethic in her." She also strives to "remain positive and strong in front of her," and when things get hectic she demonstrates how to pick up the pieces.
Looking back at her entrepreneurial journey so far, Cyla says that starting her business was the biggest hurdle she's faced so far. "At that time my daughter was young and required a lot more of my attention," she explained. "All appointments, fundraising and planning simply had to wait," and "I was starting to miss deadlines."
But then Cyla realized that her daughter was the reason she was starting her own business to begin with. So with help from daycare centers and nearby family members, Cyla was able to spend more time on her business. Eventually, she "was able to check everything off of my to-do list and Ky’s Coffee Shop was born."
It's Cyla's own experience balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship that shapes her vision for the future of women in business. "I would like to see more conveniences for women to make opening a business more attainable" because "more women would jump at the opportunity to start their own business if they had the proper guidance, weren’t strapped for extra cash," and didn't have childcare complications.
Kara Wilk, Teal Trunk
Most people wouldn't find a dirty sponge to be particularly inspiring, but for Kara Wilk, it sparked an idea that would change her life. After becoming frustrated with the unsanitary sponge lurking in her kitchen sink, she resolved to create a solution.
Thus, the household product company Teal Trunk came to be. Offering bacteria-resistant silicone scrubbers and brushes, Teal Trunk provides hygienic, eco-friendly alternatives to wasteful and dirty cleaning tools. It's not hard to see why we featured Kara and her business in a previous #INCspiration installation.
From the very beginning, Kara has felt keenly aware of the fact that she's a woman in a traditionally male role. "When I first started my research, I would make inquiries conducting my material sourcing, manufacturing facilities exploration," and the like "as part of Teal Trunk's research and development (R&D) team," she explained. "I needed to be taken seriously and didn't feel I would be if I said I was the sole female operator running this business."
It also didn't help that Kara's biggest challenge was "doing it alone without any experience or connections within this industry," as well as "researching and learning everything on my own" while fielding comments calling the business "a nice hobby I found myself."
But on the other hand, Kara being a woman has provided her with a valuable perspective. "My products' largest consumer base is women; therefore, I am able to connect and relate to their needs as they use my products within their homes. I find by their reactions [that] they didn't expect a personal response from the owner directly, and the personal connection is well-received."
In the future, Kara hopes that the ever-increasing number of female entrepreneurs "will instill confidence" in other women and "open up more resources and tools" that women won't feel intimidated to use. "I hope that it will allow them to grow and scale their businesses," she continued, and that "their success rates will climb."
Seeing the ingenuity and creativity that female business owners have to offer, it's safe to say that's something we can all get behind.
This Women's History Month, women entrepreneurs like Alyssa, Cyla and Kara are providing more than their fair share of #INCspiration. And if they've inspired you to start your own business, Incfile's free LLC formation service can help.
Carrie Buchholz-Powers is a Colorado-based writer who’s been creating content since 2013. From digital marketing to ecommerce to land conservation, she has experience in a wide range of fields and loves learning about them all. Carrie is fond of history, animals and beauty in equal measure. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, playing video games and exploring Colorado's prairies and mountains with her husband.