109 episodes

Sheventures is about women who pivot careers, take risks, and get it done.

Each interview-style episode will feature a woman who tells her story and provides actionable career and life tips. No mansplaining!
Get ready to listen, be inspired, and take action.

SheVentures Doria Lavagnino

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 23 Ratings

Sheventures is about women who pivot careers, take risks, and get it done.

Each interview-style episode will feature a woman who tells her story and provides actionable career and life tips. No mansplaining!
Get ready to listen, be inspired, and take action.

    100 Million in Sales on Amazon with Annalisa DeMarta

    100 Million in Sales on Amazon with Annalisa DeMarta

    This mom’s frustration with finding quality outdoor gear ⛷🧢 for her children drove her to start an Amazon business a decade ago.
    Annalisa DeMarta says her initial interest in Amazon was an experiment spurred by an unsuccessful shopping trip with her son. DeMarta learned how to find manufacturers, run quality checks, set up infrastructure to measure and maintain her supply chain — and learned the ins and outs of the Amazon marketplace. Her small children’s outdoor apparel business morphed into a $5M direct-to-consumer, Amazon-only brand called Lone Cone quicker than she had anticipated. DeMarta sold Lone Cone for an undisclosed sum, adding her to the small but growing group of women founders who exit their ventures.
    Clearly an Amazon whiz, DeMarta has used her experience from building and selling Lone Cone to pivot into co-founding an Amazon marketplace consulting agency. Ridgeline Insights consults with clients to help them launch and maintain their products on Amazon through an omnichannel marketing approach.
    Bonus Alert:
    Business veteran DeMarta shares the one thing that no one mentions when selling a business that she wishes she had known.
    Tune in to hear her three tips to grow a brand on Amazon in 2022.
    Why she speaks up and asks questions, especially to investors
    How to prioritize when creating your Amazon strategy
    All and more, on this episode of SheVentures.
     
    2:50 How to start a business while navigating a growing family
    17:52 DeMarta’s timeline from ideation to selling her products on Amazon
    20:00 Ever wonder what the difference is between dropship and private label? How to decide what’s best for your brand.
    24:50 DeMarta discusses the Amazon algorithm and search engine optimization.
    30:12 When did DeMarta realize her business was scaling rapidly?
    30:42 What happens when you sell your company?
    37:30 The insecurities DeMarta sometimes felt when arbitrating purchase deals
    39:21 How do you value an Amazon business? DeMarta shares her experience.
    42:02 Three tips to grow a brand on Amazon
    46:33 DeMarta talks about her pivot from entrepreneurship to agency owner.
    50:40 What does omnichannel marketing mean?
    55:33 Rookie mistakes aspiring women entrepreneurs should avoid

    • 52 min
    How to Fundraise as an Underrepresented Founder with Madeline Pratt

    How to Fundraise as an Underrepresented Founder with Madeline Pratt

    Imagine locking eyes with a venture capitalist and saying, “I’m building a big, badass company. You would be so lucky to invest in me.” 🥊
    Though this example may seem hyperbolic, it comes from this week’s guest, Madeline Pratt, who is on a mission to help underrepresented founders fund their businesses. Pratt outlines three core reasons why entrepreneurs who are women and people of color often struggle to raise money — and she provides solutions. We think you’ll want to listen in! ✅
    Pratt’s professional pivot was the result of peaking professionally at an early age in the financial industry and finding her true passion: helping friends solve business dilemmas and scale their companies.
    Initially Pratt helped out friends for fun or for a barter, but she soon realized she had created a sustainable business. She founded Fearless Foundry, a creative consulting firm that helps startups with branding, marketing, and business development. Pratt also started an online community, We Talk Money, for financial professionals with the tagline, “Make Noise. Be Seen. Earn More.” What’s not to love?
    Pratt talks about her Give Back Program, which works with early stage founders who don’t have access to capital and often don’t know where to start.
    Listen to Pratt’s mission, the challenges of bootstrapping a small business (while wearing many hats), and how she plans to disrupt the venture capital space on this episode of SheVentures.

    4:48 What is Fearless Foundry’s origin and mission?
    13: 24 Pratt describes the challenges entrepreneurs face with social media marketing.
    18:56 How Pratt works with early stage founders through her Give Back Program and what services she offers
    24:34 What Pratt believes contributes to the disparity of venture capital for women of color founders
    25:24 Three core elements that discourage underrepresented founders from raising venture capital
    33:38 The challenges of bootstrapping a business and being a woman founder
    42:43 How Pratt offers paid maternity leave in her small business —if she can
    52:12 Pratt looks back on what she aced and what she would do differently today.
    56:12 Pratt’s long-term goals with Fearless Foundry and where listeners can find out more

    • 55 min
    In Search Of The Next Woman of Color–Founded Unicorn With Regina Gwynn

    In Search Of The Next Woman of Color–Founded Unicorn With Regina Gwynn

    How many Black women billionaires can you name besides Oprah and Rihanna? 👩🏾 💵 🤔
    This week’s guest is dedicated to making businesses owned by women of color more visible, fundable, and scalable. Regina Gwynn, angel and limited partnership investor and co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, believes that businesses can be innovated, launched, led, and built by women of color. Gwynn is looking for the next tech unicorn — that is — a company that grows to a $1 billion valuation.
    Gwynn’s dreams about building an entrepreneurial empire were inspired by the popular ’80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms, about a record-company owner who’s secretly also the lead singer of a rock group. Gwynn successfully sold Avon products door-to-door as a teen, and that was where her interest in the beauty, fashion, and apparel industry grew.
    Gwynn obtained her MBA from Northwestern University and used her job experience and business acumen on her first pivot Tressenoire, a beauty-tech startup for women of color who needed on-demand hair care and styling. The biggest lesson Gwynn has learned: understanding how timing and product-market fit influenced the success of her business.
    Gwynn voices the difficulties Black women face when pitching to predominantly white male VC investors. These experiences serve as the catalyst for Black Women Talk Tech, a tech community designed specifically for Black women tech entrepreneurs. The goal: to create a space where Black women could be seen, heard, and engage with a community that can invest in their businesses.
    Listen to Gywnn talk about the need to normalize the idea that an investable founder can come from anywhere, on this episode of SheVentures.
    3:21 Gwynn talks about her childhood and the entrepreneurs in her family
    5:53 What attracted her to the fashion, beauty, and apparel industry
    9:51 Advice she would give young women pursuing a career in the fashion industry today
    12:33 Gywnn talks about her pivot from fashion to her beauty-tech startup, Tressenoire
    20:26 Listen to the difficulties Gwynn had, as a Black woman, pitching for venture capital
    25:16 How Gywnn’s experience as a tech entrepreneur informed her next pivot: Black Women Talk Tech
    27:56 Gywnn shares her opinion on the “pipeline issue” when it comes to venture/angel funding for women of color
    33:24 What incentives does Black Women Talk Tech offer women to help grow their businesses
    42:46 What are Gywnn’s biggest wins and unexpected challenges to date?
    44:59 Gywnn explains why she included the word “billions” in Black Women Talk Tech’s mission statement
    47:06 The goals and initiatives of Black Women Talk Tech
    49:41 Where listeners can find out more about Black Women Talk Tech and its programs

    • 43 min
    Careers in Trucking: Women in the Fast Lane

    Careers in Trucking: Women in the Fast Lane

    When you think of a truck driver does that memorable scene from Thelma and Louise come to mind?
    Ellen Voie wants to change that stereotype and amplify gender diversity in the trucking industry; so she started Women in Trucking, a nonprofit, whose mission is to mentor women with the information, education, opportunity, community, and support they need to succeed in a male-dominated business. Established in 2007, the organization now boasts more than 4,000 members.
    Voie’s pivot happened after earning degrees in broadcast journalism and communications. She landed a job in a steel fabricating plant where she moved up the ranks to transportation management and thus her second pivot into the trucking industry.
    Voie speaks about her organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, the best practices for women drivers, and why “they should ask a lot of questions and make sure they know what they’re getting into before signing on the dotted line.” She also lends her opinions on how the pandemic affected the trucking industry and why the turnover rate for “on the road” — or long-haul — drivers is so high. Listen to her five steps to consider before pursuing a career in the trucking industry, on this episode of SheVentures.
    2:03 What attracted Voie to the trucking industry?
    6:04 What was the catalyst for Voie to start her organization, Women in Trucking?
    13:22 Voie talks about barriers to women in trucking
    15:35 Five steps Voie would recommend to young women interested in trucking careers
    18:32 Voie shares typical wages for entry- and intermediate-level drivers.
    23:38 Why is there a demand for on-the-road drivers, and how is their job different from daily drivers?
    26:05 Reasons Voie feels churn (the turnover rate) is so high in the trucking industry
    29:40 How the pandemic affected the trucking industry
    32: 52 What are the statistics on assault and microaggression affecting women in trucking?
    35:17 Voie speaks about her organization's diversity and inclusion initiatives
    40:02 Advice Voie would give her younger self and where listeners can find out more about WIT

    • 38 min
    Why Are Women’s Sexual Health Products Still Taboo? With Christine Brown

    Why Are Women’s Sexual Health Products Still Taboo? With Christine Brown

    💡Have you ever helped friends and colleagues solve a workplace issue only to realize you’ve discovered a niche business opportunity?
    That’s what happened to Amy Spurling, so she created Compt, an HR tech management solution aimed at personalizing employee perks.
    After spending more than two decades in mergers and acquisitions as a financial executive, Spurling knows how companies are built.
    She successfully raised $1.5 million dollars in 2020 through venture capital firm Harlem Capital and talks about how “finding the right partners made all the difference for her company to scale and grow.” Spurling also shares how she perceives women in tech and finance, both male-dominated industries. Best of all: pitching tips for female founders who are often faced with a disparaging vetting process when looking for funding.
    Listen to Spurling describe the landscape of employee benefits in 2022 — and how more companies are supporting remote working positions and moving away from traditional productivity measurements on this episode of SheVentures.
    1:55 Spurling explains how mergers and acquisitions are structured.
    7:21 How does Spurling perceive herself in a male-dominated industry?
    10:35 Spurling shares how she came up with the idea for Compt, an HR tech platform.
    17:00 How has personalization helped to make Compt stand out?
    21:45 Spurling describes customer traction since she was funded in 2020 amid the pandemic.
    22:39 How does Compt make money?
    24:04 What tips does Spurling have for female founders pitching to venture capitalists?
    32:51 How does Spurling see employee benefits evolving?
    38:28 How Spurling measures productivity with a fully 100 percent remote staff
    43:23 Where can you learn more about Compt?

    • 42 min
    Why Are Women’s Sexual Health Products Still Taboo? With Christine Brown

    Why Are Women’s Sexual Health Products Still Taboo? With Christine Brown

    Erectile dysfunction products are widely accepted, but women’s sexual health and wellness are far less so.
    Christine Brown is helping to reclaim the female sexual health and hygiene market with The Kind Cup, an innovative, ergonomically designed silicone menstrual cup.
    Brown was first introduced to the menstrual cup at their all-women undergraduate college (where they obtained a degree in critical thought) — and it changed their views on feminine products forever.
    This American Sign Language (ASL) teacher juggled their career and helped to run their family’s specialty fruit farming business, while casually researching product reviews about the incompatibility of some menstrual cups with women’s bodies. This eventually led to their pivot into entrepreneurship, where The Kind Cup was born.
    Brown shares how their own hard-of-hearing journey and non-binary identity helped shape their ideology, explains the misconceptions in label setting, and defines the limits they sought to overcome by challenging people’s notions of what they think they know versus what they assume.
    Brown shares how this philosophy is helping them to take the The Kind Cup to the next level on this episode of SheVentures.


    5:38: Brown shares their hard-of-hearing journey.
    15:00: How Brown pivoted from teaching ASL to designing menstrual cups
    19:03: What sparked the idea for The Kind Cup?
    23:54: How has their architectural background helped to inspire the design for The Kind Cup?
    35:06: Brown takes on the Pink Tax.
    41:23: What did Brown need to do to obtain FDA approval?
    52:09: Is venture funding to scale in Brown’s future? Find out!

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Kimaculate ,

Motivating Life and Career Pivots

I just launched my business this year and have been listening to a lot of podcasts. I love how the guests on Doria's show are all very informative, down-to earth women with great stories to tell! Her questions really get right into the meat and potatoes of what took for them to become successful. The pivots the guests share really make the interviews more authentic - they're not asked in general or generic formats like other interviews might be every episode feels like a girlfriend giving you real guidance. If you want inspirational advice from women who know exactly where your business head is at (even if sometimes its buried from all the stress that comes with a new business), then her podcast is definitely worth checking out!

Kassia Rose ,

Best Podcast for Women

This is a dream come true! It’s women supporting women by sharing success stories and congratulating each other.

This is everything you want in a podcast. Great information, interesting conversation and useful knowledge passed down from successful women in business. Doria has curated a truly a great community of female entrepreneurs supporting each other by sharing their stories.

Share this with your friends.

Natmosfear ,

Pivoting for the win!

I absolutely love getting to hear stories of women and how they’re pivoting in their careers and personal lives. Pivoting is such a necessary part of life that sometimes we view as negative or something we avoid. Facing changes head on is vital when it comes to growth. These women inspire me to add more pivoting into my own life and perspectives.

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