The first Powered by Her Lunch and Learn in McMinnville was a success with multiple local businesswomen attending and listening to the panelists share their experiences.
Powered by Her was created by Tiffany Anton in Cookeville after she found many women entrepreneurs feel disconnected from others and needed to hear stories to know they are not alone. She has been working to expand the organization into other cities like McMinnville and held the first lunch and learn here at the Biz Foundry on Wednesday.
The panelists were local business owners Ashley Gillentine Wright, Amanda Lowe, and Cydney Langford.
Wright discussed how this Lunch and Learn is about collaboration between women in business instead of competition.
“We wanted this to be about collaboration, not competition. Not looking at other women as competition or someone you have to be better than, just working together to raise each other up and make the community a better place,” said Wright.
Lowe spoke about the beginnings of her store on Main Street and how she started in a small upstairs room with a sandwich board sign, and one curtain for a dressing room. She says her passion for what she does keeps her going, especially when the pandemic caused her to shut down.
Langford also discussed her struggles during the pandemic and how she had to think of new ways to serve her customers. She also stressed to chase joy, not money.
Said Langford, “Our industry can be very fickle. I am so proud of what I have built and what we have built as a team at Wink. It is like I tell them, yes we have to make money, it is a business. At the same time never chase the money. I have never chased the money, I have always chased the joy and that means thinking how can we make people feel better.”
The people who attended the first Powered by Her Lunch and Learn in McMinnville learned a lot about the businesses the panelists run and the obstacles they have faced and overcome. Carla Bush attended to support Wright and said she got a lot out of the discussion.
“I am so happy to see what those girls are doing for the community,” said Bush.
The lunch was provided by Sam’s Deli and Sweet Box and the event was sponsored by Solomon Consulting Service. Anton said they are hoping to do events like this quarterly in McMinnville.