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A guest post: What I love about Her Corner

Can I tell you about Her Corner, and what I love about the organization?

Author: Yael Krigman

Yael Krigman's Baked by YaelWhen people ask me what Her Corner is, I have trouble finding a description that does it justice.  To say Her Corner is a networking organization minimizes all the time we spend sharing our business challenges and providing feedback to one another.  To call it a support group discounts the valuable business component. In essence, Her Corner is a community of fellow women entrepreneurs, equally motivated to grow their businesses and to support one another’s businesses as well.

I first learned about Her Corner in early 2012, just a few months after I had left my high-paying, highly structured job as an associate at a major international law firm in downtown DC to focus full-time on Baked by Yael, the online bakery business I started a little more than a year earlier.  My transition from lawyer to baker/entrepreneur couldn’t have been more drastic.  I went from having hundreds of coworkers to not having a single coworker.  I went from receiving a very generous and dependable salary with benefits to relying on self-generated cake pop sales to pay my mortgage, law school loans, health insurance, and other expenses.  I went from having deadlines imposed by my supervisors, government agencies, and courts to having no deadlines at all.  I knew I had a solid brand and incredibly delicious products, but I was not prepared for the culture shock of leaving Corporate America and entering the World of Entrepreneurship.  To put it bluntly, I was panicking.

What I love about Her Corner is its uncanny ability to be exactly what I need precisely when I need it.  It’s like the business equivalent of a best friend.  When I need Her Corner to be a sounding board for a business challenge I’m having, I can present the problem to the women in my neighborhood group at our bimonthly meetings.  When I want to learn from the experts about technology for small businesses or sales strategies, I attend the Speaker Series every other month.  When I need Her Corner to be a resource to find vendors, I post my query on the “Members Only” Her Corner Facebook page.  When I need a jolt of positive energy or a break from working, I go to the monthly Her Corner coffee get-together.  And when I need to raise $70,000 in one month, I have a cavalry of fellow women entrepreneurs ready to help. 

On May 8, I launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise start-up capital for a brick-and-mortar bakery, which will be Washington, DC’s very first cakepoppery.  I quickly realized that my goal was incredibly ambitious and would be very difficult to reach.  The first place I turned to was Her Corner.

At our neighborhood group dinner, I explained my predicament:  I had less than a month to raise $70,000 and if I didn’t reach my goal by the deadline, I wouldn’t get a penny of what I had raised.  That discussion spurred a series of e-mails, social media posts, and words of encouragement that continued throughout my Kickstarter campaign.  A Her Corner member who is a marketing communications professional reviewed my e-mails before I sent them out to prospective Kickstarter backers.  Her Corner members promoted my campaign daily through social media.  They forwarded my campaign announcements far and wide – to friends, neighbors, listservs, everyone they could think of.

Her Corner members were among the first people to pledge to my campaign.  Nearly half of the Her Corner membership pledged a total of $6,410.  Midway through the campaign, one Her Corner member decided to match 10% of all pledges from new backers and pledge increases from existing backers.  She quickly raised her matching offer to 15%.  Her enthusiasm for Baked by Yael and passionate support of my Kickstarter campaign was heartwarming and very effective.  Over two dozen Her Corner members pledged to my campaign after the matching offer was announced, bringing the total number of Her Corner Kickstarter backers to 62.  And the number of Kickstarter backers who learned about my campaign from a Her Corner member is even greater.

Her Corner has played a critical role in the growth of Baked by Yael and in my personal growth as an entrepreneur.  I am a member of Her Corner because of the resources and business development opportunities — but most of all, because of the people.  Each and every Her Corner member is an extraordinary entrepreneur and a woman to watch!

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