Women in Business Wednesday {Small Business Start-up Grants}

Women in Business Wednesday
It's that time again, it's Women in Business Wednesday. Today's topic is Grants for starting your small business. Grants are like free money for your business. You have to apply for and qualify for this money. However, if you are awarded the grant, it's yours to keep and you have no obligation to pay back. 

Start Up Grant
Many small business owners don't know that private companies that are not owned or operated by the government, offer grants as well. The grant that I'm about to feature today is for women looking to start a small business that's from home or online based. It's award value is $500 to $1000. Sometimes this is just enough to help you get started.

The Amber Grant
I have decided to highlight the Amber Grant for women starting a small business. WomenNet.net started The Amber Foundation Grant in 1998, to honor the memory of a young woman who died at the age of 19. Hurry the application cut-off for this grant is April 30th.

Click here for more information on how to apply for this grant.

Other Women in Business related posts:

3 Tip to Succeed in Networking

Women in Business ChallengeHER Forum

The Economic Impact of Women Owned Business

A wife and mom of 3 girls. I consider myself a walking contradiction at times. A lover of socializing, music, art, culture, history and most things organic. I have a background in PR, event management, social media marketing/promotions, web design and brand awareness. 

Mother's Day Gift Flowers {Hip Mommy Must Have}

Rainbow Bouq
Sponsored Post
Hip Mommy Chick Must Have
Mother's Day, graduations, and proms are right around the corner and I know your looking for gift ideas already. You can send the same ol' bouquet of flowers from one of the run of the mill flower guys. Wouldn't getting your loved one flowers that were picked from the side of a volcano be more exciting. It's definitely a conversation piece for the most discerning of individuals. 

The Bouqs (Short for Bouquet)
The Bouqs is no run of the mill flower delivery company. They are the new flower guys on the block and they have nothing to prove, but they do a good job of proving that not all flowers are same. These awesome guys over at the Bouqs have figured out a great system that gets you fresher flowers with vivid colors and the richest fragrance.

Hip Mommy Chick Endorsed
What I love about the company is that it really is so easy to order. You don't have to worry about any extra fees tacked on to the end of your order. They are a flat price. Not too bad, when it comes to flowers that have to get cleared through customs to get to you. The very fact that they are sent to you within 2-4 days after picking ensures fresher flowers, that seemed to grow over the days.

Dragonfly Bouq
These Flowers are HOT! The flowers are cut on the day you order and deliver straight from the farm so you get the freshest bouq possible! This means delivery just 2-4 days after cut, vs 10-14 elsewhere. Get this, they deliver their Volcano stems from the equator,10,000 feet above sea level, which means one thing: sun. And more sun means more color. These Bouqs are fed by pure volcanic snow melt and mineral-rich, ph-balanced soil. And they also have California cut flowers that come straight from eco-friendly farms on the coast! Bloomin' sweet surf! Isn't that perfect for Earth Day. 

"Why not get the earthy woman in your life a bouq today? She'll appreciate it."

It's so easy to order and there are no hidden costs for shipping or handling. Just flat pricing and no BS. Click below to get your order placed.

Order Now!
Let the John, the Founder of The Bouqs explain it to you a little better in this video. These flower guys are definitely going places. They have already been featured by Forbes, Oprah, WSJ, Maxim, and the list goes on and on. 

The Most Epic Way to Buy Flowers Online. Period

Sending online flowers has never been easier

Disclosure: I received the flowers free of charge in exchange for this post. No other form of compensation was received, nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

3 Tips to Succeed in Networking

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Networking is a Science and Art
Talking to my daughter's school counselor the other day got me thinking. It got me thinking about the basics and the power of Networking. To set the picture for you, I'll be presenting for career day at my two daughters school. 

However, before that I had emailed a teacher and the school counselor about presenting at career day with an high school chum of mine Damon Jones, he's an educator and the Founder of S.T.E.A.M America a non profit for the advancement of science, technology, engineering, art and math for youth.
Get back, get back. You don't know me like that
She hadn't replied yet after a couple weeks had passed. I had already spoke with my daughters teacher and we were looking to hear back from the counselor. I caught her that day in the school office and I asked her about whether she got my email and her thoughts on it. I actually got her name confused with another member of the staff and she politely corrected me. She told me that yes she had got my email. Thought it was a great idea, yet had not had a chance to reply. I didn't give her a hard time (after all, I flubbed on her name), but of course I wanted a response to my email out of courtesy. I told her that I understood, then moved on to my questions at hand. She joked that she should have made a better first impression, because one day she may need a job from me and that she hadn't had a good start. Turns out to be a very good point.

You are an Entrepreneur
We talked a little more about what Damon and I would present. She loved it so much and ended up asking if I would be interested in being somewhat of a resident career day presenter depending on how well things went. I gladly obliged and I went on to further explain to her what I do as a marketing consultant/coach, web designer, and blogger.

She expressed that she wish she had the guts to go out in her own and be her own boss. I told her she did, and that if she thought about it we all have the entrepreneurial spirit within us. I gave her the example of moving up in your career as being the same as an entrepreneur. In the spirit that you are always selling yourself and your talent to get ahead in the workplace or with clients. Be it an increase in pay, a promotion, a potential client or a new job. You're only as valuable as your ability to express your assets effectively.Which leads me to... 

3 Tips to Successful Networking

Respect others time and reply in a reasonable time.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When networking in person, via email, or on social media with an individual or a business. Remember that just about everyone has a busy schedule, but be courteous and always try to reply within a timely manner. Even if you're not interested, reply quickly and inform the other party. You never know if there could be a productive connection in the future.

The counselor wasn't trying to ignore my email, I seriously don't think so. She just failed to get back to me in a timely manner. I've been guilty of this myself a time or two in the past. Just like the counselor joked about the bad first impression and the job. She's correct and her acknowledging that helped to lighten the situation.

You never know who and how a connection may pan out to be. That person just may be that someone that's instrumental in the progress of your career or business. Not everyone is understanding that you don't reply and their perception of you has now been compromised. You can always fix this is you know how, but why even do it in the first place.

Always get your contact name correct and try to know their background.

Image courtesy of patpitchaya / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Don't make the same mistake I made. Which was purely a slip of tongue by the way, and nonetheless incorrect. Don't get your connections name confused if you can help it. Granted both names start with the same beginning letters, still that's no excuse.

This detail may seem trivial or as something that may not need to be focused on. Once again, depending on the situation the party involved may perceive you as less professional and not focused. You may even come of as disingenuous and one minded.

If you don't have the background story, you don't have all the tools needed tho connect. If possible try to look up your connection online. This away you have something tho build on with that individual our business. Know to grow. It's all about building a relationship/rapport.

Always close the deal and get your story across.

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After getting the names and background out of the way. Now it's time to get to the business at hand. What makes you, you? Be sure to clearly get your story across, while listening intently to the other persons responses. I call this closing the deal for a number of reasons. Here are three:

1. The whole point of connecting with someone is to get your story across.
2. You need get and understand their story and what part you could play in that.

3. Your reason for contacting them was to get some goal accomplished and successfully add them to your network if possible.

You either want to end with your answer questioned, get key information, lead this individual somewhere or leave room for a follow up down the line and build a pipeline. Either way, you want to close the deal. So get out there and network til your hearts content and make it count.

For more posts like this and to join the conversation. Visit my Facebook page Hip Mommy Chicks or follow me on Twitter @hipmommychicks for valuable tips and advice.

By: Narjah Stewart, Marketing Consultant

You may also like this article from The Next Women Business Magazine

Tasty Vegans Meals, You Don't Have to be Vegan to Enjoy

Fettuccine With Cannellini Beans & Artichoke Heart Alfredo

via meettheshannons.net
Tasty Tuesday Vegan Meals
You'll love these vegan dishes. Ok...don't be afraid of the word Vegan. After all, it's not as if you don't eat these same fruits or veggies on a regular basis or at least at some point in your week. If you don't, you should.

Don't Label Me!
I know for some, the very fact that it's labeled "Vegan" is enough to stay away from even entertaining these recipes as a whole meal. I just ask that you keep an open mind and consider the incorporation of vegan in your diet. Think of it as a lifestyle adjustment that tastes great and is good for you. Even if it's, initially 
for one day out of the week.

Sometimes I do, Sometimes I don't
I have been an on and off Vegan for the last 5 years or so. With the most amount of on being in the last 2 and a half years (on and off). I wouldn't label myself as a Vegan, just a sometimes Vegan that eats pretty healthy the rest of the time. It has worked well for me, and as we all know moderation is the key with anything. With Spring being here and Summer around the corner, lighter dishes just make sense.

Quick and Easy Mac & Cheese via healthyblenderrecipes.com
30 Delicious Vegan Recipes
Check out these delicious Vegan dishes, that are ready in under 30 minutes. All of these delicious recipes in a compilation of several great food bloggers from the BuzzFeed website. 

Enjoy and change your lifestyle and your waistline!

Cinnamon Bun Waffles {Your Kids Will Love This}

Cinnamon Roll Waffles
Such an ingenious, lazy parent idea. This is so easy and so quick. It's almost 8:10 in the morning, while getting the girls ready for school and preparing to cook breakfast I realized when I opened the fridge that I needed some breakfast food. I saw that we had Cinnamon Rolls, but these tasty buns are normally left for the weekend when we have more time. I just didn't have time to preheat the oven ( 15 mins.), wait for the rolls to cook about another 15 minutes and get the girls off to school in time.

Too Easy
The other day my husband showed me a picture of this and I jumped on it. All you have to do is heat up your waffle press, spray with cooking spray. When ready place 4, or however many you want to on it and wait. When I first placed them on the waffle iron, I pressed them down with the lid to flatten them. They rise as they cook, you can continue to press it down again or not. It was wonderfully easy. The girls were able to eat them with their hands, without too much a mess. They whipped up in less than 5 minutes and we made to school on time. You know you want to try this tomorrow :-) Let me know if you do at @hipmommychicks or leave a comment below.

What You Need:

Waffle Iron
Cinnamon Rolls
Cooking Spray

Thanks for reading and be sure to share, if you enjoyed this post. Check me out on Facebook for more like this.


Women Owned Business Wednesdays-- FREE {ChallegeHER WOSB Forum}

Women Owned Business Event- FREE {ChallengeHER Federal Contracts Program}
It's Women Owned Business Wednesday, I'm an advocate for entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to women. I've always been that person and have always been an entrepreneur. I strongly believe, that even when gainfully employed, the entrepreneur spirit is needed in all of us to succeed. You are always selling yourself and your abilities in order to get ahead in the world. 

This weeks Women Owned Business Wednesday (WOBW) focus, is an event that is for empowering the women that owns a small business and is interested in contracting with the government. I found out about this event through a Meetup Group that I just joined called Entrepreneur in High Heels. Yours truly will be in attendance for this great networking opportunity.  

Who's Hosting
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN (OPEN) have partnered to host women business owners for this special contracting event. I'm also a proud new member of the WIPP. I'm trying to come up in the world...of public policy.