Running a thriving business takes drive, determination, and a whole lot of hustle! We’re spotlighting eight savvy entrepreneurs whose immense success proves how a little belief and a big leap of faith can land you a leading role in your own life. Looking to recalibrate your career path? Let their accomplishments be your compass.
CONSORZIO DI TUTELA DEL PROSECCO DOC
PROMOTIONAL AND VALORIZATION
MY BUSINESS: My job has me promoting Prosecco DOC appellation worldwide, consolidating historical markets, opening business opportunities in new markets, and raising the awareness and brand reputation of Prosecco in the marketplace. I perform a range of marketing activities to achieve those goals, including developing marketing and communication strategies, creating advertising plans, finding sponsorship opportunities, media relations and engagement, planning and managing various promotional activities like fairs, trade events, consumer wine tastings, cultural and sports sponsorships, developing advertising and social media campaigns, and the design and creation of marketing materials.
THE BEST PART: Traveling, meeting people, popping Prosecco, talking about it, and feeling the sparkle of working with a product that is a symbol of Italian lifestyle—trendy, contemporary, brilliant, cool, authentic, creative, never exclusive, but a great expression of great conviviality moments.
NEW CHALLENGE: Promoting the newborn Prosecco DOC Rosé, which represents the evolution of a wine already famous in the world: Prosecco DOC, with a further touch of Italian elegance and delicacy. It boasts a charming pink color, elegant and fruity nose (strawberry, raspberry, and green apple), and a round, creamy, and refined mouthfeel.
IN THE BEGINNING: I did much problem-solving to reorganize the department to create a stimulating, creative work environment with efficient teamwork. MOST REWARDING: Finding new opportunities, creating connections, traveling worldwide, meeting amazing people from all over the world, sharing moments with passionate men and women, setting new trends, achieving goals, going beyond the limits, and never holding back.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: My proactive and entrepreneurial spirit, determination, hard work, willpower, creativity, passion, and a daily therapy of smiles and Prosecco! Even better if it’s a Prosecco DOC Rosé.
TEAS YOUR SPIRITS
MY BUSINESS: I make exotic tea blends to create hot tea and cold brews that mix well with liquor. My mission is to showcase the richest flavorful hues that tea has to offer in a super creative and artistic way.
IN THE BEGINNING: I started to offer my tea fusions as a way to enhance my self care and of course to generate a second income while doing something that didn’t stress me out. In essence, Teas Your Spirits was born through my journey in seeking spiritual clarity. The blending and grinding of the loose leaves with spices, dried fruits, and flowers is so healing; it is my form of meditation.
Before I started my tea business I had a greeting card and paper invitation business, which was very rewarding. I currently manage a nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer a platform for cultural education programming.
MOST REWARDING: Aside from the benefits of the self care it brings by nature, the most rewarding is seeing the surprised faces of my clients when they see how pretty everything looks and how tasty my tea is! I’ve had many people tell me, “I’m not a tea person but your tea is a whole new twist of goodness!”
Cedar Grove, NJ
HIP NEW JERSEY
MY BUSINESS: Hip New Jersey is a digital lifestyle platform featuring the latest in fashion, family, home, celebrations, wellness, and lifestyle in NJ. We offer customized campaigns that include videography/photography, social media promotions, written content, and more.
IN THE BEGINNING: I come from a background in public relations in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, so when the landscape of media was changing, it felt like it was time to create a digital business.
MOST REWARDING: I think this changes during different times in my life. Currently, my business allows me to manage a balance between working and being available for my 8- and 4-year-old children. I can be working on a photo shoot with a brand one day and at my children’s school serving lunch duty the next day.
MY BUSINESS: My mission is to offer a product that, while timeless and classic, also presents unapologetic boldness. I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. But we all have a story, and this is my way to tell mine and to learn about yours. This is as much a creative outlet for me as it is a way to inspire others to tell their stories.
The dress alone does not make me who I am…my story, my past, my struggles, all the mistakes I have made along the way, the way I walk into a room—that tells my story. However, a well designed dress that fits well and that complements my color-filled life certainly makes it easier for me to tell that story. I want to dress that woman who is ready to walk into the room and tell her story.
IN THE BEGINNING: My background is business. I did not go to fashion technical school. It has been many years of learning along the way, and I continue to learn. I have an MBA in business, and I have been working since I was 18 years old in healthcare. It is very close to me and I am passionate about making patients’ lives better through my work.
Since I was a little girl I knew I was going to do something in the fashion/beauty industry. It was a dream I never really talked about because as a little girl in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. I honestly did not have the slightest idea of how that would happen, but I knew it would. I have always been a dreamer—I have always had the ability to close my eyes and just imagine that feeling of what it will be like when it happens.
MOST REWARDING: Without a doubt, it’s getting to know the women I design for.
Oliver Zak & Selom Agbito
Los Angeles, CA
MAD RABBIT TATTOO
OUR BUSINESS: Founded in 2019, Mad Rabbit Tattoo was born and bred with a passion for ink as we saw an opportunity to create a superior natural solution to help improve the healing process after seeing the lack of effective and all-natural products. With the mission to eliminate all unnatural and processed ingredients found in traditional aftercare, we sought out to create product offerings that embodied the basics of holistic healing with Mad Rabbit Enhance–Tattoo Balm, Mad Rabbit Repair–Soothing Gel, and Mad Rabbit Defend–Sunscreen. Mad Rabbit promotes individuality, adventure, and anything badass.
IN THE BEGINNING: We met in freshman year at Miami University, largely through Delta Sigma Pi, the university’s business fraternity, and started working on Mad Rabbit after trying our hand at another e-commerce startup selling women’s bathing suits. We created Mad Rabbit’s first batch of balm in a crockpot in our college kitchen from ingredients bought off Amazon.
Oliver: “[At Miami] it was very much Selom and I skipping class to cook this balm, and we got our neighbors involved; they were helping us ship out packages. Some professors were our very first customers in some senses. It really took off from the start, which helped us solidify our theories about the need for this product. My mom has years of apothecary experience and she helped us come up with the original seven-ingredient balm. We’ve kept that product development mantra the same. We like to keep it simple and all-natural. It’s been a great method for us, with no unnecessary ingredients and no chemicals. It really just goes a surprisingly long way. Then, we graduated and accepted traditional jobs.
Selom: “I moved to Wichita for a two-year rotation with Textron, while Oliver went to Manhattan to do mergers and acquisitions consulting for EY-Parthenon. We both loved our jobs but that wasn’t the end of Mad Rabbit. We invested all our non-working hours growing the company and eventually quit to work on Mad Rabbit full time.”
MOST REWARDING: Inspiring people to innovate and providing a solution to an underserved market. Conditions are always changing, and this can be good or bad for a business. When COVID-19 hit, a lot of companies decided to stop or reduce spending, but we decided to at least double our ad spend, which was a big risk, but it ended up paying off because it catapulted us into being the top brand in the tattoo aftercare space
CEO & FOUNDER
MY BUSINESS: The mission of Nutty Cosmetics is to provide all-natural skin care products for healthy and beautiful skin.
IN THE BEGINNING: I used to work at a retail store, and every time I walked through the “Black” aisle and went through the ingredients of some products, I thought to myself, ‘Is there any product that has all-natural ingredients? If not, that’s what I will do.’
MOST REWARDING: Customer satisfaction is enough for me. As long as they’re happy, it’s rewarding enough.
San Diego, CA
GG BENITEZ PR
MY BUSINESS: Aloisia Beauty™is a line of high-performance skin care that blends traditional Korean beauty principles with modern science, signature formulations, and clean, responsive ingredients to attain healthy, glowing skin. Developed and produced in partnership with one of South Korea’s leading skin care labs, our products respect the skin and re-imagine the daily skin care ritual as an effective and pampering experience. From our signature 7-Day Skin Care System, to our DEEP HYDRATION Aloe Gel Mist, and our celeb favorite GLOW Exfoliating Soft Peel, along with our growing range of targeted skin care products, Aloisia Beauty is committed to making superior skin care an affordable luxury.
IN THE BEGINNING: Part of my success as a publicist is that I have to feel a true connection to the brands I work with. That’s actually how I came to be a co-founding partner of Aloisia Beauty. I was already personally passionate about skin care, as well as about empowering other women and representing strong female entrepreneurs, when two of my dearest friends approached me during Aloisia Beauty’s very beginning stages about becoming a partner. I dove right in. The vision and core values of safe, clean, effective skin care, and the K-Beauty ritual, while offering affordable and essential self-care, really resonated with me. I saw the potential to help build a truly special skin care brand.
MOST REWARDING: As the owner of a women- and minority-owned business, I am proud to champion and support other women, whether it’s helping them feel good about themselves or inspiring them in their business endeavors. When we receive a testimonial from a happy customer at Aloisia Beauty, it really touches me to know that our skin care has empowered her to look her best and feel more confident. And, as the eldest of four girls and the mother of two daughters, I’m proud to partner with three other women with equally diverse heritages and backgrounds, and serve as an example of success for other women and minority-owned start-ups.
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