Alicia Vandeschuere is the founder of rosieMADE, LLC which has the mission of "empowering women through commerce and community." While she was in working in corporate, she witnessed the unique challenges that women face while navigating corporate politics and the corporate ladder. Alicia set out to create a community where women would be empowered economically and supported as they entered entrepreneurship.
Alicia is stopping by the blog to share her experiences with starting her company and her vision for creating the rosieMADE network.
Deb Bailey: This is such an exciting idea, Alicia. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Alicia Vandeschuere: I thought entrepreneurship would be a nice change from the corporate environments I had been working in. I've always been a really hard worker that delivered exceptional business results (along with my teams, of course). I felt it was time to bet on myself! Plus, it would provide a greater flexibility for my life stage (I'm a new mom), as well as geographic flexibility (we relocated to be closer to family). It also gave me a path to support two things that are important to me: USA products/jobs and the empowerment of women!
Deb: Are there any “lessons learned” that you’d like to share?
Alicia: The biggest lessons have been in regards to selecting business partners. Not knowing where to look for good service providers, I've ended up with a few partners that weren't a great fit for my business and work style. I've learned that I have to always be fair, but put the business first, even if it means making a switch. I rely on my “gut instincts” more than I used to.
Deb: So, who are your ideal customers?
Alicia: Our ideal customers are women who are looking for great, USA made gifts for others (or even themselves). Our customers are excited about voting with their dollars for women friendly companies, and appreciate that we reinvest a portion of every sale into resources and grants for women entrepreneurs.
Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?
Alicia: Being a start up, our biggest challenge is getting our message out. We want to do good things, we want to help our vendors and women entrepreneurs. BUT…we need traffic and support to get there. I'm sure this is every start ups or small business's challenge.
For our successes, we set small goals, and celebrate each accomplishment. Whether it's for Facebook likes, additional newsletter subscribers, orders, or press, we're constantly setting goals and working to achieve them.
Deb: Thanks for sharing those! What’s your vision for your business?
Alicia: My hope is that rosieMADE will become obsolete! When women and women friendly businesses are not disadvantaged, our mission will no longer be relevant. Unfortunately, the statistics show that women and their businesses still have a lot of room for advancement. Until then, our vision is to increase awareness and support.
Deb: Alicia, thanks for visiting the blog. Please let everyone know where they can find out more about you and rosieMADE.
Alicia: Certainly! You can find us here:
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