A couple weeks ago I attended a “Woman’s Night Out” event hosted by BiGAUSTIN, called WOW1000. The evening was a fabulous success! I was one of six women-owned, small businesses in Austin asked to participate in this event as a vendor and supporter…and all I have to say from attending the event is WOW!!!! It was an incredible and rewarding experience.
Now what was so exciting about this very special night out for women was it was BIGAUSTIN’S launch of their WOW1000 campaign: Women of Wealth and their new documentary film, “Women Unveiled”. (please watch for the video link below).
Guests arrived by entering the gorgeous iPic theatre lobby at The Domain via the red carpet. Vendor tables were set up selling unique products and services. Each vendor was an inspiring entrepreneur as well as a BiGAUSTIN client. I really enjoyed getting to know the other vendors and mingling with all the fabulous guests. Vendors included:
- Deborah Main Designs
- Onyx + Pearl
- Spruce Jewelry
- Created Woman Magazine
- Texas Carpet Baggers
- Longevity Wellness
When I got the invitation to participate in this event, I jumped at the opportunity to support BIGAUSTIN, as they are central Texans’ single-source solution for entrepreneurial education, tailored business counseling, and flexible loans. But they are important to me too because they gave Deborah Main Designs it’s first business loan to make our custom booth shelving in order to debut our product at the 2013 International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in Atlanta, Georgia. If not for BIGAUSTIN, I would never have been able to take my brand national!!
The goal of the WOW1000 campaign is to help cultivate community through supporting women-owned businesses in Central Texas. WOW1000 stresses the importance of investing in small businesses, because when you do, you are also investing in your local economy. Investing in small businesses helps to sustain and create local jobs.What’s Unique: WOW1000′s goal is not only to support women-owned businesses, but to help women who are trying to get out of oppressive circumstances – and end human trafficking.
WOW1000 does this by providing training on the basics of running a business and educating about the financial aspect of starting a business. But they also pair up with the Austin Police Department to help women who are searching for a fresh start. There was a huge presence of the Austin Police Department. I met and spoke with so many wonderful police women, honorable and hard-working, doing their duty in Austin to protect all citizens, but also to protect women against abuse.
What’s shocking: It turns out Texas accounts for 25% of the United States human trafficking victims. There are approximating 740 women and girls trafficked across Texas in just one single month! So there is a HUGE need for this WOW1000 program and the funding.
BiGAUSTIN decided to invest in women because in their own research they saw that that was where they made their largest impact. They recruited seven powerful women in leadership in Austin to be the Ambassadors to help recruit women and raise money for this campaign.
Women business owners struggle to gain funds for their businesses. In fact, women are only granted 5% of the venture capital throughout the U.S.!
“WOW1000 gives women in Central Texas what every woman deserves- the opportunity to create a life that is financially stable for herself and her family. We put women’s needs first. When banks say no, we give women the footing to pursue their dreams of starting a business. We liberate women. Join us.”
And you’ll see why in the WOW1000 Documentary debuted at this fabulous event. Please see the “Women Unveiled: The Entrepreneurial Truth of Texas” video HERE!
We love BiGAUSTIN as they’re often in the corner of the “underdog” and invest in businesses like bakeries, salons, childcare services, and even pillow design studios like Deborah Main Designs. With not yet having the funds to gain more exposure outside of Austin, BIGAUSTIN was the best solution for me, as no other bank would fund my small business to take my product nationally. Plus they provide so much FREE training and education and have an incredibly resourceful and caring staff who want to see you succeed. I personally want to thank dear friend April Meyer of Fabricker who connected me to BIGAUSTIN and the incredible staff there who want to help small business owners.
As the owner of a small business myself, Deborah Main Designs, I was really honored to be able to participate in this event, and become a WOW1000 supporter, because it really resonated with me.
We do all we can to shop locally, support local charities by donating pillows to silent auctions (as we did for this event), and support small businesses, particularly women-owned businesses. Click here to see some of the small “shop local” businesses that I and BIGAUSTIN support!
I also care immensely about the struggles that women face every day around the world, from basic necessities, to child care, to human trafficking and to the lack of financial investment opportunities. I have experienced first hand the power of women uniting and wanting to do more in this world through many organizations. We women must stick together and share our strengths and resources to continue to build equality in our community and the business world!
After a little shopping, hor d’ouevres and mingling for the guests, the evening kicked off with THE voice for international women’s empowerment, Ingrid Vanderveldt. Ingrid is Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence as well as a member of the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, run and sign up immediately!! She was awe inspiring!! Actually all the speakers were, and Assistant Police Chief Robledo was a spitfire full of passion for women entrepreneurs and to help the victims of human trafficking.
The WOW1000 event was an incredible success! From a silent auction to a red carpet, with such influential speakers, to the world premier of Women Unveiled: The Entrepreneurial Truth of Texas, I had an wonderful time and met so many interesting and caring women. I came away with a feeling that we all can have a part in helping to fulfill the mission of WOW1000. So here’s your chance:
WOW1000′s goal is to gather $1,000 contributions from other women business owners to raise $1 million to invest in other women trying to start small businesses. Each $1,000 donation provides a 7-week Start Smart course or 20 hours of businesses counseling to five women. The donations go a long way into helping educate and train new women entrepreneurs. I urge you take a look at WOW1000′s website to learn more and contribute to such a great cause!
There are a myriad of ways that you can get involved and support this campaign. Please watch the new documentary “Women Unveiled” featuring Austin’s own Cherie Matthews, CEO of Heal in Comfort, Kendra Scott, and many other Austin business owners HERE.
And what’s so great about this campaign is you don’t have to afford $1,000 to be a supporter of the WOW1000 campaign. With just $50 you can win a Sephora Makeup Consultation or for $60, an original Deborah Main pillow. You can also donate as little as $3. Every little bit helps with this to get this initial campaign to reach it’s goal, so please check out the right sidebar for all the donation options.
Also WOW1000 is now accepting applications for 2015 Ambassadors HERE!
We are so excited and proud to be part of this incredible campaign. So please join me at Deborah Main Designs in becoming a supporter of this incredible initiative, WOW1000. Together, let’s help end human trafficking and help women have the opportunity to become small business entrepreneurs. I thank you for your support of something so dear to me that will help many other central Texas women! Till next time, XOPG