Coffee, Courage & Kindness
Our meeting fell right in line with Andie’s morning routine when we sat down to chat at Conjure Coffee for her Insider Influence interview.
I was lucky enough to meet Andie earlier this year after she reached out for assistance with her website and marketing strategy for her business, Own Your Success. Andie’s passion and enthusiasm for women’s entrepreneurship—not only in northeast Indiana but on a global scale—made her a perfect candidate for the series.
Andie’s bubbly, outgoing personality came in part from her parents—her mother, a politician, and her father, a real estate agent. Both strong, courageous leaders in her eyes and many others’. “They taught me to be a good person, to do the right thing, and to be kind. People are drawn to those qualities,” she said.
Andie took those teachings to heart and, in 2014, she used them to create a network for female entrepreneurs called Own Your Success.
Dream It. Do It. Own It.
Own Your Success has organically grown to roughly 360 members in just the past four years. Andie’s vision for the organization is to allow a place for female entrepreneurs to flourish with a guaranteed support system along the way.
It’s important to note that this is not a program under the umbrella of another organization—it is simply women entrepreneurs finding one another and working together to encourage and educate each other.
When asked for advice for leaders-in-the-making, Andie said, “Not every day is perfect. Stay strong, stay the course, and have thick skin. Not every decision or project will go the way you hope—the trick is to keep moving forward. Stay you.”
Throughout our interview, Andie returned to these principles multiple times and reiterated her beliefs to be kind to others and be true to yourself. Doing those two things will attract the right individuals to your cause. She supplemented those truths with the suggestion that leaders fail when they lose sight of their mission or gain an arrogance in what they do.
Leading the Charge
I’m always seeing Andie out and about in Fort Wayne, which is how she continues her growth and development as a leader.
“Connecting and working with other leaders from different organizations throughout the community helps my personal and professional growth. I’m continuously learning from others’ successes and failures. I’m also a nerd for professional development books,” Andie explained. Lastly, and most importantly, Andie made a case for the importance of taking time for self-care and reflection.
Many people in Fort Wayne say they don’t know any women business owners—only 5 percent of local entrepreneurs are women, according to in.gov, so it’s not surprising that we’re a well-kept secret.
Andie is a guiding light for female entrepreneurs. Not only that, but she’s also making a difference by creating a space that will change women’s lives as they take the first or next step in their careers. Own Your Success is leveling the playing field and ensuring women have a seat at any and all business tables. She plans to continue expanding her business and create an established work environment for members.
Interested in finding out how you can help drive northeast Indiana forward? Reach out to Andie—she has plenty of entrepreneurial and local knowledge to go around. To read more about Own Your Success in Andie’s own words, check out her op-ed in the Journal Gazette.
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