This Way UP Feature Fridays: March
On Fridays, the Vermont Women's Fund profiles Vermont women entrepreneurs who are the foundation of our economy and communities. Follow the Women's Fund social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see these profiles posted each week.
Brittany Winfield, The Winfield Creative, Burlington
The Winfield Creative is likely the newest—in relation to length of time in operation—business to sign-on to This Way UP. Two weeks before getting counted, Brittany Winfield launcher her digital marketing agency. She is a self-proclaimed Jersey girl, who fell in love with Vermont when she came to Burlington to attend UVM.
In her Feature Friday video, she explains how she sees Vermonters collaborating to solve problems, like counting how many women own businesses to identify how women contribute to our economy and learn what their needs and challenges are. “One thing that I love about living in Vermont is the culture of collaboration. When folks have something that they want to change, they put their mind to it, they network, they collaborate to make it happen. Just like This Way UP campaign says, there is power in our numbers. And when Vermonters put their mind to it, change will happen.
Katie Frederick, Applied Solutions Consulting, Westford
Katie Frederick built Applied Solutions Consulting (ASC) around her experience in environmental science and passion to help small and medium sized businesses create and maintain a culture of workplace safety. She says, “I can make learning about workplace safety FUN! That means my OSHA training classes are never boring! I'm a former Roller Derby captain and can hold my own with the roughest group of construction crews while maintaining the appropriate level of professionalism.”
ASC offers OSHA training courses, creates Safety Plans, and provides on-site safety and OSHA Compliance consultations anywhere in Vermont. As a sole proprietor, she appreciates the ability to set her own schedule and fee structure. “As a mom of two kids, I love having the flexibility to volunteer at their school in Westford and I'm also a Girl Scout Troop Leader for my daughter Sophia. I am able to chaperone their school field trips and love to interact with other parents in the community.”
“Making money my own way means I can charge clients on a sliding scale based on their financial situation. I would rather them have the skills to work safely and look to me as a resource to maintain their safety program. I can offer discounts to nonprofits and other charitable organizations (Vermont Works for Women!!) and have done so by offering COVID-19 Exposure Control Plans for organizations in my community.”
Sara Kermenski, Spring Hollow Financial, Marlboro
To Sara Kermennski, being a fiduciary means keeping an open mind, listening, and focusing on the positive in her clients’ financial lives to reflect that back to them. “We all share the human experience; yet, with money, it often revolves around fear, shame and other charged emotions, the belief that one is "behind," or behaviors like avoidance. I use my experience of more than a decade of working with people about money to point out different truths—you are making good choices, you are right where you supposed to be, you are qualified, and you are not alone.”
Sara’s business, Spring Hollow Financial, offers financial planning and investment management for female entrepreneurs and families in Vermont and around the country. Based in Marlboro, her three children are the fourth generation of her family in Vermont. She says what she likes best about owning her business is, “the combination of a commitment to lifelong learning and the flexibility to apply new ideas as I continue to surround myself with people who are smarter than me, and the opportunity to be a business leader that promotes social and environmental justice.”
Barb Strait, Label Quest, North Ferrisburgh
Label Quest combines Barb Strait’s marketing and operations skills with her husband’s 35+ years of experience in labeling and packaging. She sums up her business with the phrase, “We do house calls…and answer the phone on weekends.” She finds it immensely rewarding to address more than labeling needs and find solutions that are as simple as possible. “We enjoy this niche business by meeting interesting people, learning about their unique skills, and ultimately becoming friends over time.”
They set-up their business as a distributor so that they have the freedom to choose vendors and suppliers that best meet the needs of each project and each client. This also helps them become partners with their customers to solve technical issues, provide cost-effective solutions, and work through day-to-day challenges—something rare in the label printing systems, equipment, and software business. She says, “It is fun to see people be able to save time and we love the end result of their product look. Our main focus is our customer’s business and how we help them accomplish their goals.”
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There are stories like this all across the state. As more and more people take the This Way UP survey we're learning about the determination and power that fuels these businesses.
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If you own your own business—no matter the size and no matter full time, part time, or side hustle—we want to hear from you! Please take the This Way UP survey to get counted for the hard work that you are doing in Vermont.
If you know women-owned businesses, please encourage them to take the survey or reach out to us at email@example.com.