The Company You Keep
IGC Member Digest
In This Issue
Mindset
Business LookBook
Clippings
Musings
Quick Links
Dec/2008

Hi IGC Members,

Welcome to Edition #3 of our the New IGC Members Only Business Digest
 
As a reminder, through this digest we will share with you some of the best news on small business ideas, models, and innovation that we discover. The content has been filtered because it makes us think differently and critically about entrepreneurship and our business. We hope it will challenge and enhance your thinking too!
 
In the coming Digests you will find at least 4 sections:
 
Mindset: Topic-based thoughts from A & A
Business LookBook: An interesting, innovative, and thought-generating business or business concept.
Clippings: Relevent and thought-provoking articles and news
Musings: A recap of our blog posts
 
Click to read past issues of The Company You Keep
 
keep thinking,
 
Adelaide & Amy
 
Mindset
 
Pay It Forward
 
We have been thinking recently about the importance of "Paying It Forward" when it comes to women and business.
 
We draw on our peers and colleagues a lot for help and advice and we also try to offer a lot in exchange. In the absence of much formal education on entrepreneurship, this practice of informal mentorship and 'paying it forward' is particularly important. Some entrepreneurs are very good at doing this and make it a consistent and regular practice to contribute to the cause of entrepreneurship.
 
One such woman, Patrica Helding of Fat Witch Bakery, is going about 'paying it forward' in a bit of an unexpected way!
 
I have long been a fan of the Fat Witch Brownies (- they are delicious!), but have always lamented the fact that I can't seem to find much information about Patricia herself, the story of her bakery, or journey into entrepreneurship. It is such a great business. There must be a great woman behind it!!
 
Then, last year Amy and I saw on the Fat Witch website that Patricia had also created and published a book for teens about entrepreneurship called Hannah's Homework. I was recently in the Chelsea market store and picked up a copy. Not only is it adorable, but it is also educational too!!
 
The story features Hannah Witch, a tween, who is encouraged by her mother to reframe a homework assignment as an entrepreneurial challenge. Hannah creates an idea and gives it a try. It doesn't quite go the way that she expects forcing her to quickly change her game plan on the spot. Then...Hooray! Success.
 
I was so impressed with this books ability to highlight so many of the qualities and characteristics relevant to entrepreneurship. And to top it all off, at the end of the book are activities and questions that help readers to analyze aspects of Hannah's story and formulate their own opinion about her decisions and outcome.
 
The questions, which address marketing, strategy, planning, operations, collaboration, role....the works, are tween age appropriate but are also just as relevant for adults and entrepreneurs.
 
So, we remain curious about Patricia Helding herself, but we continue to blindly admire her, not just for the business she has created, but also for furthering entrepreneurial education for girls and making such a beautiful contribution to this cause.
 
And of course, this all made us think about entrepreneurial learning and education. And how responsible we are for paying it forward by helping others learn about entrepreneurship.
 
* What more we can all do to help integrate entrepreneurship into curriculum for younger girls?

* What we can do to share our stories and make entrepreneurship more accessible?
* Who are the entrepreneurial icons that you can learn from?
 
* How do you teach and share your story?
 
Speaking of tween entrepreneurship...this summer, NY Magazine ran a story called "Working the Squeeze" that featured several young lemonade stand vendors who shared information about the way they run their businesses. Truly educational! 
 
One group working to teach entrepreneurship to younger women...Step Up!! In addition to other professional development skills, these girls learn about running a business AND they will be visiting IGC as part of that process! more to come on this!
 
You can join one of our Pay It Forward initiatives by registering with Kiva and making a donation (as little as $25) through the In Good Company Workplaces lending team. (you have to first register with Kiva and then join our team!)
 
Business LookBook
Jessica Dunne, Ellie Perfume
 
This month's Look Book is about Jessica Dunne of Ellie Perfume. A woman on a mission who saved and self-funded the creation of her debut perfume, which has received rave reviews! It took her three years to develop the scent, which was inspired by her paternal grandmother, Ellie. As an industry outsider, she had to work very hard to accomplish such a feat with her own means.
 
We first read about Jessica in an article in the NY Times this summer and we were intrigued by her story, not only because she hails from Adelaide's home town, but because of the combination of guts and genius that she displayed in starting her business.
 
* Jessica had a clear image for years of what she would create when she had the opportunity, a scent that would honor her grandmother's grace and femininity.

* She reached out to a renowned perfumer's in France and convinced him to work with her to create a scent he described as ambitious and contradictory. It took nearly a year to develop the right formula.
 
* She cold-called the buyer at Bendels and convinced her to invite Jessica to Open See, typically reserved for clothing and accessory designers. Bendels picked up Ellie and is one of the few places that you buy this niche fragrance.
 
* Everything about the business reflects Ellie the scent and the concept. The packaging, the website, the story, and the owner all match and reinforce one another.
 
* What do we like about her even more?? A portion of proceeds are given to Kiva!
 
It is hard not to fall in love with Jessica's story! What it also makes us think about is the power of a clear and simple vision beautifully executed
 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Reading this piece, made us stop and think...
 
* What is the vision?
 
* In what ways do you communication your passion and mission?
 
* What players are critical to your success?
 
* What steps do you take to communicate the character of your product/service?
Clippings
Noteworthy News and Articles  
 
The theme of things that cuaght our eye this month seems to be UNLIKELY
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Jessica Shambora discovered this show and wrote about it on the Fortune Postcards blog. Jessica's post discusses the show, the network, and unlikely sponsor...
 
About the Show:
Amy Poehler teamed up with 2 friends to make a show for girls that celebrates girls "who are changing the world by being themselves". Amy and friends interview young women who are eager to share their talents and passions. For example, Ruby, the 7 3/4 year old feminist. Heart warming, hilarious, completely inspiring.
 
Fascinating article from newsweek that discusses Xerox's unlikely business strategy..."profit by teaching companies how to reduce their printing". Xerox links green with efficiency in order to help cement themselves as a preferred provider.
 
which reminded us of an article that we recently read about another paper company...
 
This Inc article discusses Crane & Co's unlikely ability to build a 200 year legacy and an increasingly successful businesses in a troubled industry. How'd they do it? Staying ahead of the curve, leveraging technology, diversification...cool story, with lessons for us all.
 
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a few more interesting tid-bits
 
 
1. Curated & Limited.
Last month we shared with you information about Gilt Groupe. This month two more businesses that provide curated and limited goods have caught our eye. interesting trend!
 
Laviva Home from Laura Aviva, a curated online trunk show of BEAUTIFUL goods from around the world. all limited in quantity.
 
One Goodie
shares with readers one foodie and one mommy item a day. items are discounted and only available for 24 hours or until they sell out.
 
2. A Store that Doesn't Sell Anything.
This pop-up concept store doesn't sell anything, but must cost a fortune. Spotted by Springwise, the store (located in the Short Hills mall) allows customers to try on samples, talk with stylists, hang out, and charge their cell phones. Chosen as an alternate form of advertising, this fits into the Trendwatching concept of Brand Butler.
 
* Is there any way that your company should/could leverage concept advertising?
* Is there an experience that you could creat and butler?
 
 
3. Bite-Sized Chunks.
A blurb in Business Week, "This Chapter is Cut Out for You", discusses the latest publishing trend, "Chunking", which refers to dividing up books and selling pieces or chapters seperately. 
Musings 
Read Our Recent Musings & Goings On...
 
 
Wishing you all the best!
 
All the best,
 
Adelaide & Amy