Maria Ines runs an art gallery and event space out of her apartment, is launching a business networking group, and runs a Facebook page for empty nesters.
Simone is an author, mindset mentor, and a co-leader at the entrepreneurship committee in the group Mulheres do Brasil.
Priscilla is an architect specialized in interior design that brings the Brazilian style to homes all over the world.
What do these three women entrepreneurs from different business areas have in common?
Well, first of all they are all Brazilians. But that merely scratches the surface.
All three are making space for women to expand their businesses and creative projects in a world where the odds may be against them.
Maria Ines did not follow a typical path. Some would say she has “worn a lot of hats.” She went to school for Chemistry, hoping to please her parents. But after taking a year to visit the U.S., she found her true calling in hospitality.
Starting from scratch, Maria moved to the U.S. and tried on a variety of careers, from preschool teacher to non-profit creator. She was looking to explore new possibilities after her children grew up, and dreamed of developing a private art gallery out of her NYC apartment called apART.
As it just so happened, Maria discovered another woman in Sȃo Paulo who was doing something similar. Naturally they partnered up. Ready for the challenge, Maria began promoting artists, leading fashion shows, and even hosting Vogue photo shoots with apART, funneling the proceeds into her non-profit to help elderly and disabled communities back in Brazil.
Always looking for challenges, Maria Ines’s entrepreneurial personality led her to get involved in other projects. She launched a Facebook support group for women called Empty Nest S.O.S. collaborating with 15 nationalities and leading live events for women to connect and discover their hidden talents.
“I’ve always felt very inspired by the women in very deprived communities,” says Maria. “Very powerful women who work so hard to make ends meet. Single women, mothers, they are incredible and true entrepreneurs without even knowing it.”
Her latest endeavor is a networking group called Global Networking Empire which was created to connect professionals from different areas by offering social and professional events.
What drives her is motivating women to launch their dreams, even when it feels impossible. While many women in Brazil are fighting to survive, they possess incredible passions and potential. Maria cheers these women on, encouraging them to believe in themselves.
“When you want something, and if you want business to be successful, you have to take action and just do it,” she says.
Grupo Mulheres do Brasil
If women ever get stuck on their path to entrepreneurship, Simone should be their spiritual guru. An author, mentor, and business consultant, Simone knows what women are up against.
As a mother, Simone quickly realized that the best way to create more time with her family was actually to be her own boss. “I knew I wanted to
follow my passions,” she told us.
While juggling launching her own bu-siness and family life, Simone heard about the Grupo Mulheres do Brasil, a group created by the entrepreneur Luisa Trajano, chairwoman of the Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza SA, to support Brazilian women living worldwide. For her, the organization filled her desire to connect with women while al-so addressing the needs of her community.
Founded in 2013 in São Paulo, today the GMB is represented in 19 countries. In NYC the group holds 9 committees: health, women rights, arts and culture, education, immigration, public policy, events, communication and entrepreneurship.
As co-leader at the entrepreneurship committee group in NY, Simone offers assistance to women by fostering a network of Brazilian professionals, supporting small business initiatives and offering mentorship services. For her the key to their success relies on finding existing projects and foundations in the Brazilian communities and helping them to achieve a bigger impact. “Let’s not reinvent the wheel,” she concludes.
As a mindset mentor Simone shared with us her secret to creating an incredible business: “Do your homework, prepare yourself, do research, talk to people who have been there.” She says luck doesn’t hurt either, but women will be able to endure the ups and downs of launching a business with careful preparation.
Priscilla graduated in architecture, and has always had a passion for interior design. After taking several specialized courses in New York, she noticed that there was a market need for contemporary interior design.
“The Rossetti Design was created to attend to the Brazilian community in the tri-state area. Brazilians like modern furniture, light colors, straight lines and a more clean décor; different from most of what is currently found in New York and the surrounding areas,” she said.
“Before the pandemic I worked mostly by meeting the clients in person, but was already working online with clients in Brazil and Portugal. I had my first client, a restaurant in Manhattan, and he invited me to decorate his home in Portugal.”
With the pandemic Priscilla’s online services became her major asset, bringing in many new clients interested in adapting their spaces to the reality of having the whole family at home, studying and working. “Working online means bigger participation of the client. They need to be able to articulate their needs, goals, and engage in the process of developing the project”.
Priscilla says perhaps some of these changes are here to stay, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. A more adaptable working space might just improve our experiences at work and provide for more worklife balance.
The biggest challenge, she says, is networking with a language barrier. As an immigrant, she highlights the importance of a solid education for those who would like to start their business in the United States.
To get ahead with a new business, Priscilla suggests investing in courses – she suggested ones at New York Art Institute – while keeping an eye out for new trends. Even visiting local art galleries can bring inspiration and allow the mind to discover new things.
Three women’s stories have one common characteristic: To be successful you need to adapt and keep your eyes open for the opportunities around you.
Lookout for more stories on amazing women here and share with us your favorite women entrepreneurs in the comment section below!
Journalist & Entrepreneur
Photos Maria Inês & Priscila: Press