Hello, my name is Simone Goldstein. I am a Mar-keting Consultant, a social media expert, CEO at Entendeu Media, and Ilana’s partner at the social media agency The Wip Factory.
In this edition of The Brazilians Newspaper, I am chan-ging places with my business partner Ilana to share with you some of the incredible work that she is doing by hel-ping women unleash their talents and invest in themselves.
As Ilana’s work at Ilana_Wip and The Wip factory is dedicated to female entrepreneurship, I decided to inter-view her to better understand her background, inspiration, and strategies to help other women…and boy, is she busy!
I hope that this interview will be an inspiration to you and a motivation to unleash your own talents. As Ilana always says, “it is never too late to start something new, and never too early to change.”
“Believe in your dream, invest in yourself, go for it!” – Ilana Lipsztein
The Brasilians: You are a successful Brazilian entrepreneur from Rio de Janeiro, tell us why did you decide to move to the USA?
Ilana Lipsztein: I moved to NYC in 2000. By that time, I owned a company that offered services for young children in shopping malls called The Baby Boom Club. My husband an NYC doctor, was already living in the US for 20 years. After 2 years of dating overseas, we needed to make a decision. So we got married, sold my shares in the company to my partner, and moved here.
TB: What is your academic background?
IL: I have an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a graduate degree in Marketing from Candido Mendes University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In NYC, I attended NYU’s Continuing Education Program for Hospitality Industries.
TB: How did you become an entrepreneur?
IL: I started working in the entertainment business very early. My first enterprise was at 15-years-old when I produced the theatre play Pixote at the Vanucci Theatre in Rio de Janeiro. I was so young that I couldn’t even sign the production documents without an adult.
In 1988 I founded Baby Boom Club, inspired by my 2-year-old son Rafael and our frequent trips to the shopping mall. While I tried to shop he wandered all over the place. I guess that shopping with little ones was a challenge faced by many parents.
To keep the little ones busy and allow the parents to shop, I designed children’s service islands for the major Brazilian Shopping malls. There I offered stroller rentals, babysitting services, and kiddie rides for the little shoppers. The success came very quickly and in 6 months we had already opened 3 stores in main shopping malls in Rio.
TB: How did you come up with the idea of helping women to become entrepreneurs?
IL: As a female entrepreneur, I have faced many challenges. When I started my career there was a huge family pressure for me to get married and have children. I also faced sexual harassment many times, which many women still experience in the workplace. The truth is that, as women, we need to prove our professionalism all the time, in addition to taking care of our ho-mes and children.
The scenario is changing now, and wo-men have a lot more opportunities. The difficulties that I faced on my journey as an entrepreneur motivates me to help other women step out of the shadows and feel empowered.
TB: Tells us about “Ilana Wip”, when did you start this project, what are your goals, and who is your audience?
IL: I created “Ilana Wip” during the first lockdown in NYC. When the event planning industry froze, I started to explore online opportunities. My first online event was an online dinner benefit that happened simultaneously in Rio de Janeiro, Miami, and NYC. Ilana Wip was born from my desire to help women unleash their talents by offering tips, sharing stories, and offering opportunities for them to connect with other entrepreneurs.
TB: Is there a team behind Ilana Wip?
IL: Yes! And a wonderful one. There is my business partner at the social media agency The WIP Factory, Simone Goldstein, a video editor, and a writing editor. Together we create posts, blogs, and videos for IlanaWip and also for our clients at the agency that is dedicated to attending to women from many different areas from business to social media influencers.
TB: What are your plans for the future?
IL: We are looking for partnerships with brands that target women 40+. Nowadays this age group is more active than ever before and they represent a big percentage of the household buying decisions. In addition, women are the largest percentage of social media users, using it especially to grow their business.
TB: What are the topics covered at Ilana WIP?
IL: Our Instagram is dedicated to female entrepreneurship. We publish exclusive interviews, ideas, and tips for those interested in opening or growing their business. On the philanthropy side, we help to promote organizations and community programs, like our interview with the Mulheres do Brazil Group and our promotion of The Brazil Foundation.
TB: And where do you find time to write your blog?
IL: Well, I am a Journalist. When I see a good story, I always want to tell it. During the pandemic, I launched the blog Ilana Wip with chronicles about my experience as a woman, immigrant, mother, and entrepreneur. Everything is spiced with humor, which is my trademark.
TB: How did the Pandemic affect your business?
IL: It is a difficult time for everyone. We needed to adapt to the new social and professional rules. The internet became an essential instrument for everyone and I ended up finding a new market. Each day I get more fascinated with the infinite opportunities offered in this new world.
TB: Where can we find your blog and Instagram?
TB: As an entrepreneur helping other women, what tips do you give to someone starting their business now?
IL: Believe in your dream, invest in yourself, go for it. Success will come when you invest time and knowledge into what you love doing. Above all, we need to have the courage to start and let go of our fear of making mistakes. We all learn from them!
Matéria redigida por Simone Goldstein – Golda, MBA. CEO Entendeu Mídia e The Wip Factory. @s.Golda