Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized’ Category

Equilibrium Learning, LLC is our March Qualification Grant Winner

Monday, April 11th, 2016

After revealing March Qualification Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to announce our qualification grant winner. Congrats Gina Clarke, founder of Equilibrium Learning, LLC!

Read on to learn all about Allison and her business.

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Gina Clarke
Equilibrium Learning, LLC

WN: Tell us about your business and how you got started.

DB: I had the idea since high school but I never acted on it. I never took it seriously and didn’t really believe in myself enough to try it, I always talked myself out of doing anything with it. It was when I went to see the doctor and she told me that I might have lupus that really pushed me to go for it. I’m young and I know that there are people who live well into old age with it, but I had an aunt who died pretty quickly after she was diagnosed, so it really hit home. Even though I’m glad to say all came back ok, it changed my perspective on life and really helped me to emotionalize and give meaning to “living life to the fullest” and “life’s too short”. So now I’m on a mission to do everything I ever wanted to do, including Equilibrium.

WN: Was it your educational background that inspired you to start Equilibrium?

DB: Yes definitely! I remember when I was in school my favorite subject was Math. I was good at everything concerning Math and caught on to new concepts quickly. At the same time, I HATED English. I felt like it was a waste of time, I had no interest in the class and felt it was pointless. I knew how to read, write and speak coherently and that was all I cared about. Because of this, I struggled in English. I did well in it, but I still struggled because I just didn’t care enough for the class to really WANT to put in any effort. But when I was in high school, I met an English teacher who helped me to see English in a new light: She taught us new words by turning them into Math problems. Every week we would be introduced to a new prefix, root or suffix and for everyday of that week we would be presented with a new word that contained that prefix, root or suffix. It was such a small gesture, but it appealed to my natural thought processes (logic, calculation, etc) and my natural need to “figure things out”. For that moment I was so engaged in the class, and it helped me to take in interest in the subject as a whole because when I would read or be presented with new words, my first instinct would be to break them down into math problems and figure out their meanings. But this got me thinking: if this one small change in perspective made such a huge impact on my interest in a subject (that at one time I literally hated), what if we could somehow do the same for ALL subjects?

WN: What if you don’t know what intelligence type a student is? Will Equilibrium help identify what their type is?

DB: Yes. Equilibrium will initially test the student to determine:

a: their learning style (based on a few psychological/personality questions)
b: their favorite subject/subject they do best in
c: their level of competency in each subject

Based on the above 3 criteria, Equilibrium will not only be able to determine the level of competency (grade level) a student is currently, but also what the student’s learning profile is and how best to present information to them.

WN: Do you have any partners in this venture?

DB: Because Equilibrium is so new, I currently do not have any business partners, but I am looking! I do have mentors who have run businesses before and have experience in the education industry who provide me with immense support.

WN: Do you know when this software will become available?

DB: We’re still in R&D phase, but we’re shooting for Fall of 2017 at the ABSOLUTE latest.

WN: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

DB: I would tell them the obvious: network, promote your business as much as you can, create a business plan, learn how to live on a budget (you will NEED this skill), get a mentor ( is pretty good if you don’t know anyone), etc. But I’d also tell them to do what scares you. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable. For the longest I was so afraid of other people laughing at me, as much as I hated to admit it. Get used to rejection; put yourself in situations where you know you’ll be rejected (or that there’s a high chance) so that you lose fear of it. Everyday I make it a habit of asking for something for free when I order something. The worst that would happen is that they’d say no and I’d just take what I paid for, but every now and again I’d get a yes, surprisingly. You never know what can happen when you really try and put yourself out there, so just do it!

Thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

And if you’d like to vote for Gina to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

March Qualification Grant Finalists

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Sole Savers Inc.
Melodie Narain

Sole Savers is a rollable flat shoe company. They provide emergency flat shoes for women through their website and vending machines. The company has big plans to contribute to charities and work in different philanthropic avenues to keep with their mantra that “every sole has a soul.”

Elu, LLC
Christina Marshall-Valdez

The Elu brand is for women who want their curves to cascade into styles that inspire confidence. Elu’s style shop at will soon offer gorgeous styles that can be made-to-measure to highlight everything beautiful about a womens body.

Alumni Funds
Amber fox

Alumni Funds is an organization founded by a group of Drum Corps International Alumni. They created a platform for alumni to create custom performing arts scholarships. Alumni groups can be comprised of anyone they wish; and each group can customize the eligibility, criteria, and dollar amount of the scholarship they wish to create.

Flying Change Equine Therapy
Lissa Corcoran

Flying Change Equine Therapy uses unforgettable interactive experiences with rescued and retired horses to foster emotional social, spiritual, and psychological growth in people. Flying Change provides equine assisted psychotherapy and Equine Assisted learning with children, adolescents and adults for emotional growth.

Lissa’s business provides clients with many opportunities to practice a healthy life skills in a physically and emotional safe environment, and the confident to take those skills back into their family and life.

Equilibrium Learning, LLC
Gina Clarke

Equilibrium is a learning software that creates individual learning profiles based on the natural skills and talents associated with the school subjects. They couple these learning profiles with Multiple Intelligences types (such as Verbal, Visual, Logical, Kinesthetic, etc.) to make the learning process as personalized as possible.

Explorer Chick Adventure Co.
Nicki Bruckmann

Explorer Chick Adventure Co is a travel company exclusively for women founded by Nicki Bruckmann. Her travel company plans to take women on epic adventures, in incredible parts of the world so women can live new experiences and discover new strengths while surrounded by a community of equally adventurous women.

Kettle Black TeaHouse
Kettle/Black Teahouse
Christina (Tina) Eilers & Lynn Halldorson

Kettle/Black Teahouse plans to be a modern, Asian-inspired teahouse located in the beautiful coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon. Once their Teahouse opens they plan to offer monthly evening tea tastings, and hope to partner with local businesses to sell their tea wholesale to them for use in coffee shops and restaurants.

As always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

Stay tuned: We will be announcing the winner very soon!

Brobe International is our February Qualification Grant Winner!

Friday, March 11th, 2016

After revealing February’s Qualification Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to announce our qualification grant winner. Congrats Allison Schickel, founder of The Brobe!

Read on to learn all about Allison and her business.

Brobe International
Allison Schickel

WN: Tell us about your business and how you got started.

DB: I launched The Brobe in 2012 but had the idea several years earlier. The original idea was to create a lounge wear garment like a robe with a built in support system. Being from Texas it gets very hot. I would struggle each morning trying to find a sports bra to wear under my robe while getting ready or just drinking my coffee. I wanted an all in one garment that would help refrain from “boob sweat” that so many of us ladies are familiar with. I spent 5 years searching for a garment like this and every time I would go shopping I would ask the sales people if they had ANYTHING like what I was describing. The response was always the same, “no, but your like the 1000 person who has asked for something like this.” It was not until years later when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer when I realized the lack of functional yet feminine products on the market for BC recovery. I wanted to create something that gave women the dignity they deserve in an otherwise very hard time in their life. What was originally birthed out of frustration of a lack of “support” in a lounge wear garment, quickly became a product with a mission and a purpose. I took my original idea and expanded it to fit the needs of women recovering from a mastectomy or reconstructive surgery as well as many other surgeries that require a post operative fluid drain while in recovery(transplant, open heart surgery, plastic surgery)

WN: Is there a way for people to donate a Brobe to an individual in need?

DB: Yes, they can order a Brobe or a gift card from the website for the person in need. We also donate a portion of our stock every year to non-profit organizations. Anyone who wouldlike more infomration can call us directly.

WN: Do you have any competition in this area of business?

DB: Not a lot. There are different products on the market that are geared towards breast cancer recovery such as tank tops, gowns, shirts, and belts. However, none of them have all the functions that the Brobe offers with a detachable recovery bra that has pockets inside the bra for ice packs or a prosthetic as well as a luxurious robe that has pockets inside the robe to hold drains as well. The Brobe also is designed to be worn before during and after recovery.

WN: Are your products sold in any retailers? If not, is that the plan in the future?

DB: Yes, we are sold in various hospital gift shops and mastectomy boutiques throughout the world

WN: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

DB: Do your homework before starting a business. Being an entrepreneur and effectively running a business is hard work, especially as a woman. I would recommend other woman with aspirations in my industry get a mentor and really listen to what he or she has to say. Be a “sponge” and really learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to make as many of your own! Also understand how they achieved their successes. Mentors can be one of your most valuable resources for knowledge.And never be afraid to ask for a mentor! Most (and usually the best) will be honored to accept.I have a fantastic Advisory Board that I am constantly reaching out to for advice. I think it is imperative as a small business owner to surround myself with people who are more experienced, more connected and smarter than me. As my mom also always told me, “You are who you hang out with,” so I am sure to surround myself with people I can lean on and from whom I can constantly learn.

Learn More about Allison in her video here:


If you’d like to vote for Allison to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

Thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

Communicate for Life is our December Qualification Grant Winner!

Monday, January 11th, 2016

After revealing December’s Qualification Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to announce our qualification grant winner. Congrats Laura Richardson, founder of Communicate For Life, LLC!

Read on to learn all about Laura and her business.

Communicate for life llc logo
Communicate For Life, LLC
Laura F. Richardson, MA, CCC-SLP

WN: Tell us about your business and how you got started.

LR:I started contracting to provide therapeutic services to Berks County families with children with speech, language, and feeding needs through the birth to 3 early intervention system. As the little ones I work with have begun to age out of the birth to 3 early intervention system, I have learned there is a need for home-based services for ages 3-5 in our county as well as additional services. Many local outpatient providers have waiting lists or limited hours (i.e., aren’t available on evenings or weekends!) I saw a need for that population, so I began to expand my services. Basically, as the families I serve express a need, I try to fill it if I can given my areas of expertise. Many of the concerns the families I work with have are concerned with developing functional communication systems using a variety of means (such as spoken language, signs, communication devices) and minimizing behavior problems that children demonstrate when they can’t effectively communicate. I have unique training in both of these areas, so this is a great need for me to fill! I also try to approach my business with the philosophy that I’m not really completing with other local service providers. I offer unique services for those with complex communication and/or behavior issues. I also offer home-based services for an age-group that does not normally have access to home-based services (ages 3-5) and therapy sessions during nontraditional hours (evenings and weekends).

WN: What made you decide to work with children ages 0-5?

LR: Really I work with individuals with functional communication needs of all ages (Hence, For Life!) In fact, my Ph.D. candidate research is with adults with complex communication needs. However, my current clinical practice is targeting ages 0-5 because I work primarily in early intervention at this time. I love working with children ages 0-5 because there is such a need in this area, and I enjoy working closely with families. Language development happens so rapidly in this age range, so quickly developing a communication system that works efficiently for a child and his or her caregivers is elemental to alleviating and preventing behavior issues and long-term social impacts.

WN: Do you have plans to employ anyone else?

LR: Right now it’s just me earning an income from this business, but I would love to become profitable enough that I can hire an administrative assistant and, in the future, other therapists specializing in a variety of areas.

WN: What type of therapy do you find to be most successful?

LR: What an interesting question with so many interesting ways to answer! The best therapy uses evidence-based practices (tried and true techniques that have a strong research and theoretical basis) to meet and adapt to the needs of the child or individual with communication needs, his or her communication partners, and the environment. The most successful therapy programs aim not just to alleviate a problem, but to truly serve a child and his or her family in functional settings. When I am authentically able to “click” with families and we co-develop a treatment plan and procedures, when we are truly a team, then children make progress and their families feel positive about the experience, then we truly have a “therapeutic relationship” and can count on current and future success.

WN: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

LR: Be authentic. Believe in what you are doing, or get out. Be service-oriented. Be confident enough in your competence to be yourself and be honest about what’s outside your area of expertise. Your clients will love and trust you for it. Find a mentor. Carrie Wilkerson says “you should be in business for yourself, but never by yourself.” She’s my mentor and has no idea. I just read her books…and learn, and implement. Have a team. Find an attorney and an accountant you trust. (Quick shout out to Socrates J. Georgeadis (my attorney at Georgeadis/Setley Attorneys and Advisors) and Bob Shaner (my accountant at Integra Business Solutions). They worry about the stuff I find stressful so I don’t have to! I get to be totally focused on providing services to the families I work with.

Thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

WomensNet Domain Name Change Marks Return to Its Origins

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

We would like to officially announce that we have changed our domain name., is now

Our shift represents a desire to recognize the company’s roots. The Amber Grant Foundation was founded in 1998 by WomensNet as a way to honor the memory of Amber, a young woman with an entrepreneurial spirit who died at the age of 19—not having enough time to complete her business dreams. The new URL acknowledges Amber’s importance and serves as a reminder of her spirit.

We’re hopeful that our new website address, will better state our mission, and will help even more women find the resources and assistance they need to realize their own business dreams.

Thank you for your continued support throughout the years,

Christina and the WomensNet Team
WomensNet Facebook

Vote Stretch Recipes for The WomensNet Amber Grant

Friday, January 16th, 2015

This past December we announced Lauren Foster, CEO of Stretch Recipes our First Grant Winner to qualify for an additional $2,000 with our new Amber Grant.

Now, Lauren needs your help. View her video below where she explains why you should vote for Stretch Recipes to win the additional $2,000.

About: Lauren Foster created Stretch Recipes to help people eat better and save more. Stretch Recipes is in the process of creating an app that will help allow shoppers to enter their budget, choose their meals, and automatically receive their shopping list with coupons. Stretch also hosts cooking class experiences to teach people how to cook on a tight budget.

Interested in receiving a grant like Lauren? We award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply. We’d love to hear your story!

Take me back to the voting page.