This Flourish Friday is all about local business owner and leader Emily Steele.
Owning multiple businesses in a differing industries, Emily makes an impact both in our community and online as a connector and cheerleader of women in business.
I met Emily through one of these roles: FemCity Des Moines president. Since then, she has built on side hustles and transitioned to full-time entrepreneurship. Read on to learn more about her business journey!
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1. What is your business, and what do you do?
I own a handful of small businesses that focus on community building and marketing specifically in the Des Moines metro. From FemCity Des Moines to POP UP YOGA DSM, I’ve been intentional about providing opportunities and services that help the local community grow and thrive in different markets. My biggest focus right now is Brand Launch, a business I co-founded with Whitney Warne to offer education and services on personal branding and local influencer marketing.
2. How long have you been in business?
I started POP UP YOGA DSM as my first business back in 2014 and fell in love with creating brands, projects, and ideas that added value to people’s lives. I did that as a side hustle while I was working at a nonprofit and then started FemCity Des Moines as a second side hustle while I was working at a digital marketing agency in November 2016. It was June 2018 that I went on my own to focus on the growth of Brand Launch.
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
I never went into any side hustle thinking “this is it, this is what helps me go on my own!” I just spent time and energy building things I loved. And then I realized I was making more than enough to take the leap. The idea of creating my own schedule and being a digital nomad has really excited me for the last few years (thanks to the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris), so I thought, “why can’t I create that for me and my husband?”
If you know anything about me, I thrive on the idea of disruption and doing the impossible, which is definitely a helpful trait on the entrepreneurial path.
4. What gap does your business fill?
No one in the Des Moines metro is really talking about or teaching (or providing services) around personal branding. Yet every other week, Forbes and Fast Company are coming out with content about this topic and its impact. We work with business owners to help them understand their presence, specifically online. We’ve also created a service that mobilizes individuals with strong personal brands in partnership with local businesses. The marketing industry would call it “influencer marketing,” but what we’re doing is so much bigger than “being an influencer.” We’ve gathered local community builders and we match 10, 20, or 30 of them with local experiences that they can talk about on their own social platforms. We call these people “hummingbirds” and this is by far the most exciting service I’ve conceptualized and implemented in partnership with Whitney.
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
I love Des Moines and how supportive people are. When you show up for your community, your community shows up for you – that is so true of Des Moines.
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
If you never try, you’ll never know.
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
Flex your courage muscle. The more you do scary, big things, the more comfortable you will be time and time again. Invest in yourself along the way; whether it’s reading books that inspire you or finding a yoga class that keeps your head clear, being on your own requires a whole new level of self-awareness and listening to what your mind and body need.