Celebrating Women Who Create

By Diana Wright, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

There is no denying it.

Women who create tell great stories.

As we gear up for the first-ever Women Who Create conference, followed by SheTalks (a community-invited storytelling event), we want to share a few of the faces who you will have the chance to meet!

If you haven’t already registered for either events happening April 10th in Ames, Iowa, you can learn more from the following links:

Women Who Create Conference: http://www.isupjcenter.org/women-who-create/

SheTalks | Women Who Create: http://www.isupjcenter.org/shetalks/


Christina Moffatt

Owner of Crème & Director of Small Business Resources for Greater Des Moines Partnership

Website: www.cremecupcake.com, www.DSMPartenrship.com

I help people with their ideas so that they can do what they were meant to do with their lives.

My favorite place to create…I love creating at Crème. I also do something creative every weekend with my son (baking, cooking, art, dancing, play make believe).

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…leave a steady paycheck to start a business

If I could go back in time to when I started my business I would tell myself…it will always be a roller coaster. The highs are high and the lows are low. But your hands up in the air, smile and enjoy the ride because its going to be a thrill.

My favorite quote is…this is tough. I LOVE quotes! “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith” ~Margaret Shepard

What I would tell other women starting something…you’ll never know unless you try. You will learn so many things about yourself on this journey. Never stop paying it forward and you will always be successful.


Kali VanBaale

Writer for 18 years, worked on current project for about 5 years

Website: www.kalivanbaale.com

I help young and new writers starting in their creative writing careers so that I can be a part of discovering and developing fresh voices and exciting new talent.

My favorite place to create…is in my home office, but I get my best ideas in the shower.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…lobby Iowa legislators at the Iowa capital for better mental healthcare in our state. Also, when I shaved my head. (Both were equally scary.)

If I could go back in time to when I started writing I would tell myself…to be patient! Nothing in life happens overnight, no matter how “overnight” the success of someone else may seem. Learning, developing, and improving at one’s craft takes time.

My favorite resource/book is…

Resource: 750 Words (website to log and track daily word counts for creative writing projects. Helps me see my productivity and keeps me accountable.)

Book: The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton (the book that made me want to become a writer)

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Quote from Stephen King that completely changed my approach to my creative life.

What I would tell other women starting something…so many women struggle with overextending themselves. Learn to say “no” to the things you’re not passionate about in order to make room for the things you are.


Patricia Izbicki

Neuroscientist | Musician | Music + Medicine | STEAM Advocate, 8 years in academia, 3 years at Iowa State University

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciaizbicki/

 

I help young women with the artistic and scientific process so that they are inspired and confident to go in the direction of their dreams.

My favorite place to create…is in my studio apartment that has a desk and piano side-by-side. I also find inspiration in the amazing beauty and tranquility of Gulf Islands National Seashore (Pensacola, FL).

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is… to go my own path in life.

If I could go back in time to when I started my project I would tell myself…to be patient (and I still have to tell myself that).

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…to be grateful for the opportunities you receive, but to also be grateful for the opportunities you don’t get!

My favorite resource/book/podcast is…Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Dr. Carol S. Dweck) and NPR’s How I Built This

What I would tell other women starting something…it is so important (in my experience) to have a supportive and honest network of family, friends, and colleagues around you. They will lift you up from the most difficult times and help you feel even more elated when the process is going well. Creating something is filled with much doubt and uncertainty, but with inspiring and honest family, friends, and colleagues around you, the process becomes much more rewarding.


Julie Wright

Owner of Executive Financial Architects for past 32 years

Website: https://10XProfitCoach.com

I Help Entrepreneurs and Professionals Grow their Businesses by 10X so the communities they are in stay vital and growing, and the entrepreneur can live The Good Life.

My favorite place to create…I find I am 25% more productive and creative when near a lake or mountains, nature: Clear Lake, IA or Colorado are top choices.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…to have been there for a friend & colleague as a non-judgmental friend offering my listening, and financial support as he went through Federal court and to prison. All but one other friend had disappeared when it counted most. The easy thing would to be to throw away the friendship. But then, how could I have said I was a true friend — there when most needed?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…be clear about what you want, picture it, do all you can, then surrender it. When nudged, take massive action.

My favorite quotes are…quotes I like from my coach, Dan Sullivan, and one to remind me of the importance in ‘saying NO’.

“Creators don’t complain; complainers don’t create.” ~Dan Sullivan

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” ~ Steve Jobs

“Frank Sinatra didn’t move piano’s.” ~Dan Sullivan

What I would tell other women starting something…

*Play big — take your goals and multiply them by 10. The world needs people who play big and can show up using their fullest potential. Playing small serves no one.

*As the leader, you may get a few arrows in your back, but you will survive. The experience, especially during rough times, will make you a better leader.

*The real trick is to discover your Unique Ability — then persuade the world to pay you for developing it.


Jami Milne

14 years in advertising, less than 5 years in photography

Website: www.jamimilne.com

I help stories come to life with unique distinction so that time can stand still.

My favorite place to create…is in my head. There are infinite possibilities that can be played out before becoming reality.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…quit my job and leave my profession. And then start back up again.

If I could go back in time to when I started my business/project I would tell myself…recognize what ifs exist but they’re talking points, not barriers.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…there is no such thing as work-life balance. It’s all life.

My favorite resource/book/podcast is…

All things by author Esther Perel.

My favorite quote is…

“Curiouser and curiouser!” — Alice in Wonderland by way of Lewis Carroll

What I would tell other women starting something…there is a difference between giving something your all and giving something your best.


Mikaela Schaefer

Speaker, Trainer, & Coach at Mikaela Kate Coaching & DREAM Workplace past 5 years

Website: www.mikaelakate.com & www.dreamworkplace.com

I help entrepreneurs live their purpose so they can change the world.

My favorite place to create…anywhere new and unfamiliar.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…write my first book.

If I could go back in time to when I started my business I would tell myself…Pull in more trusted mentors into the process.

My favorite resource/book/podcast is…Lead Stories podcast & anything by Brene Brown.

My favorite quote is…depends on the season I am in. Currently it’s simply, “KEEP GOING!”

What I would tell other women starting something…do not despise the day of small beginnings.


Heidi Wessels

Strategic Planner + Change agent, recently was the director for FIN Capital Women’s Angel Investor Network

I help people and businesses focus on core values so they may achieve desired goals.

My favorite place to create…the shower

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…left others expectations of me behind.

If I could go back in time to when I started my business/project I would tell myself…listen more, talk less.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy rainy day.

My favorite resource/book/podcast is…The Alchemist

My favorite quote is…

To thine own self be true.

What I would tell other women starting something…

Dig deep to examine what ‘success’ looks like to you. Always, always keep that in the forefront of your mind as you create your business and/or make life decisions. It’s easy to let growth and outside noise deter you from your path- stay true to your vision of success.


Julie Stevens

Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, Department of Landscape Architecture for past 8 years, Prison Landscape Project since 2011

I help underserved populations connect with nature so they can experience the therapeutic benefits that come from being in gardens and working with plants.

My favorite place to create…Outside!

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…Supported and advocated for people who many have cast off in our society — despite criticism.

If I could go back in time to when I started my project I would tell myself…You don’t have to do it all at once. (still learning this one)

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

“Get out. Get out of the building, get out of town, get out of the country.” Kenny Helphand, my major professor at the University of Oregon.

My favorite resource/book/podcast is…

Oh, this is difficult. Other people are probably my favorite resources –for information, for inspiration and for purpose, for community. If I had to choose a favorite book/podcast, I would say Science Friday on NPR, especially when they talk about the human brain.

My favorite quote is…I think Mother Teresa was an amazing woman:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”.

And John Lennon was so right! “All you need is love.”

What I would tell other women starting something…Find your village. We can do good work alone but we can do great work together!