Categorized | Business, Featured

eWomenNetwork

Welcome to the fastest growing membership-based professional women’s networking organization in North America covering the United States and Canada. This organization is recognized as the #1 resource for connecting and promoting women and their businesses and it has become a loyal, dedicated community of women-owned businesses, corporate professionals and entrepreneurs who want to support and network with other dynamic women. The members of the organization share information, leads, contacts and business. It is an organization that is committed to helping women and their businesses achieve, succeed and thrive in this new economy.

Everything Knoxville: For several years now, you have been a small business owner in Knoxville. Can you tell us a little about your business, Elegant Essentials?

Linda: Actually, it has been a little over three years now and I am still overwhelmed with the response from Knoxville. Three years have flown by and I have met and learned so much in such a short time. Elegant Essentials Home Décor and Gifts is a gift shop with a twist. I am a master florist and a certified interior designer, so my shop is not just shelves and product. It has an ambiance all its own, with a personality. We have jewelry, handbags, candles, diffusers, home décor and custom floral arrangements. I also am the first and largest Chamilia dealer in Knoxville.

EK: As a big advocate of small business networking, can you tell us how this has fit into your business plan and how successful it has been for you?

Linda: It was really hard initially to get started. It took a lot of prompting from fellow business owners to get me out there. I found that with networking with the right organization I was actually bringing clients to my store. It has been very successful. Customers recognize me through advertising and then meet me in person; they now have a connection to me. It has paid off several times over. I have built an army of networkers that network Elegant Essentials for me all over Knoxville and the surrounding areas.

EK: You’ve participated in a variety of networking organizations. How have they differed?

Linda: All networking is good. I think you have to find the right fit, and once you do stick to it. You can’t be part time; it takes time to build relationships. You didn’t build your business overnight and you can’t build your networking relationships overnight either. People have to trust you, like you and then they will do business with you. Build the relationship first and the business will come.

EK: Recently you have become the Executive Director of eWomenNetwork. Can you tell us a little bit about eWomen?

Linda: eWomenNetwork is the #1 Networking Resource for Women in Business in all of North America. They support women in small business with Accelerated Networking Events all across the country. We have over 113 chapters and over 30,000 members. Their motto is to give first share always, and to raise as we climb. There are resources available to our members, including publishing network, premiere coaching sessions, events, posting your business profile on the website, which are only a few advantages to membership. The eWomenNetwork Foundation supports local non-profits in each chapter to help women and children. Eighty-five non-profits have been awarded cash grants and 110 conference scholarships have been awarded to emerging leaders. This year Knoxville had the 2010 Emerging Leader Young Entrepreneurial award, which went to Julie Fincher with Babysitter Express.

EK: Why do you feel it is important for women-owned small businesses to join eWomenNetwork?

Linda: I feel it is an absolute must. I am connected with more women business owners and resources than I ever would have been able in one organization. I believe it is the only game in town and no other comes close to having all the resources that are now available to me. Through my contacts at eWomenNetwork I am a contributing author in a book that will be available in February, “Networking for Novices,” along with Sandra Yancey, the CEO of eWomenNetwork, and 12 other authors across the country.

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