Ep. #812 - What is a Business Shower?
Today’s Startup Hustle episode is all about business showers. Learn more about business showers and how the community can help entrepreneurs. InnovateHer KC’s Laura Conaway hosts Emily Wazlak, founder and CEO of Shine Registry. They talk about business showers and providing entrepreneurs platforms to ask for things their businesses need.
Covered In This Episode
What would happen if entrepreneurs and startups had something akin to a wedding registry? Do business showers help startups?
Lauren talks to Emily about her Shine Registry and how it aims to bridge the resources gap for marginalized entrepreneurs. They also talk about the ethos of supporting entrepreneurs and democratizing opportunities.
Lauren and Emily also discuss the advantages of business showers and how Shine Registry helps early startups.
Join their conversation in this Startup Hustle episode today!
- Shine Registry and Business Showers (2:45)
- Shine Registry How-To (8:21)
- Success story (10:12)
- Responsiveness and Engagement of Providers (14:04)
- An Ask amongst Friends (18:04)
- Community Care (21:14)
- The Community Response (26:37)
- The Future of Shine Registry (27:40)
- Business Showers (29:08)
- Listening to other people (30:22)
- How do Business Showers look (33:13)
- Bridging the resource gaps for entrepreneurs (34:10)
- Three items that Emily brings to a deserted island (36:47)
- Wrapping up (38:21)
I think that we know that there are resource gaps for entrepreneurs. So we know that those gaps are often based on gender lines and on racial lines. And, you know, we are building a new tool for support. And if we want that support to be a part of the conversation, how can we have creative solutions for folks to receive the support that they need if they’re not receiving it through institutional pathways?Emily Wazlak
One of my favorite things to do with InnovateHer is listening to other people try to describe what we do. But it’s also it’s a market research opportunity, like with our messaging and our marketing, like, are we really saying what we want to say and what we need to say about who we are and what we do?Lauren Conaway
Our world will look and feel better when we are, you know, supporting ideas that are being brought to us by what the world looks like.Emily Wazlak
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Lauren Conaway 0:01
And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHer KC. And I do have to tell you, that we have a very, very awesome sponsor today. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Gusto, who I’m sure you’ve probably heard of. Gusto is a modern solution for modern HR problems. It’s a one-stop shop platform. Whether you are looking for talent management, payroll, or onboarding, Gusto HR platform has it all. It’s going to allow you to be smarter than your competitors, which we know is super, super important. And perhaps most excitingly, with Gusto through Startup Hustle, you can enjoy a three-month subscription for free right now. Sign up at gusto.com//StartupHustle. Again, that is gusto.com//StartupHustle. So today, I’m going to tell I’m going to take you all on a little journey, listeners, I’m very excited to introduce our guest. But some of you have maybe seen this meme that periodically goes around. I’ve seen it multiple times. If you’re on social media, it kind of pops up. And it talks about the fact that as as human beings and as women and as individuals, we celebrate milestones with people, we celebrate weddings, we celebrate, you know, when people buy a home with House warmings, we have all of these events that are designed to celebrate major milestones. But how cool would it be if we had an event, like a shower baby like a baby shower, but for business. And that is such an interesting, compelling concept, because you don’t see that? Well, today’s guest has is starting to revolutionize that idea and is starting to actually do the thing. And I find that so exciting. Today, we have Emily Wazlak, founder and CEO of Shine Registry. And Shine is it’s a technology kind of crowdfunding platform that allows people to request things for their business. And it allows us to support entrepreneurs, and it does all of this cool stuff. And Emily, I gotta tell you, I am psyched to have you on the show to talk about this.
Emily Wazlak 2:24
Thank you. I’m psyched to be here.
Lauren Conaway 2:26
So, so, talk to us, actually, you know what? I’m going to ask a different question than the one that I usually ask because I really, really, really want to hear about Shine Registry. So tell us where you got the idea of how you got you got started. And but definitely tell us what Shine Registry does?
Emily Wazlak 2:45
Yeah, sure. So Shine Registry is a platform for founders and small business owners to ask for the things that they need in the style of a wedding registry. And so the same way that you can ask for a gravy boat when you are getting married, you should be able to ask for all the stuff that you need. When you’re starting a company, whether that is a strategic network connection, or a piece of equipment, or your monthly web hosting fees, folks are creating registry on registries on our site, and asking for all those things and receiving them from their community of friends and family. And so this all started a few years ago, when a friend of mine was getting married, and another friend was starting a business at the same time. And for the friend who was getting married, it was very obvious what me and our little friend group was going to do. We did the bridal shower, we did the bachelorette party, we did all the brunches, all the things, and had so much fun doing it. But for my friend who was starting a company, we had no idea how to gather to support and celebrate her and show her that we cared about her and the success of her company. And in turn, she also didn’t really have a way of asking us to, to support or celebrate what she was doing. And so that planted the seed of the idea and led to the very first versions of Shine Registry, which was truly just like a bunch of Google Docs that I duct taped together to start sharing around. But it’s really grown since then to be something that folks are leveraging while they’re hosting business showers and while they’re reaching new milestones in their business, or just are just celebrating resiliency. And so it’s been it’s been a lot of fun. And I’m happy to talk about a bar.
Lauren Conaway 4:17
Yeah, well, and I I love that that inspiration story. Because when you, I mean when you think about it, like it is super easy to support your friend when they’re getting married. Like there’s this very clear list of things that that you you can do that are like societally expected, there’s this very clear list of things that you can buy to help them start their household. But But what you’re doing is is really unique in that like how can we make it as easy as possible to support our friends who are starting businesses. That’s really it’s really hard entrepreneurs at home, you know it it is so hard to start a business and you often need so much support. You know, all Jim, the support that you need is well outside your area of expertise. You know, when you if you’re creating a product, you can be a great product manager. But that doesn’t mean you understand marketing. That doesn’t mean that you’re great at accounting. And so being able to reach out and say, This is a very finite piece of support that I will need in order to start my business and allowing people the opportunity to, to connect and to offer that up. is so key. So how have you, you know, you’re you’re a relatively new startup, right? How long have you been operating?
Emily Wazlak 5:35
Oh, we just launched the newest version on the site this past year, the duct tape version was 2018, 2019.
Lauren Conaway 5:44
Talking about like, all of the Google Sheets, I’m just like, oh, yeah, I know that story. Yeah. How’s it going? Talk to you? Yeah.
Emily Wazlak 5:53
Yeah, it’s I mean, it’s going, it’s going? Well, um, I mean, to your point, I think that what we know is, like this muscle memory for support, supporting people and showing up for people. It exists, right, like, people have the traditions, and they have the tools. And so a lot of what we’re doing is just re-introducing some new language to that tradition, and and offering a recognition that, you know, people will have different milestones that they want to celebrate. And some of those are personal. And some of those are professional. And this is the toolkit for folks who are who are specifically bringing new ideas into the world, by way of new businesses, or new organizations and new ideas, in that sense. And so it’s been really exciting we have close to as of today’s recording, we have close to 500 registries that are on the site. And it’s representative of a very wide range of types of entrepreneurship, and types of end types of tasks that are associated with that. And so it’s very common to see folks asking for these network connections that you kind of alluded to, we also have a registry up that’s for the first craft beer craft beer maker in Rwanda. And they’re asking for folks to help contribute to them buying materials for them to make their beer. And it’s just been, it’s just been so fun to see and keep it and, frankly, to keep it really open ended on charter street to see who’s going to use this and what for, because we’re constantly surprised by that, and delighted as well.
Lauren Conaway 7:25
Well, and I love that you are keeping things open and allowing people to kind of signal to you, this is what we need, rather than being so prescriptive in it. Like, it’s not like a gravy boat. You know, businesses are complicated, and they all require different things. So I do I want to talk about, you know, supporting business. And I’d like to talk about some of the larger themes that you bring to the table with shine registry. But the first thing I want to ask is, let’s talk about the user experience, let’s get really tactical, so I am a I am someone who, I have an idea for a business. And, you know, I’m reaching out to people, and I need a website. And I need, you know, business cards, and I need a tech platform like all of these things. So walk me through, walk me through that, like, as I am this person. With this great idea. What does Shine Registry look like? Is it on on the user end?
Emily Wazlak 8:21
Yeah, I guess from the user perspective, you’re coming onto our site, you’re creating a profile, one of the things that we include in our toolkit is a list of examples of folks who are already on Shine Registry and what other folks are asking for and what they’re receiving. And so that I think helps ground people in the experience a little bit and understanding like what the universe of possibility might be. And also kind of gives some scaffolding to the experience where folks can sort of figure out like, if this is the same business type, or if this is the same milestone that I’m trying to reach them that kind of like creates a little bit of perspective of how do I figure out what to ask for? Or how do I even just start to figure out what I need, and then work from there to figure out what I want to ask for, to create the space for that. And so yeah, I think I you know, I think that it’s a little bit different depending on who is creating the profile, but you know, once your setup, that is the space that you then have to use for call to action to your larger community to support you in different ways. And from there, you kind of have the opportunity to see who who do you know, in your network who is showing up and supporting you and who might be surprising you who you weren’t. You didn’t think it would show up, but but it is.
Lauren Conaway 9:41
Yeah. Well, so So you mentioned the the brewery in Rwanda, which I like I’m so intrigued by that concept, because I’m like, Man, think about all the stuff that you need, like, all of the equipment and I mean, how you need things like hops, and, you know, all of that stuff. Like that’s so cool, so intriguing to me, but Tell us about a significant success story, I want to give you the chance to brag on yourself a little bit. So tell us about an entrepreneur who really, really benefited from working working the Shine Registry system?
Emily Wazlak 10:13
Yeah, I mean, there are a couple that come to mind. But one of my favorite stories is Bonnie Munoz, who’s from Lawrence, Massachusetts. And she’s the founder of Yuanda, which is a, they do wellness retreats. Before the pandemic, they were organizing regular trips to Dominican Republic, she raised a little over 12 grand and under 48 hours by hosting a business shower and leveraging her Shiner Registry profile. It was incredible. It was I mean, because that’s not anything to sneeze at, you know, especially from, from your friends and family and like a relatively short period of time. So I really admire like how laser focused she was on, and how open she was sharing her story with her friends and family and saying, you know, this is what we felt, these are the challenges that we’re coming up against. I mean, she was a travel company that was was building out during the pandemic. So you can imagine like, Yeah, but sharing that story and creating the space, to not just share that story, but to also be very specific to her friends and family, I’m saying like, these are the things that I’m now looking for, that will help contribute to like us being able to continue and us to be able to continue building, I think really made a huge difference in how people could then see themselves as like a part of her story and a part of her individual success as well. And I think we’re, we’re in a really interesting time now, where small businesses are, by extension, the folks who who are starting them or owning them, are seeing more and more as a public good and, and, and more and more emphasis and urgency on supporting these folks. And so, you know, it’s a really exciting time to be doing this, and a really exciting time to be like creating more space for folks to show up in different ways.
Lauren Conaway 12:01
Yeah, I love that. And so I so here in Kansas City, we have something called the week free report, it’s put out by an organization called KC Sourcelink. And one of the most interesting statistics to come out of that report year after year, something like, I can’t remember, but like 16,000, net new jobs come through small biz new small business, opening entrepreneurs, founding startups. And it’s a really, really significant economic driver. And I think that there’s this kind of budding realization that by supporting small business, you know, it’s really great to bring in huge businesses and offer all of the tips and grants and incentives to, to get large business here. But we could actually be transformational in our in our communities, by supporting small businesses well, and giving them the funds and the resources that they need in order to hire people, you know, and put that in that money back into the economy. And so I definitely think that you have have started shining registry at a really, really appropriate time. Where that that dawning realization is there that, hey, a small business is economically significant. And so, so I do want to ask you this, because one of the things that I find most intriguing about China, and I want to get your bead on it a little bit. So So you mentioned, you know, an entrepreneur who used it for crowdfunding purposes, like how can I get, how can I do my friends and family round and raise funds, and that’s fantastic. But one of the things that I thought was super cool when I was kind of looking over your website, was the fact that you are also offering in kind options. So like, Hey, if you’re looking for someone to design your business cards, like that is a service that I can offer you rather than just like, here’s some money, and I dig that. But I have to ask, like, how responsive Have you seen providers be to to that particular facet or component of your of your service offerings?
Emily Wazlak 14:04
That was something back when we were just a bunch of Google Docs, like that was also like the first question that we had in mind of, will this actually work? Like, will people find that engaging will that because our assumption very or my assumption very, very early on was, that is that should be a part of your engagement pipeline alongside making the monetary asks because there are so many small things that people can do that don’t cost them any money, but we’ll bring them in to an end truly, like have like an additive impact into what you’re building? You know, at Yeah, whether or not that happens at scale or whatever it is. And yeah, one of the one of the things that was really exciting when we were just a bunch of Google Docs is like that is where we saw a lot of activity. One of our earliest earliest users was able to get pro bono development support for what she was building, and this was before she was raising the VC funding, she went on to raise $2 million. And so now she can afford to hire people on, but when she was just just getting started, she had a mission driven company that really resonated with someone who found her through China industry and wanted to be a part of that and build a relationship with her. And so I, I think that I think really what’s core to all of this is that it’s so rare for folks to get the things that they don’t ask for. And so you might as well ask, so even if it feels like there’s a low probability of receiving it, you have a much lower probability of receiving it if you don’t ask for it in the first place. And so I mean, that that has become like, I think like a driving mantra and a lot of ways for the way that we think about this. And so in some ways, even if it does feel like a long shot, or unreasonable, is it more unreasonable to just not ask for it? And instead, yes, I don’t think so.
Lauren Conaway 15:58
Well, what’s the saying, like you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And I live by that doctrine for sure. Like, sometimes I’m sure that I asked for crazy things. But I’m like, I might as well ask, like, I’m probably gonna offend anybody for asking for this. And, you know, if I don’t get it, nothing, no skin off my nose. But if I do, I win. So so I definitely appreciate that. Another thing that I kind of appreciate about it is like, often I feel like people have a really difficult time doing the sell and doing the clothes, like it feels uncomfortable to say, this is something that I need, please give it to me. But with shine registry, you’re you’re almost offering a more passive way to ask, like, Hey, here’s a list of things that I need, if you are able to, you know, if you’re able to satisfy it, that would be fantastic. But it’s not somebody like calling you on the phone, hatten handle it, can you please help me, it’s it’s an opportunity to put what you need out there, while not having to be you know, aggressive in your tactics while not having to, you know, face that rejection, that potential rejection, you know, firsthand. And so I really liked that, because you have brought, you’ve brought a community of people who are actively looking to find opportunities to help, and you’ve put an opportunity in front of them, but you’ve also given the business owner, a little bit of an out. Really, like, you know, I’m just gonna leave this here. And pick it up. Great.
Emily Wazlak 17:32
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. I, I think that yeah. And I think that like, that just becomes like a stylistic choice in a lot of ways. Yeah. For folks, I definitely think like, again, like having the call to action, like present and like existing in the public is a good step. Yeah, I don’t know. And maybe that’s where the events come in. Maybe that’s where business showers come in. It’s like the more aggressive or not aggressive, but the more forward facing and action oriented way of sharing your register.
Lauren Conaway 18:04
The fact is, like, say, like with InnovateHer, like one of the phrases that I use off often is the system works. If you work it and say like, I definitely understand that, like the folks who are actively promoting their registry, putting it out there. You know, like the entrepreneur who raised 12, that I like, I’m sure she just didn’t just sit on it, like, share the link once and call it a day. So I mean, I understand that for sure. Like, probably, I would imagine that the most successful campaigns and the most successful registries are those where the founder is taking an active hand with it. But that being said, like if that’s not your journey, and that’s not your your comfort zone, you have created a very, I keep saying passive and I don’t really like the word. I can’t think of another word for it
Emily Wazlak 18:49
friendly. I think we’re going for less than less than passive and definitely not as aggressive. Like, I think where I think because we are so community oriented. And we think so much about community care and are very forward about that. I think we’re we see ourselves falling. It’s much more like this is a friendly ask, it’s an Ask amongst friends. And it’s asked to like build and strengthen friendships, right? Which isn’t always associated with like the very aggressive call to action, or even like an aggressive pitch in some ways. But like the same way that I think that a lot of the traditions that we have around these personal milestone events, like they do bring your friendships closer. And I think that, you know, we are an extension of that in the sense that like we do also strengthen relationships for folks in a lot of ways. Because there’s this new pathway for support and celebration. I mean, I also often joke that like one of the reasons that I started sharing the story was just so that there we would have more excuses to throw more parties and like, that remains very true in a lot of ways. Like as much as we’re building this to close resource gaps for entrepreneurs. We’re also doing it to really celebrate folks Those who are doing the thing, right and who are, who are doing the thing that’s really, really hard and often very lonely. And we’re creating more pathways for folks to kind of be a part of that story and to do it as a community.
Lauren Conaway 20:10
Yeah, well, and so we’re gonna explore community care here in just a minute. And I have a couple of other questions for you. But really quick, I do want to mention that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Gusto. If you are tired of long hours because of payroll, I can’t tell you how much time I wasted on like HR back end management over the course of my career, because, like, it was, it was just so much there’s so much. Gusto is here to help you save time. If they have all of these automated processes, this is a tool that is built to make your life easier. You can file taxes, you can manage payroll, you can support onboarding, all of that good stuff. So so we’re going to ask you, Hey, Startup Hustle listeners, give it a shot. This is a low stakes, low risk, high reward kind of situation, because if you register at gusto.com backslash Startup Hustle, they’re gonna give you three months free if of three months subscription for no dollars. So definitely check it out. gusto.com backslash Startup Hustle and tell us that tell them that we sent you. So we are here with Emily Wazlak of Shine Registry. And we’re talking about what we’re talking about business showers, but really, clearly what we’re talking about is community around around business and entrepreneurship. And so I’m gonna ask you what is community care? Emily, you mentioned that as a as a concept, and I am super intrigued.
Emily Wazlak 21:41
Yeah, I mean, I think community care can look like a lot of different things. And at its core, it’s the way that your community can show you care. And the way that you can be a part of a larger community that is also showing other individuals care or cared to reciprocal care to your community as well. And so it is a term that is used in a lot of different contexts and a lot of mutual aid networks have, have really done a lot in building up the popularity of the term as well. And I truly believe that it is, in all the ways that self care has become very popular like this needs to be as much of a part of the conversation, especially coming out of a pandemic, where a lot of us have been so isolated and really removed from a lot of the community, institutional community support that we might have received otherwise over the past few years. And this is this is now that they that like, it’s more and more at the forefront, and so on trying to destroy that really looks like the way that your community can show up to support you as you’re bringing a new idea to the world. But in the larger context of council look like the ways that communities can offer support during a difficult time. And so, you know, cooking meals for people, or community meal change is like maybe a good example of like other ways that folks have used Community Care in other contexts. And like wearing a mask, I think it would also fall into community care in some ways, by stopping community spread.
Lauren Conaway 23:13
Yeah, well, and I find that that, that concept fascinating, and like I said, if something, alright, here’s something that I have noticed. So in times of trouble or in times of opportunity, and that could be like, maybe you’re sick, or maybe you’ve experienced a death in the family, or but in instances where you need additional support, often, people will come to you, and they’ll be like, let me know if I can do anything. Let me know how I can help. And these are very, like general statements. And so often, like as the recipient of those statements, like, I don’t always know how to respond, you know, like, I don’t know, what’s an imposition? I don’t know, you know, it, I’ve also been on the opposite side of things where I’m like, Hey, if you’re sick, you know, let me know how to help you. But what I have found is that if you get really tactical, around community care, like if I say to you, hey, you’re sick, I can drop by some homemade chicken soup. Or if you want, I can watch your kids for a couple hours. Let me know if you’d like either of those things. Or you know, if there is, again, like if there’s like a death in the family or something like that, and you’re just like, hey, you know, I’d really appreciate it if you could do X to support making my life easier. Like it is so much more productive when you get really specific with what your needs are. Because those open ended asks like, Hey, friends, I’d really like for you to support my business. That doesn’t mean very much to either the designated recipient or like the asker or the ASCII, right? And so So I love the fact that Cheyenne is getting very directive with that help because I think that people often I want to help so badly, but they don’t know where to start. Right. And so you’re providing them with a roadmap, like this is exactly what it will take to assist me in launching my business or keeping my business going.
Emily Wazlak 25:13
Yeah, which is just the same as like any other gift registry, right? Like, in some ways, like we’re taking concepts that already exist, we’re taking best practices that already exist, and we’re just applying it in a new way. Right. And so like, the same way that, you know, I think everyone’s had the experience of receiving a gift that maybe they weren’t super excited about. But you know, when you don’t look at it, which is fine.
Lauren Conaway 25:38
Somebody opened your present, you were like, oh, man, I fucking love this.
Emily Wazlak 25:44
Exactly. I mean, it’s the same reason that folks will put together a gift registry when they’re getting married or having a baby because they want folks to know what they have and what they don’t have. And, you know, this is really similar. And I think even even more so because not everyone is familiar with what the experience of starting a company is, not everyone is familiar, maybe with this specific type of business that someone has, but they still want to share that support, they still want to, like, build on that connection and build on that sense of friendship or that sense of Connect of whatever relationship they might have with that person, or even just the fact that they want to support the idea, the region, the association with, with whatever association that they might have with the idea. All those things matter. And so creating the roadmap. Yeah, yeah, we hope to be helpful in that way.
Lauren Conaway 26:33
Tell me this, what has the community response been? Like?
Emily Wazlak 26:37
I think it’s been, I think it’s been good. Yeah, we have a little over, we have well, we have close to 500 registries that are currently on the site right now. And I think we’ve we’ve passed 3000 fulfillments, that have happened have different, different actions taken to support people on sharing registry. At least at the time of this recording. Hopefully, we’re much further along by the time it’s released. And hopefully everyone who’s listening to this can also contribute to that as well. And so I hope that the response to this podcast is good, too. This is your official call to action to get through that.
Lauren Conaway 27:10
Sometimes I forget that we are audio only because I can see Emily right now folks that I definitely just gave like a double thumbs up. And then I was like, they can’t see me at home. So I’m giving a double thumbs up and a heavy heavy vouched to shine registry to to the folks playing at home. Well, it will. So I love that. So let me ask you this. What does the future look like for Shine Registry? Like? What are what are you? What are you? You know, rolling out? What are the thoughts on ways forward?
Emily Wazlak 27:40
Yeah, I mean, we’ve learned so much already, starting with what worked and what didn’t work with those Google Docs. And now, you know, the ways that people are using our site. And so we are working on a lot of improvements to different ways that folks can ask and track things that are being fulfilled and different ways that folks can continue to stay involved with the people that they are making fulfillments for, to better understand how that fits into the larger narrative of of, of working towards that company continuing to reach new milestones and new successes. And so you were really excited about what we’re building. And you know, I think like we said earlier there, this is such a exciting time to be working on exactly this. When I think when we started we really thought a lot about Shine Industry as a tool to celebrate new businesses and celebrate people as they’re bringing ideas into the world. I think the thing that we’ve learned more than anything over the past few years is that we need to be celebrating resilience. And we need to be building the tools for folks to celebrate and be a part of the resilience of small businesses, as they’re going through times of huge uncertainty, like we have seen in the past few years. And so that is that is top of mind and and I guess just more parties, I guess just keeps going back to that.
Lauren Conaway 29:04
I need I need more information on these parties because I want to go to one.
Emily Wazlak 29:08
So, these business showers have been so much fun. We have now had many of our users host them on their own and tell us about them. And we’ve also worked with organizations who fall into like the entrepreneur support organization model or like local co working spaces, regional development groups, on business showers, which, as you alluded to in the meme is very similar to just you know, taking all the things that we like and enjoy about baby showers and bridal showers and whatnot, and repurposing them to support the entrepreneurs in our lives. And so we’ve been hosting a lot of these virtually, we have been playing some pretty goofy games kind of in the style. The others, like what one of my favorite ones is we put people into breakout rooms and have them write quick pitches for the company that are celebrating either around a new product launch or around some sort of like marketing plan. And then we give the founder an opportunity to listen and judge what other people have put together.
Lauren Conaway 30:13
There is competition like, here’s who got it right.
Emily Wazlak 30:16
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, with prizes and honor and glory. But
Lauren Conaway 30:21
So, that sounds like a super fun game. But I have to I do have to mention. So one of my favorite things to do with InnovateHer is listen to other people try to describe what we do. I love it. I love it isn’t fun. But it’s also it’s a market research opportunity, like with our messaging and our marketing, like, are we really saying what we want to say and what we need to say about who we are and what we do? And so it’s always hilariously Well, there have actually been a couple of times when I’ve been like, super pissed, because I’m like, that’s not even. But you weren’t even trying that hard. I would never say that out loud. But in my head, I’m just like, no.
Emily Wazlak 30:59
That’s a good to know though. But well, yeah.
Lauren Conaway 31:01
But usually, it’s a yes. And proposition where somebody will be like, This is what InnovateHer does. And I’m like, Yes, and, and so that it’s always just kind of a cue for me that like, Hey, we are clearly messaging this piece well, but we might need to work on this piece over here. And so that is like, it’s it’s live action feedback that you’re offering me fun.
Emily Wazlak 31:23
I like it, because it’s a feedback component. And I think it also is very fun to see people kind of have to put on the shoes of the person that they’re showing up to support. I think that yeah, what it’s very funny, and it’s very goofy. And yeah, and and that’s what it’s, that’s what it should be right. And so we’ll we’ll do a game like that, like that one, or ours or something else. And we’ll also just like, give a moment to just kind of like recognize folks in the room. Give them a moment for the founder to tell a little bit about like, who they are, what they’re building what their story is. And then we try to do some gifting during the event as well. And so, yeah, that’s kind of like a very, like, basic, basic version of what it looks like. But they’re super fun. And, and we love hosting them with our partners. We also love just hearing about, like, the different ways that people share creative and get and get get silly.
Lauren Conaway 32:20
Well, let me ask you this, guys, because I’m not really sure how something works. And honestly, and I do want to highlight the fact that if you are interested in learning more about Business Showers, so Emily and her team, they roll out info sessions on a pretty regular basis, from what I understand, I plan on attending one, it’s something that we’re looking for doing looking at doing with with our InnovateHer members, because we think it’s just a really cool thing to do. But tactically, I need to know this, because I’m trying to figure out how this works. So it’s not like, you know, let’s say three hours of marketing support. Like that’s not a tactile thing, right? It’s not like you’re it’s not like unrack unwrapping a gravy boat, I love that you introduced gravy vote, by the way, because I keep on using the term gravy vote. But you can’t unwrap a service. And so what does what does that look like?
Emily Wazlak 33:13
As for Business Showers? I mean, we’ll do like, the reveal on a PowerPoint or something. Were ways of making it fun, for sure. I don’t think we’ve used any sound effects like drum rolls or anything like that. But yeah, I mean, like anything else like, and honestly, in some ways, I think that type of consultation support, which is something that we have gifted at a few showers at this point, like, I mean, it really makes such a big difference. I mean, I think like anyone, who is bringing an idea into the world, like being able to be on the receiving end of something that is the right fit for the type of needs that you have. And also like in any way, like extending your network or and expanding the amount of support that you’re getting is is hugely meaningful. And so we might not be able to ever wrap those and gift gift paper. But you know, I don’t think that we haven’t had any complaints about the lack of ribbons.
Lauren Conaway 34:10
Pretty significant workarounds that make it super fun, which is awesome. I was just curious because I was like, Ah, I don’t know what that was. So, so I love all of this. And I do really quickly I want to acknowledge and honor something. Either way something that I noticed while I was looking through your website and something that you know, we kind of have alluded to, but you talk about supporting in particular, you know, small business owners and entrepreneurs for sure. But in particular founders, female founders and founders of color. And so inclusivity is so so important and I do believe that marginalized founders deserve more support and so I want to talk to you a little bit about your ethos, their Shine Registry designed to support entrepreneurs, but I feel like you have a heart for our inclusive support? And I want to give you the opportunity to expound on that a little bit.
Emily Wazlak 35:06
Absolutely. I mean, I think that we know that there are resource gaps for entrepreneurs. So we know that those gaps are often based on gender lines and on racial lines. And, you know, we are building a new tool for support. And if we want that support to be a part of the conversation of like, how can we can have creative solutions for folks to receive the support that they need, if they’re not receiving it through institutional pathways? You know, I don’t think it’s a mistake that crowdfunding is the only place where we see the gender gaps in fundraising clothes, I think that there are a lot of reasons that kind of play into that. And I think that it’s something that we can really look to, for best practices in the ways that we continue to build out our tools and continue to be a part of that conversation.
Lauren Conaway 35:51
Yeah. And I love that, like anything we can do to democratize access to opportunities, how we refer to it around innovator tables is, is hugely, it’s hugely important because a rising tide lifts all boats. We talked about this on startup, or at least I talked about this on Startup Hustle all the time. But as we see marginalized communities succeed, so we see them all succeed. You know, it’s it’s just, we’re all interconnected. And I know that sounds really hippy woowoo. But, you know, too bad?
Emily Wazlak 36:22
Not at all. No. Really important and really urgent. But, I mean, our world will look and feel better when we are, you know, supporting ideas that are being brought to us by what the world looks like. Right? And that isn’t, we know, that isn’t something that exists right now because of an unequal playing field. And we’re not we would all incredibly important, incredibly urgent.
Lauren Conaway 36:47
Yeah, like, I don’t know, I live by that ethos. And I know so many people who do that hashtag Hey, for actually, friends. I went for this one hashtag representation matters. It fucking matters. It fucking matters. So, all right, so So Emily, I got, I got to ask you, and I’m really, really interested to hear the answer to this question. But I’m going to ask you, if you were stranded on a deserted island, here’s your human question. on a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?
Emily Wazlak 37:25
Oh, I get three. That’s exciting. I was expecting just one. Um, I mean, how I am wondering how practical I should be one item, something that can start a fire with,
Lauren Conaway 37:41
Emily Wazlak 37:44
A knife, and a good book. Those will be my three.
Lauren Conaway 37:50
Which particular books that you would want to take, like, what’s the what’s the books that you can read over and over again and still be entertained?
Emily Wazlak 37:57
I would probably bring a book of poetry. I just I maybe Frank O’Hara lunch poems. I feel like poetry is something I could read and reread and, and be amused by over and over again.
Lauren Conaway 38:11
Okay, I dig it. I actually just asked you two human questions. I feel like they kind of like organically connected to the other.
Emily Wazlak 38:19
Lauren Conaway 38:20
That’s right. Well, well, I gotta tell you, Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. This was really fun. I can’t wait to host our first IHKC Business Shower by the by. And I do have to tell you listeners at home that as I said, I can see Emily and she just did like a celebratory little head motion and arm motion. So that that made me really happy. But But yeah, thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time. And thank you for the work that you do to support entrepreneurs.
Emily Wazlak 38:49
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This was a I haven’t done a podcast in a while. And I really appreciate the opportunity to to sort of share a little bit more about our story with the folks who listen to yours so, thanks.
Lauren Conaway 38:59
Well and another thing that we appreciate here around Startup Hustle, we do appreciate our sponsors. Once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Gusto. You can manage your HR needs, it is the way to go with Gusto. It’s going to make it easier for you to onboard talent, handle payroll, and support your people, which all of these things are time intensive and can be difficult when you have a million demands on your on your time. Gusto’s platform is powered by advanced technologies, the talent management and payroll processing will never be the same. You can definitely try Gusto for free. We are super excited about that sign up at gusto.com backslash, backslash, Startup Hustle and enjoy a three-month free subscription. Also want to direct our listeners to our social media. We have a deep digital footprint at Startup Hustle. Check us out on Facebook. We have Startup Hustle chat where you can connect with other entrepreneurs. You can find us on Instagram at Startup Hustle, shocking, and we’re, we’re also on LinkedIn and I’m sure that we’re probably on a couple more channels. But those are the three I’m gonna mention for now. Listeners, it has been an absolute joy to, to have this conversation with Emily and I hope you enjoyed it. We are so grateful that you take the time to listen to us week after week and we invite you to keep doing so. This is Lauren Conaway. I’m gonna go ahead and sign off and we will catch you on the flip side.