“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

Last year, an inner fire went out on a group I was a part of. As a result, Karen McCormack and Erica Thomas and I set out to create a community of supportive entrepreneurial women seeking to balance business-building with some self-care and fun.


This Wednesday we celebrate our one-year (+ one month) milestone with an anniversary celebration, and I look forward to recapping the events of the past year.

“A very inspirational group led by 3 terrific women
who have great enthusiasm and information to share.
Thanks for a great event.”
~ Jenifer B. October 2013


Our members have been tremendously generous in providing silent auction donations, which will raise funds for the Ruth McBride Scholarship for Girls in the Game. We have gift certificates for photography, massages and guest speakers, as well as various gift baskets, a book, and a pendant by me.


We are also raffling off at least two prizes, for which you don’t have to be present, so get your raffle tickets here before the drawing closes at 2 pm on June 11.


Over the past year, this group has brought much joy and growth, which we celebrate Wednesday. As an introvert the passion for growing this group has made me much more outgoing, and every time I get past that initial hurdle of dressing in something other than pajamas and walking out the door I have made fantastic connections, learned something new, and been inspired.


Every woman in our group has a special mission in life, and they serve their purpose with a passion and tenacity that spurs me on to live my best life. I’ve learned that I am not alone in my doubts and worries about solopreneurship, that we all feel overwhelmed at times and are winging it until we gain our footing. Women I look up to as ‘having arrived’ still rely heavily on their intuition for innovation and progress, when one would think that they have processes in place and ‘take it easy’.


The honesty among this group is heartening. Yes, we’ve given elevator pitches, passed out business cards, promoted our upcoming events and products. We have cheered each other’s milestones and done business with each other (as well as our fabulous hosts).


 “This was my first experience meeting up with NEW
and it definitely will not be my last!
Great group of women who truly care about
expanding each other’s businesses!
It was a pleasure meeting all of you!”
~ Casie F., August 2013


“It was a great pleasure meeting you all!
The meeting was very productive. I even learned a new word ;).
I would love to participate in future meetings.”
~ Lina A., August 2013

We’ve also had heart-to-heart conversations about how to move forward, how to overcome internal and external obstacles, and how to remain motivated when winters are harsh and sales are slow.

“Great meeting! Very well-planned and organized (!).
I’m glad there was a small turn-out, because we learned a lot
about each other and our businesses, and
how to network to help each other.”

~ Karen Y., August 2013


“Fantastic group of women! I am looking forward to next time!”
~ Lina B., September 2013

“It was great to meet women in business. Very Empowering!”
~ Tracy B. September 2013


“I had a great time.
It was nice to meet some very motivated and
talented women entrepreneurs!
I look forward to the next event.”
~ Kristin S., September 2013

We’ve expanded our brains with learning about historical trailblazing women, museum visits and business roundtables.


“The meeting was inspiring, informative, and fun-5 Star for sure :)”
~ Barbara Z., October 2013

We’ve been silly playing dress-up and dancing can-cans in group shoots.

“I totally enjoyed the experience…
I am glad I connected with this group.”
~ Robin G., October 2013


“This is an awesome group of women.”
~ Kim B., October 2013

“Taking two hours this afternoon to meet dynamic and interesting entrepreneurs from whom I can learn was wonderful. The samples of “Tastefully Simple” and chocolates were delicious and the gathering was very warm and cordial. I discovered unique jewelry and greeting cards and enjoyed my purchase. Aurora Rose Boutique and its owners are professional, yet very friendly and accommodating. I’m very glad I stopped in to meet everyone this afternoon. Thank you.”
~ Donna S., November 2013


We’ve pampered ourselves with mini-massages and delectable desserts. We’ve toasted each other on bubbly, cocktails, wine and beer. We’ve honored our health with teas, heart-healthy snacks and outdoor events.


“What a great venue and awesome group of women!
Can’t wait to get to know you all more!!”
~ Marina C., December 2013


What a wonderful group of energetic, inspiring women!”
~ Barbara, May 2013


“It was very inspiring to hear of all
of the new business adventures taking off.

I was also very impressed with all of the women
who braved the cold and showed up
ready to talk business and network. Very professional.”
~ Shari, January 2014


“Had a great time and enjoyed meeting all the fantastic women.
Peaceful Parlour provided a nice comfy atmosphere
which made it all possible.
The tea and snacks were awesome.
I’m looking forward to networking with everyone.”
~ Teresa Triplett, January 2014


“My first time at the Meet & Munch
and WOW what a great group of women
sharing their expertise with each other.”
~ Pam V., February 2014


I love that it is such an eclectic group of women.
Had a great time!”
~ Cheryl S., March 2014


“So fun! It was so interesting to hear about everyone’s businesses,
and I feel like I, or someone else I know, could benefit
from the knowledge and expertise of each
and every one of the women I met!”
~ Ayumi, March 2014

Interestingly, it is easier to write this retrospective about NEW than to do a post about Maike’s Marvels’ past year. I guess I need to take special notes during our next event, “How to Brag; Self Marketing for the Women’s Business Owner”. Join us at 57th Street Books on 1301 East 57th Street in Chicago on Thursday, June 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

“What I’ve learned is that businesses grow through friendships.
Individual accomplishments are built through friendships.
Feeling trusted, understood, and valued is cultivated in friendships”
~ Megan Hunt, owner of Hello Holiday

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

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