Let’s Talk Shop…


By: Sophia Franco

Over the years, more and more of our community women have become “momtreprenuers,” stepping out and showing their strength and capabilities in full color. On August 17, a sunny Monday morning by the beach at Betty Sitt’s house, 300 women showed up for Exceed’s fourth annual “Shoptalk” day. 300 women! The need for this program is clear.

Shoptalk began as a program to do exactly what it says, talk shop. Ideas for new businesses were introduced, the trials and tribulations of working while juggling both family and husband were discussed, and tactics to make more out of a small existing business or take a business out of the home were explored. Norma Cohen began by explaining that we are here to help each other. Kim Dabah discussed risk taking and the beauty and enjoyment of being a successful businesswoman.

As our esteemed panel of speakers took the stage this year the message was clear. If you want to be successful, it is not usually easy or smooth. You have to roll up your sleeves and do the work. Fear is a given; setbacks are too, but the result of starting a well-planned and well-executed business of your own is second to none.

Our keynote speaker, Rosie Assoulin, fresh, beautiful and just off her win of the CFDA Swarovski award for excellence in design, was very clear. “Opportunities present themselves constantly but you have to have the guts to take them,” she explained.  Our panelists, Sophia Cohen, of Urban Pops; Doris Dwek, event planner; Jenine Shwekey, founder, Special Children’s Center; Rachel Tabouche, Undercover Waterwear; and Sara Terzi, Little Miss Organizer, agree.

Act like a lady, think like a boss.” Each of these fabulous women is a passionate go-getter; a little bit crazy (by their own admission,) headstrong and determined…and together we decided that these are all necessary qualities to becoming successful. Taking yourself seriously, exuding confidence and being awesome doesn’t hurt either. “Does your work need to make you happy?” we asked. Across the board came a resounding “yes.” “Passion is everything,” they explained. “If you love what you do and you’re good at it, your customers will see that. Don’t ever take ‘no’ for an answer, and remember to listen, laugh, and always be learning.”

The day closed up with a delicious lunch provided by Mint of Brooklyn, a “day in the life” video of these fabulous businesswomen by Frieda Sitt of Frieda’s Media,( Click here to watch)  and a resounding push for every attendee to get out into the world and show them what we are made of. For future breakout sessions and for more information contact . We look forward to hearing from you.


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