Posted by admin on November 18, 2008
Pow.wow is the brainchild of Dava Guthmiller. In 2004, Dava invited 14 women to her office to exchange ideas and discuss the challenges of running a small business. Pow.wow is now over 400 strong and growing.
Their goal is to support the success of its members by:
- Creating a supportive and positive learning environment
- Empowering through education and exchange of ideas
- Increasing the visibility of its members
- Giving back to the Bay Area community of women
Alexandra is pleased to be featured and proud to be involved with such an important organization.
Below is Alexandra’s Pow Wow profile & interview..
Alexandra is the founder of Eat My Words, creating brand names that generate buzz and revenue. She is also a Make Mine a Million $ Business Awardee. Congratulations Alexandra!
Why did you start your own biz?
I saw a huge opportunity in the marketplace to create brand names that were likeable and conceptual as opposed to the mangled, unapproachable words that old-school naming and branding firms invent using Latin and linguistics.
What did you do before you started your own business?
I was an advertising copywriter for 15+ years, where I mastered the art of creating clever headlines grab attention. Our names have the same effect. They are instantly likeable, make powerful emotional connections, and are absolutely unforgettable.
What was a challenge or obstacle to start your own business?
A few naysayers didn’t think I could sustain myself by only creating names and taglines. They said I needed to keep copywriting in the mix. I loved proving them wrong. Some people would say not having a college education would be a challenge, but I disagree. Unlike other namers who have degrees in linguistics and understand Latin, I have not been tainted by “The Curse of Knowledge.”
What is one thing that is responsible for the success of your business?
Creativity. Although I cite passion as being a key factor of my success, without my creativity, I wouldn’t have a portfolio of wildly creative names and taglines that is unmatched by any other naming firm. My creativity has also allowed me to build my business through innovative marketing approaches.
In your opinion, what makes women good business owners, and what holds them back?
The best women business owners are fearless. They are not afraid to charge what they are worth, speak their mind, or compete in a man’s world. The major downfalls of many women business owners are they have low self-esteem, don’t know how to negotiate, aren’t financially saavy, and are afraid they will hurt someone’s feelings if they ask for more money.
What are a few tips you’d give a woman starting her own business today?
1. Do not launch your business until you have professional business cards printed and a polished website up, which have been designed by a true identity designer who understands the importance of having a cohesive brand. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
2. Make sure the name of your business sounds like a brand name as opposed to your own name. When you sell your company 20 years from now, it will be much harder to sell if your name is attached to it and you won’t be there any more.
3. Don’t give up on a great brand name if the domain name is out of reach. No one expects a company to have the exact dot com any more. Just as we ran out of 800#s for toll-free calls, everyone knows the free-and-clear dot coms are a thing of the past.
What are your goals for the business?
Our long term vision is to become the most widely influential naming firm in the industry and get businesses to stop naming their companies things like Learnia, Xohm, and QualComm.
Our short-term goal is to get on the radar of more consumer package goods clients who have on-going naming needs.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Our many naming successes include Spoon Me frozen yogurt, Neato home cleaning robots, Monkey Dunks dips for kids, Cake Financial, Bloom energy drink, Frigid ice cream, an iPod clock radio named Moondance, a luxury-on-installment website named Venue, Stuff a Sock In It laundromat, Mixin’ Vixens bartenders, and Wavelength, a forum for the world’s most progressive companies and social entrepreneurs.
We are the only naming firm who monetizes names. For instance, Spoon Me is making a fortune selling Spoon Me t-shirts, sportswear, pajamas and booty shorts.
Our adoring clients include Del Monte, Frito Lay, Altec Lansing, Guthy Renker, SIGG water bottles and Intercontinental Hotels Group.
Our SMILE & SCRATCH name evaluation test has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Our wildly colorful loft office has been featured on TV, design books, and magazines.
I didn’t go to college and am an inspiration to women everywhere that you CAN be successful without a college education.