Women Who Made It—Part II
Today, more and more women are walking away from careers they’ve had for decades and taking back their independence. More women than ever are launching businesses and creating opportunities for themselves.
In honor of National Women’s History Month, we continue to highlight women who, despite their fears, have pursued their passions. Women who walked away from something or took significant risks. Women who may have failed, but got back up again.
These are the women who made it, part two.
Mandy Ansari’s career is full of pivots. After graduating from high school at age 15 and earning a Master’s degree in behavioral science at 21, she landed a job as a school principal when she was only 23. Burned out by the administrative side of education, she took her web design side hustle and built it into a new career in digital marketing, eventually overseeing digital technology for Rodan + Fields and starting her own agency. After her best friend’s suicide, she decided to pivot again, launching Girl & The, or, as she calls it, a “guide to chasing happiness.”
“I wanted to leverage my experience in technology to make the internet feel like a smaller place. My world was torn apart after my best friend’s suicide. Through my blog, I can honor my friend daily and help people feel less alone. Before posting anything, I ask myself: Is this going to make someone feel more understood? Is it a little bit of light in their day?”
Girl & The, seeks to break the stigma around mental illness by addressing the need for self-care within the context of pop culture, food, beauty, and travel. The bold colors, inspired recipes, and biting wit might make you forget that the heart of the blog is about suicide prevention—and for Mandy, that’s the point.
Mandy’s advice to other women who want to make a pivot: “My parents always instilled in me that there’s no such thing as failure, only redirection. What can you learn from this? My approach to pivoting was that I’m not going to be the best in the room at first, but how can I bring a folding chair to the table?”
Tarsia Alfred credits her immigrant roots for her drive to succeed. She came to the United States when she was young and saw so much opportunity here that she felt the need to excel at everything she did. This ambition led her to a 20-year career in dentistry management, ultimately overseeing five corporate offices—working a demanding 9-to-5 job, enduring a three hour commute each day, all while parenting two young children. She loved the dental field, but she didn’t have a passion for it anymore. A trip to Italy changed everything.
“I came across this beautiful vintage-looking truck in Italy and I knew it was nothing anyone had seen out here; I just knew it was meant to be. It was time for me to do something bold after playing it safe for so long. It was time to be fearless.”
Since deciding to make her pivot, Tarsia became a franchise owner with Get Cozy Vintage Mobile Bars. You’ll find her Bubbles & Brews mini trucks at weddings and events across Southern California, serving prosecco and craft beers to guests.
Tarsia’s advice to other women who want to make a pivot: “There’s an amazing quote by Jennifer Lee: ‘Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.’ That really pushed me to do what I wanted to do. Dig deep down and ask if your soul is happy. You can have different goals and passions, but if you don’t have the mindset to do it, you’ll never do it. You have to push through the belief that you’re not good enough, you can’t do it, there are other people who can do better.”
After a successful career in finance, Victoria Flores founded a hair extension business. Although it was growing year after year, she couldn’t help but feel that something was missing.
“It was kind of working, but not the way we thought it should. My co-founder and I had a come to Jesus moment and we asked ourselves, ‘Where can we switch this? What’s the bridge to something else?’ We had the customers and we had the team—we just needed to make a pivot with a new product.”
That product ended up being CBD. Victoria and her partner were taking CBD to manage the stress of running their hair extension business and saw the potential in marketing it to women like them. Now, Lux Beauty Club creates high-end CBD products that are made in the USA with clean ingredients. With the existing customer base from her hair extension business, Victoria was able to make a seamless pivot into selling CBD beauty products and tinctures formulated to support sleep, fight anxiety, and enhance overall well-being—and she found an audience that wasn’t being served by existing CBD products that were already on the market.
Victoria’s advice to other women who want to make a pivot: “You mourn a loss when you pivot, but you have to have an honest conversation with yourself. Is this really working? Is it making a difference? Am I moving the needle? If not, it’s time to think about doing something else, and that’s okay.”