From Corporate to Core Passion

From hat shops to bakeries, yoga studios to social media marketing firms, Kentucky women are thriving as small business owners. Female entrepreneurs are opting out of corpo­rate positions for small-business owner­ship, leaving corporate America for family flexibility, meaningful work, cre­ative outlets and positions aligned with their values.

Renee Setters, founder of the Central Kentucky-based Gurlz for Gurlz network­ing organization, which has five chapters, believes women are natural entre­preneurs.

“Women are so great at multitasking. That is a great fit for entrepre­neurship,” Setters said. “Kentucky is very accom­modating and welcoming to small-business owners. It’s a great state for opportunities for women in business.”

After 30 years in a senior level corpo­rate position, Setters started her own business for mobility.

“My husband and I relocate so often,” she said. “It was important to me to have a business I could pick up and move anywhere.”

And Setters is only one of many women who started their own businesses after decades in corporate America.

After 27 years in the telecommunica­tions business, Shannon Stricklin was ready for a change.

“I had a ton of responsibility and stress. I lost my son Nick in 2007. He was 13 years old when he died,” said Stricklin. “At that point, I realized life is precious and you should do what you love. People are real­izing that they only have this one precious life. They are asking themselves, ‘What is my contribution to this world?’ ”

Searching for healing for herself and others, Stricklin tried a variety of relax­ation practices, and yoga stood out for her. She decided to get a teaching cer­tificate in 2011. In 2012, she opened The Studio in Georgetown, Ky., along with her daughter, Alex Likens, who previously taught dance classes.

In her corporate position, Stricklin was responsible for sales, marketing and customer service, which laid the founda­tion for opening a business of her own. She started out using what she knew and learned the rest along the way.

“My grandparents owned their own business when I was growing up. They taught me about accounting and the fundamentals of giving the customer what they want,” Stricklin said.

Read the full article at The Lane

Kyndle would like to thank The Gleaner and Union County First for the use of images throughout this site.