#SQUADGOALS: Building A Local Support Group for Your Biz

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By Olivia Omega Wallace | Guest Contributor

When my daughter started her first year of high school, I had one main prayer for her: “Dear God, please send her one good girl.”

She didn’t need a ton of friends, at least not at first. All she really needed was one good girl to sit with at lunch, go to homecoming with (because boys that age are ridiculous), to confide in and turn to if the going ever got tough.

I was fortunate enough to have that in high school. And then one good girl turned into 2 and then 3. And I realized something that has stuck with me for over 20 years: not every girlfriend meets all of your needs. There’s the girlfriend who you called immediately when you broke up with your boyfriend. There’s the one you called when you needed a reality check and swift kick in the butt. There’s the one you reached out to when you wanted to let loose. We all have that one irresponsible friend! They all had different personalities and strengths.

Now, as an adult and business-owner, it takes more than just one good girl to support us in all of our endeavors, adventures and challenges. The support system of Denver’s women entrepreneurs is made up of an entire squad, a posse and crew. This group of local resources meet different needs. While the full list is vast, the highlighted squad below will support you. Whether you need a girlfriend to help you practice your “Class President” keynote speech at that upcoming professional conference or a girlfriend who will help you with your profit and loss statement “calculus homework” this squad has got you and your business covered!

WOMEN IN KIND

  • AKA: The Cheerleader

  • Girl squad colors: Purple and gray

  • Style: Professional with some flair. Always eager to wear a fellow squad member’s t-shirt or logo and do some reppin’.

  • Mantra: “Onward!”

  • Favorite quote: “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.” --all smart women, ever

  • Personality, in three words: Loyal, boss, and hostess with the mostess--if you want to throw a party, you know you can count on WinK for her dope pad and a great place to gather. And because she always wants to see you shine, she’ll step back and let you sparkle, all the while, replenishing the cheese tray.

  • Favorite drink: Champagne--she always has a bottle at the ready to celebrate with you!

  • Never leaves home without: Her little emergency kit for all your business needs (she’s the friend who has your back at all times, after all!): portable wifi hub, your extra biz cards, and did she just pull an almond milk latte outta that handbag?!

WOMEN OF DENVER

  • AKA: Student Council President

  • Girl squad colors: Red and a splash of blue and yellow

  • Style: Classic elegance and professionalism with a touch of authentic, natural imperfection.

  • Mantra: “"Women should get paid their worth”

  • Favorite Quote: "It's indisputable that there's a real pay gap. People can argue about how big, but that's almost besides the point. The point is that every woman, every girl, deserves to get paid what they're worth." —Sheryl Sandberg

  • Personality in 3 words: Encouraging, empathetic, and wise. She’s there to listen and to lead.

  • Favorite drink: Frothy lattes and a tasty mixed drink here and there because your student council leader knows how to represent every taste and occasion

  • Never leaves home without: A notebook for recording all the wisdom she gathers throughout the day, and a few stickers or buttons for promoting that next election or event

WOMEN WHO STARTUP

  • AKA: The Rebel

  • Girl Squad colors: Coral and blue

  • Style: Outdoorsy, free, explorer, techie, funky, rebellious, and a streak of business

  • Mantra: “Keep Climbing”

  • Favorite Quote: "Progress not perfection." Veronica Van Vuuren (mom of founder Lizelle Van Vuuren)

  • Personality in three words: Passionate, energetic, focused--to sum it up, if you don’t feel electrified around this member of the squad, you might be dead inside! (But don’t worry, she’ll jump start your heart with her battle cry!)

  • Favorite drink: Water. A girl’s gotta hydrate, especially if she is gonna take over the world!

  • Never leaves home without: Kissing the dog. Because every rebel has a secret soft side.

DENVER DAMES

  • AKA: Super smart class clown

  • Girl squad colors: Purple and grey

  • Style: Timeless classics on the outside, sequined chicken costume underneath.

  • Mantra: “Celebrate yourself and the amazing women around you.”

  • Favorite quote: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” - Charlie Chaplin

  • Personality, in 3 words/phrases: Life of the party, giver of bear hugs, jester. She’s at your side when you need a laugh and a distraction, or a reminder we are all really in this together.

  • Favorite drink: It doesn’t matter because there’s no two-drink minimum!

  • Never leaves home without: A sense of humor and is sure to stuff anything too serious in the coat closet before heading out the door

SISTAHPRENERUS

  • AKA: The Step Team Leader

  • Girl squad colors: Pink, black & green

  • Style: Casual-Professional-Urban-Cool

  • Mantra: “You got this, sis!”

  • Favorite quote: "I am not my sister's keeper, I am my sister." - Iyanla Vanzant

  • Personality, in 3 words: Authentic, grounded, sisterly. She’s the big sister you’ve always dreamed of. She’ll tell it like it is, keep it 100 at all times and keep you in line. Just follow her lead!

  • Favorite drink: A glass of Malbec with popcorn for all you Scandal and Olivia Pope lovers out there. It’s all she needs to “handle it”.

  • Never leaves home without: a business card, a smartphone, and lipgloss to floss on ‘em!

WOMEN ON THE RISE

  • AKA: Class President

  • Girl squad colors: Purple, blue, grey

  • Style: Business chic, with an extra pair of flats in her bag! Looking good is important. Feeling good is common sense.

  • Mantra: “A rising tide lifts all ships.”

  • Favorite quote: “Confidence has no competition” - Anonymous

  • Personality in 3 words: Collaborator, connector, common denominator. As Class Prez, Women on the Rise knows how to bring the entire squad together, set the bar and encourage others to meet it.

  • Favorite drink: Local drip coffee (because our consumer choices are opportunities to support one another)

  • Never leaves home without: Her contact list and the business cards of her friends (the more women she can connect the better)

BRAZEN DENVER

  • AKA: The New Girl

  • Girl squad colors: Pink and maroon

  • Style: Professional with a stunning pop of bold color

  • Mantra: “Business first!” Boys later LOL

  • Favorite quote: “When women do better, economies do better.” - Christine Lagarde

  • Personality in 3 words: Ambitious, bold, growth-seeking. She may be new to the squad, but she’s no stranger to what it takes to succeed. She constantly has growth and money on the mind and is always strategizing on ways to help the women around her excel.

  • Favorite drink: Sparkling water with lime

  • Never leaves home without: Knowing her numbers so she can help her fellow squad members understand theirs


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Virginia Santy