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Getting Zesty – Interview with Emma Napier

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Happy August! Each month for the rest of the year, Ment is partnering with a local business on our blog and social media accounts. This month is Zest Juice for Life, owned by Emma Napier: a 24-year-old from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The local juice shop located in the heart of the downtown scene has many flavors of tasty, healthy juice and they promote a healthy lifestyle in everything they do. 

Emma Napier, a graduate from Western Kentucky University, got her start working in an office for a national company in a corporate office. She was teaching spinning at The Spot next door to what would be her future business as well. She loved her coworkers and the work she was doing but disliked the stuffy and strict culture that was in her cubicle-filled office. “I soon realized that sitting at a desk was not for me,” she recalls.  

                             

Emma knew the previous owner of Zest from her job at The Spot and soon became friends with her. From this friendship, she fell in love with juice. She would drive all the way across town to get juice from the original Zest, the home of the former owner. The owner mentioned selling the business and asked if she knew of anyone who was interested. Emma knew instantly that this was the perfect opportunity to transition out of the cubicle and bought Zest Juice for Life. 

One of Emma’s favorite things about owning Zest is the amazing small business community located in Bowling Green. While she is a fairly new business owner, owners from all over town have offered to help her. “Bowling Green has such a thriving community of small business owners and truly want to see each other succeed,” she notes. She says learning a lot from so many people who have been in the same shoes as her. She has gotten to work with and collaborate with some of them and says they have helped her create her space, the logo, the menu boards, and more. 

  

Of course, I had to ask Emma what her -ment word was, which is a little something we do here at Ment by picking your favorite word with -ment as the subject and having it describe you, such as experiment, achievement, nourishment. Emma said her word was encourage-ment. She aims to be a smiling face to anyone who walks through the doors of Zest, and hopes her encouraging spirit keeps people coming back for years to come. 

Emma’s favorite juice she sells is kickin’ carrot, a juice that contains apple, ginger, and the star: carrots. Other juices you can find at Zest include Kale Yeah!, Jolly Green, Happy Beet, or my favorite, Hula Hooch. 

Check Emma and the rest of the Zest team out on their Instagram: @zestjuiceforlife

The Power of Empower-Ment

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Written by Pare and Flourish Co-Founders, Katie Butler and Skylar Wooden

When asked what our “-ment” word was, it was obvious. Empowerment.

From the start of Pare and Flourish, we had one mission in mind: to empower others. Through articles. Through close-knit conversations. Through panel discussions.  

And though it’s taken different forms, our mission has always been the same.

Carrying that vision forward, we’ve chosen Ment Cowork as the location for our second Flourishing Females event on June 1st. [This event includes a panel discussion about finding your niche, a workshop on grabbing your audience’s attention, and lots of food, drinks, and networking.]

Ment is leading the charge for coworking in Bowling Green, bringing with them a culture of uplifting collaboration—perfect for a day of learning, growing, and connecting with local female entrepreneurs. Perfect for empowerment.

>> Interested in checking it out? Information and tickets for the event are available here.

In honor of this event being at Ment, we’ve reflected on the ways we’ve set out to empower women in our community, and what empowerment means to us.

Empowering Our Readers

Whether it gives you the power to network without fear or to ask for that raise, a blog article speaks to a part in us that needs development. Parts of us that we know are there, but need a push to be put into motion.

That’s how we started—writing blog articles on topics we struggled through and learned from, in hopes of empowering someone else to jump the hurdle. We shared our advice in the most genuine, authentic way we could.

Here’s a snippet from our very first post, setting the tone for Pare and Flourish:

“It is a personal mission of ours not to romanticize our lives, as is so often done in the age of social media.

So here we have a safe space. A space for the real, the authentic, and the genuine.

In this blog, you can expect first-hand accounts of our daily life struggles, how we’ve learned (so far) to become happy with the choices that we’ve made, and pieces of advice that we would like to have learned earlier on. You’ll find that we’ve made mistakes. You will also find what we’ve made of those mistakes. We hope that you apply our retrospection to your life, and come out ahead.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Empowering Our Peers

When blog articles didn’t feel like enough—like we weren’t reaching enough people, like we weren’t making a big enough impact—we transitioned to events.

Our first foray into events was the Flourish Roundtable. Roundtables are small group discussions, promoting authenticity and empowerment.

We wanted more than screen engagement. We wanted real, deep connection based on topics that are relevant to all of our lives. To provide a place where women could look around and see that there are other women feeling similar emotions, having similar thoughts.

Roundtables are a place for thoughtful engagement, advice, support, and all the good feels.

Recounting a Roundtable experience, this is what we wrote:

“If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, something that makes you feel connected to someone based on more than your common interests, but on your common beliefs and feelings, this is the place for you. A Flourish Roundtable event creates that connection. And we are honored to facilitate that connection.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Empowering Our Flourishing Females

When Roundtables weren’t enough, we widened our audience. Flourishing Females Panel + Workshops became a way to do more than gather.  

We widened our net to any woman who owns her own business, or aspires to. No matter the situation, there’s something to gain from this event.

Networking with like-minded women.

Learning from established entrepreneurs and leaders about their own challenges and advice.

Engaging in workshops to collaborate and motivate.

 

After our first Flourishing Females event, as always, we wrote about it.

“We created this Panel + Workshop as a way to expand our reach, and include a wider point of view from our panelists in their respective industries. Without knowing what shape it would take, we started putting together a panel, planning a workshop, and connecting everything in between.

We were overwhelmed with the number of people who were willing to jump in and make this happen. It confirmed something we already knew about Bowling Green: everyone wants to see each other succeed.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Join us at our second Flourishing Females Panel + Workshop to feel the empowerment first hand. Maybe you’re starting a business and need a network. Maybe you have a business and feel alone in it. Maybe you have a great idea and you need the courage to put it out there.

No matter what, and no matter what you do, this event is for you.  

Don’t forget to register!

 

Collaboration Over Competition

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In the hustle and bustle of the business world, it is easy to get caught up in what your company is doing. You find yourself focusing inward and see every other company doing anything remotely similar to be wrong and doing it worse than you. Of course, you’re better than the competition, or that is how you see it. But, the competition is looking at you thinking the exact same thing.

Most people view competition as healthy, as something that can push you forward and above the rest. Competition, if you let it, will seep into every aspect of your life: friends, family, even random people on the street. Always being the best can lead to detriment in your life if left unchecked. I am not saying all competition is bad! A little is what pushes us to keep going. I am talking about the kind that burrows deep and causes rifts in your work life, personal life, and more.

That is one thing I love about the coworking industry. Many other businesses promote competition, always being better than the person next to you and striving to be on top. Coworking just lends itself to more collaboration, within members and the industry as a whole.

On the membership side, it helps that many of the workers in a space are in different industries. There could be a graphic designer working next to a real estate broker who is working next to a writer. The nature of what coworking is doesn’t have room for competition. There is no office politics, there is no fighting for positions, just work.

Here’s an example. If the real estate broker needs a logo made for their business, they don’t have to go out and search for a designer. They know that they have someone who works alongside them that they could contact. This trade allows for both businesses, the designer and the real estate broker, to flourish.

We gain new perspectives when we collaborate with others. We see things from new angles, and learn things in a way we may not normally see. If someone is working on a project and needs an outside opinion, they can lean over to the person next to them. Coworking creates an atmosphere for more interaction, which leads to more innovation, creativity, and even profit. According to Entrepreneur.com, “environments that convey this kind of positive energy are a key reason that coworking is growing at a dizzying pace.”

The industry is also fairly void of competition. We are fortunate at Ment to not have any other coworking spaces in our town, but that doesn’t mean we don’t face competition, just in other ways. I find so fascinating the concept of coworking alliances. No other industry in the world could pull something off like this. A coworking alliance is made up of a group of coworking spaces in an area and they come together to support each other. They promote coworking as a whole, rather than an individual space. Cities like Orlando and San Diego have coworking alliances and they spread the values of coworking together. Arizona has one available for the whole state. An alliance can highlight the strengths of a certain place, but not one space is the top dog.

Coworking as an industry is amazing. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the curve and is the future of working. Many other industries could benefit from the model that coworking sets: a collaborative environment set on building everyone around you up.