There are so many amazing women killing it here in Charlotte, and we want to shout them out! Every Wednesday we're doing a giveaway featuring different local female-owned business that we all need to keep an eye on.
This week's #womancrushwednesday features Trang Tran, the dental student who founded her own boutique nail salon in Villa Heights!
Mimosas Nail Bar is a nail salon in Villa Heights that prides themselves in utilizing the highest quality ingredients and providing world-class services that encompass an elevated, honest and non-toxic experience throughout every facet of nail care, waxing, and lashes. Trang likes to say that their business is about people, and they do nails for fun!
Trang first entered the nail salon industry to financially support herself while in school, and because she knew it would be the perfect job to assist her in becoming a dentist. Becoming a great nail technician would require her to develop the hand skills needed for difficult dental procedures, plus improve her bedside manner.
While working at different nail salons she noticed that many of them just didn’t understand what the modern client wants and deserves. Customers don’t want smells of acrylics, long waits, fluorescent lighting, poor customer service, and questionable hygiene to welcome them when they enter a nail salon. She knew there was a better way, and this sparked her idea to open her own spot. She built Mimosas Nail Bar on four pillars: Simplicity, Excellence, Fun and Philanthropy.
Though it was difficult for her growing up in a 3rd world country, she credits her struggles for shaping her into the woman she has become. Supporting women in her business to become leaders and supporting women in the community is her way of saying thank you to Charlotte for giving her the freedom to follow her dreams!
This week's #womancrushwednesday features sisters Allyn Oliver and Amanda Bowman, co-creators of Love365 Cards!
Allyn Oliver and Amanda Bowman, both busy moms (and sisters!), were tired of missing key events and birthdays in the lives of friends and family when they couldn’t buy cards in enough time to send them. “We were also just tired of shopping from the same old stock of cards. We wanted a box of assorted cards that are more on point for today and ready to send.” So that’s what they created and launched last summer.
Love365 Cards, based in the Carolinas, both designs and purchases cards from card designers around the country. The inventory will continue to change, keeping things fresh, so you don’t run the risk of accidentally buying the same card twice. What sets this online card shop apart from others, is that customers can build their own box of assorted cards. It’s as easy as choosing your quantity and then adding your favorite cards to your box. “Depending on your season of life, you buy different cards. I’m no longer sending baby and engagement/wedding cards, so I just want a box of Birthday and Just Because cards,” says Allyn. Cards come in a handy, magnetic catch box that can easily be stored on a shelf or desk, keeping cards organized and together. Spoiler alert – a Love365 pen comes in each box as well. Customers are also given a coupon code so they can continuously re-fill their box with free shipping.
Allyn and Amanda grew up in Columbia, SC. Amanda currently lives in Oklahoma City, OK while Allyn is a resides part-time in Bluffton, near her Mom who is a long time Bluffton resident. “We were raised in a letter sending family,” remembers Amanda. “Our grandmother would clip newspaper articles out and send them to us and, of course, we were always required to write back.” Today, they continue to send cards and pictures to out of town friends and relatives. “It typically takes about 5 minutes to write a card and drop it in the mail. Three days later when you’ve forgotten all about it, the card arrives and absolutely makes the day of the recipient. I love how easy that is!” In the fall of 2018, their Aunt Craig was fighting a losing battle with cancer. “At the end of her life when talking and visits had to slow down, greeting cards seemed to be the best way to speak to her. It was then that the idea for Love365 Cards was born and we had a chance to share it with our Aunt before she passed in October,” wrote Amanda in an Instagram post on their Aunt’s birthday. One of Mary Craig’s passions was painting. To pay tribute to their Aunt and give back to her favorite organization, Samaritan’s Purse, the sisters created a Mary Craig Box. The “Cards for a Cause Box” is a collection of 10 of her paintings reformatted into cards. $10 from each purchase of the Mary Craig Box is donated to Samaritan’s Purse in Mary Craig’s name. “The idea started with our Aunt Craig, so we were thrilled to be able to include her in our venture in some way. She was extremely close with her sister (our Mom) so I know she is so happy to know we are doing this together,” states Allyn.
The company appeals to card buyers of all ages and is also trying to market to the small percentage of the market that is men. The “No Excuses Box for Men” is a box of assorted cards that will be an asset to any man in a relationship. It comes with cards for Valentine’s Day, Anniversary, Mother’s Day, Birthday cards, and even a couple of cards that are manly enough to send to another guy. Other themed boxes include the “Kids Birthday Box,” filled with exactly that, and the “Don’t Call Me A Millennial Box,” which includes sassy and fun cards for customers in their 20s and 30s. The Love365 themed boxes are fun and creative and will no doubt make great gifts for just about anyone!
Customers can find the online shop at love365cards.com and follow Love365 on Instagram and Facebook. These sisters have big plans in store for the shop including selling stamps for the boxes, adding a quarterly card subscription service, and offering corporate boxes for companies who appreciate their employees with cards.
This week's #womancrushwednesday is a two-fer: the co-founders of Work For Your Beer, Mel Fox and Alicia Valenski!
Back in 2012, the pair met at Penn State and became fast friends. After graduation, Alicia visited Mel in Charlotte and ended up moving to the Queen City.
In an effort to start meeting people, Alicia searched online for things to do in town and started going weekly to a yoga class at OMB. As she learned about more and more breweries that hosted yoga, she started a Google spreadsheet with all the crucial details about them (how much each class cost, whether a beer was included, what day of the week and time it took place, details about the instructor, etc.).
She eventually encouraged Mel to join her for yoga at Triple C, and the two of them became regulars there and at Lenny Boy's class. They kept sharing their spreadsheet with people they met who wanted details about these kinds of activities. This sparked an idea - since so many people wanted these details, they turn the info they'd gathered into a website!
In 2016 they put together an IndieGoGo campaign to gauge interest and cover their initial costs and ended up surpassing their $3000 goal. The site started mainly with yoga but grew to include more brewery activities such as run clubs, bike rides, boot camps, dance classes, and more. They've pivoted many times over the years to better serve their audience — from hosting their own fitness events, to focusing on directory listings, to honing in on the exact kind of content their audience wanted to see.
Now, Work For Your Beer is the ultimate guide to brewery (or cidery, winery, bar, or bottle shop) workouts. Their website provides all the information that you need before you arrive at the workout — details about everything from pricing to parking and more — so all you have to do is show up. They love to work out, drink beer and make friends, and their goal is to be the number one resource that helps the community do precisely that!