It’s pretty easy to attend an event where you watch other people pitch their ideas to a large audience. It’s something entirely different when you have no public speaking experience whatsoever, no clue how to start a business, you’re a single mom, working full time, taking classes, and you’re the one about to take the stage! Enter Jessica Parker, founder of Hero of the House, and the mastermind behind one of three winning business ideas from last years 54 hour, Startup Weekend Glacier.
In the fall of 2014, an exhausted Jessica Parker summoned the energy to attend a Startup Weekend pre-rarty because she had an idea mulling around in her head, but she wasn’t sure that she had the time or the energy to pitch it, plan it, or even think about proceeding with it. Facing many fears head on, she pitched an idea for a business that would educate, inspire and empower women with the tools and resources needed to make basic home repairs. After 54 intense hours of brainstorming, researching, action taking and mentorship, Jessica became one of three final winners in the inaugural year of Startup Weekend Glacier.
Together with her business partner Anne Stene, they’ve accomplished quite a bit in one year. I recently asked her what some of the most exciting aspects of starting a business have been and without hesitation she enthusiastically spoke about networking and mentorship.
“It’s been exciting meeting so many other entrepreneurs in the Flathead Valley and learning about what they’ve gone through, having started their own businesses. I feel like there’s a real connection between us and I appreciate that we can all reach out and help each other in a lot of areas.”
By working with a variety of mentors from seasoned professionals to other budding entrepreneurs, Jessica and Anne have been able to streamline the original idea into a very focused business plan with clear objectives and a path to monetize their business. They’re currently working with a local Montana woodworker to create the prototype for a beautiful wooden tool box. They’ve defined the target market for their toolbox and they have plans for selling it.
When asked about the challenges of starting a business, Jessica didn’t have to think twice, “The biggest challenge is finding the time to get everything done on my list. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but someone told me to focus on taking one step every day, which enables me to keep moving forward.”
With their logo designed and their social media sites launched, their next step is the website. “Funding is always an issue, so I’m doing as much as I can by myself, which means that I’m constantly learning something new.”
These ladies are moving forward at a nice, steady pace, and we hope that you’ll join them on Facebook where you can congratulate them on their progress! http://on.fb.me/1KaHc96