Despite increases in the number of women-owned businesses in Austin, female and nonbinary entrepreneurs still face many barriers. They often lack the networks, community, funding, and visibility to grow in size and sales, and as a result have difficulty reaching the consumers who would be most inclined to support them. SheWork is a series of zines that aims to archive and highlight WOBs in the Austin community in hopes of bringing more customers to the stores.


6. EleMINT


A Conversation with Shantavia Ward owner of EleMINT Skin. EleMINT is a studio that specicalizes in facials customized to your skin.

What made you step back at your nurse practitioner job to start EleMINT?
It was a pretty big pivot. For me it was more personal. I enjoy my work as a nurse practitioner but I didn’t really feel like I was impacting the lives of my patients through their skincare journeys, by prescribing medications and then just sending them off into the world to deal with it on their own. I want it to be a lot more involved, especially on an emotional level and just help people be more comfortable in their skin and give them the confidence to just go out into the world and this feel good about themselves.

How do you grow your business?
It's not hard to start a business if you really have a passion for it. It’s quite hard to get money, but you just have to start somewhere. I would say that if someone wanted to start a business and they were concerned about money, don't let that be your focus. Just do what you can on the scale that you can. The money will come and then you'll be able to grow it from there. I started this dream about three years ago and the biggest barrier that I faced was with money. I had a huge floor plan layout, all these people I was going to hire all these things I was gonna do. That vision was just too big for starting. I realized that I was not going to be able to get the funds necessary to really start a business at that caliber. So I scaled back and I said, “how can I start this business with the least possible people, least possible space, and just get it started?”.

That's when I opened up the space that you're currently in. I realized that I did not need all those people and I could do this on my own. If I started it now, we could grow in the future. We've been doing really well financially and we're in a situation where we are able to move and grow into the dream that I previously dreamed up three years.