June 2021 Member Spotlight

Leslie Vaillancourt

Business name: CheqrPay

Your title/role: Founder & CEO 

Website URL: https://cheqrpay.com

Social media:




How long have you been in business? Since 2019

What do you do? We partner with small nonprofits to help them modernize their online fundraising to maximize their fundraising efforts.

CheqrPay is a Minneapolis based software company that provides online fundraising services for small nonprofit organizations. We provide traditional online fundraising services, helping nonprofits to accept donations on their website, but we do so much more. With CheqrPay, nonprofits can also fundraise offline using a custom QR code generated for every campaign. Hosting a fundraising event, staffing a booth at a festival, or sending a direct mail appeal to your donors? Simply display your CheqrPay QR code and donors scan to give using their mobile device. Integrated mobile wallet technology (Apple Pay and Google Pay) makes it easy to give in as little as 25 seconds. It has never been easier to engage your donors! We support small charitable organizations, community organizations, faith-based organizations, local political groups and campaigns and school PTOs and PTAs.

Who do you serve? We support small charitable organizations, community organizations, faith-based organizations, local political groups and campaigns and school PTOs and PTAs.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship is exciting and challenging. It can also be isolating. My advice is to seek out like minded individuals working on building their businesses who can form a support system as you face setbacks and celebrate victories. Seek out a network of people who care about you and your business, who are willing to honestly share about their own journey, and who can impart frank, trustworthy advice. These relationships can be key to keeping you motivated and on track for success.

May 2021 Member Spotlight

Katie Jamieson, CAE

Business name: Engage! LLC

Your title/role: CEO

Website URL: www.engagenonprofits.com

Social media:


How long have you been in business? 2 years

What do you do? As CEO of Engage! I lead diverse projects and draw on my years of nonprofit and association management leadership. I am passionate about STEM/STEAM programs and investing in the students they bring together to ensure our future includes a diverse STEM ecosystem. I create live and virtual events, empower others through continuing education, and find opportunities amidst crisis and uncertainty.

Building community begins with engagement. At Engage! we focus on a value-driven strategic approach to serving your community. We lead short and long-term projects around community building and engagement, development, live, virtual, and hybrid events, story-driven content, and program management.

Who do you serve? We serve nonprofits, associations, and small businesses for short and long-term projects.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs?
Something I have to remind myself frequently – Believe in yourself!

April 2021 Member Spotlight

Molly Nicholson

Business name: Molecule Marketing

Your title/role: Founder

Website URL: www.molecule.marketing.com

Social media:



How long have you been in business? 5 1/2 years

What do you do? I start by identifying areas that could use improvement and then prioritize the steps the client should take that would have the greatest impact on their ultimate goal of increasing conversions.

Who do you serve?

I partner with local small businesses and solopreneurs. Past clients have been from industries like P&C insurance, real estate, business coaching, restaurant/bar, liquor store, catering, auto detailing, law firm, seasonal event, recruiters, and more.

When I’m not behind my computer or phone, you can often find me running my book club, playing the French horn, or checking out what’s new at my favorite local distilleries.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? Network. Network. Network. Widen the trusted group of people you can go to for advice and to learn about different industries.

December 2020 Member Spotlight

Tiffany Hoeft Consulting

Business name: Tiffany Hoeft Consulting

Your title/role: Mom of 4 + Operations Consultant

Website URL: www.tiffanyhoeft.com

Social media:



How long have you been in business? I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 15 years, but pivoted to my current business in fall of 2019.

What do you do? I help high-level, creative entrepreneurs analyze, strategize, and maximize their systems for efficient and effective businesses.  

Who do you serve? Female creative entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and work at home mommas.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? Don’t try to conform or compare to what anyone else is doing. Lean into YOUR true self, your talents and skills. Be fiercely and unapologetically yourself and you will attract your dream clients. And remember, all mistakes are blessings that allow you to grow.

November 2020 Member Spotlight

Alyssa Lund-Kyrola

Business name: Illuminate Boudoir

Your title/role: Photographer

Website URL: http://illuminateboudoir.com/

Social media:



How long have you been in business? Part-time since 2010, full-time since 2015

What do you do? I am a boudoir photographer! I spend my days at a studio up in NE Minneapolis, where I offer a full-day experience to my clients – they arrive in the morning to my studio, can have professional hair/makeup styling if they choose, we have an incredible photoshoot. They take a little break in the afternoon to have lunch, while I edit and prepare their images and then my clients come back that same afternoon to see their final portraits and place their order. 

On the photography side of things, I have a very elegant, empowering, celebratory style of photography and I specialize in creating printed art for each of my clients (so my clients are coming away with a beautiful printed album or an heirloom box holding a stack of their pictures – especially in the digital age, a tangible photograph feels so unique and special).

On the business side of things, I pride myself on a high-end client experience and a sales process that doesn’t feel salesy. While 75% of my business is boudoir portraits, I also photograph some weddings and lifestyle portraits with my sister brand Alyssa Lund Photography, and I mentor other photographers on fine art sales.

Who do you serve? Most of my clients are planning a photoshoot as an empowering gift to themselves, which is amazing.  An interesting thing I’ve observed is that my clients tend to be passionate professionals who spend their days caring for others (in a wide variety of capacities – teachers, lawyers, social workers, nurses, surgeons, therapists, etc). They’re often advocates who are always lifting up others in their communities – and for them, a boudoir session is a way to turn that love inwards and do something beautiful and celebratory for themselves. 

Inclusivity is a huge goal of mine, so I welcomefolks of all genders to the studio and I have clients of many ages from their 20s to their 70s. It’s an honor to get to know the story of each client and to celebrate their personal journey with meaningful portraits.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? It’s easy to look around and compare yourself to other businesses or women you admire – but I think the secret to creating a business you love is to look inwards and focus on the kind of work that most lights you up. Don’t worry about doing what everyone else is doing; focus on what sets you apart, what you do differently, why you can solve someone’s problem or add to someone’s life in a unique and powerful way. Lean into your uniqueness! 

September 2020 Member Spotlight

Marcia Bethke

Business name: Whole Builders Cooperative

Your title/role: Owner

Website URL: www.wholebuilders.com

Social media:

How long have you been in business? Since 1979

What do you do? We are a full service General Contractor. We provide Design/Build Services for Homes, Businesses, Institutions and Government Facilities.

For homes – kitchens, bathrooms, additions, attics, basements, porches, insurance work, etc…

For businesses, institutions and government facilities we do many different types of projects: remodeling, repairs, insurance work, etc..

We are also certified to work with the State of MN through the CADI Waiver program which provides Home Modification Services for qualified individuals to help them stay in their homes. Projects include: widening doorways, ramps, bathroom remodels, etc..

Who do you serve? Homeowners, Business Owners, Churches and Government; i.e. last year we did 3 projects for Hennepin County. And – as noted we also serve the CADI Waiver clients – seniors and handicapped children and adults. We work with the caseworkers.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? As we all know – 2020 is a very challenging year. Hard to see where we will end up. Lots of uncertainty. Whole Builders has been through two other recessions – one in the 80’s and the more recent one which started in 2008. During each – we learned you need to adjust, be nimble and flexible – that meant changing and trying new markets. You also have to really like what you are doing and have the confidence that you will emerge a better company.

August 2020 Member Spotlight

Jeni Ellick

Business name: Artisan Row

Your title/role: Founder & Principal

Website URL: www.theartisanrow.com

Social media channels: 



How long have you been in business?  1.5 years

What do you do?

We help food companies grow their business through innovation strategy and amazing product creation.

Who do you serve?

Any food company really, but we especially love female founded brands in the natural & organic space!

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help so you can spend more time on the parts of the business you love and are best at. It’s worth it to make the investment on the right partners and resources.

April 2020 Member Spotlight

Amber Christian

Business name: Wonderly Software Solutions

Your title/role: Founder

Website URL: www.meetbellascena.com


Social media channels: 




How long have you been in business?  Almost three years

What do you do?

I used human centered design to build software solutions that address meeting and productivity challenges to allow you to successfully meet from anywhere.

Who do you serve?

Typically I serve freelancers, as well as small to medium size enterprises. My core customer is anyone interested in improving their meeting effectiveness. It’s often companies that also embrace EOS. Our product, Bella Scena, treats meetings as a process so that we can help you meet from anywhere. We help good meeting facilitators go to great by helping manage the planning, live meeting facilitation, and follow-ups. Our goal for our customers is to help them plan unmissable meetings.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? 

Active listening to existing and prospective customers is very important. Our customers provide us so much valuable feedback. It’s easy to think “I’ve heard that before” which can lead to assumptions. If we’re actively listening and asking questions to make sure we’ve really understood, it can lead to innovative ideas and insights we may have never have previously considered.

March 2020 Member Spotlight

Ashley Oswald

Business name: Oswald Digestive Clinic

Your title/role: Founder + Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Website URL: www.oswalddigestiveclinic.com

Social media channels: 






How long have you been in business?  4 years and counting!

What do you do?

We are a virtual clinic that helps people with gut struggles to find gut freedom

Who do you serve?

Adults struggling with gut issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? 

Trust Your Gut (pun intended). There are many paths to being a successful entrepreneur, and I think we need to not just chase what will give us the highest conversions or what will make us the most money, but also what will make us happy. Being able to tune in to your intuition and let that be your guide, in my opinion, will lead you to be successful and happy in your calling.

February 2020 Member Spotlight

Barbara Churchill

Business name: Barbara Churchill Coaching & Consulting

Your title/role: Confidence & Leadership Coach

Website URL: www.barbarachurchill.com/

Social media channels: 





How long have you been in business?  I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 25 years

What do you do?

I help my clients ditch their doubt and claim their confidence so they can create the career/business and life they crave.

Who do you serve?

Female leaders and business owners

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? 

Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true. You will have a ton of doubt on whether you can make your business work and your brain will tell you all the ways it will fail. Don’t listen. The world needs your brand of brilliance!

January 2020 Member Spotlight

Irene Kelly

Business name: Prisma, LLC

Your title/role: Founder / Leadership & Academic Coach

Website URL: www.PrismaLLC.com

Social media channels: 



How long have you been in business?  Since February 2006 /  14 years

What do you do? 

I work with organizations who value people development as much as the bottom line to create a culture where everyone is safe to be vulnerable, creative and innovative; with educators, students and parents to utilize coaching skills so that students thrive, and with individuals who long to find and live their purpose.

Who do you serve? 

Small to medium organizations; educators, students; and individuals

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? 

Focus on enhancing your self-awareness so that you choose your path and live your purpose.

Lead your life instead of letting your life lead you!

One of my favorite quotes: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”  — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich  

December 2019 Member Spotlight

Connie Bjerk and Michelle Kitsmiller

Business name: Awakened Living, LLC

Your title/role: Connie is a Certified IntraPersonal Guided Imagery Therapist, Life and Spiritual Coach,  and Michelle is a Dr. in Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. Both are co-owners of the clinic.

Website URL: www.awakenedlivinginfusion.com 

Social media channels: Awakened Living on Facebook; Awakened Living Infusion, on podcasts

How long have you been in business? 5 years together

What do you do? Awakened Living is an integrative clinic that immerses you in your healing potential and personal growth through a network of natural therapies designed specifically for each individual. With over 30 services including acupuncture, Intra-Personal Guided Imagery Therapy, life and spiritual coaching, cupping, face reading, Biomat and a far-infrared sauna, we provide a host of opportunities to create a healing and wellness plan that fits each person’s needs, goals, desires and time.

We also offer quality products that can help facilitate physical, mental and emotional change. From Apex Energetics with its top of the line bioavailable supplementation which can help shift into or create an optimal physical environment for healing, to Floracopeia Essential Oils and Flower Essences which can elevate and move emotions and mental states for your highest good, and more.

It is our personal mission to help you attain a state of being for yourself you have not yet imagined, in all areas of your life.

Beyond our services and products, we also provide many opportunities through programs and classes that will engage you in personal growth via physical, mental, emotional and spiritual means. We are here to meet people where they are and assist them in creating a joyful experience of growth and healing.

Connie Bjerk and Michelle Kitsmiller are also cohosts of the Awakened Living Infusion Radio Show which airs Saturdays at 10:00a.m. on AM950 Radio. The shows are podcasted and can be listened to on our websiteAM950’s website, iTunes, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Location: 3601 Minnesota Dr., #825, Bloomington.

For more information, call 952-452-8583 or visit AwakenedLivingInfusion.com.

Who do you serve? Anyone who desires healing on any level for a plethora of presenting issues.  We work with pain on the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional levels through many therapies.  We help with changing current beliefs or belief systems that no longer work and help to create a new way of living and engaging the world.  So, in a nutshell, anyone who is experiencing all things human- pain, confidence issues, anxiety, fear, nutrition issues- anything we all need help with at one point or another.

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? We sometimes wait for the perfect moment to…  Now is that perfect moment! It’s just as great as any other moment, and there is no time like the present one to step into a future that may be beyond your wildest dreams!  Don’t be afraid to take that leap. There really is no failure- except failing to try. It will be worth every step and growing pain you experience. Also, reach out and ask for help, especially with things that are not in your area of expertise.  Your time is valuable, so make sure to hire someone else to do things that you’d spend precious time and energy researching without getting the results you are looking for. 

November 2019 Member Spotlight

Teresa Meschini

Business name: Famiglia Meschini and Vamos Vinos wines  (we have two wine labels)

Your title/role: President/ chief officer of chaos 

Website: www.FamigliaMeschini.com   www.VamosVinos.com

How long have you been in business? 11 years

What do you do? We produce and import wine from Argentina.  My husband who is Argentine works with his family in the production of the wine in Mendoza, Argentina.  I run the business side, market the wines to distributors in different states, promote the wines thru wine dinners and events. I am also starting to organize travel groups to Argentina to do vineyard tour and experience the culture, food and amazing wine in Mendoza, Argentina.  

Who do you serve? Anyone who enjoys wine! We sell our wine thru a local distributor to local restaurants and liquor stores. Famiglia Meschini wine is a more established brand that has been around for 11 years and Vamos Vino (Malbec in a can) is new to the market and we are excited about reaching out to a different market of younger wine drinkers. 

What’s one tip or piece of wisdom you’d share to new women entrepreneurs? I found being an entrepreneur very lonely and I was floundering by myself. I joined WEMN for the company of other women and have found it invaluable in so many ways. Having a mentor, Anita Nelson, was life changing for me. She helped us develop a new label Vamos Vino with the naming and label design. Also, I feel like checking in with other women entrepreneurs keeps me accountable. Its kind of like having a workout partner to get you to the gym. Other women business owners inspire me to be more fearless and resilient in my work. Besides, I’m social and love meeting other women and am always looking for opportunities to partner and bring other businesses up.  

Connect with Teresa’s businesses on social:

Famiglia Meschini Wines on Facebook

Famiglia Meschini Wines on Instagram

Vamos Vino on Facebook

VamosVino on Instagram