Our premiere Women in the Business interview! Here you will find articles about women in businesses associated with boating. Our first interviewees are Natalie Leeke and Debbie Hanson of B’ASS Fisherwomen, a business aimed at women interested in fishing.
What made you decide to start www.Bassfisherwomen.com?
We both loved fishing and when we weren’t fishing, we loved finding cool stuff about fishing and sharing it with each other. We also noticed a considerable lack of good clothing and gear specifically made for women. Both being online marketing pro’s, we naturally leveraged our skills to create a forum to reach that market and create opportunities for ourselves or others to start producing and promoting those products.
What is B’ASS Fisher Women’s mission?
To empower women to fish. We want to share the fun, friendship and confidence we have experienced through the love of fishing. We strive to inspire women to experience it for themselves and give them the tools they need to be B’ASS fisherwomen too!
What were some of the hurdles you overcame in starting your business?
Creating the time for it. Keeping up with our blog on top of each running our own businesses.
Confidence. Even though we have been surprised by the encouragement and support we have received, it can be intimidating at times to hold our own in a room full of old salts.
Getting other women to fish. Interest is high, but excuses are plentiful.
Finding time to fish. Once a week is just not enough!
What areas of the business were easier than you expected?
Creating content about fishing for our web site: We love it and it’s such a vast industry, so it’s no problem!
Gathering support from the men in our industry: We’ve gained so much from the men who have encouraged us, taught us and taken us fishing. The men we meet now in the fishing business are authentically excited and very supportive of our mission to empower women to fish.
What advice would you give to other women pursuing a business in a previously male-dominated sport?
Don’t assume that the men in your industry are all looking for trade-show bunnies or supermodels. A smart business man knows the value of a woman with a good knowledge-base and passion for her sport.
Don’t be intimidated. Even if you are not tops in your sport, women have a unique perspective that can be very valuable in business. If you’re in a male-dominated industry, use that to your advantage and market your female perspective.
Abide by the code. Every sport has a tradition. Showing that you know the unwritten rules and respect them will help men feel more secure about letting you, as a woman, into the inner circle.
Never stop learning. Everyone you meet in your sport has something to offer, whether male or female. Learn from them.