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On April 30, 2017, I participated in a panel discussion at Studio 52 hosted by The Spectrum Circle featuring women in the District who are are considered to be leaders and innovators in the creative space.

The Spectrum Circle, founded by Karen Alston, is a “platform, a community and a movement” that hosts quarterly panel series of women innovators who connect and share professional and personal experiences through honest conversations to educate and inform about their life journey.

During this event, each business owner shared their stories of how they launched products and services in DC, as well as thoughts and opinions about the ever changing creative marketplace. Panelists were asked, “Just how accepting is the DC region to creative businesses? Can DC ever be known as a creative powerhouse?” At the end of our discussion, we determined that DC is definitely a place where creative entrepreneurs can thrive.

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Melanie Gamble, Owner at RE/MAX Supreme 

The Moderator

Melanie Gamble, Owner at RE/MAX Supreme. Melanie has nearly 15 years of proven experience helping clients sell and buy homes in Maryland and the Washington, DC area. She has been recognized as a top-producing RE/MAX real estate agent and has been honored by her inclusion in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.

Julie Weber, Chief Marketing Officer & Principal at Brllnt

My Fellow Panelists

Julie Weber, Chief Marketing Officer & Principal at Brllnt. Julie formerly led marketing and communications efforts at the Washington DC Economic Partnership, which included the development and launch of the WeDC campaign at South by Southwest®.

Tori Soudan, a Boss-Babe Shoe Curator and Founder of the Tori Soudan Collection. I’m going to make it my mission to get in Tori’s ear to find out if she can make a pair of vegan leather shoes for me.

Sabrina Hare, Sugar Artist and Founder of Couture Cakes by Sabrina. Sabrina created Omarosa’s wedding cake. Ms. Hare shared a very transparent story about how she was able to recover from a mistake she made early on in her business, and how she adjusted accordingly to become the amazing businesswoman that she is today.

Meka Mathis, Founder of Skin Beauty Bar DC. Meka shared how she handles competition in the spa industry, and how she dealt with a competitor who copied her website nearly line-by-line!

Sugar Taylor + Nar Hovanian, Founders of Taylor & Hov. Sugar and Nar provided a unique perspective about what it’s like to have a business partner, and drove home that women entrepreneurs should focus on “completing, not competing. Sugar advised the crowd, “Don’t follow the trends. Do what’s next.”

Me explaining how a blog can operate as a business.

I shared with the audience numerous ways bloggers can monetize their website and corresponding social media channels before they even launch a tangible product. 

These creative entrepreneurs utilize their gifts + talents to provide products and services to DC area residents @spectrumcircle Click To Tweet

Wrapping up the panel discussion.
Julie Weber of Brllnt, Tori Soudan of Tori Soudan Collection, Sabrina Hare of Couture Cakes by Sabrina, Melanie Gamble – Owner at RE/MAX Supreme, Meka Mathis of Skin Beauty Bar DC, Sugar Taylor + Nar Hovanian of Taylor & Hov


I love wearing dark colors during any time of the year. I opted for a burgundy jumpsuit for this speaking engagement.

100% Pure Lipstick in “Aubergine”
“Mila” Jumpsuit from Anthropologie

Below is the jumpsuit I wore, along with a few similar options.

Things truly came full “circle” for me on this panel. This time last year, I was emailing Karen (not knowing her from Adam!), asking for a discounted ticket to attend the first ever The Spectrum Circle Awards. Fast forward to today, here I am. She is truly a woman who supports other women. Moral of the story? A lot can happen in a year. Stay encouraged. Thank you Karen for this wonderful opportunity. 

Stay tuned for the next The Spectrum Circle panel which will be held on July 19, 2017.

♡ Chelsea

Photo Credit: The Spectrum CircleWillPowerPhotos