Supporting women business owners
Five years ago, Angela Fach was a broke, homeless and divorced mom of an infant and a toddler.
Today, she runs two businesses, and is the founder of Canton Girl Gang, a new business networking organization dedicated to support women to launch and run a business.
“The idea is forming a collective and a network as a support system,” she said.
One of Fach’s earliest supporters is Alyssa Brady, who became a Realtor with DeHoff Reality three years ago.
“One of the biggest goals is to support each other,” Brady said. “There’s a belief that women tend to have a competitive mindset. We want everybody to succeed.”
Fach and Brady said that, in addition to all the inherent challenges entrepreneurs face, women also often have to juggle family life.
Canton Girl Gang, they said, is designed to encourage and empower them.
“I don’t have a family support system,” said Fach, whose sons are now 9 and 7. “Having businesses that I manage, with small children is very difficult. But my kids come first. I know other moms are going through the same thing.”
“Working moms are a common narrative,” Brady added.
Fach, owner of Angela Fach Photography and Universal Architect Clothing, said Canton Girl Gang also is designed to showcase women business owners who might not otherwise garner attention.
She and Brady said the organization’s first networking event last June drew 400 people, adding that participants donated food, drinks and 100 gift baskets for giveaways.
“Everybody’s participation made it possible,” Fach added.
“It took off quickly,” Brady said. “We have businesses contacting us all the time to get involved. We’re aiming to provide the community with quality events for women.”
The organization hosted a speaking event at Hercules Apartments, and is hosting another mixer on March 28 at Paper Twigs, which in turn, helps people to become more aware of the business.
“There are a lot of amazing women out there,” Fach said. “ I feel like people don’t know about them. There’s so much talent in Canton.”
Fach, who previously worked in advertising for 20 years, said she’s been surprised at the response to Canton Girl Gang, which now has T-shirts and mugs that she designed.
“Everybody has been so excited about it,” she said.
“We’ve been tasked with creating our own support group,” Brady said.
Both women said they have taken what they’ve learned from their past jobs and applied it to Canton Girl Gang—both the positive and the negative.
“I have a business model I have created to help first-time homebuyers, particularly single moms, get on the track to financial independence,” Brady said.
“The biggest thing for me is I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur, even though I enjoyed doing what I did,” Fach said.
Reflecting on her past struggles, Fach said, “I looked in the rear-view mirror of my car at my 5-month-old and 2 year-old, and said ‘I can’t give up.’ ”
“It was very hard,” she continued. “It has its challenges. Owning your own business, you have to constantly battle. But the one thing I realized is that no one can take your heart and passion and desire; that I can create this life. It was a big turning point.”
Both women have advice for aspiring business owners.
“Talk to someone,” Fach said. “I had no money; I know what it’s like. But it’s possible. The biggest question is, how badly do you want it?”
“Make connections,” Brady advised. “You’d be surprised at who’s willing to help you. If you have any hesitation about coming to a Canton Girl Gang event, just come. You’ll be surprised.”
“We want everybody at every level, at any stage of the game,” Fach said. “We want to make an impact on Canton.”
Visit Canton Girl Gang on Facebook and Instagram.