- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On April 12, 2013
- asheville, at the helm, at the helm women in biz, at the helm women in business, battery park book exchange, networking
Background: In 2011, I created a conference called At the Helm: Women in Biz. Cut to 2013 – At the Helm has grown into a series of events with a national reach. In addition to the 3rd annual Los Angeles ATH conference, there will also be a conference in New York and Community Events leading up to the two fall conferences. Asheville was stop #1.
After falling in love with Asheville (which will get a separate dedicated post), I was excited about doing not only the first At the Helm event of the year, but also my first event in another state!
Since the purpose of At the Helm (and my networking group) is to support small business, I do my best to use local small businesses as venues. Practice what you preach, right? Brandi Holmes of GenYus suggested a place she visited in Asheville called Battery Park Book Exchange. All she could remember was that they had books and champagne. That’s really all I needed to know. After my Asheville Ambassador Desiree Adaway confirmed that it was a great spot, I was even more excited about how easily everything was coming together.
Battery Park is a fantastic location with THOUSANDS of books and it’s set up unlike any bookstore I’ve been in. You wind your way through sections of books and cozy seating areas. ATH Asheville took over the “Middle Earth” area and we had a great time.
As we sipped drinks and noshed on snacks (the trout dip and hummus were popular), we talked about the ups and down of doing business in Asheville. Though our group was diverse – coaches, marketers, organizers, consultants, designers, farmers…yes, farmers – common threads soon rose to the surface. Most women agreed that Asheville fosters a collaborative environment for small business owners – its like the community wants you to succeed (how great is that?). In terms of challenges, many women brought up the issue of bartering, which lead to a discussion about how to handle barter requests and discounts, and the importance of charging what you’re worth.
Great connections were made and I hope the relationships deepen and continue. I know I can’t wait to go back there.
Thanks to all of the wonderful women of Asheville, NC who attended and thanks again to my fantastic Ambassador, Desiree Adaway!
NEXT STOP: San Francisco!
Want to attend an At the Helm event in your neck of the woods? Check our 2013 lineup and sign up to get notified of date announcements: http://www.atthehelm.co