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Hidden Gems: Meet Mignon Gould of Art of Preneur

Hi Mignon, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I studied communications at Arizona State University. I arrived at my current path by way of the Arizona Republic newspaper. In 2008 I was writing for their weekly style publication and some of their monthly magazines. One of my beats was interviewing local entrepreneurs who were designers or boutique owners. It was exciting to discover so much local talent. Meanwhile, I had my own online publication, The Chic Spy, a style and entertainment magazine. I was able to be more creative with the content I created, so I decided to invest more time in growing the website’s visibility. It was tough but professionally rewarding. At its peak, the website had more than 100,000 unique monthly visitors and featured interviews with celebrities such as Emma Stone, Selma Hayek, Octavia Spencer and Jodi Foster. After ten years, I archived the website. I loved, and missed, being an online publisher and knew I had to create another publication. But this time, I wanted to create a platform that would help women entrepreneurs. After archiving The Chic Spy, women entrepreneurs I had previously worked with or featured reached out to me for advice and support. I saw an opportunity to help others, and the Art of Preneur was born. My primary goal for the platform is to help women-owned businesses gain exposure, as well as help underrepresented and underserved female founders—especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color—have access to the tools and resources they need to promote their business and grow brand visibility.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Entrepreneurs wear many hats. Along the way I have made many mistakes, but I have learned from them. I want to share what I have learned with other entrepreneurs so that their journey might be a little bit easier than mine. That is one reason we are providing downloadable resources as part of the membership. A significant struggle that I have encountered as an entrepreneur is funding. To address this concern, I launched Mignon Media, where I work with clients on content strategy, design and digital marketing. Besides being a source of income through consulting work, it also serves as the parent company of The Chic Spy and Art of Preneur. In discussions with other women entrepreneurs, I have discovered this is a common challenge. According to a January 2019 Fortune Magazine article, only 2.2% of venture capital funding went to women in 2018. The statistics are staggering. Another pain point is getting media exposure. With a journalism background, I have been able to successfully navigate that area and have been featured in publications such as Forbes.com, TeenVogue.com and Phoenix New Times. But for many female founders, this is still an obstacle. It is an area that I will be working diligently to assist members with because more media exposure can lead to more customers, and potentially pique the interest of investors.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Art of Preneur?
Art of Preneur is not only a searchable directory where investors and members of the press can discover female founders and their businesses, but we also offer members monthly downloadable resources, the opportunity to be interviewed and featured in our online magazine and a community for networking and collaborations. Building a network of fellow entrepreneurs is essential for success. We encourage collaborations. For example, one of our members is a jewelry designer. We were able to connect her with a Hollywood costume stylist we interviewed to potentially have the jeweler’s products featured in a film or TV show that the stylist works on. I also collaborate with other entrepreneurs. My first collaboration is with BRANDTINI, a branding academy specializing in microlearning (TINI) courses for entrepreneurs and small to mid-size business owners, founded by master brand strategist Robin Bramman. We are partnering on the Fierce Founder Holiday Bundle including an Art of Preneur one-year membership and signature tote bag, and the BRANDTINI “5 Steps to Brand and Media Utopia” course with a mini cocktail kit–without alcohol, of course. Art of Preneur membership levels include a free introductory membership–we don’t want anyone to be excluded because of cost–as well as quarterly and annual paid options. All levels have access to downloadable resources. Additional benefits are in the works including a grant program.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I’m most happy when I know that my actions result in a positive impact–whether it be with family, friends, colleagues or someone I’ve never met. I try to live life with a pay-it-forward mindset.

Pricing:

  • Introductory Membership: Free
  • PREMIUM Quarterly Membership: $45
  • PREMIUM Annual Membership: $120
  • Fierce Founder Holiday Bundle ($737 value): $279

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Mignon A. Gould

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