These women mean business. Smarty, an L.A.-based network, has recently launched in San Diego to inspire and connect dynamic women in the business world. Prudential real estate agent Priscilla Wood and Elise Muhawi of Datron World Communications are the San Diego leaders of Smarty, founded in 2008 by Amy Swift-Crosby, former editor-in-chief of Ladies Who Launch. “Building and sustaining relationships are key to business growth,” says Wood. “Smarty events provide opportunities to connect with like-minded, positive-thinking entrepreneurial women, who live their lives with passion and purpose.”
At the April kick-off event at Madison Gallery in La Jolla, gallery owner Lorna York spoke of her early days as the owner of a Boston gallery — a business that literally went bust after the water pipes froze and burst. But York says the experience taught her problem solving and strengthened her resolve to become an art dealer. After opening dozens of galleries for a fine art chain, York became her own boss, founding a gallery (named after her daughter) on Prospect in La Jolla. Her advice for other business women: find a mentor, make lists, keep an eye on revenue, trust yourself, be clear on your vision, and surround yourself with those who share your dream.
Smarty also sponsors courses, tutorials, workshops, and monthly “Smart Conversations” with women entrepreneurs like Bibi Kasrai, a Harvard MBA who turned her passion for cooking into a successful business, the Harvard Cookie Girl, offering after-school enrichment programs, corporate team building, and girls’ nights out. Smarty’s next event is in Kasrai’s La Jolla cooking studio on June 14 at 6:30pm. (760/777-2696, www.smartypeople.com) ANDREA NAVERSEN