In the past couple of decades or so women equality, women rights, women in business and women badassness has become a gigantic global movement. Currently at the time of this write-up Senator Hillary Clinton is a serious contender for the role of President of the United States of America. A couple of weeks ago Taiwan elected their first female president. In fact, around the world there are 19 world leaders that are women and 10 of them are their country’s first. 23 of the CEOs for Fortune 500 companies are women, which includes General Motors, HP, IBM and Pepsi. Though all of this is awesome, women are still treated quite unfairly in the business world despite displaying their ability to match and exceed their male counterparts. On average in The USA women earn $0.78 for every $1.00 that a man earns. Though there are many laws that prohibit this practice, it is still commonly exercised.
Chiara Mazzucco, a Californian who currently lives just outside of the Big Apple is the founder of women empowerment sites BoldSelf.com and TheIndieChicks.com. Originally from Milan, Italy Chiara moved to Los Angeles when she was just a young girl. She describes moving to LA as quite the culture shock. Daughter to a model and a film maker, Chiara’s family moved to LA to be closer to Hollywood and all of the financial benefits that come along with having the epicenter of your industry in the backyard.
Chiara loved growing up in LA and though she is living near The Big City of Dreams she misses The City of Angels, dearly. Easy access to the beach and the diverse population are just some of the many things that she loved. I’m sure, based on my experience as a transplant in California, she misses the California style Mexican food aka burritos, as well. But that’s just a hunch.
When Chiara was applying for college, her experience was one that can only be described as unique and awesome. When she told her father that she was going to apply to college he asked, “Why the f*ck would you do that?!” Which he followed up with, “if you want to go learn something, you learn it yourself, you don’t have to go $300,000 in debt to do it.”
“It’s not an entrepreneurial spirit that I had, but it was an independent spirit that lead me to be an entrepreneur.”
Despite the advice, Chiara did attend college in San Francisco for a brief period of time. Instead of being focused on a particular degree she took classes that she was most interested in and did incredibly well. After two years she decided to return home and continue her self-education but this time off of campus. While back at home bartending and the LA nightlife became priority for a few years, which Chiara grew to know well. One day, with a desire to seek the next chapter in her life Ms. Mazzucco bought a one-way ticket to Italy with plans of backpacking for several months.
The next chapter in her life came in a different form than she anticipated. Just two days later she met the man who became her husband. She canceled her trip, got a local job and began her relationship and blogging. The majority of her content was about relationships, which was a subject that she began to really enjoy the psychology behind. While designing other blogger’s platforms on the side, Chiara began to write her first book, which she self published in 2011 called The 9 Mirages of Love. Getting paid for giving your opinion is special thing and Chiara was ready to give more.
Clearly there was a need for relationship advice in the world. Chiara’s book and blog were both very successful. In a move to take things a little further, Chiara decided that it was time to shift the focus of her content. “I’m not here to talk about your boyfriend, let’s talk about you.” A shift in focus that is more about self worth, self-reliance, entrepreneurship and motivation. A one-stop shop for the modern woman: TheIndieChicks.com.
In May of 2012 Chiara launched TheIndieChicks.com and when she did the concept really took off. She had already created a platform in which had a following that she could market the new site to and was a seasoned blogger as well. One of the many bloggers she had met through the online community was Julie Zantopoulos. In the past they had shared best practices with one another and each other’s content with their viewers. Indie Chicks started to get so much traction and emails from the readers that it was time for Chiara to bring on an additional team member. It was only natural for her to tap Julie to join in on her next adventure with developing Indie Chicks.
Chiara’s main goal for starting Indie Chicks was to change the way that women look at themselves. To really make a shift from the common rhetoric of: “How to be a better girlfriend”, to “How to be a revolutionary”. For those who wonder how they too can create a website but lack the technical skills to develop one, “The tools for anyone that wants to start a website at this point, are out there for anyone. They are out there for anyone to use. Whether you want to build something from scratch or you want to build on something that someone else has designed, it’s out there”.
A few years ago Chiara’s parents moved back to Italy. Her, her then-husband and son moved to New York to be closer to family. She says that the move has made a positive impact on her, by being around other hard working entrepreneurs. Chiara did admit to admiring those who have figured out that fine balance between work and play, the entrepreneurs who do not overwork themselves. At the time that I spoke with Chiara, TheIndieChicks.com was attracting over 500,000 visitors a month and ultimately companies interested in advertising to her readers. Which, in the blogosphere is a huge accomplishment.
What was the most impactful moment that made you prepared to an entrepreneur, to be independent and not be afraid to be independent?
“It wasn’t necessarily a moment for me in general, for it was more of a build up. When I was hitting rock bottom in my relationship and I realized I didn’t have that hole that I could crawl into…I realized that I hadn’t shielded anything for myself. When I decided to turn this into a business as oppose to just a hobby was the moment I realized that, I wanted to leave something behind. I wanted something to be proud of. I loved to create and I had stopped creating.”
Chiara’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
“Always move forward but when things get tough and you feel like things aren’t going the way that you want them to, this may sound contradictive to most things you’ll hear. But, don’t do anything. Take a step back and really analyze what you should do before you make a decision. As entrepreneurs we always want to move forward and sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward.”
“Stepping back from the situation gives you the perfect view”. – Jay-Z
In the beginning of 2016 Chiara launched her latest project BoldSelf.com which is the evolution of her mission to empower women in life, business and every other aspect.