Local business owner, Mariah Brunz, dreamed of a fellowship opportunity for entrepreneurial women in Sioux Falls that would go beyond networking or referral groups.
In February 2019, she brought her idea to life with the launch of the Facebook group, Business Woman Sioux Falls. With over 500 members and counting, the group has experienced rapid success in recent months, which she credits to its intentional curation.
While navigating a challenging time both personally and within her business, Brunz had the opportunity to attend a meeting of a small, private women’s group.
“It’s literally twelve or thirteen women who get together and get really personal about their careers, their businesses, their personal lives and how it’s all connected,” she explained.
Brunz has owned her own marketing business, Farm Fresh Content, since 2015, and she recently went through a rebranding process to shift the focus to brand stories and brand therapy.
“I have this way with people of drawing out the really personal, emotional pieces of themselves as an individual, and I take them through the brand therapy process to discover their ‘why’ and that becomes their brand story instead of a typical brand discovery session,” she said. “It starts at the root, at the very deepest part of the human behind the brand.”
Being able to hear and learn from the women in the private group was an eye-opening experience for Brunz, who says she had never experienced an environment so simultaneously vulnerable and professional.
“I became really close with everybody there through my struggles during that period,” she said. “I remember feeling so broken and stuck, and everyone surrounded me and poured their love, hard truths, and reflections into me and held me through that transition.”
Brunz says that without that experience she wouldn’t have been able to succeed in her company’s rebrand.
“After my transition, I had so much overwhelming success immediately, and I thought, ‘How do we take this concept of this women’s group and turn it into something widespread?’” Brunz said.
Thus, Business Woman Sioux Falls was born.
“I started planning right away, and I decided that in order to create a healthy culture, and not one that’s going to turn into issues or victimization, I would need a strong team of moderators so we could cultivate a culture and also filter anyone that’s verbally abusive or manipulative,” Brunz said. “The main goal is emotional safety.”
A female focus is also key because many women often don’t have extra time to go out and meet other like-minded people, according to Brunz. Business Woman Sioux Falls is geared toward fellowship and relationships, rather than resources, education, or promotion.
“It’s about women getting to find other women they can connect with, relate to, and help each other stay accountable,” Brunz said. “It’s a gathering place, and as a by-product there will be education, and resources, but that’s not the goal.”
What You Can Expect
Within the group, women can expect inspirational content covering everything from self-care, truths and questions about running and growing a business, and support for scaling and marketing, as well as everyday tips and tricks.
Brunz and her team of moderators meet on a semi-regular basis to discuss strategies and goals, as far as the types of discussions they want to encourage within the group.
This intentional strategy makes Business Woman Sioux Falls stand out from other online groups, where women can face challenges related to competition, manipulation, and jealousy. The group’s moderators are responsible for discouraging and removing toxic language or discussions.
Brunz says she was very selective when it came to choosing moderators.
“I’m good at typing people, so I found different women who had the same goals in mind,” she said. “We’ve got a business coach, a few life coaches, a consultant, a therapist, marketing business owners, a website developer, and more.”
Women in the group are encouraged to discuss questions or challenges they’re facing, from determining their worth and pricing strategies, to receiving support from their spouse or other family members.
Someday Brunz hopes to take the community she’s built beyond Facebook.
“Our next goal is getting these people together in person,” she said. “We just want women in business doing fun stuff, whether it’s movie nights, dinners, or just girls-night-out things. We live and breathe our businesses, so non-business events are important for building relationships.”
Two Things You Can Do This Week:
- Before requesting to join Business Woman Sioux Falls, ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you a woman in business in the Sioux Falls area?
- Have you been needing a positive, supportive group of women who are like-minded?
- Could you use a Facebook group that will encourage you and empower you to do even better than you already do?
- Do you want to be part of a group where you can safely share your challenges and ideas, or get an objective opinion on something?
- Request access to the group here.