The Big Reach: Amy Woolf
Amy Woolf has a passion for helping women in business learn what it takes to succeed. She won’t coddle them through a growth process, though. They have to want it.
As firm as she is compassionate, Amy has standards, and it’s not like her to settle for less than what she thinks should be offered up in any given situation – with her mentees or with clients.
In Amy’s mind, mentoring women is a gift she gives back in gratitude for what she herself has learned about being a woman in business here in the Pioneer Valley.
A color consultant who moved her business from Florida to Northampton in 2008, Amy said she was originally “a stay-at-home mom who was pursuing a trade.” She says she didn’t really know how to manage or grow her business.
Then she joined the Women Business Owners Alliance (WBOA), which meets monthly in Holyoke and has 131 members in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
Led by a volunteer president and a 16-member board of directors, WBOA offers a variety of monthly business and professional development opportunities geared towards helping women reach their business goals.
In addition to its events, the group offers resources, ideas, continuing education opportunities and even loans to members who qualify. Its motto is, “It’s your business. Don’t grow it alone!”
Amy is at the center of the organization, having served in various roles on and off the board; currently, she is WBOA’s creative director. She is one of the reasons women don’t have to grow their businesses alone.
If you’ve been to a meeting of the WBOA, you will know Amy as she wears her profession well: She is colorful, often adorned with bright, stylish blouses and scarves, and she is usually at the table at the front of the room, or hustling all around the room.
She says she is very grateful to WBOA for the resources and education it’s offered her – not to mention the connections with other women.
“I surrounded myself with other women business owners, and I started to really understand what it meant to see myself as a business owner,” says Amy. “I was good at color. I’ve been good at color for a long time. I’ve only been good at being a business owner since joining WBOA.”
Each of the morning monthly WBOA meetings features a speaker, and after each meeting, Woolf said she takes home concrete, measurable action steps that help her develop as a business owner, such as knowledge on delving into social media.
“I come away from every meeting with an idea,” adds Woolf. “I don’t think I’d have a viable business without WBOA. I think I’d still be somebody working from her kitchen table.”
Woolf particularly enjoys when opportunities arise for WBOA members to collaborate on projects together and learn “on-the-job” from one another. She has been part of several such projects in which multiple members came together on a project that one oversaw.
Amy also has her hand in a good deal of what WBOA puts out to the world in terms of its marketing. This year, she has worked closely on the organization’s enewsletter, and so you can be sure that piece has improved.
Amy is a giver, a teacher and a role model not to be underestimated. Learn more about her work with color here (http://www.awcolor.com/), and learn more about WBOA here. (http://www.wboa.org/).