Mignon Gould – Founder, Mignon Media Q&A
Diversity in Entrepreneurship
What once began as a day of celebration turned into a week of celebration and is now a month honoring the contributions of history-making women in our society. March is Women’s History Month, and at CO+HOOTS we celebrate by highlighting women who have contributed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and have extended their hand to help other women along the way.
Mignon Gould is nothing short of a rock star in her field and takes joy from uplifting and giving other women space to live their passions. She is the founder of Mignon Media, a multimedia company focused on online publishing and content creation. It consists of a network of businesses that she founded including The Chic Spy, an online magazine; Art of Preneur, a community directory for women entrepreneurs; and FashFilmFete, a film festival celebrating fashion storytelling.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a Valley native and graduate of Arizona State University, where I studied communications. I’ve always been fascinated by the power of words, whether they be used to engage an audience or as part of storytelling. When most kids were reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” I was voraciously flipping through my mother and grandmother’s magazines, ripping out the pages and turning them into my own mini magazines. This passion eventually led me to work at the Arizona Republic and later Hearst Media Services after receiving my MFA from Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
What is the story behind your business?
My foray into online publishing began 15 years ago when I launched a style blog helping visitors find fashion they’d seen in film and on television. That led to a feature in the Arizona Republic’s Yes Style magazine and later being hired as a writer on their style team. In that position I had the opportunity to meet dynamic entrepreneurs, mostly women, who had launched businesses in fashion and beauty.
In 2007, I was inspired to transition my blog into a full-fledged style and entertainment magazine and The Chic Spy was born. I published content on that website for more than a decade. After taking a hiatus in 2017, I decided that I wanted my next venture to be one where I could make an impact. In 2019, I launched Art of Preneur with a goal to build the largest global directory of female founders and help women entrepreneurs gain media exposure and access to funding.
Have you faced any trials as a woman in your industry? If so, what were they?
One of the significant barriers to success for women entrepreneurs is financing. This was a hurdle for me as well. But this challenge empowered me to find alternate ways to financially support my ventures. I do this through Mignon Media, where I also work with clients to help them with various projects from web design to content development as well as writing articles for print and digital publications.
What motivates you to continue as an entrepreneur?
More than anything I’m motivated by a passion for what I do. It may sound cliché, but the old adage “find something you would do for free and get paid to do it” is true. When I incur obstacles—and there have been many—I always come back to why I do what I do. I enjoy storytelling and helping others share theirs, whether it’s their life story or brand story.
What is the most fulfilling part of what you do?
I’m most fulfilled when I’m working with emerging entrepreneurs looking to turn their dream into a reality. A story that comes to mind is Massachusetts-based Dierdre Horan, who reached out to me about a specialized umbrella she was developing. When she explained her concept and showed me the prototype, it was exciting to witness innovation at action. We discussed ways she could creatively launch the Dri Umbrella and get media coverage. She’s now a member of Art of Preneur.
Similarly Arizona-based Jalia Pettis, a celebrity makeup artist and Art of Preneur member, recently released a line of makeup brushes called Blnd Beauté. Another member, California-based Yin Yin Wu was awarded 2020 Best Clean Beauty Brand from Eluxe Awards for her skincare line Laloirelle. In exclusive interviews, both of these female founders shared their entrepreneur journey on Art of Preneur. Being able to promote and support businesswomen such as these, brings me joy!
What words of encouragement would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up! Every obstacle you have to overcome gets you closer to making your dream a reality.