Women Inspiring Women Celebrates its 8th Global Event at Montclair State

The 8th annual Women Entrepreneurship Week (WEW) at Montclair State University was kicked off by cosmetics giant Bobbi Brown in conversation with friend and award-winning WNBC-TV reporter Tracie Strahan.

Brown was one of a dozen speakers who shared their stories of pivoting, as well as of failures and successes along their entrepreneurial journeys with the in-person and virtual audience. WEW is a global event, as students and attendees from 250 universities in 40 countries and 48 states participated this year, said Mimi Feliciano, a Montclair State University Advisory Board member for The Mimi & Edwin Feliciano School of Business and board member of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (FCE&I), which hosted the event.

“Women Entrepreneurship Week 2021 was our biggest year ever,” said Liz Rich, FCE&I acting director. “Our event was exceptional and brought together really inspirational, creative, and powerful female founders from all walks of life and backgrounds, in a shared sense of celebration and community.”

WEW was created in 2014 by FCE&I as a way to nurture, inspire, and energize female founders around the world. This year’s theme centered on the pivots many women entrepreneurs had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last 19 months, we have all been yearning for a sense of connection, and I think that for a few hours on Wednesday we all really felt that we were part of something bigger that was really special,” said Rich. “I cannot say enough about how amazing the speakers were, not only in sharing their stories, but also showing some true vulnerability. It was really heartwarming to see how everyone showed up to help one another, share their insights and wisdom, and to ultimately propel us all forward — together as a community.”

A former makeup artist who founded a cosmetics empire, Brown told the audience she’s known for her success in the cosmetics world, but that she’s also had failures. She noted that she launched other brands that didn’t work out.

“I had an eyeglass line that was amazing that I had to walk away from,” she said. “When things go bad, and they do, it’s up to you what you do.”

Brown, who holds an honorary doctorate from Montclair State and whose latest cosmetics venture Jones Road opens soon in Montclair, said “It’s all in your attitude. Be positive.”

For those who missed the event or livestream, it is available on the Center’s YouTube channel.