As many of you know, Jimmy Beans Wool has had an exceptional last couple of years. Our head knitter and fearless leader, Laura Zander, has been a driving force in the needlearts industry, continuously pushing the boundaries of what everyone thought was possible for a local yarn shop.
So it's no surprise that Laura (through Jimmy Beans Wool) was selected as 1 of 10 exceptional U.S. women to be part of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. Launched in 2008, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program identifies and connects a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs with the advisers, resources and insights they need to scale up and become market leaders. The program is geared towards helping women spur growth in their businesses through a year long mentoring program. As a part of the program, Laura was sent to the 5 day Strategic Growth Forum (which happened last month!) alongside such people as Michael Dell, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky and the owners of businesses like 1-800-Flowers, Diapers.com, Vera Bradley, Home Shopping Network, Shutterfly, and Staples.
Here's what Laura had to say!
“I am absolutely honored to be part of this tremendous group of women. I am confident that this program will be the catalyst by which our business will grow to its full potential. Through Winning Women, I’ve already made fantastic connections and been mentored in areas that will help grow our business exponentially. And the exciting thing is, this program will not only help with our business, but it will also thrust the yarn industry into mainstream attention.”
She's not the only person excited about this unique opportunity. “Laura is an exceptional business leader with great potential to scale her company, and we are pleased to honor her as one of this year’s winners,” said Herb Engert, America's Strategic Growth Markets Leader for Ernst & Young LLP. “Women entrepreneurs are among the brightest spots in the economy, continuing to successfully grow their companies despite the volatile market. They will be important contributors as we look to get our economy back on track.”
Dubbed by Forbes.com as one of the "Seven Get-Ahead Executive Retreats," the Strategic Growth Forum brought together more than 2,100 of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to share growth strategies. The Winning Women were introduced at a special luncheon induction ceremony at the Strategic Growth Forum and were provided with numerous opportunities to network throughout the conference with successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors who can act as formal or informal advisers, provide access to capital and extend their extensive business relationships to the Winning Women.
Thanks to you, Jimmy Beans Wool is a market leader in the multi-billion dollar needle arts industry, selling yarn, fabric and knitting and crochet products.
Fun stuff, right? Anyway, we’re really hoping that this program will provide us with some tools to push Stitch Red, Beans for Brains, and Stitch Mountain (more on that later) farther into the mainstream – and draw attention to the yarn industry as a whole.
And we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you for your tremendous support and we hope to keep providing you with the best customer service, the best products, and the fastest shipping available!
Bethany and the JBW team