Introducing Amanda: Our First Women Entrepreneur of the Week

Meet Amanda Hofman, founder of the Urban Girl Squad, a social group for women in their 20s and 30s who love to try new things, spend time with friends, and meet new people in New York City.

What inspired you to start your own business
It was a combination of two things.  First, I wasn’t happy in my corporate jobs, and I couldn’t think of a role I wanted within the corporations where I worked.  All of my jobs felt like dead-ends because I didn’t want to move up in management, so I felt stuck.  The second part is that I absolutely love connecting people and resources, and I wanted to create a system so that people could meet each other easily.  I started Urban Girl Squad on the side while I was at my full-time job as an experiment to see if the idea would be successful. As Urban Girl Squad grew and I saw clearly that entrepreneurship was a great match for my personality and needs, I began to work on Urban Girl Squad as a business full time.

What was the most exciting aspect of starting your own business?

Without question, it is seeing people who believe in your business idea.  Every time someone buys your product or service, it is a validation that what you’re doing is valuable and necessary to your target audience. It’s pretty amazing and rewarding to see a crowd of women at my events, even now that I’ve been running the group for 2 years.

Where is the most interesting place your business has ever taken you?
That would be, without a doubt, the West Side Pistol Range in NYC.  Before starting Urban Girl Squad, I had never touched a gun or thought about going into a range.  But as Urban Girl Squad grew, I began thinking out of the box for events and decided that giving women the opportunity to shoot guns in NYC would be pretty awesome.  I went to check it out, and was definitely out of my comfort zone!  As it turns out, the gun range events are my most popular.  I’ve now brought 100 women into the range, many of whom had never touched or shot a gun in their lives.

What is the best lesson you could give a young women who wants to start her own business?
I would advise starting slow.  It’s important to test your concept while you have income from another source so that you can be honest with yourself about whether your business is working. Also, if you’re desperate to make money, you may make decisions that derail you from your original values or vision for the business.  The best thing about starting slow, though, is that you can see if entrepreneurship is right for you.  It’s a very demanding lifestyle that has great benefits and great drawbacks. Each person needs to evaluate if it’s right for her!

What was the best compliment you have ever received about your business or your business efforts?
Sometimes people accidentally reply to my Urban Girl Squad marketing e-mails instead of forwarding to their friends, and they write messages to their friends about how excited they are about one of my events. Those e-mails make me so happy because these women aren’t my friends telling me I’m doing a good job– they are random customers who love what we’re doing with Urban Girl Squad.  And that’s the best compliment of all!

Amanda Hofman

Founder and CEO of Urban Girl Squad


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