Volunteering + Nonprofits


Celebrating women entrepreneurs and their successes.

Photos by Becca Sabot
Keynote speaker Thia Breen, Estée Lauder executive


How WomenVenture Works

For more than 30 years, WomenVenture has provided more than 100,000 women of all ages, cultures, races, and income levels with tools and resources to achieve economic success. WomenVenture offers microloans of up to $50,000, working capital, education, and ongoing consultation, as well as classes, networking groups, and events. Here’s a snapshot of three women entrepreneurs who have joined the WomenVenture community.

0912-Emily_200.jpgEmily Rampp,

Defiant Tattoo & Caffeine Bar,
3014 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.,

Emily Rampp, a 20-year hospitality industry veteran, came to WomenVenture because she and her partner, Keith Hieserich, a tattoo artist, wanted to create a place where people could watch the art of tattooing. “After our consultants reviewed Emily’s business plan, we provided the financial backing she needed to make it happen,” says Michael Kithcart, chief operating officer of WomenVenture. The only tattoo shop of its kind in the Midwest, Defiant Tattoo & Caffeine Bar offers five tattoo stations, a private tattoo and piercing room, and an adjoining espresso bar and outdoor patio. “It was like a hardcore two months of schooling,” says Rampp. “WomenVenture taught me a lot about how to hone my accounting skills and my business savvy.”

0912-Laura_200.jpgLaura Ooley,

Appmosphere, Inc.,
1500 Jackson St. NE, Ste. 402, Mpls.,

Five years ago, when Laura Ooley and her husband heard about a new device called the iPhone, they decided to switch the focus of their web design business to mobile application development. As demand increased, Ooley came to WomenVenture for help in growing their business. “Laura had a very specific goal in mind and a well-developed plan,” says Katy Burke, a business consultant with WomenVenture. “We helped Laura map out her strategy and provided a microloan to help expand her business.” Today, Appmosphere creates apps for all mobile devices from offices in Minneapolis, Delaware, and Texas. “WomenVenture offers a broad perspective because they help women across a variety of industries and businesses,” says Ooley.

0912-Tammy_200.jpgTammy Fischer,

Peaceful Waters Wellness Spa,
7300 Hudson Blvd., Ste. 220, Oakdale,

Spa owner Tammy Fischer has specialized in colonics for five years. Fischer came to WomenVenture because she wanted to expand her services to include a better colon hydrotherapy system and more spa treatments. “Tammy is a true pioneer with a vision to provide a service that wasn’t available in the Twin Cities,” says Katy Burke, a business consultant with WomenVenture. “We helped Tammy develop a business plan and provided financing and wraparound services.” Peaceful Waters Wellness Spa now offers the only Angel of Water colonic system in Minnesota, as well as raindrop therapy, ion cleanse, and massage therapy. “Working with WomenVenture was a good experience,” says Fischer. “I learned a lot through the whole process.”