Friday Feature: Carolyn Parrs
Our first February Friday Feature goes out to our amazing member, Carolyn Parrs! Carolyn is one of our influential women entrepreneurs working primarily out of our Capitol Hill location where she runs her Seattle and Santa Fe based brand marketing company, Mind Over Markets. Carolyn also created Women Of Green, a robust online community and news source that “turns up the volume” of the feminine voice in green. She is also the founder and creator of Women As Game Changers training, coaching and conference that is dedicated to helping transform the women who are transforming the world.
Carolyn joined our community in Novemeber 2017 after moving from Santa Fe to Seattle. She found The Riveter while meeting with The Hub Seattle's event coordinator who knew The Riveter would be the perfect fit for Sarah (you can read the story in her own words below), and we're so glad she did!
How did you hear about the Riveter?
Right after I moved to Seattle from Santa Fe, New Mexico, I started investigating where women entrepreneurs and game-changers congregate in this city. Having spent many years working with socially and environmentally-centric companies, I heard about The Hub Seattle. So, I made an appointment with Sarah, their Events Coordinator, to see the space and learn more. When I started telling Sarah about my company’s focus, 1. Women-owned business, 2. Environmental & socially focused, 3. Health & wellness, and told her about my Women As Game Changers program and the conference we had in Santa Fe the year before, she said I had to check out The Riveter! I loved that, since I so believe in collaboration over competition where everyone wins. It’s more important than ever for women to support and help each other advance in their work or business. I know historically we’ve had to fight our way to the top, often ousting other women “in our way”. Let’s end that. Let’s say “Time’s Up” on that one too. Instead let’s Get Collective because that is where our power is. Women in the USA buy 85% of the consumer products. That’s over 7 trillion dollars a year of our spending dollars. That’s unbridled economic power! If we Get Collective, I believe we can change the course we are on. It’s time to embrace our sisterhood, instead of competing with it. That’s why I love The Riveter. It’s all about that.
What are a few of your favorite things about The Riveter?
There are so many! First, their spaces are esthetically beautiful. It’s important as a branding professional to see my clients in a place that is open, beautiful, inspiring and thoughtful. The Riveter is all of these. With great care, Amy and her team created a co-working space designed with women in mind. Private breastfeeding rooms for the mothers among us, meditation and yoga spaces for body, mind and spirit breaks, tech-savvy conference rooms, photo booths, beautiful architectural design -- and the Theo Chocolate! But most of all, the community of women (and men) that buzz throughout. What’s not to love?
Tell us about yourself! Include 3 fun facts.
Three fun facts about me? I started my first business at the age of 26 and never looked back. It was a pet fashion company called Poochi. One of my favorite moments when I ran that company is when my doggie sweaters were featured in the window of Macy’s at Herald Square in NYC. This famous store is where my mom’s very first job was. That was an extra special moment. Today, I am a mother of two, Zachary and Joelle, who have flown the coop. So, I guess it’s official. I am an empty nester – except for my two dogs, Heart & Soul. And last, most people know me as a branding professional, but back in Connecticut many years ago I did energy healing work, taught meditation and yoga, and had a local cable show (in NY, NJ and CT) called Inner Journey. Some of the guests I interviewed were Jean Houston, Dr. Bernie Siegel, and Caroline Myss. I guess that’s how I ended up helping my clients get to the soul of their brand.
Tell us what you do!
I help my clients get to the soul of their brand, their true core message, so that they can connect with more customers, more deeply than ever before. A recent British study revealed that the average person switches screens 21 times an hour. I think that might be even higher in Seattle. If we don’t quickly and clearly communicate our core message when a person gets to our website, they are on to the next. My company, Mind Over Markets’ sweet spot is helping businesses and organizations get to their core message in 8 seconds. To do that, you have to dig in to your deeper “why” and your beloved customer’s deep needs or wants, so that you can connect with them authentically and clearly. I can’t tell you how many websites and marketing communications miss the boat on this. And it’s a shame, because it’s the heart of our business and if we are not communicating our message with clarity and confidence, we’re leaving money – and our mission on the table.
How can members get involved with what you do (any events)?
Yes, I am doing a number of upcoming events on “How to Get to the Soul of Your Brand”. Here they are:
- February 22, Women Business Owners luncheon, 11:30am-1:30pm
- March 15, The Riveter, Fremont, 12:30pm-1:45pm, Bring your lunch, Free
- April 19, The Riveter, Capitol Hill, 12:30pm-1:45pm, Bring your lunch, Free
What is your #1 piece of advice to women professionals / entrepreneurs.
Start and end your day with gratitude. Check out the app “The 5 minute journal” to make it real simple.
What's your perspective on success / failure?
I am creating a new relationship with success and failure. They are often seen as such polarities. Now, when my life, my business, is flowing -- meaning things are moving forward in a positive direction, it feels good in my body, my mind, and my spirit. That’s what success feels like to me. When my life, my business, feels stuck, in a downturn, chaotic or (fill in the blank), it’s still a facet of success to me now. Because it’s an indication that more awareness is needed by me, or I may not be seeing a certain perceptive, or I am locked into a mindset that isn’t working anymore. The awareness of this is a success. So “failure” is just an indication that there’s more to see or learn that might not be in my field of awareness. But as soon as it is, BAM! Things often shift, and I am back in flow again.
What is your favorite book / podcast of all time?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is still unfolding: The ongoing raising and nurturing of my two children. A couple of years ago our family had an extreme crisis that leveled all us – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Together we are coming through it. With the help of friends, my spiritual practice, and amazing helpers all the way, I am deeply in gratitude for what’s becoming my proudest accomplishment of all time. But it’s not just mine, it’s ours.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I had the chance to visit Jerusalem a number of years ago and experience the land, and stories of Jesus Christ that I grew up with. I would love to go back to that time, from a political and spiritual perspective, to to see and experience what truly unfolded, and how the making of a Messiah happened. After that, I would go even further back to the time of the Buddha and do the same thing.
What's rocking your world this month?
A project that took three years in the making is finally coming into fruition. I have spent considerable time in the environmental world helping green and sustainability-driven companies get their message right. One of my clients is the utility company of New Mexico. MOM was hired to help them market their renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Through this work, I saw the divide between the environmental and activist community (my peeps) and our utility. In response to this, I created an internal training to help the utility company understand the mind and heart of the environmentalist and community activist. I did in-depth video interviews with the activists and designed a course to bring more understanding to each side. The training will culminate in a joint community project between the utility and the environmental activists. There are always places and spaces where two opposing parties can agree. The purpose is to discover them and create increased dialogue and understand through working together, instead of apart. I can’t tell you how jazzed I am about this!
Stay tuned every Friday for a feature blog post on The Riveter members! We have amazing members in our Capitol Hill and Fremont spaces and we're excited to share their stories. #TheRiveterMembers