Women turning passions into successful businesses that benefit the community:

Julie Cook, Founder and CEO of AEC Marketing, provides various services from branding and website design to proposal production and interview coaching – AEC Marketing is doing it all! Julie has 14 years of industry experience after earning her B.S. in Textile Chemistry and MBA from UNC Wilmington. Her background in Textile Chemistry gives her insight into the technical components of her clients, but continuing to keep a business mindset.

Their mission is to help professional services firms grow revenue through the marketing period. While AEC Marketing wears many hats, one thing they have been focusing on is helping clients secure work coming out of the ARPA funding. Be sure to check her out for any marketing needs! 

Alexus Rhone, Founder of Truth Meet Story, LLC provides coaching to those who want to tell their stories powerfully and authentically. Alexus Rhone shows participants how to choose, hone, and tell stories to the right audience.

On September 21st, Alexus hosted an amazing event at the Raleigh Founded Warehouse location titled “Jesus, Jazz, & Dessert Wine.” This event was a live adult-storytelling series focusing on “Faith, Philosophy, & the mental health of Black Americans.” Not only was there live storytelling, but also featured a musical tribute to Nina Simone. Jesus, Jazz, and Dessert Wine was a sold out event, so make sure to follow her to stay informed on future events.

Elizabeth Schneider, Owner of Wine for Normal People, generously sharing her love and knowledge of wine with the rest of us! 

Elizabeth started a Wine for Normal People podcast in 2011 when researching and trying to learn about wine led to her being fed up, not being able to find clear, easy to understand information. It has 8 million+ downloads and shares accessible and relatable wine information. Be sure to check it out anywhere you can get a podcast.

Elizabeth also hosts virtual wine classes which she describes as “like the podcast brought to you live and online”. The goal of the class is to get you excited and comfortable with wine, while surrounded by cool people. Her next two Focus Classes will take place on October 15th and October 27th. Be sure to sign up! 

Over the last decade Elizabeth has conducted more than 400 successful public speaking events located from New York to Napa. She speaks to groups of 10 to 300, but always with humor and enthusiasm. 

If you are looking for explanations of wine vocabulary, a trip around the wine world, and practical advice on how to shop for wine, check out the Wine for Normal People book. You can find it at Target, Indie Bound, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Waterstones!

Caroline Makepeace, Co-founder of Y Travel Media. Caroline and her family have the itch to travel and have been doing so nomadically for 22 years. The Makepeace family shares what they have learned enriches a trip and how to go about planning one.

Caroline and her husband, Craig, describe themselves as “serial travel addicts.” They traveled from the Central Coast of Australia to live in North Carolina, but call the world their home. Now having lived in 5 different countries, they prefer enriching cultural experiences over counting countries. 

Her and her family’s main goal is to collect memories not possessions, creating memories with their two daughters and sharing their experiences in order to guide you towards making the trip happen.

Jess Porta, with Jess Porta Art. Jess Porta decided to make sure every child, from any background, has a happy story that they can read and relate to. When she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to write it herself. Her most current story “Mom and Mom and Me,” features two moms raising a child. Jess has plans to expand into a series featuring a foster family, a parent with disabilities, and a sibling with developmental disabilities. 

Jess Porta is also the Chief Impact Officer of Founded Communities.