WomxnEntrepreneurs:How to grow and launch a creative business

Friday / September 25 / 11:30 AM


As womxn starting small businesses in the creative industry, we’re always seeking agile and growth-oriented strategies when launching and growing our brands. This event will bring together a range of womxn who will share the advice they’ve learned from their ventures. Whether you’re still figuring out how to quit your day job or already bringing on more staff, this event is for you.

And make sure you can join on time! Before our panel discussion, we’ll kick off the event with some open networking time.

Topics will include:

  • Best practices on launching a business
  • Growing a sustainable, mission-driven brand
  • Responding to obstacles and barriers

Not only will participants get the chance to hear from speakers at different stages of launching their own businesses, this event will create space for networking and peer learning. Come prepared for an insightful conversation and helpful takeaways.


Date & Time

Friday, September 25

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM




Mikea Hugley

Founder and CEO of Makers for Humankind

She | Her | Hers

Mikea has about 12 years’ experience in Graphic Design and received her BFA degree in Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2019. Hugley’s graphic design work has been featured in USA Today, Vanity Fair, Baltimore Times, Washington Informer, Afro Times and the LA times. Hugley has worked on projects for Ford Motor Company, Johns Hopkins and countless other businesses. While also being featured in Bmore Art and Technical.ly Baltimore for her footwear brand. Aside from her entrepreneurial venture, Hugley teaches art and design at Baltimore County Public Schools. Hugley has also been a recipient of numerous awards including: AIGADC World Studio scholarship and most recently winning the top prize $29,750 at MICA Up/start pitch competition for her footwear venture.


Amanda Ghobandi

CEO of The Branding Babe

She | Her | Hers

Amanda Ghobadi is the CEO of The Branding Babe, a Washington, DC brand strategy and photography studio catering to female entrepreneurs. Amanda utilizes her background in graphic design and creative writing in her strategic coaching sessions with clients, in addition to planning her client photo sessions. Her mission is to help empowering women of all backgrounds translate their passion & purpose into images that connect & inspire. Her ultimate goal to create a better world through beautiful images that encourage communities of women to reach their true potential. You can learn more about Amanda and her work at brandingbabephotography.com.


Elise Crawford

Founder & CEO, RINGLET

She | Her | Hers

Elise Crawford Gallagher is the Founder and CEO of RINGLET, a digital marketing agency for women owned businesses based in Washington, DC. Elise graduated with her Masters in Communication from Johns Hopkins University in 2014 with concentrations in digital marketing and public relations. With a desire to create more resources for women entrepreneurs in the DC., Elise started RINGLET in mid-2016.


Jess Washington

Branding and Creative Strategist

She | Her | Hers

With 7+ years of digital marketing experience and a perpetual creative itch, Jess Washington helps small businesses, organizations, and content creators meaningfully connect with their audience in ways that boost revenue and build loyalty.

Her projects typically involve helping clients leverage storytelling to build their brand, improve their online presence, and amplify their content marketing strategy. She also shares best practices, tips, and tutorials on thriving on your journey as CEO of Your Own Life on YouTube.


Platform and Prerequisites

This event will be streamed via Zoom. In order to participate fully, attendees should plan to join on the Zoom app via their computer, tablet, or mobile device with enough bandwidth to support viewing video. In order to ensure only those who have registered for the event are able to attend — and to create space for intimate conversations — only those whose display name fully matches the name on our registration list will be admitted from the waiting room. You can find more about joining our virtual events, including how to connect, directions to troubleshoot, and information about our refund policy in our FAQ.

This event will kick-off with a networking session. While not mandatory, we highly encourage participants to join with video enabled for at least this initial portion.

Accessibility and Accommodations

All DCDW events will have real-time CART (live captioning) services. If you need any additional accommodations, please contact us before 9/14 by, through the provided Google Form, or by phone. We honor your privacy and no personally identifying information (e.g. your name) is required to request an accommodation.

  • Request an accommodation through this Google Form
  • Email us at accessibility@dc.aiga.org.
  • Call our Accessibility Lead, Josh Kim, by phone at 571-302-1504

You can learn more about how we’re making DC Design Week an accessible experience by visiting our page on accessibility.

Code of Conduct

All AIGA DC events adhere to our Code of Conduct .

More Information

Built by 100% volunteer power, DC Design Week is an annual celebration of this community, hosted by AIGA DC. AIGA Member On-Sale begins 9/5 at 10:00am and the General Public On-Sale begins 9/10 at 10:00am. 100% of the proceeds from DCDW events go toward future AIGA DC programming and the Design Continuum Fund (DCF) scholarship fund. We believe in fostering the next generation of designers through helping local design-minded and underrepresented students as they pursue their education.

Interested in becoming a member? To gain early access to our most exclusive events and year-long discounts, sign up to become a member today!

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