Women's History Month Spotlight: Emily Lee
Introduction written by Carolyn Tucker
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting these inspiring local women entrepreneurs. Each business owner featured here has been selected by the WISE Women’s Business Center for their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to bettering the lives of women and their community. Each of them is either a partner or client of the WISE Women’s Business Center.
WISE Women’s Business Center helps women start and grow their own businesses. WISE offers free business counseling and targeted training sessions to encourage strategy and access to smart resources and capital. Check out wisecenter.org for more information!
Q&A with Emily Lee, Owner, Kimona - Pinoy Artisanal Products
Kimona Pinoy started with a mission to introduce the beauty of the Filipino culture through indigenous hand-made products produce directly from Philippines to the world.
What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?
I love art and handmade. It also makes my heart full knowing I help filipino artisans and designers develop their crafts, provide them livelihood at the same time helping the environment thru sustainable fashion and products.
What made you decide to start a business?
I started during the pandemic, I only started selling hand loomed masks to help a friend from the Philippines who owns a bridal shop. At that time, there were no more big weddings and parties. Her shop with 7 other women didn't have any income so they started sewing masks. From there I expanded to other sustainable products like bags, Handmade jewelry, etc.
What advice would you give to those looking to start a business?
If you love what you are doing, and the purpose of the business is to satisfy a need of the community, go for it.
What are some of the challenges and joys specific to being a woman entrepreneur?
I find it challenging is accounting and inventory. I love taking photos, so the artistic side is what I enjoy the most.
How does your business create a positive impact on women?
I empower them by patronizing their products and making them believe that they can do anything that they put their hearts into. Supporting their business helps feed their family and that is the most satisfying mission of my business.