One founder explains the relief she has experienced joining a community of other new founders in Women 2.0’s Founder Hangouts Sessions.

By Jen Lee Koss (Co-founder, BRIKA)

Phew. A huge sigh of relief.

Over the past few weeks, this is what I find myself doing every other Tuesday evening as one of ten participants in the inaugural Founder Hangouts sessions.

I liken it to when I had my son, Aksel – I joined a “New Moms” class. We were a random group of women who were all going through the same thing. I was feeling pretty isolated and alone, but when I met with these ladies, I got great advice, commiserated with everyone, and life just felt so much better. It was the best decision I ever made.

BRIKA is my new baby (in addition to my baby daughter, Annabelle, of course). Eight months ago, my Co-Founder Kena and I launched an online destination and brand that celebrates and elevates modern craft and the power of storytelling. In many ways, I have felt like a new mom all over again. There is no doubt that sometimes, I have also felt isolated and alone.

When I saw that the Founder Hangouts application called for entrepreneurs at the “start of their entrepreneurial journey,” I knew I wanted to be a part of this ride. Learning from incredibly successful individuals, hearing from others out there trying to build something amazing, this sounded too good to be true.

Selina Tobaccowala (Founder, & SVP Product & Engineering, SurveyMonkey) reminded us all to release often and get feedback. Elaine Wherry (Co-Founder & CXO, Meebo – acquired by Google) meticulously helped us all define our ethos down to three words (such a great exercise and highly recommended) and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (Founder & Chairman, JOYUS) talked about having an intellectual command of your business (let’s be honest… how can I be her?!). Throughout all of these sessions, I have found myself nodding my head “yes” over and over again.Yes, that is the best piece of advice I have ever heard. Yes, I will not forget that as I go along. Yes, I am not going crazy (phew!). Yes, we are all in this together!

As I continue on this entrepreneurial path of building a business I am intensely passionate about – something I most definitely share with my fellow participants, it has never felt better to breathe a good sigh of relief once in a while. Taking the chance to be a part of Founder Hangouts…another best-decision-I-ever-made.


Interested in applying for Founder Hangouts? Stay in the loop by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


KossAbout the guest blogger: Jen Lee Koss (@shopbrika) is the Co-Founder & Builder of Business of BRIKA. She is also a Juilliard-trained cellist and graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University, and Harvard Business School. Previously, Jen spent years working in management, consulting, investment banking, and private equity in the retail sector.