ASTRA Marketplace: WIT Panel & WIT/ChiTAG Happy Hour

WIT was in full swing at this year’s ASTRA Marketplace in Philly!

We received a warm ASTRA welcome from their Director of Education & Training, Ahren Hoffman, as we presented our first-ever WIT/ASTRA panel on June 27th. The day capped off with a happy hour event, co-hosted with ChiTAG at the Field House.

“How to Leverage Being a Woman in Business” was moderated by WIT board member, Deb de Sherbinin. Panelists included two manufacturers and one retailer who shared stories about the challenges they faced in starting and growing their businesses:

Marcia Haut started SmartNoggin after working with children as a special education teacher and therapist for 30 years. Laurie Peterson launched Build & Imagine in 2014 with the assistance of a Kickstarter campaign and angel funding, and is a TAGIE Award Inventor of the Year winner. Hilary Key, owner of The Toy Chest stores, was pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience in 2013, but after spending time playing with a little girl in West Africa, decided to embark on a new career as toy store owner.  

Discussion centered on the critical need to obtain funding to get a business off the ground, grow, and thrive, as well as the importance of seeking guidance from an advisor or mentor to help navigate the waters that business owners face. Deb shared daunting statistics women-owned companies face to successfully develop, fund and launch a business. The panel shared experiences about what has worked for them in overcoming these challenges. 

Later that evening, a great time was had by all at the WIT/ChiTAG Happy Hour at Philly’s Field House, as we welcomed lots of industry friends including ASTRA exhibitors, buyers, and trade guests. We look forward to #ASTRA18!

For more photos from the WIT/ChiTAG Happy Hour, click here.