Written by: Michelle Nannarone 

Starting a business in this world can be hard, especially with ongoing battles in the entrepreneur world. Dealing with self-doubt and negativity from the surrounding world is a difficult thing to master. For Shauna VanBogart, the road to entrepreneurship came from realizing her own worth and capabilities 

In 2007, Shauna founded South Carolina’s first and only full-service image consulting firm, called Mackenzie Image Consulting. She spent her time working and helping clients on their personal branding, messaging, and appearances. After a few years, Shauna wanted to do more, so in 2010, she founded the Studio for Image Professionals. SIP started with the Introduction to Image Consulting course and soon grew into an efficient 6-week certification program. SIP provides more hands-on experience for clients and leaves them feeling equipped and motivated. Then in 2014, Shauna launched a new project called Best Kept Self. BKS is a social media platform, as well as a global community, which includes freelancers, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs who believe the power and beauty of self-care will benefit businesses. Shauna describes what she does as, “Fulfilling and necessary.” These words highlight the core foundation of Shauna’s business. 

Photo credit from Shauna’s Facebook.

You may ask, what part of being an entrepreneur is fulfilling? Shauna believes that “…entrepreneurship is a better quality of life” and that being able to do what she loves everyday leaves her feeling content. Having the ability to help and inspire people around the world is something that not many people can say that they do. Connecting with people and helping them along their journey is something that Shauna is proud to be doing. Shauna gets a “Tremendous amount of satisfaction helping others find the same sense of success, happiness and fulfillment by utilizing their skillsets and passions through their own business/venture. If I can pay it forward in any way, I will do so in honor and gratitude for those who have mentored/helped me over the years.” 

But, with running your own business, hardships and self-doubt still follow. Shauna believes that when you’re an entrepreneur, these issues are part of the territory. But, overcoming said issues is something that is necessary and crucial to be an entrepreneur. And to grow as a person and make your business stronger, it is imperative to learn from hardships. For your business to grow, it is crucial to take those hardships and turn them into a learning experience and thus, success.  Shauna also believes that “…the best way to push through hardships and self-doubt when they do occur is to have a supportive network of people around you; people who ‘get it’ and who can get you re-aligned. I think the most important thing is to always be working on cultivating your own sense of trust in yourself. To know always that you can handle it, will handle it, and can do hard things.”  

At the Center for Women, we are focused on empowering all women to find success in their entrepreneurship journey. Through our Founder’s Lab workshops, we provide everything a woman needs to know about starting and running her own business, just like Shauna does for her clients. Our mission is to make sure women have all the information they need to successfully start and sustain their own business. By providing events like Founder’s Lab, which includes Business Coaching, we aim to take part in the revolution of women succeeding in owning their own businesses. Shauna believes that, “With Founder’s Lab, women can get the very specific steps they need to take to begin without having to figure that out themselves.” Her response correlates strongly with what we do at the Center for Women and the services we provide.