BWN Spotlight

The Business Women's Network of Howard County is built upon an outstanding foundation of members and sponsors. Their combined subject knowledge is unparalleled. All of our sponsors are also members! Here, we feature a monthly blog post written by a current member-sponsor.

Sponsorship Information 

Current sponsors can contact Ruth Lamberty at to request a spotlight month.

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  • September 01, 2023 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    All proceeds up to $2,000 will be donated to BWN Scholarship Foundation

    Stories circulated about women in gender-based violence often involve interactions with strangers. However, according to the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, about 80–90% of assaults against women are perpetrated by people they know and trust. Whether it’s everyday harassment or life-threating situations, University of Oregon’s Dr. Jocelyn A. Hollander says proper self-defense training can help stop violence because when most women resist being assaulted, their resistance is frequently successful.

    BWN member and 2011 BWN Lifelong Learner Scholarship recipient Monique Washington-Jones is a sixth-degree black belt master of martial arts and founder and owner of Karate 4 Girls. The Columbia-based female-only martial arts school empowers hundreds of girls each year through regular lessons, after school programs and summer camps. Women can also take karate classes and participate in self-defense workshops.

    “So many times, we think, it would never happen to me,” says Master Washington-Jones. “Why not empower yourself to be prepared to protect yourself or a loved one, just in case? I sincerely believe that everyone should learn some form of self-defense. It’s better to know it and never use it, than to need it and not know it. It also teaches confidence, resilience and situational self-awareness.”

    On Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Master Washington-Jones will host a fundraiser self-defense workshop for 40 women at her dojo located at 9385-C Gerwig Lane. The price of admission is $50 and 100% of funds collected will be donated to the Business Women’s Network of Howard County Scholarship Foundation.

    The class is designed to prepare women to confidently respond in unpredictable situations. The workshop will cover everything from awareness training to physical confrontation and will give women the opportunity to implement basic techniques, defense moves and effective self-defense strikes. Workshop participants should expect to gain practical self-defense training and safety awareness tips while having fun investing in themselves in a positive, relatable and safe space to become a better version of themselves. 

    “If we believe something is valuable, we protect it,” says Master Washington-Jones. “We should view ourselves no different. We should be able to defend ourselves. We are worth defending.”

    BWN members will have priority access to sign up for the workshop at the BWN monthly luncheon on September 20, 2023, which will be held at The Collective Encore (10221 Wincopin Circle in Columbia). If the class is not filled by October 6, 2023, Master Washington-Jones will open registration to the public in order to reach her goal of raising $2,000.

    BWN members are encouraged to attend the September luncheon to secure their spot. Members in attendance can purchase multiple tickets at a time. If they can’t attend, a members-only link will be emailed and posted in the members-only Facebook group.

    Register for the September 20 luncheon today to secure your spot at the self-defense workshop and learn how to maximize your BWN membership, network with colleagues, and meet the incoming BWN Board.

  • August 01, 2022 7:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Jen McManus & Kristen Lohmeyer

    A Will, formally called a “Last Will and Testament”, is probably the most well-known estate planning document. Most people know that a Will is the document where you designate in writing your wishes for how any assets titled solely in your own name with no joint owners and no designated beneficiaries (“Probate Assets”) should be distributed upon your death.

    In a Will, you also designate the person you want to wrap up your affairs and administer your Probate Assets upon death. This person is called the personal representative or executor. Another important feature of a Will is the ability to designate guardians to care for your minor children upon your death. Finally, a Will can also include your preference for burial versus cremation and the type of funeral service you would like held in your memory, if any.

    If you die without a Will, the laws of the state where you live control how your Probate Assets will be distributed, who will be appointed to serve as the personal representative of your estate, and who will be appointed to serve as the guardians on behalf of your minor children, if any. The court will make decisions on your behalf based on what is allowed under the state laws and, for most people, this is not going to be what they would have wanted to happen.

    For any Maryland resident who dies without a Will, below is a breakdown of how your Probate Assets will be distributed under the current laws of the state (i.e. “Maryland’s Will”).

    (1) If you leave living children but no living spouse, your children inherit all Probate Assets.

    (2) If you leave living children and a living spouse (regardless of whether your children are from a prior marriage or children of you and your current spouse), your spouse is entitled to receive a family allowance ($40,000) if there are no minor children, and the balance of your Probate Assets will be split 50/50 between your children (collectively) and your spouse.

    (3) If you leave a living spouse, but no living children and no living parents, your spouse inherits all Probate Assets.

    (4) If you leave a living spouse and no living children, but living parents:

    • If you have been married for less than 5 years, your spouse is entitled to receive a family allowance ($40,000), and the balance of your Probate Assets will be split 50/50 between your living parent(s) and your spouse.
    • If you have been married for more than 5 years, your spouse inherits all Probate Assets.

    (5) If you have no living spouse and no living children, the order of priority for who is entitled to inherit your Probate Assets is as follows:

    • Parents
    • Siblings, per stirpes (i.e. nieces and nephews)
    • Grandparents, per stirpes (i.e. aunts, uncles, cousins)
    • Board of Education in the county of domicile

    Do not let the laws of the state where you live dictate how your Probate Assets will be distributed or who will be able to handle things on your behalf or on behalf of your minor children. National Make A Will month is a great time to review your existing Will if you have one, or if not, start the process to ensure your specific wishes will be followed upon your death.  

    About the Authors

    Ally Legal Planning  Jen McManus & Kristen Lohmeyer

    Ally Legal Planning is a family-owned law firm started by sisters, Jen & Kristen, who had the desire to provide a personal family touch to their estate planning practice. They take the time to learn what matters most to their clients and really listen to their concerns so they can develop a plan to incorporate those values and address those concerns. Jen and Kristen place a big emphasis on educating their clients. It’s important that each client understands all options that are available to them before implementing a plan so they can feel confident in their decisions. In addition to estate planning, Ally Legal Planning also offers assistance with special needs planning, elder law, guardianships, estate and trust administration and business succession planning.

    Jen and Kristen are Howard County natives and are kept busy with their children’s sports schedules. Jen’s middle schooler is heavily involved in lacrosse and Kristen’s elementary-aged children are both enthusiastic soccer players.


  • January 01, 2022 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Faith Wachter

    Is this YOU?

    Do you find yourself at a loss for "what to post", so you just post something that you *know* will get lots of likes or engagement -- like cute pics of your cat?

    Because social media is all about the Likes, right? WRONG.

    Here's why this approach doesn't serve you or your business goals. Ask yourself these questions:

    • How does this attract my ideal customers to my business?
    • Why will my ideal customers care about this?
    • Will this content increase conversions or store traffic?
    • How does this address my customers’ pain points?

    Social media marketing is more than about post likes. It should be about positioning your business as THE solution to your ideal customer's problems. There's an art to doing this well on social media, and it's a real challenge for most small businesses.

    A great place to start is knowing WHO your ideal customer is. You need to build in-depth knowledge of your ideal customer at a very granular level. Right down to specifics that can include demographics like:

    • Are they married?
    • Do they have children?
    • Are they homeowners?
    • What level of education do they have?
    • Where do they live?
    • Do they like to travel?
    • Do they shop online?
    • What problem are they trying to solve?

    When you have this depth of understanding of your customer, then it’s much easier to create content that will resonate with them. You now have a crystal-clear vision of what makes your ideal customer tick. You also now know how your business’ product or service would appeal to your ideal customer.

    If you’re an accountant that specializes in small business accounting and payroll, your ideal customer is likely a small business owner that’s rapidly expanding and needs someone to manage their books and payroll. You should be using your social media accounts to post content that will speak to that small business owner who’s had a great year and needs help paying all the new employees that they’ve hired. Examples could include:

    • Posts that describe how you’ve helped your clients free up their time to focus on their business; not their bookkeeping
    • 5 signs that mean you’re ready to hire an accountant
    • Share how a new law might impact your business’ payroll practices

    If you sell custom-made charcuterie boards out of a storefront in the downtown area, your ideal customer is likely someone within driving distance that likes to entertain with style or needs corporate gifting ideas. They likely have a larger budget to spend. Maybe charcuterie boards are a small part of a larger menu of catering offerings. Your social posts should position your product as a stylish, trendy solution for the upcoming holiday season. Examples could include:

    • Detailed product descriptions & pictures of different charcuterie boards you’ve created for clients
    • Sharp photos of your boards “seen in the wild” at a local event on a beautiful catering spread
    • Testimonials from your past happy clients

    All of these examples show an understanding of your client’s wants and needs. They position your product or service as THE solution to their problems. Your content literally “speaks” to them. This is how you use your social media content to attract your next customers.

    Unless you offer products or services related to cats, refrain from posting those adorable pictures of your fluffy friend. Sure, cute cats are, well, cute in any scenario, but cat content won’t add any value to your business or customers. Next time you post, consider your audience, and you’re much more likely to get better results.  

    About the Author of January's BWN Spotlight

    Faith Wachter Consulting  Faith Wachter

    Faith Wachter has been in the social media space since 2007. After 20+ years in the corporate & nonprofit world, she founded Faith Wachter Consulting, LLC in 2015 and has since grown her solopreneur business into a boutique social media marketing agency. She has been a member of BWN since 2016 and served on the BWN Board from 2017-2021. She holds degrees from Skidmore College and Columbia University. Faith lives in New Market, MD and enjoys the empty nester life with her husband, indulging in foodie-driven travels all around the world.


  • June 01, 2021 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Bethany Good

    In March, our nation was rocked by the racially motivated mass shooting of Asian American spa workers in an Atlanta suburb. In Ellicott City, four Asian restaurants were burglarized and vandalized during the Lunar New Year in February. These are not isolated incidents, they are part of a larger national trend that has seen a dramatic increase in violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in our country. In Maryland alone hate crimes targeting AAPI individuals have more than doubled since 2018.

    What Maryland is Doing to Help

    In March, Governor Larry Hogan spoke out against AAPI violence. He and the first lady Yumi Hogan toured Asian American businesses in Howard County. He directed state law enforcement officials to increase enhanced visibility patrols and protection for Asian citizens. In May, the Howard County School board approved a measure to include more curriculum dedicated to AAPI studies. The board also declared May, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders Month.

    At BWN we are committed to stopping all racist violence and supporting AAPI folks. We have the power to affect change for those living and working in our community.

    Here are a few ways to stop xenophobia and show your support:

    1. Stop racist remarks when you see or hear them
    2. Patronize Asian American owned businesses
    3. Donate to organizations that help AAPI people in need (see list below)
    4. Report incidents to the state's Hate Crimes Hotline at 866-481-8361.
    5. Support Asian American artists, speakers, and educators, by attending galleries and talks.
    6. Educate yourself on the rich history and cultural contributions of AAPI individuals in our country

    BWN is Committed to Stopping Racist Violence

    BWN is committed to stopping racist violence against all minority groups, including our AAPI and African American friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

    We continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement, along with other anti-racist causes.

    BWN stands firmly in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all it stands for. We believe that the killing of innocent African American people has to stop. We believe in common-sense reforms in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

    Local Organizations that Support Asian Americans:

    ASHA for Women Located in Rockville, MD this nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing support to South Asian women living in abusive marriages and homes. Created in 1989 by South Asians to circumvent many of the language, cultural, and social barriers that can stop many from seeking help, ASHA has helped hundreds of women and children move on to lead safer, happier lives.

    Asian American Center of Frederick provides a host of programs to help Asian American’s in Frederick, Maryland. Their work includes providing food assistance, financial help, education, and workforce development services among others.

    The Pro Bono Counseling Project (PBCP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded with the goal of connecting uninsured and under-insured low-income Marylanders with compassionate and qualified mental health professionals who provide care on a volunteer basis at no cost.

    Click here for a complete list.  

    About the Author of June's BWN Spotlight

    The Good Writing Company  Bethany Good

    Bethany Good is the CEO, and “Head Wordsmith” of The Good Writing Co. She is a prolific poet and creative writer. Her love of the written word began early and has remained a steadfast passion in her life. Ever the optimist, she chose to study English Literature, Journalism, and Creative Writing in College. Concerned about the job market, her folks questioned the choice, but ultimately remained supportive. For over 25 years she has honed her craft through poetry, short fiction, meta criticism, and editing. As a digital native, she followed a natural path into blogging and social media management. In 2019 she finally found the role she was meant to play when she founded Good Writing Co., which provides copywriting, digital marketing, and content writing services.

    You can find her writing here

    Bethany Good is also a wife and mother of two elementary-aged children. In her limited free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga, and telling neighborhood kids to get off her lawn.


  • March 01, 2021 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Jessamine Duvall

    Do you remember having this everyday conversation?

    “Hi, how are you?”

    “Fine, how are you?”

    “Just fine, thanks.”

    When was the last time you had that ubiquitous exchange with someone? I realized recently  that I haven’t had this brief, courteous conversation in a while. Here’s how the conversation typically plays out now.

    “How are you, Jess?”

    “Eh, I’m hanging in there.” or...

    “Not bad, all things considered.” or...

    “I’m ok, I guess.” or...

    “Well, I’m still here! Ha ha!”

    I don’t know about you, but I am done saying that everything is fine when I know it’s not. We have all been traumatized by the events of the past twelve months. Nothing is the same as it was before COVID. It’s important for us to remember that. We recognize it and acknowledge it when talking to strangers and acquaintances, but are we really taking it to heart in our everyday lives?

    I discovered something about myself shortly after the pandemic hit. I really enjoy being busy. I actually already knew this about myself, but the absence of busyness in my life over the past 9 months has really brought it home for me. I do NOT like being idle -- at all. So I got curious about this - why do I like to stay so busy? 

    What I realized (after spending way too much time obsessing over it - because I’m not busy) is that I like to be busy because, when I’m juggling all the stuff I have to do and running around like a chicken with her head cut off, I don’t have to feel my feelings. 

    Why wouldn’t I want to feel my feelings? Because often, and especially during a pandemic, there are far fewer “good” feelings than “bad” feelings to process on a daily basis. And no one likes “bad” feelings - fear, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and the like are not fun or easy. They suck. 

    Instead, I choose to stay busy and ignore my feelings bubbling just under the surface… until I crack. I may yell at my kids or my spouse, or some poor customer service rep, or the dog. I may start sobbing in response to a commercial or a Hallmark movie (yes, I will admit that I love them). Does that sound familiar? The feelings are always there, whether we allow ourselves to experience them or not. They will always come out eventually, and sometimes they will manifest in an unhealthy way.

    So while a lot of folks took up crochet, or learned to make their own sourdough, or launched  DIY projects during quarantine, I decided that my pandemic project was making peace with my feelings.

    I didn’t get there through psychotherapy, or a self-help book, or a podcast. I learned how to accept and honor my feelings by reading and teaching the Girls on the Run curriculum.

    One of the lessons we teach girls in 3rd-5th grade through the Girls on the Run program is all about emotions. The key takeaway from this lesson is, “There are no good or bad emotions, just comfortable or uncomfortable emotions.” We take the girls through a list of emotions and ask them to identify these emotions as “comfortable” or “uncomfortable.” Then we may talk about how to nurture ourselves when we are experiencing uncomfortable emotions: pet your dog, or go for a run, or listen to your favorite song, for example.

    The first time I observed a Girls on the Run team going through this lesson, it took all my willpower not to burst into tears. I was over 40 years old and I had never heard this said before. As a GenXer, I learned from my parents and peers that uncomfortable feelings were BAD. 

    “Don’t be the girl that cries in class. You’ll never live that down.” 

    “Don’t cry in front of your boyfriend and don’t yell, either. He’ll think you’re crazy.”

    “Don’t EVER cry at work. That is so unprofessional.”

    On that day, as I watched girls talk about their emotions in a safe space, I realized that these girls were learning at ages 8, 9, and 10 what I had never been taught. I looked back at my life - high school, college, career, marriage, parenting -- and realized how much easier the journey could have been if I had just been taught that it is okay to have feelings - even the uncomfortable ones.

    I have now taught this valuable lesson multiple times as a Girls on the Run coach. It is so rewarding to see the girls realizing and accepting what I didn’t learn until a few years ago. Now, during the pandemic, I have decided to do the hard work of practicing what I teach on a daily basis. I am sitting in the discomfort of all my feelings about the recent political unrest, the pandemic and the resulting isolation, and the challenges of living, working, and parenting during this time. I’m learning how to take care of myself and practice self-compassion on the days that are extra hard. Some days are easy and some days are tough. Some days I laugh a lot, and some days I cry a lot. But every morning I get up and put one foot in front of the other. As we tell our girls in Girls on the Run, “You don’t have to run, as long as you keep moving forward.”

    I have a challenge for you, my fellow high-achieving women. During this weird, messed-up time that we are living in, honor your feelings - even the uncomfortable ones. Embrace the suck, as Brene Brown says. Be kind to yourself. Achieve less and feel more while you’re stuck in this Groundhog Day experience. And if you have kids at home, know that modeling this behavior will help them too.

    Because none of this is easy. It’s uncomfortable. And that’s okay.  

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Girls on the Run  Jessamine Duvall

    Jessamine Duvall is Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Central Maryland.

    Girls on the Run is a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for 3rd-8th grade girls. Participants develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care, create positive connections with peers and adults and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. Each session is led by trained volunteer coaches that guide and mentor the girls. The ten-week program concludes with all participants completing a celebratory 5K event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Girls on the Run of Central Maryland is proud to serve Carroll County and Howard County, Maryland. Registration for our next 8-week season, which will include in-person and virtual teams with practices beginning March 21, 2021, is now open at


  • February 01, 2021 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Heather Yeung

    The pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than we can count.

    I, for one, was laid off in March and quickly pivoted into the role of home-school teacher. Over the summer, I pivoted to gardener, groundskeeper, interior decorator, home improvement specialist, and general outdoor enthusiast. As the summer drew to a close, and the world began to accept quarantine life as the new normal, the job market in my industry picked back up. I secured a position that allowed me to continue to do what I love – help small and medium-sized businesses with their legal needs.

    While I was busy decorating my home office and trying to grow tomatoes, the women in my network were pivoting in much more dramatic ways. Some had been laid off like me and were busy finding a niche in a new industry. Others beefed up on their technical skills and began to offer their services online. Some worked to develop their side hustles into full-fledged businesses. Still others began to tap into new industries created or boosted by the pandemic itself. In my opinion, each of these pivots requires input from a legal advisor.

    I once worked with a successful business owner whose previous attorney had not taught her the importance of maintaining her state registration. It turns out that her business was seven years behind in filing personal property taxes which was impacting her ability to take out a loan for a new office space. I was able to help her straighten out her records and her business is now doing better than ever.

    I’ve also found that most of my clients are unaware of the very important differences between employees and independent contractors (sometimes referred to as 1099s). Misclassification of workers is a common mistake that carries the risk of a federal lawsuit with extremely high penalties. If your business has grown to the point that you are ready to take on an employee, or, if you are joining a small business yourself and are unsure about your status as an independent contract or employee, it is critical that you obtain good legal advice.

    I review contracts for my clients on a regular basis, and it is astounding how often they are poorly drafted. One local business owner’s contract contained a dispute resolution provision that mandated arbitration in Paris, France instead of a local remedy. Another common error is a contract that is signed by the owner of the business instead of the business itself. It may seem like a minor detail, but an incorrect signature could cause liability to the owner personally instead of the business– a potentially costly mistake.

    Changes to how we do business and what kind of business we are doing are part of our new reality. For the past year, my colleagues and I have been able to help business owners apply for PPP loans, review franchise agreements, and check for favorable pandemic-related clauses in employment contracts. For business owners and entrepreneurs, 2020 and 2021 are the years of the pivot. As you are pivoting your business, don’t forget to contact your business lawyer to make sure that you are aligned for success.  

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Kagan Stern Marinello & Beard LLC  Heather Yeung

    Heather Yeung is a business lawyer at Kagan Stern Marinello & Beard, LLC in Annapolis, Maryland. She and her colleagues offer advice on a wide range of business needs including formation, corporate documents, transactions, employment, real estate, trade secrets, and general commercial litigation. Heather and her family are Howard County residents. She is an active supporter of the Howard County Conservancy, the Candlelight Concert Society, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Business Women’s Network of Howard County.

    Email Heather Yeung

  • January 01, 2021 8:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Sarah K Jacobs

    On my second roll, maternity leave was up for me and paternity leave was up for my husband. I was going back to work, kind of, and my husband, who is in law enforcement, was going back out there with the public, just to add on the stress. I, on the other hand, am an attorney that handles primarily family law/domestic cases.  Courts were closed except for some matters. Each county determined whether proceedings would be handled remotely or not.  The majority of my hearings were virtual, and I was learning how to coordinate remote work with a newborn at home.

    On roll three, courts were reopening; I was back in the office full time; my oldest was starting his 8th grade year virtually and was at home with his brother; and my husband, whose schedule rotates from two weeks on day shift to two weeks on night shift, was set in his ways.  I had to learn to coordinate all of our schedules and also find care for the baby when we had to work and my oldest was with his dad.  Things were looking up, and we were figuring everything out.

    Here comes roll four. The state was shutting down again, and the courts were all going back to remote hearings except for a few matters.  Because of the rise in numbers, my office went to a rotating remote schedule as well.  During this phase of the game, I must have thrown snake eyes, because my husband got sick, and we thought he could have had COVID. He was therefore put in isolation, which meant my sons and I were quarantined in the house, as well. I was making sure my husband had three meals, ensuring my kids were taken care of, and working remotely. I had a virtual hearing that I needed to appear for, which required me to sequester in my bedroom, hoping that the baby or the dog or combination would not be too loud.  I am scared to roll again, but I am hopeful that the next roll has a happy result.

    I have somehow figured it all out and kept my hair intact, just like all the other working moms.  But this working mom is tired and stressed, as I am sure you all are too.  Hopefully, everyone had a happy and relaxing holiday with their family and friends, whether in-person or on Zoom.  Let’s not forget to take a deep breath in and a slow exhale to release our stress, or rather the effects of 2020. Stay safe out there!!  Let’s hope 2021 is better for all and we can all see each other soon and get back to normal!!!  

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Siegel Law  Sarah K. Jacobs, Esquire

    Sarah K. Jacobs, Esquire, is an attorney with Siegel Law.  She handles all aspects of family law matters, including divorce, custody, adoption guardianship and so much more.  Sarah has been in the legal field for almost 20 years now, first as a paralegal for 11 years and the rest as an attorney.  When Sarah is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, movie nights with the family and relaxing.

  • December 01, 2020 7:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Mary Jordan

    A bra is the most engineered piece of clothing a woman wears. Not only does the fabric need to be soft, but it also has to be sturdy. In order to be able to lift the weight of the breasts, it requires the layering of different strength fabrics. Fabric manufacturers and pattern makers are necessary to create these undergarments.

    One of our manufacturers, Prima Donna, takes over an hour to make just one bra. There are over 35 pieces that are put into making this garment. Each wire is specific to every cup size. The European lace is an added touch that often brings up the cost of a bra or panty.

    Bras are produced in fashion colors and seasonal offerings just like dresses and suits. A Pantone color scheme is used for all clothing including lingerie.

    Lingerie requires a very specific design skill that combines with the knowledge of how the body works. The purpose of a bra is to support, lift, shape, and hold the breast tissue in place for hours on end. In addition to its functionality, a bra has to be comfortable and durable--and being attractive is a bonus!

    We understand that people have different price thresholds, and we therefore offer several different prices. Our bras range from $50 to $200. Similar to shoes, the better quality products are in a higher price range.

    Our main objective is to have something for everyone. Twice a year, I have the pleasure of attending the Curve EuroVet Expo in New York to meet with lingerie manufacturers and view the next season’s fashion trends. We preorder the store’s offerings six to nine months ahead of their arrival.

    I have visited the Salon International de la Lingerie show in Paris, France over the past couple of years in addition to visiting some of my manufacturers’ facilities to understand how the products are designed and then created.

    Why get fitted by a professional fitter?

    Did you know there are several size charts depending on the country where the bras are made? We carry bras made in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Canada, as well as the United States. Each of these countries follows a different size range. When you look at a clothing tag you will often see the different sizes listed. We follow the UK sizing for bras. The ½ sizes are included which offers more options for individuals.

    Our fit technique is based more on visually evaluating the way the garment is fitting instead of relying on a certain size. This is the reason we carry over 200 sizes. If we do not have a bra that will fit properly, we will make alterations to fit the customer’s needs. We often shorten straps and sew in cushions to fit an individual’s body type.

    We strive to educate our customers to be able to recognize what to look for in a good fitting bra. We work with each individual on a one-to-one basis to assure finding their perfect fit.

    Bra-La-La also carries bra-sized swimwear, bridal bustiers, post-mastectomy bras and forms, sports bras, everyday bras, and bralettes in addition to pajamas, robes, chemises, and loungewear.   

    Give yourself the gift of support, lift, and happiness by visiting us in the Maple Lawn shopping center. 8180 Maple Lawn Boulevard, Fulton, MD 20759

    You can book an online appointment to see us in person or virtually, or call us for a consultation. We welcome walk-ins.

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Bra-la-la  Mary Jordan

    Mary Jordan, has owned and operated Bra-la-la since March of 2007.

    She worked in the Biotechnology field for 15 years prior as a contractor for NIH, Johns Hopkins, U. of Md. Selling cytokines, growth factors, antibodies and instrumentation to immunology laboratories.

    Mary worked at the Lombardi Cancer Research laboratory at Georgetown University and Hospital in a Pharmacology and Radiation Medicine lab as a technician and laboratory manager.

    Mary graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Biology and Public Health.

    She resides in Ellicott City with her husband Jeff. She has two daughters Kendra and Lindsey that reside in Philadelphia and New York City.

  • November 01, 2020 7:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Christine Lowe

    Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

    For the past ten years, holiday shoppers have celebrated Small Business Saturday in their communities on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Unlike the stressful crowds of Black Friday and the digital disconnectedness of Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday offers the perfect opportunity for shoppers to hit Main Streets across America, support local small businesses, and connect with their communities, while scoring some great deals!

    Okay, we all know that many things in our lives this year are atypical, but who says Small Business Saturday 2020 can’t be even better than before? There are still many ways we can support our local small businesses on November 28th.

    Visit Local Businesses in Person

    Many small businesses are having special events and sales on Small Business Saturday, while following local health guidelines and taking precautions for the safety of their customers. If you can, support them in person by visiting their brick and mortar stores. Some of my favorite local stores are in Old Ellicott City, Clarksville, Maple Lawn, Columbia, Catonsville, Sykesville, and Hampden. If you’re looking for more choices, Main Street Maryland has dozens of other shops to discover and explore. Whether you’re on the hunt for gifts, grabbing a bite to eat, or just craving some time out of the house, these towns have plenty of options for everyone!

    Shop Online

    Don’t feel like venturing out or unable to? Or maybe you want to support small businesses farther away, such as in your hometown or your vacation destination. Check out the websites for your favorite stores and restaurants, and support them by purchasing items online. DCfempreneur has a fantastic holiday gift guide featuring 35+ small women-owned businesses in the Washington, DC area. Etsy showcases hundreds of small independent crafters and businesses from all over the world. Closer to home, of course, our Business Women’s Network (BWN) comprises our own wonderful small businesses right here in Howard County and surrounding counties. In fact, BWN is hosting a Virtual Vendor Fair this Wednesday, November 18th, where members and guests can purchase unique holiday gifts and support BWN businesses. Not sure what to buy? Consider contributing to small businesses by purchasing gift cards for your friends and family or even treating yourself!

    Refer a Friend or Offer a Positive Review

    Any business owner loves a word-of-mouth referral or a positive review on their website, social media, Yelp, or Tripadvisor! Consider connecting with local small businesses and supporting their owners by sharing some positive words, engaging with their social media posts, and referring your friends and family.

    Support Small Businesses Any Day of the Year!

    Remember that when you support a small business, you are truly supporting someone’s dream. That someone could be your neighbor, a parent of your child’s friend, or a co-worker taking a leap into their passion. Your support on Small Business Saturday and any day of the year helps owners employ others in the community, keeps storefronts lit and Main Streets vibrant, and makes your communities the places you want to live. We sincerely thank you!  

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Christine Lowe Voiceovers LLC  Christine Lowe

    Christine Lowe, Ellicott City resident, engineer, and mom who took a leap to create Christine Lowe Voiceovers, LLC. Now, as a voice actor and proofreader, Christine’s mission is helping businesses clearly share their messages and successfully reach more clients. With a warm, friendly, upbeat voice that captures listeners' attention, Christine provides authentic, high-quality voiceovers for commercials, social media campaigns, phone systems, website videos, audio blogs, corporate narrations, and eLearning content. She also provides that careful second set of eyes as a proofreader who catches grammatical mistakes and enhances the credibility of her clients’ written content.

    Visit to see and hear how she can support your business.

  • October 01, 2020 9:00 AM | Website BWN Admin (Administrator)

    By Faith Wachter

    It feels a bit early to talk about holiday shopping right now but the truth is, the 2020 holiday season will not be business as usual; and your social media marketing should reflect that. With the economic effects of the pandemic shutdowns, the holidays will look quite different from the past. More folks will be staying home, which means that fewer people will be entertaining, traveling, and dining out. Online sales have already increased 55% year over year in July, as more families are shopping from the safety of their homes. Another expectation: holiday shoppers will focus on supporting local and small businesses to help them survive COVID restrictions.

    Is YOUR business' social media ready for the 2020 holiday shopping season? Are you taking advantage of all the different features on each platform that will support your holiday marketing? Here are a few business features that you might want to explore further.

    Facebook Shops

    You can now efficiently sell items and checkout directly on Facebook and Instagram via Shopify. Set up your Shop so that folks will get redirected to the e-commerce section of your website to make a purchase. You'll need to set up a Commerce Manager account and connect your website to your Facebook Shop. Learn more here.

    Don't have a Facebook Shop? Make sure your Call to Action (CTA) button links your followers to the best method of contacting you. Set up automated messages and other actions in Messenger so you don't miss a lead.

    Shoppable Instagram Posts

    Shoppers can now buy directly from your feed posts or Stories when you connect your Shopify website to your Instagram account. Add product stickers and tag products in your posts to have your products appear in the Shopping tab in Explore. You can also set up a View Shop button in your bio to encourage traffic to your website. Get started here.

    Don't have an online shop? Be sure your bio reflects your services and your brand voice, appeals to your ideal customer, and sends them to your website. You only have 150 characters in your bio, so choose your words strategically. Use keywords that will make you more findable in Search to the right clients.


    Video content performs extremely well on virtually all social media platforms. Period.

    Videos capture the eye and stop the "thumb scroll" on your feed. They're also favored on the Facebook and Instagram algorithms, so they increase your visibility. There are so many video format options available now that you'd be remiss to not try to incorporate videos into your social media strategy this holiday season.

    You don't need a big video marketing budget and expensive equipment. Try some of these tips to get a great quality video from your smartphone.

    Social Media Ads

    You should also consider social media advertising as a highly cost-effective way of reaching a hyper-targeted audience. If done correctly, social media ads can help drive leads, increase brand awareness, generate web traffic, and even boost revenue. 70% of advertisers say they've generated leads with social media ads. Get all the details here.

    This list is just the beginning of how your social media marketing can support your holiday sales strategies. It takes time to pivot your current business trajectory into other efforts, so NOW is a great time to enact those plans and prepare for the new realities of holiday shopping in the COVID era.   

    About this Month's Featured Sponsor

    Faith Wachter Consulting LLC  •  Faith Wachter

    Faith Wachter, owner and founder of Faith Wachter Consulting, LLC. Providing social media solutions for small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. 


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