Grit City Women founder Krystle Edwards started the networking group in January 2019 when she realized that she was looking for a way to connect with other entrepreneurial women and didn’t know where to go to do so.

“I had a few women that I met with regularly and I always left energized and motivated,” Edwards said. “I wanted to create a community of like-minded women that can support one another on their journey as a small business owner, entrepreneur, or leader.”

South Sound Business spoke with Edwards to hear more about the business’ mission and how it’s pivoting in light of the COVID-19 crisis, which includes a virtual community conversation on April 11 at 3 p.m.

Photo by Dawndra Budd of portraits by Dawndra

What is your favorite part of being a small business owner in Tacoma? What has surprised you about it?

I love the creativity and connection. Creating events and workshops that are geared specifically to our community of women while connecting with other badass women is simply the best! I love the authenticity and camaraderie our group has. I was surprised by the amount of support I have and continue to receive from other local businesses and women in the community. It tells me that my vision for Grit City Women matters.

What are the main things you’ve learned in the time you’ve been running GCW?

  1. Don’t be scared of failure and turn that narrative into a learning opportunity. Things change quickly in my world with all the moving pieces and I have to be able to take the hits and adapt.
  2. Having a supportive network (like GCW) that can help give you authentic feedback is so important. Getting used to sorting through feedback while staying aligned with your vision is a skill that takes time and having people that help you do that is incredibly valuable.
  3. Collaborate while remaining distinct. Collaborating with other businesses can be a great opportunity for both parties and it is important to ensure that your business and vision remains your own and you are protecting your brand identity.

How is the business pivoting now? Are you working with any other businesses to try to find solutions or ways forward through the uncertainty?

Grit City Women has always worked with other businesses in the community to provide events for our members and nonmembers. At this point the only thing that has changed is our GCW Member Only Power Circles and Networking events have moved to an online platform for now. Having online events has been a part of the long-term vision, we have just had to put a jump start on it because of the COVID-19 crisis. Eventually we will have both in-person events and online events, but for now we are operating virtually. Our first virtual community discussion is April 11 at 3 p.m. and is open to members and nonmembers. It will be a great way to connect during such an uncertain time for many small business owners. Attendees will be able to ask questions of GCW members and chat with the community through various webinar functions.

To register for the webinar, click here.