The Creative Girls collective provides support for businesswomen

Gabriela Guzman, Jennifer Vera and Nadia Payan are the women entrepreneurs behind the creative collective The Creative Girls. MARY BETH KOETH

Jennifer Vera moved from Chicago to Miami in search of a more supportive entrepreneur community. Sitting at a Starbucks, she overheard another woman speaking to her client about branding. She slipped her her card and walked out of the shop, but that was just the beginning of their friendship.

At the time Vera was looking to expand her brand consulting business in Miami, Nadia Payan was just getting hers off the ground. The women bonded over their project ideas and decided to help each other with their companies. They wanted to work out of a single location together and needed a third. Payan knew her friend Gabriela Guzman was the perfect fit.

Since Sept. 2015, the three friends and businesswomen have shared space in Little Havana they dubbed The Creative Girls. Crystals, the smell of burning incense and white walls provide a magnetic energy and positive messages hang on the walls. They also host clients there and say they’ve figured out a working model despite all three doing similar work.

“The values that we hold are so similar regarding how we want to move through life as business owners and as people and The Creative Girls embodies just that,” Payan said. “We’re aware of one another’s offers and the type of people that we individually work well with, and we’re able to make suggestions or referrals based on that. It’s definitely about believing in community over competition and collaboration over competition. Competition doesn’t enter this space.”

Gabriela Guzman, Jennifer Vera and Nadia Payan are the women entrepreneurs behind the creative collective The Creative Girls. MARY BETH KOETH

All three have branding skills at their core, and each has her own business. Three separate companies are based under The Creative Girls’ roof:

▪ “Vera came to Miami with her own branding firm, Vera Strategies. Today she works with Mivista Consulting and Michelle Villalobos as a business and branding coach,” Guzman said.

▪ “Payan is founder and creative director of Good Axe Designs, which creates brand experiences for visionary entrepreneurs and businesses,” Guzman said.

▪ Guzman “owns The Jupiter Circle, where she helps women grow their businesses through authentic branding and social media,” she said.

Although Payan has male clients, The Creative Girls group mostly serves women entrepreneurs. Their rates vary per project with Guzman’s at $150, Vera at $497 and Payan at $1,200 for her smallest package. Payan and Guzman also host free community seminars for women entrepreneurs called Brand New Mornings, with topics such as Content Creation for 2017 and Living Your Mission.

“The idea behind Brand New Mornings is ... we love the space so much and we felt it was calling people. It’s so beautiful, and there’s such a strong sense of community that we wanted to build that we opened it once a month for these events,” said Guzman, who also hosts free Community Chats in collaboration with the Arts + Entertainment District. “The idea was really simple — to open up the space once a month every second Thursday so that entrepreneurs can come and connect with each other in a meaningful way and have conversations around creativity, branding, and business.”

Men “are totally welcome to Brand New Mornings,” Payan said. “And we hope to see more of them, but the fact of the matter is the majority that shows up are women, and it felt like they were aching for something like this. There are events like this that support the tech entrepreneurial community but not so much the female creative community.”

The three women have bonded, have different personalities and support each other though different outlooks on life and in business.

“We’re there for each other no matter what,” Payan said. “We essentially developed our own code for what we represented and what is the glue that ties us all together. Having done branding exercises from the get go we became aware of what the other one has to bring knowing that it’s safe to see each other grow, explore, change evolve because we know the glue is still all there and the same."

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