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https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/07/17/office-365-helps-odette-new-york-take-care-of-business-so-they-can-focus-on-their-craft

Part 1 of 3: When Jennifer Sarkilahti, the founder of @odetteny, first started handcrafting jewelry in her small New York apartment, it was purely as a creative outlet. “I started making it for fun and then we put a few things up for sale on a website. I wasn’t expecting much to come of it. I sold a few pieces and became really excited about the possibility of turning it into an actual business. Being in New York makes you feel like that’s possible. There are so many resourceful entrepreneurs building their businesses here.”

Part 2 of 3: That local connection is so important to Jennifer that it influenced the direction and growth strategy of @odetteny. “What I love most about our process is that we’re creating all of the original designs here in our studio and then we’re getting them casted locally here in New York City so we can follow the whole process from the original wax to the final piece of jewelry. For us staying small has helped us keep a connection with our products, our customers and our partners. And it’s a really important connection.”

Part 3 of 3: I’m definitely more of a creative person than a business type, but in order to run a creative business you have to learn the ropes of running a business, too. One thing that makes the Office products really nice is that they are easy to learn and easy to navigate. We’ve been able to use them for our business in so many different ways. My goal is to keep creating beautiful pieces that people love and want to pass down to their children as heirlooms.“ Click the link in our bio to learn more about @odetteny and how Office 365 helps them take care of business so they can focus on their craft.

We’re in Austin celebrating the #CreatorAwards with our friends at @WeWork! Stay tuned to hear stories of these amazing entrepreneurs.

Part 1 of 3: @societynine founder Lynn Le knew she’d hit on something big when her female kickboxing students asked for product recommendations and she didn’t have any to give them - because she was wearing men’s gear. But what began as a need for gloves that fit, quickly turned into a much bigger mission: “Society Nine as a brand is rooted in combat sports, but really we’re a brand that speaks to a deeper mentality and spirituality which is that there is a fight in every woman.”

Part 2 of 3: “The moment I knew Society Nine was doing something right was when a customer emailed us. A husband had bought a pair of our gloves for his wife who had just started boxing. He told us how much she loved our gloves but also how much boxing changed her life. He said she used to be very quiet and meek but as she continued training, he literally saw the transformation in her body the moment she put our gloves on. And that stays with me every day.”

Part 3 of 3: “Community is a huge part of the Society Nine brand and the Brand Ambassador program is integral to the company’s success. “Society Nine is going to grow over the next year by expanding our product line and Brand Ambassador program so that women everywhere, no matter where they’re located can feel supported in our community.” To keep everyone on the same page, Lynn used PowerPoint to create a Brand Ambassador Bible. “It’s a story of what this community is all about. It’s a visual reminder of what they are a part of.” Click the link in our bio to learn more about Society Nine and how Office 365 is helping them empower the fight within every woman.

Part 1 of 3: Over six billion pounds of produce are wasted per year in the U.S. alone, largely because of grocers rejecting perfectly good fruits and veggies due to small cosmetic flaws. @imperfectproduce’s mission is to change that statistic by delivering those “wonky-looking” goods straight from farms to kitchens across the nation: “We want to create a pathway for these fruits and vegetables to make their way from the farms into people’s homes. Our customers are the ones actually making the impact, and Imperfect is a facilitator that allows them to do that. I think the reason they’re signing up is split between the food waste aspect and the saving money aspect—it’s that ability to get both a good value and also buy something that aligns with your values.”

Part 2 of 3: “Right now, where Imperfect is as a small business, we haven’t implemented our warehouse management system yet. So, Excel has helped to fill that gap because it’s so nimble—there’s so many different ways you can use it, so that’s been really helpful for us. We chose to start @imperfectproduce in the San Francisco Bay area because it’s close to our supply. We really wanted to start off close to the farmers so we could visit them, tour the farms, and really make sure that we had a good connection. And it’s a great market. There are a lot of environmentalists in the Bay—people who care about fighting food waste. A year from now, we’d love to be in most major cities across the west coast.”

Part 3 of 3: “What I’m most proud of with Imperfect is the culture that we’ve built. Our entire team on the floor cares about food waste and feels like part of this movement. We’re excited to have launched in Los Angeles where we’ve had a really big following so far—the more customers we have, the more pounds of produce that go to good use. Investing in communities is really in our DNA—we’re here as a social purpose corporation to make an impact and help the world.” As their business grows, @imperfectproduce will continue to take bigger and bigger bites out of the food waste issue, one box of funny-looking produce at a time. Click the link in our bio to learn more about Imperfect Produce and see how Office 365 plays a role in helping them succeed.

Part 1 of 3: @ZenCrate cofounder Jon Azevedo was looking for a way to help his dog, Charger, who suffered from storm anxiety, and one particular road trip gave him an idea: “There was this really bad boom from thunder, and I looked in the rearview mirror and Charger was sitting in the back seat, completely calm. I wondered, why is he calm here, but anywhere else I’ve ever had him, he would be hysterical and full of anxiety? I started thinking about what was happening within the car: the back seat was small, I had the stereo on, and the rubber tires were absorbing vibrations from the road. So, that was when the realization set in that this is a problem that has a solution.”

Part 2 of 3: “Being an engineer, solving a problem is quite honestly the easy part. For Chris and myself, the biggest challenge is not solving a problem, but solving a problem people actually need solved. So, we went out to the pet community and a bunch of testing. We sent ZenCrates all over the United States, and had people of all ages with all different breeds of dogs testing and giving us feedback, to see how well it actually worked. In developing products such as the @ZenCrate, there’s always lots of risk. But with a systematic approach, I feel like there are a lot of ways to mitigate that risk. We’re constantly probing the community, asking people what they would want to see different. Data continues to drive a lot of our decisions, and we are looking toward certain Office products to be able to assist as we grow.”

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