Ethnic Gem: Anna Foster
Title: President & Founder, A Maven’s World
State: Boston MA
2018 is shaping up to be the year of the woman. Leading the charge to inspire, support, teach and connect professional women and entrepreneurs is a passionate, and energetic woman who understands how to overcome career failure and meet the challenges of planning a family while pursuing a thriving career.
Anna Foster, Founder & President of A Maven’s World, has assisted thousands of women to help one another, empowering them to embrace the power of networking, developing a brand strategy, and to live professionally and personally with authenticity, passion, and mindfulness.
Her company is committed to connecting people and helping them use those connections to empower their lives. “No one should feel constrained by obstacles or borders,” says Foster.
“We now have customers who went from not knowing we existed to the place to get custom cakes and special occasion gifts. A Maven’s World helped us get corporate clients such as The Bottom Line where we provided a special custom cake for one of the top executives. The educational piece that A Maven’s World also provides while helping to build your brand is what makes this business model unique. Anna Foster has the ability to see the bigger picture with each individual business because she understands the retail market and what it takes to make a business grow from all angles.” –Carlene O’Guarro, Owner, Delectable Desires Pastries
Building on her annual conferences for professional women and entrepreneurs each year in Boston, Foster’s expanding nationwide and internationally with conferences this year planned for Tampa, Hartford, Washington, DC and London.
Q & A w/Anna
- How is A Maven’s World Living Brand committed to connecting people and helping them use these connections to empower their lives? We create experiences and opportunities for individuals to thrive and feel empowered. We are each only one person away from a solution and solutions are life changing. Why wouldn’t I want to share what I can and be resourceful to others? I enjoy helping and seeing people reach their goals a lot faster with solutions. They could be one connection away from a totally different life.
- What are the needs of today’s professional women? Today’s professional woman needs balance (a life outside of work/home), a personal support system, professional advisors/sponsors and access to resources and professional development. When people are happy in their life, they feel better and they do better. Balance is an essential part of happiness and peace.
- You’ve owned and operated several businesses. What’s the key to being successful at your venture? Trial and error. I’ve built AMW from the ground up – through dedication, hard work, disappointments, real life experiences, and keeping my eye on the AMW goal (serving others in many capacities and being a valuable resource).
- As an African-American woman, what additional challenges or opportunities await you? As an African American woman, you are made aware of the challenges early. As a child, I traveled two hours a day – for 8 years- just to get a quality education. It was evident to me that education, access, opportunities, support and resources for African Americans are disparate. Racism is real and institutionalized, so, there is a ceiling for African American women. Additionally, there is a lack of African American women in decision making roles. The opportunity is to hopefully change the narrative and in-turn change the world.
- For women seeking to balance family needs and career aspirations, what should they be doing? To live a fulfilling life, women must have something in their life they can look forward to. Whether it’s going to the gym, a girl’s night, a quarterly spa date, attending an event by AMW, or spending an hour at the nearest bookstore or coffee shop. When people are happy, they thrive personally and professionally. Everyone should have some social activity/engagement in their life.
- How can one live life successfully by living authentically? Living authentically is a breath of fresh air because it provides a feeling of comfort. Not living authentically is like wearing a dress or a pair of shoes that don’t fit and thinking the world won’t notice. The problem is that the world will notice your failures and low performance, and won’t care enough to notice, because you are not living your best life. There are more imperfect people in the world than perfect, so we have to get more comfortable talking about the uncomfortable, the highs and the lows of life, and embark on a journey of solutions.
- How do you help those who are facing obstacles and encountering challenges to feel safe, empowered, and rewarded? I listen with an open heart and mind. I assess, identify their needs, and put solution-oriented processes in place. I know that most things have solutions from where I sit today. However; during tumultuous times, people do not operate at their best and they may not think clearly. Sometimes someone just wants an ear, other times it may be advice. Because, I’ve faced many difficult times in my life and survived them… I’ve gotten pretty good at being a problem-solver or finding a solution to a challenge. For example, I rode a bus for two hours every day to get to and from school from elementary to high school, being the only African American woman for the majority of my undergraduate and graduate classes. I overcame several business failures. I raised a child with Autism, who is now 22 years old. I’ve survived and thrived through real life experiences.
- What do women learn at your conferences? The AMW Conference consists of several breakout sessions throughout the day, which focus on personal and professional development. We’ve had a myriad of breakout session titles over the years, but all the sessions connect to professional development, personal empowerment, community and social entrepreneurship, with actionable steps and takeaways for the attendees. The conference also assists with relationship building, comradery amongst attendees, and building lasting relationships. Women also learn their importance at our conferences and become aware of connections that exist globally. Everyone in attendance is treated and greeted with smiles, cheers and support. When they leave the AMW conference, we want them to feel “full,” as though they can take on the world and they have women (from all around the globe) supporting them if (and when) they need it.
“When women are given the tools and support to be successful, they can accomplish so much,” shares Foster. “But just as important as their pursuit of wealth and career achievement is their need for feeling they are living a full and balanced life.”
|Hartford, CT||August 4, 2018|
|London, England||September 22, 2018|
|Washington, DC||October 13, 2018|
|Boston, MA||January 5, 2019|
The conferences allow for hundreds of women to learn about advancing professionally, crafting a brand, feeling empowered, building connections, and mastering e-commerce. These informative high-energy gatherings provide an intimate atmosphere for women to bond together, build everlasting business connections and help each other.
Anna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org