New marketing firm wants to inspire more women-owned businesses in Iowa

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 4:26 AM CST
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Over the last 20 years, women's entrepreneurship has been on the rise in the U.S.

Since January of last year, American Express estimated there are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the nation.

States like Texas, California, and New York have the most female-owned businesses.

In 2015, Iowa ranked last in the nation when it came to growth for women-owned companies.

In 2017, Iowa made some progress but it's still nearly last when it comes to women-owned businesses.

Now two Eastern Iowa who are trying to make a change and inspire other women to open up their own companies.

Christa Nelson and Anna Patty opened up a new marketing firm earlier this month.

At first glance, this may seem like an ordinary home in Cedar Rapids, but inside, Christa Nelson and Anna Patty are running a new all-women marketing firm called "Epiphany."

When they're not here, they're working at Christa's home in Marion.

Both have worked in nonprofit and marketing for years, but they wanted to take their skills and venture out on their own.

As a mother of four, Anna Patty tells us she wanted to show other women that it's okay to run your own business and have a family too.

"The next you know mom who's trying to figure out her path or just woman, in general, that's trying to figure out her path can see Christa and I and see that we've been able to kind of able to take control of own destiny and be successful in it and be very happy in it," says co-owner Patty.

They just opened but they've already worked on a number of different projects for small businesses drafting press releases and logos and they've also help non-profits raise money.

Co-owner Christa Nelson says she started this business because she didn't see a lot of women-owned businesses in Iowa.

"Women have this huge heart to want to be there for their families and want to be there for their husbands and want to be professional women and I just wanted to be in control of my schedule," says co-owner Nelson.

Christa and Anna say one reason they are successful is that they've had other strong female mentors.

The American Express report ranks states by the number of women-owned firms and growth in employment and revenues.

They say while Iowa is still in the bottom 10 states; Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, and Nebraska round out the five worst states in terms of growth for women-owned businesses.

To learn more about the report:

Or to learn about Epiphany you can