Volusia County is a vibrant community of businesses that are making their mark, shaping industries, inspiring change, and redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur. In honor of National Women-Owned Business Day we wanted to spotlight the stories of a few remarkable women who have transformed their dreams into reality and carved a path toward success. From sassy startups leaving their mark to seasoned ventures redefining the game, these women have channeled their passion and creativity into thriving businesses.
Melanie Emanuel & Associates PLLC
Number of Years in Business: 18 years
Number of Employees: 4
Address: 530 Canal Street, NSB 32168
Phone Number: (386) 427-0565
Business Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM,
Friday 9 AM – 5 PM
How do you approach fostering a positive work environment and culture within your company? I am always striving to foster a team atmosphere in my agency. We all have a team goal and I work alongside my agents to make sure we achieve those goals. I show appreciation to my team and we celebrate successes. There is open communication for monthly and annual goals and this open communication fosters transparency on where we are and where we are headed.
How does your business contribute to the local community, and what initiatives or partnerships do you engage in to give back? Born and raised in Volusia County, I love giving back to the community that helped raise me. I have been a big supporter of the SEV Chamber of Commerce over the years, serving on the Board of Directors from 2008 – 2017 and served as the SEV Chamber of Commerce President in 2012. I also firmly believe in sponsoring our local youth sports and have done so since I opened my agency in 2005. My agency gives to our local backpack initiative every year supporting our youth in helping make their school year a success. I support The Little Theatre of NSB and my agency is a member of the NSB Board of Realtors. I live, work and spend local!
In honor of National Women Owned Business Day, what message would you like to convey to fellow women entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners? I have watched strong business-minded women in my life who showed no fear when out in the workforce. My mom, grandma and aunt were some of my amazing women mentors who shaped me into the entrepreneur I am today. My dad has always given me the support to go out and get it done, whatever that dream has been. I’ve worked since I was 15 and I have grown up with a strong work ethic instilled by my parents. Making my business a success takes hard work, sacrifice and a fearless attitude. Open your mind to change and growth and you can achieve your goals.
Founder & CEO
HerQuest Consulting & Coaching Services
Number of Years in Business: 5 years
Number of Employees: solopreneur
Areas you service: Live Sessions Volusia County, Virtual
Phone Number: (774) 634-5298
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 10 AM to 6 PM, Evening
& Weekend by Appointment Only
Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud of the impact your business had on a customer or the community? The opportunity to free another woman from the beliefs that have held them apart from the wishes and dreams they have longed for is an astounding experience. Over 80% of the clients I serve have been personally referred to me by a current or former client who has successfully disrupted the habitual thoughts and behaviors that kept them stuck. When these women reach back and encourage another woman (often another family member) to ask for help too, I feel elated! This is empowered women empowering even more women and exactly why I developed HerQuest.
What role has networking played in your journey as a women-owned business? How have events like W.I.N.E. helped you connect and grow? Networking is where referrals to local business owners begin! When I moved to NSB in 2018, the W.I.N.E. events accelerated my ability to meet other women business owners, explore how we could uplift each other and further our local impact. The community response to the W.I.N.E. events have been immense and confirms we are all part of a community committed to furthering personal connection and supporting live networking events.
In honor of National Women Owned Business Day, what message would you like to convey to fellow women entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners? There is no one but you who can make the impact you are here to make. Reach out to another woman who has what you desire and ask her to help you move forward. We are all in this together!
As a woman entrepreneur, what have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way? Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way… to trust my gut, my instinct, my intuition – rather than another person.
How do you balance your professional and personal life as a woman entrepreneur? Are there any strategies that have helped you maintain this balance? I honestly don’t think I am very good at balancing professional and personal life… I am 95% dedicated to my business, whether it’s focusing on the growth or networking, or plugging my business even if I’m out on a personal level. I always seem to be “on.” The only part of my personal life that’s not public is the quiet time that I spend at home cooking dinner with my boyfriend or forcing myself to play tennis twice a week. Other than that, any time that I am outside of my front door, I am The Ice Queen!
In honor of National Women Owned Business Day, what message would you like to convey to fellow women entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners? You can’t get where you’re going until you’ve been where you’ve been. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Always be your true authentic self. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Cruise Planners – Find Your Hideaway LLC
Number of Years in Business: 3.5 months (6/1/2023)
Number of Employees: Just me!
Areas you service: I am a US based agency that can service any US citizen. Anywhere, anytime!
Phone Number: (386) 506-2817
Business Hours: Open 24/7
Social Media Accounts: Facebook – @FindYourHideaway // Insta – @find.your.hideaway
Could you share a significant achievement or milestone that your business has accomplished? What challenges did you overcome to reach this point? I started my journey with Cruise Planners in May. After completing a 6-day training in South Florida, I began selling travel. Since then my business has grown consistently. The biggest achievement I have received was being recognized as a top seller in my region (East Region of the United States). First achievement came just two months after I joined CP and for the month of August I was #7 in the top 15 of sales. I continue to stay humbled and truly feel blessed and I am ready to take this industry to new levels to provide my clients with the best travel opportunities and deals I can find. Currently I am a Certified Princess Cruise Line Specialist as well as a Certified Sandals Specialist and working towards many many more.
What makes your business unique in the industry? My business is a well-oiled franchise that was formed in 1994 and founded by CEO Michelle Fee who is recognized as a top leader in the travel industry. Because Cruise Planners is a widely known agency, travel partners from all over the world provide exclusive deals and discounts to Cruise Planner agents to sell to their clients. This means I have access to the latest and greatest trends, deals, and even training for my own educational purposes to become as educated in this industry as I can. And yes, I sell WAY MORE than just cruises. Aside from the name, Cruise Planners have access to all-inclusive resorts, luxury vendors that include yacht-style cruising, railroad vacations, even a trip to SPACE! From infinity and beyond, I will be able to assist anyone for all their travel needs.
In honor of National Women Owned Business Day, what message would you like to convey to fellow women entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners? Invest in yourself. No matter what industry, continue to strive to be better by taking seminars and training to learn and grow. Make wise decisions, but don’t always play it conservative.