Women’s Entrepreneurship Day: Highlighting our Women Business Owners

GYK Antler is a company of creative entrepreneurs — people with a unique combination of creativity and adaptability who treat our clients’ brands as our own and deliver original thinking and impactful business solutions every day. Every employee brings a little something extra to the table — whether that’s past experiences, passions or side projects outside our daily roles — that we celebrate. It’s part of what makes our entire team so special and unique. That’s the prerequisite.

As November 19 is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day — a day to empower, celebrate and support all the extraordinary women pushing the boundaries and building businesses that fuel the economy — we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to brag about a few of our creative entrepreneurs! Today, we’re so proud to shine the spotlight on four incredible GYK women and their inspiring journeys.

Harmony Taggart: Owner of Handcrafts by Harmony

Our first entrepreneur is junior copywriter, Harmony, who started Handcrafts by Harmony this year as a quarantine project. As a Vermont native, she loves the natural beauty the Green Mountain State has to offer. After spending the summer in Vermont and watching the beautiful wildflowers start to disappear in the fall, she wanted to find a way to preserve them for people to enjoy year-round. Thus, Handcrafts by Harmony was born. Using resin, she preserves nature in practical and wearable forms, from jewelry to accessories to stationery. After obsessively practicing with resin and artificial flowers, they created a collection using Vermont flora and listed the pieces on Etsy. The beauty of her business is that since nature is constantly changing, no two products are alike — even ones that use that same flower. Harmony says that’s what keeps her inspired.

Q: What has been your most exciting or proudest moment while owning the business?

A: “I think the temptation is to measure success by the number of sales or impressions my business gets, which I do celebrate, but I’m most proud of the things I try that don’t work. I take failure to mean that I haven’t stopped exploring different solutions to the creative challenges I give myself. For me, that has always been the most fun part of being an artist.”

Tina Yanuszewski: First woman owner of an Edible Arrangements franchise

Before she was our people and culture connoisseur, Tina was the first Edible Arrangements franchise owner in New Hampshire and the first woman franchise owner in the country. One day at work in 2000, her colleague was gifted an Edible Arrangement, and Tina was so inspired by the unique gift that she wanted to bring them closer to New Hampshire (at the time there were only two stores in the region in Boston and Woburn, Massachusetts). After getting through the obstacles of attaining funding to open and scouting a location that met the franchise’s requirements, Tina headed to “fruit school” for a week to learn how to make the arrangements. She crafted these unique gifts until she sold her store in 2006.

Q: What was your most exciting or proudest moment while owning the business?

A: “It’s not really a moment, but I’m most proud that I was able to run a successful company with the support of my family and friends along the way. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Maddie Goodnuff: Owner of Sugarhouse Stationery

Right out of college in 2011, our art director Maddie worked at a wedding venue in Vermont on the weekends to earn some extra cash. Seeing the way couples completely transformed the same space time and time again to fit their vibe inspired her to be a part of it. After seeing countless wedding paper products at these events — menu cards, signage, wedding invitations — everything seemed so basic, and she knew she could customize these pieces to be unique and, frankly, better. As an artist, she faced some challenges with the “paperwork” and financial aspects of running a business, but she recognized her weaknesses, took a few business courses to overcome it, and Sugarhouse Stationery was born. One year after completing her busiest wedding season in 2019, COVID-19 hit and the wedding industry was at a standstill. So, she pivoted. Shifting her product offerings to sell greeting cards, she began donating a portion of her proceeds to charities offering help to those who have been affected by the pandemic. Her advice for an aspiring business owner is to listen to yourself, create a positive environment you can thrive in, and to always be in tune to what your audience wants or needs. 

Q: What has been your most exciting or proudest moment while owning the business?

A: “The most exciting moment, for me, was seeing the inquiry list grow, and clients signing on. These types of clients are demanding! They know what they want and, most of the time, won’t compromise. So, to know they were interested in my design aesthetic and then had chosen me as their stationery designer was exciting and humbling. For me, it wasn’t just about selling stationery — it was really about building a relationship with the client. And having such awesome clients made it so easy to do just that.”

Eleni Philipon: Owner of Eleni P Photography

Staying on the theme of weddings, our final entrepreneur to highlight is our integrated media planner Eleni, who started her own wedding and adventure elopement photography business a few years ago. Since getting her hands on a DSLR camera at 16, Eleni’s been hooked on photography. It started off with landscapes and portraits, but then she started second shooting for wedding professionals around Boston. After about a year of second shooting and attending/organizing styled shoots, she began booking weddings of her own!

Q: What has been your most exciting or proudest moment while owning the business?

A: “I get to document the happiest day of someone’s life! I’ve truly become friends with lots of my couples, which is the best. I’m there for them during the entire process, not just the day-of like most other wedding vendors. I love seeing their reaction at the end of the night, getting that “oh my god, we’re crying” text from them after they receive their wedding gallery, and watching them continue to post your photos for the special occasions and anniversaries for years to come. I only book a handful of weddings per year so I don’t get too tired, but it makes them that much more special.”

Harmony, Tina, Maddie, and Eleni — cheers to you, we couldn’t be prouder to work alongside such badass women!

As a creative-first culture, we believe creativity is the ultimate brand and business advantage. Our entrepreneurial spirit drives us to be bold problem solvers in everything we do — from "capital-C" ideas and strategic business solutions to "little-C" creativity that pushes our craft and execution.
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If you'd like to join our talented team of creative entrepreneurs, send your resume to careers@gykantler.com or reach out to our Head of Talent, Tina, on LinkedIn.
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