Ann Wang and Jessica Willison, Co-founders, Enrou

EN ROUTE TO A BETTER WORLD

Do you remember the moment where you said, I have to pursue this dream and start my own business?

Ann: Yes, I was driving home from a meeting and I called my dad. I had been really curious about what it would take to build Enrou and talking him through my thoughts brought me a lot of clarity. During that call, I realized that there was the need, this was the time, and that I was the right person. It was a really clear moment that there was nothing to lose and everything to gain. From that moment, I was all in.

What is next for you and your business in 2016?

2016 is about growing -- being able to introduce Enrou to a national audience and most importantly tell even more incredible stories. We are so inspired by the people that we work alongside around the world and are excited to continue to share these amazing stories in order to impact more and more people!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Jess: My inspiration comes from the people that we work with. Both on our internal team and with the 30 impact partners and 57 communities that we work alongside to source our products, I absolutely love meeting and learning from new people, new cultures, and new ideas. I'm constantly inspired by their talents, passions, and ideas and love to incorporate those into our brand.

How important is a good support system?

Jess: A good support system is absolutely vital! We would absolutely not be anywhere without ours. From the very beginning of Enrou, we've been so lucky to have an incredible support system around us. From our friends to our parents to new friends we've met who have given us advice, made introductions, and have given so much time, energy and love to us, it truly is the only thing that has kept us going, both as a business, but also as entrepreneurs. We cannot thank the many, many people involved enough!

What advice would you give women who want to start a business and/or pursue their dream?

Ann: Find an incredible mentor who you can ask the right questions to and get the right answers.

After starting your business, what are some lessons learned?

Jess: The biggest lesson I learned is the importance to take care of yourself and finding ways to prioritize those things that are important. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day work, and easy to forget about yourself in the business (at least for me it is). Staying focused on the things that will have the greatest impact not only helps the business, but also helps to narrow the focus of projects so that I can take care of myself, too!

What are a few of your favorite must-haves?

Jess: Ask any of my team members, having me choose favorite products is like choosing my favorite child -- I love them all! Right now, I'm really loving more refined, classic pieces for my accessories -- The Brave Collection necklaces and Meyelo brass jewelry are some of my favorites, along with our new Leather Tote bags from Connected in Hope. As for home goods, I am in love with the wine holders and tumblers from Rose & Fitzgerald and obsessed with our quilts from Anchal Project -- they are so soft, the detail and craftsmanship that went into their creation is incredible and their story is so special!

For more information on Enrou, please visit Enrou