Fascinating New Women Entrepreneurs – April Morris
It has been over twenty years since Congress passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act, legislation that was enacted to give women entrepreneurs recognition and resources.
Since that time, women have been tirelessly running the race to prominence — in heels no less.
Especially now, women are playing a pivotal role in business — particularly online.
There are an estimated 8 million majority-owned (51% or higher), privately held women-owned businesses in the United States.
Women-owned businesses contribute nearly $3 trillion to our national economy and create or maintain 23 million jobs. Pay attention President Obama.
The bottom line? Clearly, women entrepreneurs play an important and much needed role in the U.S. economy.
I have highlighted some of the more successful and prominent women in recent weeks on this blog, but what about the new and fascinating women who are just starting out? Like the rest of us, they are the ones who are placing one foot in front of the other, running the race to prominence. They deserve attention and accolades as well.
For this reason, I have inaugurated a new and very popular series, Fascinating New Women Entrepreneurs, in an effort to give credit where credit is due. Thousands of visitors have joined me in praising these remarkable women.
If you have someone in mind for this series, please leave a comment below.
Even in the worst of economic conditions — faith, determination, perseverance and innovation can have extraordinary power.
If you need proof, ask April Morris.
Like so many other fascinating women entrepreneurs, April’s story began with discouragement. At a Christmas party in 2002, two guests referred to April as chubby. It was a cruel and insensitive remark, but ultimately it changed April’s life and catapulted her to fame and success.
At first indignant and hurt, April decided to try diet pills, but the continuing side effects made matters worse. She remembers thinking, “Gosh, I wish there was a way to curb my appetite without having to a swallow a pill.”
Later, while sitting at a traffic light reapplying her lip gloss, everything changed.
Some would call what happened to April an “Aha!” moment. I prefer to think of it as an epiphany.
Whether it was pure luck, or Divine intervention, April left that intersection in her life with a new spirit of determination and a spark of innovation.
“What if there’s a smell or herb or something you can put in lip gloss to curb appetite?,” she recalls thinking.
The answer to that extraordinary question became, THINgloss — and April Morris accelerated through that traffic stop to the covers of magazines.
Her demoralizing Christmas party became a launching pad to national television.
From chubby in 2002, she soared to “Best Innovation of the Year” in 2007 and “Inspiring Woman of the Year” in 2010.
There would be no more red lights for her.
The red lights were gone — but there were plenty of detour signs ahead.
April Morris had always dreamed of owning her own business — but a recession is not the best climate in which to capitalize on innovation.
Even the best idea languishes when there are no available funds.
“I didn’t even know where to begin,” April remembers thinking.
But she was tenacious and determined.
She believed that even in a recession, her dream was still possible.
To earn enough money to support her two children, pay the bills and save for her new business, April came to another crucial intersection in life.
She entered the real estate industry, with the same fighting spirit she invested in everything she did. In 2006, she earned $9 million in sales and was named Salesperson of the Year.
But then life intervened with numbing ferocity.
April’s daughter was in a serious auto accident. She survived but sadly her friend did not.
Such an unexpected and heart-wrenching event would have ended most new businesses, but instead April took another course. She determined from that day forward that her kids would come first.
With remarkable fortitude, she opened Express Effects three months later. In time, her new company began manufacturing her THINgloss creation, a lip gloss that suppresses appetite.
The April Morris story could easily have ended with that accomplishment. She had not given up and her idea was now a reality.
But April Morris, now a Fascinating New Woman Entrepreneur in her own right, was not finished. She had just begun.
From that fateful moment, when she unselfishly put the needs of her family ahead of her own, she rocketed to national prominence. She has been rightfully featured on Fox Business, Fox News, NBC, ABC Sharktank, US Magazine, Florida Today, the Los Angeles Times and the Indianapolis Star.
Her website, Express Effects is online and destined for greatness. THINgloss is turning heads all across the country. And she has become a sought-after motivational speaker through her second website, AprilMorris.com.
And for the record, April Morris, our newest inductee to the ranks of Fascinating New Women Entrepreneurs, is no longer chubby.