187: Erin Joy (Black Dress Circle and Fuel to Fire)

Erin Joy on Innovation City

“I see so much potential and opportunity for women entrepreneurs, and I’m just passionate about supporting women, who the research shows, women entrepreneurs tend to be undersupported.”-Erin Joy

Welcome to Season 5 of Innovation City (The St. Louis Edition), a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency and Aīre Ventures, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Erin Joy, CEO at Black Dress Circle and Fuel to Fire, where she works with women entrepreneurs to help launch and grow their businesses. Erin has twenty-five years of experience as a self-employed entrepreneur and is finishing her PhD in Business Psychology. In this episode, Erin Joy sits down with the team to discuss her journey of personal growth, the importance of supporting female entrepreneurs, the intersection of well-being and success, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Erin’s superpower
    • Being with people and giving people space to be who they are
    • Twenty years ago, Erin started on a personal development journey and completed rigorous courses and leadership training. This knowledge allows her to show up for others.
  • What kicked off the journey to personal growth?
    • Erin grew up in a small town in central Illinois and had frenemies in school, resulting in childhood trauma.
    • She developed a negative persona to protect herself and unknowingly treated her siblings and parents in a way that destroyed their relationships.
    • She took the Landmark Forum course, and it changed her life.
  • Erin’s Work and Current Path
    • She’s getting her PhD and studying business psychology, working at the intersection of well-being and success.
    • Erin still utilizes coaches to help her on her journey.
    • Her focus right now is finishing her dissertation and rethinking her post-COVID life.
    • It’s all on the table post-COVID, and that means cancelling, renegotiating, and slashing.
  • Helping women entrepreneurs achieve success
    • Black Dress Circle works with women entrepreneurs and meets them where they are to get them where they want to be.
    • Specializes in helping women entrepreneurs reach the million-dollar mark
    • Entrepreneurs need someone who thoroughly understands them and their business and goals who is also their friend. Erin is that person.
  • Why do women entrepreneurs need their own support groups?
    • Women entrepreneurs are undersupported.
    • The networks aren’t as strong for women in comparison to male counterparts, especially white men.
    • Capital and financing, and funding impact women in a negative way in comparison to men.
    • Erin saw an opportunity in the market to focus on women and chose this focus strategically.
  • What has she learned about herself through this process?
    • Erin worked so hard to be seen, heard and loved, and now she has done it.
    • She is free to create anything, but the question is, what?
    • She’s working on boundaries and working less.
  • Erin’s legacy
    • Being of service to support her daughter, her clients, and her community
    • Erin is a single mom to 11-year-old Audrey, and she is the priority.
  • Fuel to Fire
    • Fuel to Fire is a new company Erin started in 2020 during COVID.
    • It’s an entrepreneurs accountability organization which helps clarify goals, and creates accountability pods for participants.

Lightning Round:

  • Who are your heroes?
    • Her parents who built their business out of nothing
  • What random act of kindness could you perform right now?
    • Shout out to Tyler Small whose filming the podcast
  • What are you passionate about and want to spend more time doing?
    • Getting out in nature more with her daughter
  • What makes you lose track of time?
    • Hard work flow
  • What risk are you happy that you took?
    • Being an entrepreneur, she’s been self-employed for 25 years

Get in Touch

Black Dress Circle
Fuel to Fire