How Women Entrepreneurs Are Taking the Wheel to Fund Their Dreams

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True story: Flexibility is the new stability. As lifelong careers become increasingly rare, you have the opportunity to take chances and achieve your dreams. The key is being able to earn money on your own terms.

That’s what these three entrepreneurs are doing right. By setting their own hours, driving their own cars, and being their own bosses, they’ve paved their own path. Here’s how they did it by driving with Lyft, the official transportation sponsor of #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us.

Krystal: Funding Her Future in Hollywood

Krystal

Krystal’s a triple threat: actor, director, and writer. When she’s not on set — or sharing advice on her blog — she drives with Lyft in Los Angeles to grow her network in the entertainment industry.

In a city like LA, connections and flexibility are the secrets to success. Krystal draws inspiration from her passengers, giving advice and even partnering up for new collaborations.

Driving also allows her to round out her earnings in between auditions, writing, and hours on set. “You don’t always get a chance to make money doing what you love,” she says.

After nearly a decade in the industry, Krystal’s landed roles in major motion pictures, written for Nickelodeon, and directed plays. So, she started giving advice when she’s not behind the wheel.

Krystal now runs The Industree Standard, a blog that helps newcomers break into the acting industry. “You need experience to get a job, but can’t gain experience without one. Blogging allows us to learn the ropes from one another.”

Caitlin: Cooking Vegan Food That You’ll Be Craving

Caitlyn

Caitlin’s on a mission to take vegan food to the next level, starting in her hometown of Chicago. While managing a food truck, she taught herself how to cook faux meats and pastries. Now, she’s driving with Lyft to fund her latest venture: a vegan deli.

As a teenager, Caitlin knew that she wanted to be a chef, but her parents encouraged her to pursue a bachelor’s degree instead of culinary school. Not one to back down from her dreams, she started working in small kitchens post-graduation and blazed her own path.

Loving the vibe of independent businesses, Caitlin posted up at craft fairs and fostered connections with fellow creatives. As she started experimenting with vegan meats and cheeses, she drove with Lyft to pay off the car she purchased for catering. The flexibility allowed her to cook and earn a little extra on own schedule.

Now, Caitlin’s selling her own line of vegan treats (jointly named Feed Your Head and Pirate Pastries) at farmers markets and festivals. Looking back on her dream of becoming a restaurateur, Caitlin says, “I got there, I just did it my way.”

Marlene: Designing Living Works of Art

Marlene

“I owe my green thumb to my grandparents,” Marlene says. She spent her childhood playing in their garden, developing the passion that she’d later nurture into a career.

Following her love of nature, she worked in flower shops to gain professional experience in the field. After a couple of years, Marlene decided that it was time to carve out her own niche. While browsing Pinterest, she stumbled upon a board full of terrariums and thought, I can do that!

Inspired to offer something different, Marlene quit her job and started driving with Lyft. She focused on out-of-the-ordinary, living works of art: foliage-filled guitars, antiques, and globes full of intricate ferns. It’s the urban gardening movement of the ’70s, brought back by an expert. Marlene isn’t in her grandparents’ garden anymore.

Two years later, she’s known as “Terrarium Girl” and has grown a following. Her pieces can be found at baby showers, weddings, and homes across the country — and she’s still driving with Lyft in between deliveries.

Whether you’re paying the bills or funding a new venture, driving with Lyft will get you there. Get a ride by downloading the Lyft app for iPhone or Android, or sign up to drive in your hometown by visiting lyft.com/drive.

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