The Expat Woman

International Woman Founders: Launching a Successful Business in the Bay Area

If you ask us what our idea of a fun weekly gathering is we will say . . . networking with amazing international women while nibbling on cheese and sipping wine, with spectacular views of San Francisco in the background. Luckily for us this was not a dream. Last Thursday thanks to our collaboration with our wonderful hosts Servcorp, we were able to get all of these things squeezed into one eventful evening. Despite guests having to trek through the warm weather and rush straight from work, the atmosphere was vibrant and full of positive energy. Our topic for the night – Launching a Successful Business in the Bay Area.

Guests mingling during the networking, wine, and cheese portion



Anastasia Miron, Co-Founder of GlobeIn (pictured left)


After letting guests get acquainted and check out our featured vendors LiveLoveModa and Botanic Organic, we moved on to the much anticipated panel discussion moderated by Servcorp. Our talented and inspiring panelists included Keily Hernandez, Founder of LiveLoveModa, Olya Ishchukova, Co-founder of Models in Tech, Natel Parekh, Co-founder and Chief Development Officer at Thinktomi, and Sylvia Faison Wilkerson, Founder of Event Organizers LLC. Unlike most panel discussions, guests were engaged and even took down notes. This positive feedback encouraged panelists to share more information since they knew they had an attentive audience.



guests listening

Guests listening as panelists are introduced


olya and keily 2

Olya Ishchukova, Co-Founder of Models in Tech and Keily Hernandez, Founder of LiveLoveModa (pictured left to right)

For those of you looking to start your own business here are some useful tidbits we made sure to jot down:

  • During your planning stages “dream big, don’t limit yourself, and surround yourself with people who always dream big.” – Keily Hernandez
  • When considering starting your business in San Francisco, DO IT! “Internationally San Francisco is so well known and liked. Everyone knows and loves San Francisco, which gives you the advantage of having enough people to work with.” – Sylvia Faison
  • If you’re scared of failing don’t be. Instead, think of “every failure as getting you closer to the essence of what you should be doing.” – Neetal Parekh
  • and most importantly “be patient. Success isn’t instant.” – Olya Ishchukova


sylvia and neetal

Sylvia Faison, Founder of Event Organizers LLC and Neetal Parekh, Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer at Thinktomi listening to Olya Ishchukova share information with guests

Don’t forget to check out these sites that could be helpful along your journey:

  • Feedly – a site that helps you customize the editorial you want to read to stay up on current fashion trends, business, forecasts, cooking recipes, you name it they got it
  • Themeforest – a site that has 16,400 templates and themes. Recommended if you are trying to figure out which platforms support ecommerce
Botanic Organic

Nancy Newsom, Founder of Botanic Organic educating guests about her natural skincare products

A special thanks to  Servcorp’s team and all of our guests who helped pull this night off. It was another night of growing our beautiful Expat Woman community and sharing information to empower and inspire each other. Until next time!


Written by Martina Trejo

Photography courtesy of Botanic Organic



Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

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