Southern Indiana might conjure images of rolling farmland and charming small towns, but beneath the surface, a revolution is brewing – one led by women entrepreneurs. While history books document the achievements of the past, the future boasts a narrative yet to be penned, and it's women who are holding the quill. Let's explore the exciting chapters being written in the story of women in SoIN! 

Chanel Nicole Photography

Women of color, immigrants, and those from various socioeconomic backgrounds are finding their voices and claiming their space in the entrepreneurial landscape. While there are challenges and barriers, businesses like Chanel Nicole Photography are navigating the business landscape. Continue reading to get to know more about Chanel, including her advice to budding entrepreneurs and her favorites SoIN spots. 

Who inspires you? 
I am a huge fan of Beyonce. While her music and style are iconic, what truly inspires me is the way she has masterfully crafted her brand and built a successful business empire. 

Being a proud member of the BeyHive has emphasized the significance of community and connection. Beyonce has cultivated a fiercely loyal fan base that transcends mere fandom – it's a genuine sense of belonging. Her ability to unite people under a shared passion has encouraged me to recognize the importance of building communities in whatever I do.

Watching celebrities like Beyonce and Rhianna serves as a reminder that success is not confined to one avenue. It's about embracing your multifaceted talents, continuously evolving, and leveraging your influence to make a positive impact. Beyonce has set a standard for excellence and authenticity that extends far beyond the stage, and for that, she remains a big deal over here in my world.

What unique experiences have you faced as a woman entrepreneur in your industry, and exciting possibilities you see for the future?

Chanel Nicole Photography

Last year I decided to purchase a historic property in New Albany, Indiana, to create my dream photography studio. I was stepping into new territory with this commercial property and navigating the funding and renovation process. I always felt like a project like this was out of my reach because I lacked resources. A lot of women lack resources to operate their business. When I finally said out loud what my dreams really were, and asked for help, there were so many people that helped me navigate this journey.

This month we have been in the space for one year and I absolutely love it! I am excited about completing Phase 2 of the renovation and expanding the studio to create a space that other entrepreneurs can come to to get their creative juices flowing and create beautiful content for their brands.

How do you commemorate Women's History Month within your business?
Celebrating Women's History Month for me means celebrating the talented women that are my clients. It means amplifying their stories and showcasing their talents with my community.

On International Women's Day we launch a special flash sale to make our photography services more accessible. I believe in the transformative power of imagery, and I want every woman to have the opportunity to amplify her voice and presence. People pay attention when you change your profile photos. By offering affordable opportunities for women to work with me, I aim to contribute to the collective celebration and empowerment of women during this important month. It's my way of fostering a community where every woman's story and journey are acknowledged and celebrated.
It feels good to see clients sharing their images, stories, and offerings with the world after their sessions.

March 8th you can use code women24cn on Chanel's website for a special discount.

Share a message of encouragement to fellow women entrepreneurs, especially those starting their journey.
I wasted a lot of time looking for the “secret sauce.” The truth is there is no cheat code.  Education is so important, but at some point you have to implement the skills and strategies you have learned. You have to put in the work. The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is be disciplined, show up for your business consistently and find people who understand the journey and will keep you accountable along the way.

In your opinion, what local initiatives could further empower women-owned businesses in our community? 
As I was learning the ropes of entrepreneurship it was always helpful when I could learn from and be in the same room as people doing business at a level I aspired to be. I love the idea of more workshops that are engaging and give you the opportunity to work on your business instead of just in it. I see a lot of women in business trying to juggle all the pieces of their brand alone. I think it would be super helpful to create spaces where we can support one another's needs.

What is your perfect day in SoIN?

Sleepy Roosters

My perfect day in Southern Indiana definitely involves food! A girl loves to eat at a cute restaurant with delicious treats. I would start with brunch with my friends at Sleepy Rooster Morning Kitchen.

Then My family would head to New Albany Dog Park with our pup Eva the Diva to play toss. And who goes to the park and doesn't love to get ice cream? We would head over to Boomtown Creamery.

That's definitely going to put me in the mood for a nap, so I would head over to Soul Relaxed Massage and Healing inside Bolt + Tie in Clarksville for the BEST massage and nap a girl could ask for.

To wrap up the day me and Hubby would head to Outcast Fish & Oyster Bar for some good music and drinks!

You can keep up with Chanel Nicole Photography on her website

Women like Chanel are not just building businesses; they're building legacies, paving the way for future generations to dream bigger and reach higher. This is just a glimpse into the history yet to be made by women in Southern Indiana business. The chapters are waiting to be written, the stories waiting to be told. One thing is certain: the future is bright, and it's female-driven. It's time to turn the page and witness the her-story unfold, a testament to the power, resilience, and ambition of Southern Indiana's women entrepreneurs.

Meet more of Southern Indiana's women business leaders:

We’d love to hear your favorite women-owned businesses! Share their businesses and tag @gosoin on Facebook and Instagram!