Your Name: Hillary Gadsby

Business Name: A Gadsby Affair, a boutique providing marketing services to businesses

Type of Business: Marketing & PR

Business Location: Santa Monica, California, United States

Twitter @agadsbyaffair

Reason for starting
The reason for starting my business is because I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I had small businesses such as homemade jewelry and scrunchies that I sold to locals in my hometown over the summer. I also had a very small catering business for my parent’s friends when they threw garden parties. I had the opportunity to live and work in Europe and I wanted to share my experience to help businesses grow. Europeans have a different way of doing business. They build a rapport and a relationship with their potential client before working with them. I use the same principals in my business to build relationships for both my business and my clients. I realize that I could have done the same thing working for another company, but I wanted to do this on my own. I wanted to stand on my own two feet.

How do you define success?
I don’t define success on income or the size of your pocket book; I define it on the people in your circle. I read a great book recently called ” Tribal Leadership.” The author describes having 19 people within your circle to help build your business. They can be employees, strategic partners, advisors, etc… I am successful because I surround myself with the right people who can help me move forward. I also define success by helping others, especially women in business which is why I created a blog called It is a day in the life of a woman entrepreneur as told by her shoes. We feature other women in business on Thursdays called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” It gives them an opportunity to market themselves and their business in a creative way.

Biggest Success
I would say that my biggest success has to be my feature in One of those 19 people who surround me and my business, has a blog on and she featured me in an entrepreneurial spotlight. It was a huge honor and I am grateful for the exposure.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
A good portion of my clientele are men as I deal with financial service firms. It is difficult for men to take me seriously, but I have luckily overcome this obstacle by getting my foot in the door and knowing the right people to give me an extra edge. I joined and became an executive committee member of an organization whose members are financial service firms. Most of the members are men.

Who is your most important role model?
My mother is my most important role model. She has been an entrepreneur her entire life. She has had ups and downs, but she always managed to keep a positive attitude. She has taught me that no matter what, you can always get back up and start over. As entrepreneurs, we take risks and some of those risks pay off and others don’t. You can never give up, keep going and one day it will pay off.