Women’s business coach Jessica Eaves Mathews has lit a spark in the business world and, like wildfire, her efforts are inspiring women across New Mexico and the nation.
Mathews is the co-founder of Hautepreneurs; the Premier Peer Network for New Mexico’s Women Entrepreneurs, an organization whose goal is to provide resources and support to women while helping them start their dream business.
“We are on the ground helping women and setting them up for not just initial success but longevity,” Mathews said. “And we’ve created a community for these women like no other. There’s no one out there doing exactly what we’re doing.”
Mathews was the Silver Stevie award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012, the 2013 Albuquerque Business First Top CEO, and a 2015 Albuquerque Business First Women of Influence honoree.
After years as an intellectual property lawyer, Mathews’ entrepreneurial career began when she opened a high-end construction business in Seattle in 2002. Through trial and error, Mathews said, she managed the branding, marketing, and aesthetics for the company — on a “figure it out as you go” method.
“I didn’t get a lot of help when I started, which is why I do what I do now. I paid for mentors and coaches along the way because I don’t believe in doing it alone, and through the years, I made incredible friends and had a lot of peer support,” she said.
Mathews is also the co-author of the book “Wonder Women: How Western Women Will Save the World,” and has been featured on MSNBC, Oprah Magazine, Forbes.com, NBC, Oxygen, and Allure Magazine.
A 2013 lunch turned into a launch when Mathews and now business partner, Lisa Abeyta met one summer afternoon to brainstorm ideas. From there, and with the vision of providing resources, support and networking for aspiring women entrepreneurs, Hautepreneurs took off.
The Hautepreneurs idea stemmed from a phrase in the high-end fashion industry. When an outfit is custom designed for someone, it is called haute couture. For Mathews and Abeyta, the idea of “designing” a life and a business was exactly what they wanted to convey to women when helping them on their career paths.
“Jessica is an incredible business partner,” Abeyta said.
“We both work a lot alike, so there is the constant give and take, one picking up where the other left off. It works very well for us. But we also come from very different sectors of business, and that brings a much broader depth of knowledge and experience. She has high integrity, is thoughtful, is passionate about our calling— it’s a wonderful match.”
Through Hautepreneurs, Mathews’ launched the nonprofit organization, HauteHopes last year. HauteHopes is a scholarship program to help disadvantaged women in New Mexico launch and grow their business ideas.
“Women entrepreneurs typically have a much harder time starting a business because the types of business they launch aren’t usually what the investors are interested in,” Matthews said.
The applications for the program open every year in October and the winners are chosen through a live pitch, where the previously chosen finalists get the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges at Hautepreneurs annual gala. Following the gala, Mathews and Abeyta work for 12 months with the multiple winners of the HauteHopes scholarships; training, coaching, and mentoring them.
“Jessica is awesome. She and Lisa have been extremely helpful to all of us winners,” said 2015 HauteHopes scholarship winner Sara Corry.
“Every month we get together as a group; Lisa, Jessica and all the scholarship winners and we have a master mind group. It’s a time we can both learn something that’s important to our business and share challenges that we are having. Their support is invaluable.”
HauteHopes also teams up with Cottonwood Montessori School in Corrales, providing free tuition for the children of the winners. This past year, five winners were chosen.
Hautepreneurs hosts seminars including teaching how to track financials and how to bootstrap a business. “Bootstrapping” refers to when an entrepreneur attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company.
Coming up this November they will be hosting HauteCon 2015, their annual national conference for women at EpicenterABQ. The event attracts women from around the country.
Mathews is also an adjunct professor at University of New Mexico Law School, a member of the UNM Economic Development Forum and recently secured a spot on the Board of Directors for Innovate ABQ.
Hautepreneurs will be expanding in cities across the country including Seattle, Washington; Fairfield, Iowa; Boulder, Colorado and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Mathews is also launching some brand new chapters this coming year. Women of New Mexico can be ready for HauteMoney, a service that provides coaching and advice on crowd funding campaigns, and HauteVentures, an investment fund where Mathews will be bringing together investors to create funds for these entrepreneurial women.
“We have been able to stay true to our original vision and are creating somewhat of a ‘girls club.’ We just want to bridge the gap for women in New Mexico who can’t get investors and provide an environment for them where they can go for support,” Matthews said.
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Jessica Eaves Mathews
Co-Founder at Hautepreneurs LLC, CEO of Untoxicating Beauty, CEO of Leverage Legal Group
Eaves Mathews has a bachelor’s degree from UNM and a law degree from the Seattle University School of Law. She started out as a lawyer before launching her first business. She spends her free time with her daughter in Corrales, where she now resides and rides and shows their Arabian horses.
What do you think is the most interesting part of the innovation economy in ABQ?
“Most of it is centered around tech and bioscience, and we do have women in the community doing that but most of the time women start businesses that solve problems. For example, a woman might have an idea for a new kind of stroller because when she had kids she didn’t like the stroller she had. These consumer product-based companies don’t get as much attention from investors as the tech companies do. That is why we have decided to make our focus much broader [than tech and bioscience].”
If you weren’t doing this job what would you be doing?
“I’m a business coach and I’ve been passionate about helping women for a long time. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself and your ideas out there and take that first step. I actually named my life coaching program, Brave Wings, from a quote I saw once, ‘with brave wings she flies.’ I coach women every day, it’s what I do.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]