Franklin’s ‘Women in Business’ Events Build Networks

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – With years of meeting clients at their homes, Lorri Franklin’s experience as a sales representative for Traci Lynn Jewelry led her to create a platform to give women-owned businesses more exposure for their products.

Through the Women in Business vendor events at the Metroplex in Liberty and other, smaller events across the area, Franklin is building a network for women to promote and expand their businesses.

“It’s important to have a space where people can come together from across the area. We’ve had women and men coming from the Youngstown-Warren area, from Cleveland, some from Pittsburgh,” she says. “It’s important to me to have a venue for everyone to see what others have to offer.”

Even during the pandemic, Franklin put on events for vendors to get more support.

“I was skeptical for the first one last year because it was during the pandemic. Who’d want to go out during that?” she says. “I ended up with 150 vendors at the Metroplex. We had about 10 people cancel, but it was still great and attendance was awesome.”

Beyond just giving women-owned businesses a place to meet customers, the Women in Business events also provide leaders a chance to meet each other and get the word out about their companies.

“It’s a great opportunity for women to come together and network. It may not always be a big sale, but it’s key because you never know who’s going to come through the door,” Franklin says.

Later this summer, she says, two business owners who met at one of the vendor events will co-host a bridal show at the DoubleTree in downtown Youngstown.

“I love seeing that from these ladies. I tell them that you may not make a monetary sale, but when you can get that networking connection, it can take you so many places,” she says.

With a 9-year-old daughter who’s already working on her own business – the So Sassy beauty line – providing a place for women to build their business and dedicate a space for them to thrive is what drives Franklin.

“I bring her to events with me so that she can see what she can do. Right now, she wants to be a pediatrician and I want to show her what’s out there,” Franklin says. “Women can have their 9 to 5 job and also have a small business that they’re growing.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.