The Women's Entrepreneur Society of Corpus Christi (WESCC) is a non-profit organization that empowers local business women to continue making a difference in their community. The group meets once every quarter to attend workshops.
These workshops are meant to help women network, collaborate, lead and learn. WESCC started in 2017 and has about 100 members today.
Samantha Thurman and Jynelle Ornelas-Stanton are two members of the organization.
Thurman is the owner and creator behind Lavender & Lee. She stopped teaching six years ago and started to get crafty until she found her passion making jewelry.
She told KRIS 6 News there wasn't anyone in the area who made similar items with gemstones and freshwater pearls, so she took over that role.
That's not the only role Thurman has though. She's also a full time mom and wife.
"Scheduling is really hard because my husband does work and so even though this is my full time job, I'm still the primary caretaker for my kids and so I do have to schedule around not only his schedule but my children's schedule," Thurman said.
She joined WESCC to meet others who shared her passion of collaboration.
"I asked if I could do a pop up and at that pop up I met Nikki," Thurman said. "From there I just continued to meet my circle of people and we all collaborate together and we all work together."
Thurman said the women at WESCC have become her closest friends. Although she has to balance work, home and a social life, she continues to do it because it's rewarding.
"I love seeing ideas in my head and then I'm able to make them come to life and then I see people wearing them," Thurman said.
Thurman hopes to have her own established bridal line in town and to own her own place where she can host workshops to teach others how to make jewelry.
She isn't the only one who took a leap of faith when it came to starting a business.
Jynelle Ornelas-Stanton started Peace of Mind in 2010 with three other business partners.
"We were all struggling with different relationships that were not very healthy for us to be in," Stanton said. "So we pretty much left those abusive and unhealthy relationships and started with something we knew nothing about."
The group went their own ways, which left Stanton to continue to grow and add to the business. She joined WESCC to find others who understood similar business challenges.
On Friday, she celebrated 13 years downtown and continued what she does to show her kids that nothing can hold them back.
"Being a business owner and never feeling like I could connect with anyone, not knowing the struggle of what it's like to see your door open when there's no clients, or the struggles of actually being busy and not having time off," Stanton said.
Stanton wanted to not only be a business, but be one that promoted community awareness and all over health and mental stability.
Peace of Mind is a LGBTQ+ certified save haven and helps those who are not only in need of a stress reliever, but those struggling with sickness. She hopes to continue to grow her business in the near future.
Stanton served on the WESCC board for three yeas and was recently elected the 2023 WESCC president. WESCC has about 100 members and encourages women to apply here.
To reach Lavender & Lee, people can visit a pop up, which Thurman attends 3-4 times a month. They can also go to Instagram @lavenderandlee or Facebook @Lavender & Lee. To get a hold of Peace of Mind or book an appointment, visit them on Instagram @peaceofmindmassage.