On this version of Empowered Women Empower, be a part of us for a peek contained in the inspiring world of serial entrepreneur Jennifer Sontag. At 19, Jennifer opened her first boutique specializing in maternity and child clothes within the US. At 28, she offered The Stork’s Nest to Macy’s. From there, she owned high-end boutiques that catered to purchasers like Michelle Obama and Madeleine Albright. Now, at 49, Jennifer has moved to Sicily and is on to her latest journey because the proprietor of Italian Citizenship Concierge, a bespoke company that helps individuals trying to find Italian citizenship via jure sanguinis (proper of blood).
Jennifer is aware of the way to efficiently run and function a enterprise, and thanks noticing gaps out there for every of her entrepreneurial ventures. Learn on and be empowered by Jennifer Sontag!
Contained in the Empowering World of Jennifer Sontag
Love Occurs: As our title and the tagline of our writer, KOKET, denotes, at Love Occurs, we’re agency believers that you just can not obtain any stage of success with out love. When did your love affair with entrepreneurship start? How did it make you are feeling?
Jennifer Sontag: My love affair with entrepreneurship started in my late teenagers after I didn’t have the chance to go to college. I noticed entrepreneurship as my path towards supporting my son. I grew up with a grandmother who was an entrepreneur and ran a small residence bakery. She instilled in me that by working for your self, you make your personal cash, you set your personal hours, you management the standard of your work, and you’ve got that relationship together with your clients who return repeatedly. Rising up round her, I noticed what a superb time she had working. My grandmother was in her 70s and nonetheless working this bakery out of her home and having a superb time with it. She made essentially the most lovely creations, and so they made individuals comfortable, and that’s what I wished to do.
On the flip facet, I noticed my father working himself into an eye-opening well being scare, a coronary heart assault at 52 with no cause aside from the big quantity of stress from work. That wasn’t one thing I wished for myself, particularly as a single mother or father. Being an entrepreneur allowed me to have the creativity to have the life that I wished, all whereas with the ability to increase my son and daughter alongside me.
Lh: Inform us a bit about your previous. What led you to your present mission, Italian Citizenship Concierge?
Jennifer: My love for my grandmother led me to the Italian Citizenship Concierge. She would consistently speak concerning the outdated nation, and the humorous factor is, my grandmother by no means truly stepped foot in Italy. She all the time spoke about wanting to go to. Her dad and mom had come over, and she or he was all the time so passionate concerning the nation. For her, it was all the time an aspirational dream that sometime, she would go to Italy.
As life occasions happened, my life was imploding in 2015, and I had put my complete life on maintain for 17 years by this level. I had a baby at 19 and by no means bought the possibility to journey and see the world. It hit me that my grandmother was all the time planning for sometime, however sadly, that day by no means got here. My youngsters have been in faculty, and I assumed, if I don’t do that now, I’m by no means going to do it.
It took a few years, however right here I’m. I first started my course of to realize my Italian citizenship earlier than CVOID, however that, after all, put it on maintain. As somebody who believes “no” doesn’t imply it’s not truly going to occur, I took it as a chance to make it occur. And alongside the best way, I began serving to different individuals with their very own citizenship journeys. It lit that fireside in me. I noticed I wanted to get again to my roots. That’s the place I’m happiest. My companies all the time come first. They’re my ardour and the place I’m my finest self.
Lh: What do you think about your best achievement?;
Jennifer: I believe my best achievement was overcoming the chances. I used to be a 19-year-old mother or father who owned a maternity retailer. I used to be in a position to increase my youngsters alongside my enterprise and have a full life for them and me. That they had nice education. I used to be the one who broke the cycle and the patterns of abuse that have been happening for generations in my household as a result of I used to be in a position to have my enterprise as that base.
My enterprise was profitable, so I may help my youngsters and provides them an awesome life. Now my son is grown and has a spouse and youngster and a child on the best way. My daughter resides her finest life as a younger single skilled. Each of my youngsters have been in a position to attend college and full graduate levels, journey the world, and dwell their lives with a secure basis. None of that may have occurred had I not had this loopy thought to open a maternity retailer at 19. That enterprise has all the time been part of me as a result of it was how I used to be in a position to help my household bodily, emotionally, and financially.
When my daughter was born, I had a number of well being problems, and I used to be in a position to run my enterprise from my hospital mattress. When she and I have been discharged, the very first thing we did was go to work, and I used to be in a position to have her with me. That couldn’t have occurred if I had been working a conventional workplace job. That instilled in my youngsters the arduous work and sacrifices that may come from life, together with the rewards. And many time for household and mates to make and share reminiscences.
Lh: What empowers you most?
Jennifer: The factor that empowers me essentially the most is obstacles. I really like challenges. I packed up and moved to China, not talking Chinese language. Now I work with the Italian forms on daily basis. And with different candidates who are available with low language abilities, and so they’re excited and overwhelmed. I really like that impediment of getting that each one organized. I’ve to quell their fears and hold them calm whereas getting them excited concerning the new life forward of them.
Lh: Who’s Jennifer Sontag the Girl?
Jennifer: A ball of contradictions. I’m an introverted particular person. My protected place is being enveloped in my very own little house. I’m very enthusiastic about what I do. I’m passionate concerning the issues I imagine in. I’ll go to the tip of the earth for somebody or one thing I care about. However on the flip facet, I imagine that everybody deserves an opportunity and a second likelihood. I really feel that the humility of somebody admitting that they made a mistake and can attempt once more is essential to me. It’s what retains individuals going.
Lh: Who’s Jennifer Sontag, the serial entrepreneur, and proprietor of Italian Citizenship Concierge?
Jennifer: She is her purchasers’ fiercest advocate. She is a gracious host in welcoming them to this new group. I wish to create that group for my purchasers to really feel protected. I wish to give them that hospitality. I’m a midwesterner. We love individuals, and we wish them to really feel that they’re part of us, with us. With each enterprise I’ve created, that’s what’s most vital. My purchasers aren’t simply my purchasers; they’re my mates, they’re my companions. I’m someone who legitimately cares about my purchasers and their course of and the place they go in life. And if I might be part of their journey, then I’m proud of that. I’m there to cheer them on, help them and information them. I’m there once they want one thing.
Lh: What recommendation would you give to somebody beginning a brand new journey–be it in enterprise, in a brand new nation, or in your case, each?
Jennifer: I do know there was a number of pushback on the outdated saying, “comply with your ardour, and it gained’t really feel like work”. However I imagine in following your ardour. It is advisable do what you’re enthusiastic about and do one thing that you just care about. That’s the place the real elements of you come from. That’s the place individuals shine.
Be a lifelong learner. But in addition know when it’s time to finish one thing. After eight years, I used to be uninterested in my maternity shops and speaking about being pregnant and infants. I may really feel that I used to be not offering the very best service to my purchasers anymore. Passions change, and folks evolve. That’s okay. I had spent twenty years proudly owning high-end boutiques. It was a tough a part of my life to go away as a result of it was such an enormous a part of me. However I used to be not enthusiastic about vogue and design. You solely dwell as soon as, and typically a part of that’s transferring on to the following chapter that makes you the very best model of your self.
Lh: Do you may have any favourite empowering quotes?
Although no one can return and make a brand new starting… Anybody can begin over and make a brand new ending.
Lh: What’s subsequent for Jennifer Sontag?
Jennifer: Subsequent is growth! As soon as our purchasers have citizenship, what comes subsequent for them? How do they relocate their lives to Italy? Are they keen on shopping for a house or on the lookout for a job? Do they communicate the language? How can they absolutely immerse themselves in Italian tradition? Our purchasers come right here on the lookout for a brand new life, and a part of that could be a higher understanding of the place they’re and lots of Italian nuances. So what’s subsequent is growing a strategy to help new Italian residents via their transition to dwelling full-time in Italy and life after citizenship.
Discover out extra about Italian Citizenship Concierge at italiancitizenshipconcierge.com.
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