Boone County Chamber of Commerce conducts Women inspiring Women panel


Women attending the April 23 Boone County Chamber of Commerce Women Inspiring Women breakfast heard business tips from influential female entrepreneurs in the Boone County community.

Halle Simpson, Kas Miller, Rae Hostetler and Erica Carpenter, all entrepreneurs based in Boone County, answered questions from moderator Denise Pierce, also a Zionsville entrepreneur.

The first question asked the women to share their personal “aha” moment when it came to becoming entrepreneurs.

Simpson said she started as a babysitting while she grew up

“It wasn’t until I graduated from college and got my first job that I was an employee for really the first time and I realized within three months of being there I wasn’t cut out as an employee,” Simpson said. “I was driving to work before the sun was up and driving home when the sun was down and that didn’t seem like living to me.”

Miller worked in insurance sales and knew she didn’t want to do that forever.

“I was ready for something different, and I saw a need for an ice cream shop on the west side of Zionsville, so I started researching it,” she said. “A big moment is when I met with a friend of mine who owns a business and I showed her my business plan and she said the difference between people who start a business and people who dream about it is just doing it.”

The women were asked how they balance work and life schedules.

“My rule is I try to work regular office hours,” Hostetler said. “You stop and think, ‘I’ll look at these emails at 10 o’clock at night’ and think, ‘I have to answer this right away.’ Well, do you? Do you have to answer it now or is this person just trying to transfer information and can it wait for tomorrow morning? I won’t get that time back with my kids. I also try to workout several times a week. It’s amazing the ideas that come back through your brain.”

Simpson said boundaries are important.

“A friend told me to take incredibly good care of yourself,” she said. “When you are in an industry where you are helping other people find clarity and find peace, a primary job is to exude that yourself, so I really took that to heart.”

The women were asked to give advice to anyone who has a passion of starting a business or pursuing a dream.

“Just be brave,” Carpenter said. “Trust yourself, trust you know this is a good idea. Bounce it off people and then work hard. There’s a whole anti-hustle movement now where you can work smarter and not harder and I agree, you can work smarter, but you still have to work hard. Be brave, because I think that it’s really rewarding, and then work hard.”

The next event conducted by the Boone County Chamber of Commerce will feature legislators addressing workforce development policies, programs and initiatives May 13. For more, visit