At 17, she was a CEO. At 21 she had a 1 percent chance to live. At 26, she is empowering and teaching female entrepreneurs how to succeed. Alexa Carlin, the 26-year-old who is bringing female entrepreneurs together to learn, to share, to network, and to succeed. This is a story not just about women helping women, but about Carlin’s journey and the idea of fostering opportunities for women and for aspiring female entrepreneurs to learn, to grow, and to succeed. Her story of empowerment and tenacity is an inspirational one for women in business, actually, for all women.
Carlin, no stranger to adversity, founded her first company at the age of 17, Carlin started her first business at the age of 17, a jewelry line that made bracelets for the OmniPeace Foundation. Later while attending the UnivXersity of Florida, Carlin started the inspirational blog Hello Perfect, a blog that elicited quotes from celebrities ranging from Shaquille O’Neal to Mark Cuban. These endeavors enabled Carlin, who in high school was too shy to raise her hand in class, to build confidence—her mission, to promote self-esteem in girls and women.
In the midst of all of this, she was rushed to the hospital where one, then five then 25 doctors were called to the emergency room where she was rushed—not being able to breathe. She had suddenly gone into septic shock and the family was told she had a 1 percent chance to live.
Miraculously she walked out of the hospital six months later, but constant ingestion of antibiotics had destroyed her system. Since then, she has been passionate about making a difference in others lives through her entrepreneurial endeavors. Although she continues to suffer from autoimmune disease, she has managed to rise above, despite severe constant physical pain.
Today, this nationally renowned motivational speaker has dedicated her life to doing one thing: inspiring people to dream big and believe in themselves.
Hello Perfect’s online community inspired her concept for WEX in 2016. Carlin grew WEX to become the largest event for female entrepreneurs on the east coast with planned expansion to more areas in the near future. Through WEX, she has also created a platform for women entrepreneurs to gain support, find funding, and meet other like-minded women.
WEX is a SXSW-style experiential one-day event, which is filled with workshops, panels, breakout sessions, a pitch competition, networking lounge, woman-owned marketplace, author book signings, mindset stage, and much more. The mission is to empower, educate, and equip women with the knowledge and community to create and grow successful businesses.
WEX also works with the nonprofit, My Girlfriend’s House and hosts a teen entrepreneur expo within their expo. Fourteen teen entrepreneurs will showcase their businesses to attendees in a contest in which the winner will receive a monetary ‘investment’ and business coaching.
And yes, if you’re thinking about heading to their next event, there is still time for you to plan to attend the next WEX, which will be held in Washington, DC on May 26th, 2018. Not only will you be supporting Alexa Carlin’s dream, you will also get the opportunity to learn from top industry experts and female leaders, network with entrepreneurs and change-makers, discover tools and strategies to take your businesses to the next level, plus feel empowered to create a positive change.