I’m Rebecca Knowles Oggenfuss, founder of Brand Intentions. I teach start-ups and small business owners, ambitious professionals, and public figures how to build, manage, and protect their brands.
I’m proud to be a full-time mom and a full-time entrepreneur. But I’m not too proud to admit that I’m still figuring out how to make it all work!
My passions in life – in no particular order – are: quality time with my family; traveling whenever to wherever; writing; personal growth; baking; spending time with my girlfriends; branding; connecting with and inspiring other women; and fashion (although my current style is more ‘toddler ready’ than ‘runway ready.’)
I was raised in a family business; my parents owned and operated a motel in a popular tourist destination for nearly forty years. The house where I grew up was part of the business; which means I’ve been a part of running the family business my entire life. I grew up in a home that embraced the boundless opportunity and the incredible burden that comes from running a business and raising a family (and all under one roof!)
In my heart I’ve always been an entrepreneur, although I didn’t always recognize it. I chose the traditional path of a corporate career after college, but I was always drawn to jobs that reflected my entrepreneurial upbringing. I started out at a family-run boutique PR agency, before moving on to start-up companies, non-profits, and other compelling companies in growth mode. The final stop on my corporate journey seemed like my destination – Vice President of Corporate Brand and Crisis Communications at a global financial services company.
A big part of entrepreneurship is a willingness to take calculated risks. And I took a few big leaps in my career. Most notably, backpacking around Europe before choosing a career path; moving to Bangkok, Thailand to teach English after a few years in a cubicle; and a move across the country for a full-time MBA program. At the time these felt like big, scary leaps of faith without a safety net.
Without a doubt, my biggest leap of faith was saying goodbye to a secure corporate job to invest my time fully in my family and my own business.
Talk about a full circle life moment!
Although there are increasingly more women who are claiming entrepreneurship + something else (raising a family, volunteerism, freedom) as their full identities, I quickly discovered that our culture has not yet caught up with these modern women.
As a business owner and a mom (and many other things) I’ve struggled to answer the simple question: “What do you do?” I think the real question should be: “Who are you?”
Early on in my business I was surprised and confused when I felt myself simultaneously feeling lonely, while also feeling completely overwhelmed by life as an entrepreneur and mom. Where was my tribe of women who wanted to talk about potty training and building their brands online over the same cup of coffee?
I got tired of wishing for a solution, so I got to work on creating one for myself.
What does that look like?
It is one destination for resources that empower women in business to create the life they once only dreamed about by sharing inspirational and practical advice. And it is a community of ambitious women who equally embrace their entrepreneurial side and their “other sides.”
It’s a place to acknowledge our imperfections, embrace the messy chaos of everyday life, and remind each other to enjoy the ride.
I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do!
If you want to read more about my experience in crisis communications, corporate communications, brand marketing, public relations, consulting, and everything else that has shaped me as a professional, check out my LinkedIn profile.