CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Women's Entrepreneur Society of Corpus Christi, or 'WES', has been serving women in the coastal bend since 2017.
It's a non-profit where women collaborate with fellow business owners and learn strategies to advance their business.
3NEWS met with three women who said Women's Entrepreneur Society has made a big difference, not only for their business, but also building a sisterhood. One of them, Jynelle Ornelas-Stanton, had a difficult start to her massage business, Peace of Mind Massage Therapy and Natural Healing.
She was just coming out of an abusive relationship.
"It was the worst feeling in my life, being told I couldn't do something after accomplishing, or trying to accomplish, something in life."
'Peace of Mind' began as a co-op, with women coming together as an escape from abuse.
"Within the first year everyone went their separate ways," Ornelas-Stanton said.
This left Jynelle to run the business alone. Monica Ellison, owner of 20/20 Vintage, was also someone who had to handle her business operations by herself. She said her business was struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With the mandatory lockdown, it was really hard for me to get my product out," Ellison said.
While stories like these could have easily been stories of failure -- they instead leaned on the Women Entrepreneur Society for help.
"Being in WES gave me that opportunity to mingle with other like-minded women in business," Ornelas-Stanton said.
Nikki Riojas is the founder of Women's Entrepreneur Society and said how the organization has worked to elevate women's lives on a personal level.
"It's fun to see how women are able to find new paths, find new opportunities within the organization and then they can also take that out and implement that into their own business, that's really the main goal," Riojas said. "There's still a core group of women who have been with us since the very beginning. Those are now, not only great business partners, but they're friends."
The organization's collaborative efforts build a sisterhood.
"It helps everyone put a face to the business name and to make in-person connections, as well as those on social media," Riojas said.
Monica Ellison feels the success she's seen with her business is due in part to the guidance she received from WES.
"It was really easy for me to grow my business knowing that other women like me were supporting the same thing that they were trying to do," Ellison said.