Lindsey Forck and Alicia Arnett have been planning the Women's Official Weekend, WOW Expo, for the past year, and both women say it has been quite difficult being new, young female entrepreneurs in Jefferson City.
"It's a challenge, sometimes," Arnett said. "Sometimes people just don't want to listen to you."
Tack on additional, but positive, challenges the women have faced - both have full-time jobs, Forck has a husband and two kids and Arnett has been planning her wedding, slated for five weeks after the expo.
"Yes, it is a little insane," Arnett said.
The expo is this Saturday and Sunday at Truman Hotel, 1510 Jefferson St. The event's goal is to educate, empower and entertain women. It includes more than 60 vendors, some local and some from out of town.
"There's anything from health, beauty, apparel, accessories, fitness, vacations, cleaning, hair, nails, massages," Forck said. "Think of women and everything they need and we've got it."
Attendees will receive goody bags, and there will be giveaways and door prizes, including Jason Aldean concert tickets. The days also include various speakers
sharing their stories. Pottery and canvas painting classes will also be offered by Unique Creations Studio for $15.
Forck and Arnett have been friends for some time, but planning the expo has brought them even closer.
Arnett is a 2007 graduate of Jefferson City High School. She recently earned her Certified Professional Coder, CPC, certification and works as an insurance coder for a doctor in Jefferson City.
Forck is a 2004 graduate of Blair Oaks High School. She has managed a restaurant and was assistant leasing manager of deVille Southwest Properties for eight years. She recently accepted a position as business link coordinator at Central Bank.
The idea for a women's expo was Arnett's. She had attended numerous expos with her mother's business, Unique Creations Studio.
"Jefferson City didn't have one (women's expo) and it's the capital city and I thought bringing one to Mid-Missouri would help vendors as well as help promote the economy," Arnett said.
So, she went to Forck with the idea.
"I was crazy enough to say yes," Forck said.
The women began the process by deciding on a name for the expo. They then made a website and researched other women's expos and what types of things they were doing. It was then time to begin booking vendors.
The duo wants the WOW Expo to be an annual affair.
"We may not stick with just one show," Forck said. "We're going to grow our baby first and then expand."
A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit the Kramer family from Rich Mountain. The family includes a single mother, Mary, and five children, four of whom still live at home.
The youngest child, Emmy, was born with DiGeorge Syndrome and for the past 11 years, has endured treatments, putting a strain not only on herself, but also her family.
Forck and Arnett said the weekend is dedicated to not only women, but also the Kramer family.
"This is a weekend where the whole family will get something out of it," Forck said. "We want to give back to them."
Donations and gas cards will be accepted for the family at the expo.
WOW Expo tickets are $3 if purchased in advance at mowowexpo.com and will be $5 at the door. Expo hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.