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'We all kind of want to help each other out': Wisconsin women taking the entrepreneurial leap amid the pandemic

Posted at 10:51 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 14:38:43-05

MILWAUKEE - Opening a business during a pandemic may sound risky, but for one Milwaukee woman, the leap of faith is paying off.

Amanda Mattefs had no plans on starting another business, but the pandemic created a door of opportunity.

"As the pandemic hit, everyone was looking for another outlet for like a to-go option. Like a fun elevated snack, and you know," said start-up owner Amanda Mattefs.

Her love of cheese and cured meats got her to thinking and Chaucuter - Me was born.

Mattefs admits she could not have done it alone. The business is a family affair.

"They're delivering for me and prepping with me and it's just, you know, it's actually been a fun time," said Matteffs.

The first year of any business can be difficult to make a profit.

Matteffs's beautifully crafted charcuterie boards have won her a following of hungry fans in a short time of starting the business in August of 2020.

"Eighty-two boards this past weekend and I have done over a thousand boards in the past six months.”

Pivoting in a pandemic has caused many women to take the leap and start a new business.

Wendy Baumann, chief visionary officer of the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation, better known as WWBIC, says it's not unusual to see a boom of start-ups in a pandemic.

"We really see that oftentimes in economic crises, where people go, I have a skill, I have a trade, I can start a business," Baumann said.

WWBIC is a one-stop resource for female entrepreneurs and minority business owners. Baumann said her organization outpaced its expected target for 2020.

"We planned on serving in 2020 about 4,100 unduplicated clients. We served 5,500 unduplicated clients statewide. Milwaukee is our largest market. Huge one-on-one assistance, how do I start a business, how do I create a business plan, how do I market on a shoestring budget," Baumann said.

Meanwhile, Mattefs has also been intentional in supporting other local businesses.

"We all kind of want to help each other out and see each other through this, and I'm just so glad that I'm able to incorporate all of their items into my boards. It's really, really fun," said Mattefs.

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