By Madeleine Pape
An idea struck Mariah Oliver while lounging with her best friend in April 2020.
Oliver, who received her master’s in public relations from IUPUI in 2020, reflected on her time as a student and realized working two jobs through undergraduate and launching herself into a graduate program left her behind in the networking world. She rarely had spare time between balancing work and school.
“I lost resources and felt uncomfortable and scared about my professional stature in those situations,” Oliver said.
From that otherwise typical day in April birthed her brain child, Boss Babe Network.
Oliver began by organizing a brunch to engage and connect corporate women and female entrepreneurs. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the brunch back to July 2020, when restrictions loosened enough to have the event outside at a set capacity. The success of the first event was Oliver’s indicator of a gap in the media landscape that needed more than just a brunch, but a platform.
Now, Oliver projects almost 300 attendees this June at Boss Babe Network’s most popular annual event, Boss Babe Brunch.
“If you are passionate about something, people will find you,” she said.
Boss Babe Network aims to empower women and women-owned businesses with connection through events, social media, a blog, and even merchandise. Professional women come together through Boss Babe Network, learning from each other and creating valuable connections within the business community. Members and non-members attend events such as ‘Bossy Yoga’ and ‘Bossy Round Table Talk’ to meet and network with each other, sharing the common mission of uplifting industry women.
“Boss Babe connects people who would have never met otherwise,” Oliver said. “There are women of all different ages and backgrounds.”
Oliver’s talent set her apart by engineering the structure of Boss Babe Network as an open platform. Boss babes can take what they need from the company’s various events and offerings without being held down to membership. Being open to members and non-members allows for new audiences and growth.
With a background in marketing and public relations, Oliver initially felt uncertain about how fulfilling this work would be. She said she’s found gratification assuming the entrepreneurial role.
“My biggest blessing is connecting others where they want to go,” she said.
Oliver works full-time at TeeSnap, a golf course technology and services company, as a content manager. She calls Boss Babe Network her “passion project that took off.”
Oliver’s advice to young entrepreneurs and aspiring public relations students is to embrace the lessons.
“The biggest thing you can do is pivot and realize what you did wrong and fix it going forward,” Oliver said.