How this Utah female entrepreneur pays it forward by promoting other female-owned companies
Rosemary Card, a business owner with a published book and a podcast to boot, has had anything but a traditional route to entrepreneurship.
Originally from the Salt Lake City area, Card lived in New York for four years as a child, moved back to Salt Lake, and then moved back to New York at the age of 16 to model — an experience which became the basis for her book, “Model Mormon,” where she talks about navigating her faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as the at times toxic world of fashion.
Coming off of a modeling career, Card attended Brigham Young University, graduating with a degree in communications, and served a mission for the LDS Church in Arizona. After graduation, she worked for the LDS Church in the film department.
So, when did Card decide to become a business owner? The shift came a few years ago, based on a feeling.
“You know when you kind of feel like something might be changing at work and you should try to be feeling out what else is out there? I had one of those feelings,” Card said.
That feeling, coupled with the realization that there weren’t companies making LDS temple dresses catered towards young women, led Card to Google “how to start a clothing company.”
A little over three years later, Card’s company Q.Noor is thriving and about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its physical store opening. Card herself has become somewhat of a celebrity among young LDS women and a social media influencer. Now, she’s working to give back by promoting the work of other female-owned businesses.
“I think it’s easier for us (women) to discount ourselves, and to write ourselves off, and kind of feel like, ‘oh, this is just like a little side hustle I’m doing, or this is just a little hobby I’m doing,’” Card explained. “I like being able to kind of champion (women) and be like, no, this is your full-blown business and you are a business owner.”
In addition to encouraging women to continue feeding their passion for business, Card chooses to carry products from female-owned businesses she loves because she knows firsthand how hard it can be to get exposure.
Card caught a lucky break when other media wrote about the launch of her website back in 2016. She said that gave her the exposure she needed — she has the original newspaper clipping framed in a place of honor in her shop.
“That was something really happy, that when I opened the shop, that I could open the door to other companies and allow them a place to get off their own website and get in front of new potential customers in kind of a simple manner,” Card said.
Most of the products come from Utah-based female-owned companies, but Card also carries some products from Australia and the Netherlands.
Card explained when she was planning to open her store, she began to follow other retail companies and small boutiques on social media for inspiration. She stumbled upon Suu s, a Netherland-based company that makes, among other things, fabric tie crowns in this way.
Some business owners, Card said, reached out to her. And some of the products Card grew up using, such as Mom’s Stuf f.
“They’re all products that (I)... really love,” Card said. “So when a customer’s looking at it I’m able to say ... let me tell you about all the uses for it, and not in a sales-y way, but 100 percent like this has benefited my family and I really think you would love it.”
Another way Card feels like she’s been able to give back and encourage young women is by hiring her first-ever store employees.
“When I was really young I worked for a woman who owned a jewelry company and it was really inspiring for me to see her run her own business,” Card said. “So it’s been fun to kind of offer the same opportunity to young women and to have them come into the shop ... and kind of give them a unique exposure to running a company.”
For young women thinking about starting their own companies and running their own businesses someday, Card’s advice boils down to two main principles: First, get as much education as you can, and second, be yourself on social media.
“Everyone says you can’t put temple dresses on ... Instagram, well I’m going to do it because it feels OK,” Card said. “Maybe it’s the immaturity in me that’s motivated when people are saying, ‘That won’t work, you can’t do that,’ I’m kinda like, watch me ... there’s a lot of elements that are unique and different and maybe non-traditional, but it’s just worked out and it’s been OK.”
Learn more about Card’s company, its products and the upcoming season of her podcast by visiting her website, qnoor.co m.