Tory Johnson's 'Spark and Hustle' in South San Francisco


"Spark and Hustle" sounds like a Las Vegas revue, but it's a review of Johnson's life and an inspirational message going forward for women entrepreneurs. It's all about being your own boss in the business world.

"It was a permanent scar from a pink slip and there was pain emanating from that scar that wouldn't go away," Johnson recalled. That happened after her jet-setting career at a TV network ended in a stunning and sudden firing, and led to a transformative realization. "I could be the man. I could be the one. I could open my own business. I could sign my own paychecks. I could do my own thing and I could make it happen," she said. So, she set out on her own and she says sister, you can too.

The "spark" is the ideas brought to the conference by women entrepreneurs. Some were things only a woman could think of, like a pre-packed hospital labor bag called the Push Pack. "There's things like nipple cream and maxi pads because when your water breaks, you leak and leak and leak, and they tell you to put a towel between your legs. So, maxi pads, that does it for you. There's disposable underwear. There's all these little things. There's food because you're hungry after you have a baby," explained Laura Magu ofConcord.

The "hustle" is selling the "spark." One attendee still deciding on a business went for inspiration. "All these women in here whether they're moms or not, still had to give up something to pursue their dream and so that's brave and inspiring for me," Kim Nguyen of Palo Alto said.

"It's not for me to decide for you what success looks like. It's really for you to know it, to be able to envision it, to be able to articulate it, and then it's up to us to help you make that happen. So, are you ready for that?" Johnson asked the crowd who began to applause. "Alright, good."

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