Tanya Allen Keeps Things Fresh and Innovative With ForeverFresh | Page 2 | NAWBO

Resources

Tanya Allen Keeps Things Fresh and Innovative With ForeverFresh

An ingenious idea suddenly came to Tanya Allen. She was hit like a lightening bolt with a one-of-a-kind idea for a feminine hygiene product that would revolutionize the industry. But when she let others discourage her, the product slipped through her fingers. It was then that she proved what it takes be truly innovative by reimagining her product and launching her highly successful business, ForeverFresh. As she puts it, “Failure is just an opportunity to try something a different way.”

Today, Tanya and her partners operate six retail stores at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and 10 restaurants. She has also created a new line of sanitary underwear for children, called ToddiFresh.

What’s more, she is an active member and president of NAWBO’s Greater Detroit chapter, where she works tirelessly to support other women business owners achieve their own goals. We spoke with Tanya for this month’s Q&A about how she stays innovative and her advice to others seeking to stay on the cutting edge.

What inspired you to become a woman entrepreneur?

In the late ‘80s, I convinced a chemical company to let me represent their cleaning products in the first U.S./Taipei trade show. I was fascinated with conducting business in another country. From that moment on, I wanted to figure out a way to expose young people to what I saw as a boom in the emerging global business market. I said a simple prayer: “God, if you give me an idea that will make lots of money, I will provide opportunities for young people to travel to other countries and experience firsthand the global business market.” I created one product and, quite frankly, let people discourage me from pursuing it. That product is called Always, sanitary pads with wings. I emerged from my pity party and came up with the concept of ForeverFresh disposable underwear. The rest is history.

How has the ability to be innovative played into your business success?

When you are truly innovative, you must allow for some flexibility for change. Innovation is change. I have been able to adapt (not always willingly) to change in order to maximize innovation in my businesses. For example, applying the concepts of disposability, cost effectiveness and convenience in an undergarment for women led me to make them for children.

What’s your number-one piece of advice for others wishing to drive innovation in their businesses?

Be open to advice, but always listen to your inner self. Trust your instincts. You will find that most of the time, you’re right.

When and how did you join NAWBO, and what has kept you a member over the years?

One of our local chapter’s sponsors invited me to an event. I’ve been a member ever since. NAWBO has helped boost my confidence. By being actively engaged and working on numerous committees, I enhanced my business and personal skills. Most importantly, I have an opportunity to support and inspire other business owners. Giving back is the best part of being in NAWBO.

Can you share some of your biggest goals for the coming year?

My biggest goal is to increase product distribution of ForeverFresh and ToddiFresh by 50 percent in 2018. On a personal note, I am happily engaged, and my goal is to be happily married in the next year.

So far, what’s been your biggest business accomplishment of 2017?

My partners and I own and operate restaurants at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. In February, we successfully opened Cat Cora’s Taproom in the Delta terminal.

What is something that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I sing.