Alexis Dean’s goal seems simple: support female entrepreneurs. That’s why she founded The Dovetail Community in 2017, a global organization on a mission to advance female entrepreneurs through a powerful online membership and mastermind community, and unforgettable shared experiences. Easy, right? But what this really means is a commitment for equality every step of the way, and this Canadian is up to the task. She thoughtfully makes equality and equity a priority in her business, truly making Alexis Dean a female disruptor.
When building the first Dovetail Summit event, Alexis Dean learned about the incredibly small number of women of color who are able to build businesses that earn over seven figures in annual revenue. Since then, she has deliberately ensured that one the main stage of any Dovetail event, there’s been at least a 50% representation of women of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Dovetail Community is committed to anti-racism, and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community, and in all of the businesses we support, she said.
The Black Lives Matter movement drove Dovetail to partner with KDPM Consulting and Karlyn Percel to educate and support Dovetail community members in anti-racism, and to change business practices to create a more equitable and inclusive world for all. Additionally, the Dovetail Community is hosting monthly anti-racism education sessions and creating an ongoing plan for anti-racism within the community, while also supporting members in anti-racism goals for their own businesses.
“Each of us needs to stand for equality and equity. It’s not a one-time action, or a short-term fad, it’s work that we need to take on for our entire lives,” Alexis Dean said.
Alexis Dean has had a #MeToo moment, and the Dovetail Community was launched because of a negative experience she had in another entrepreneur community. However, she thinks men can have a role in improving equality for women.
Her advice: men should listen to the women in their lives. Pause before responding or reacting defensively, and understand that the lived experiences of women are incredibly different than men’s, especially for women of color.
Alexis Dean describes herself as a “Jill of All Trades”. What she doesn’t know, she’s confident she can learn, and she has the persistence to keep trying until she gets it right. Right now, she’s working on learning the guitar and practicing meditation daily.
The women Alexis Dean admires most are her mom, Cheryl Strayed, Glennon Doyle, and Brene Brown, whose book, Dare to Lead, she’s reading right now. She’s really in touch with her emotions and says she can be a total mushball sometimes. Typical Cancers!
Being an entrepreneur can be stressful, but Alexis Dean knows how to have fun and decompress. In the summer, she’s game to jump right into a lake, and in the winter she loves to ski, especially in powder snow! Her favorite drink is a Moscow mule, and her favorite Instagram account is @otis_unleashed, where she can check in with the various antics of Otis the Sheepadoodle dog.
Alexis Dean’s advice for the next generation is that entrepreneurship is a long game. It takes effort and drive. A business doesn’t just grow overnight, but the journey is worth it.
Part of her journey was during the last morning of the first Dovetail Summit. Participants cheered for her in a round of applause and then wanted to know what Dovetail was doing next. It was in this moment she realized: this was more than just a one-time thing. She had built a community, something that would last.
In fact, Dovetail is still growing. The online membership and mastermind plan was launched in May, which promotes collective wisdom and connects members to subject-matter experts to help advise and support women in the community as they grow their businesses. Alexis Dean said she’s excited to welcome new members in September.
You can get on the waitlist for the Dovetail Community at www.dovetail.community. As someone passionate about supporting other women and creating a space that makes opportunities for women to positively impact the world through entrepreneurship, Alexis Dean definitely fits the mold of a female disruptor.