Pittsburgh Technical Council

Get to know the Co-CREATORS

Get to know the Co-CREATORS

Article Published: February 7, 2017

Last month, we began to give you a closer look at each of the individuals participating in the Co-Create program this year. We are excited to introduce two more talented local entrepreneurs. Gina Mazzotta is known by some as the Mad Hatter of Pittsburgh and Heather Wechter is a solutions-oriented mother, neighbor, and friend.

 

First up, Gina Mazzotta of Gina Mazzotta Millinery:

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Q: Describe yourself in one sentence.

A: I am a good humored, design loving day-dreamer, also known the Mad Hatter of Pittsburgh.

 

Q:  Why did you become an entrepreneur?

A: I wanted to offer the city of Pittsburgh a service that it was lacking.   I have always loved creating and trusted my taste level and the idea of designing something that people would want to spend their money on seemed like a dream come true.  

Q: What’s been the most unexpected challenge you have had to face since becoming an entrepreneur?

A: Balancing my time between creative mastermind and boss lady businesswoman.  I always expected to have a strong business sense, but it is surprisingly difficult to constantly switch your brain back and forth between art, accounting, marketing, etc.

Q: What’s your favorite creative space in Pittsburgh?

A: Artissima Studio in Fox Chapel.  The owner, Cara Livorio has converted an old barn into a beautiful space that serves as part art gallery, part art classroom, part boutique offering handcrafted products by local artisans.  

Q: Who is your favorite local artist?

A: My fiance, Marco Fiorante.  He is an extraordinarily talented Italian lyric tenor who just released his latest album LOVE (available on iTunes).  

Q: What is a business that has inspired you?

A: Uptown Sweats by Kiya Tomlin.  She has been such a great collaborator and friend and she never ceases to inspire and motivate me with her amazing designs, branding, and growth as a fashion icon in Pittsburgh.

Q: How can people see or get involved in your work?

A: Check out my website at www.ginamazzotta.com or set up an appointment to come to my studio in the Diamond Building downtown:  100 5th Ave, Suite 405, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


Next up is Heather Wechter of tribepool:

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Q: Describe yourself in one sentence.

A: I care about the problems that affect people and have always spent time trying to identify and act on solutions to those problems.

Q:  Why did you become an entrepreneur?

A: The opportunity and challenge to promote positive change motivates me. Creating tribepool has been a very gratifying experience for me. My goal from the start has been to help connect friends and neighbors get to their destinations through carpooling. It is baffling to me that we manage so much our lives through our smartphones - finding friends, buying movie tickets, booking dinner reservations, banking, and on and on. Yet, when it comes to overcoming the everyday challenges that are often inherent in getting from point A to point B; we do not have a cooperative, safe way to do this on our smartphone.

Q: What’s been the most unexpected challenge you have had to face since becoming an entrepreneur?

A: Patience! Once a problem is identified, I want to resolve it quickly and move on. The Co-CREATE program has provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in other different disciplines. The additional insights and considerations raised when talking about our different business ideas and challenges forces me to slow down and re-consider my current approach to my business and solution.

Q: What’s your favorite arts place in Pittsburgh?

A: The Carnegie Museum of Art! I have fond memories of Saturday outings there with my sisters and my dad when I was growing up. It's a great place to spend a day at any age!


Q: Who is your favorite local artist?

A: I don’t really have a favorite. I love telling people I am from Pittsburgh and then schooling them on all the amazing people who bring, or have brought, greatness to the world that are from this city! Fred Rogers, Andrew Carnegie, Andy Warhol. Most recently, my family attended the Martin Luther King, Let Freedom Ring event at the Byham Theater. Vanessa German was amazing and inspiring.

Q: What is a business that has inspired you?

A: My husband and business partner Dave, created a company with three colleagues . Seeing
his commitment to the process and work ethic inspires me today.

Q: How can people see or get involved in your work?

A: We are working hard to bring tribepool to Pittsburgh in 2017. Look for us on Thursday, June 1st at the CREATE Fest which is being held at the August Wilson Center. If you can’t wait that long, stop by our web-site, https://tribepool.com/ to learn more about us

 

Check back next month to learn more about two of our other Co-Creators!

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