Madeline Pratt is CEO of Fearless Foundry, a company forging the path to make the business world more female friendly. Courtesy photo

Creating a workplace that works for women

Fearless Foundry in Poulsbo seeks to make the business and entrepreneurial world more friendly to women.

Founder Madeline Pratt said it is a consulting company that helps entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground or help existing ones rebrand to drive more interest to their products and services.

A third area it helps with is retainer marketing services, “so if a company knows they need to market themselves but doesn’t have the team to do it, we will … become their marketing team,” Pratt said.

The name Fearless Foundry sparks curiosity, which is exactly what Pratt was going for.

“The name came from a lot of conversation and discovery,” Pratt said “We actually rebranded ourselves this last year. Our previous name was ‘Fearless in Training …’”

During rebranding the company wanted to come up with something that had a shared message.

“We wanted to come up with something really strong and really felt like we were in the fire and forging small business together,” Pratt said. “We still wanted to keep that ‘fearless’ component because it’s a word that kind of surprises the business world and makes people pay attention.

“We were playing around with the ideas that have to do with building something from scratch and kind of going through an experience that may be intense in nature because entrepreneurship is a pretty intense experience.”

Pratt grew up on Bainbridge Island and attended West Sound Academy. After living in Seattle for several years, she and her family moved to Poulsbo in 2018, with the idea of living in a place to raise their children, but that was also buzzing with an entrepreneurial spirit.

“Part of starting Fearless Foundry was wanting to start a business that could work where I was,” Pratt said. “It (Poulsbo) is great ground for entrepreneurship because there are a lot of legacy businesses that are fading out, and new services are needed.

“Especially with the pandemic I think there are so many people who have realized they can do what I do, which is run a company from anywhere.”

Pratt had worked with Vibe Coworks, a communal workspace for professionals in Kitsap County.

“Working there just gave me such excitement about the potential for growing businesses in this community,” she said.

Pratt had previously worked in the corporate world and noted that, despite its moves forward, it was still an uninviting place for women, especially those interested in starting families.

“Part of the reason I left the corporate world was it did not really work for me. I had a growing career in business development in the corporate world and was leading a tech company. During my third year with that company I had my second child and wound up going back to work when he was just two weeks old,” Pratt said.

She described an occasion where she attended a corporate event, with her young son in baby carrier, which caused a few raised eyebrows.

“Even the experience of being pregnant in the corporate world was really hard to navigate and that the current corporate business model wasn’t designed with women in mind, so I think it’s really important for women to start their own businesses and change that culture,” Pratt said.

Fearless Foundry makes a point of working with several businesses that are run and owned by women, but also contracting with women who are looking for work with a flexible schedule that pays well for their time and talent.

“A big ethos of the company is forging and founding a great workplace for women. A place where we can give them six months maternity leave, good health benefits and 401(K)s and things that really support them in having an integrated life. And also on the business end be a model to show that hey it’s not like you will fail if you go out and do these things and create a workplace that actually works for women. You’re actually going to build a really talented team,” Pratt said.

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