The 3 Queens are game for supporting women and girls

We spoke with Cara Florence and Nicole Young, co-founders with Maureen Coffey-Edri, of the all-woman-owned, South Carolina-based gaming development and publishing company 3 Queens, about their newest ventures and how it is to be female entrepreneurs. Here's what they told...

ti logoWhat inspired you to start your business?

Cara: We launched with Think Ideally because we wanted to diversify, and we realized a long time ago we wanted to be business owners but never had a support system, coach, or female mentor to help navigate some of the challenges we faced in business as women.

Crud logoNicole: Then, we launched with our own product, My Day at Care, to solve a problem with communication between parents and child-care providers. That was the catalyst for our growth through STEM education, affirmative consent and then eventually gaming. This satisfied our passion for diversification and developing an ecosystem of support for other entrepreneurs.

Cara: The heart of our business is to help other entrepreneurs realize their dreams—not just to create a product, but also to solve real problems.

Where do you want it to go?

Nicole: At 3 Queens we are continuing expansion of our current game, Creeping with the Crudashians. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about the concept of the game and we see a lot of people laughing and saying, “Finally, someone created a game like this.” Many young girls aspire and idolize women in Hollywood. Meanwhile, we have a national STEM shortage, especially for minorities. Not everyone will have the opportunity to sell a sex tape and become famous. Kudos to creating an empire out of it, but we poke fun at the Hollywood lifestyle in hope that women will see how outrageous it is and get a good laugh in the meantime. Clearly, it’s a parody.

Cara: In addition to the game, we are using our Entrepreneur Fast Track (EFT) program to launch WeConsent2, an affirmative consent application, to support the laws recently passed in California and New York. We want to continue to tackle controversial problems and solve them through innovative means.

How can we help your business?

Cara: By showcasing and promoting the successes of female entrepreneurs, even in the small wins. More specifically, it is most impactful when the promotion and support comes at the beginning stages of a startup when it is needed most, to encourage perseverance.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Cara: Coffee. Coffee. One more coffee.

Nicole: Sugar and cream with a splash of coffee.

What’s your workout?

Cara: We try and do Pilates in the office in between travel and meetings.

Nicole Young’s phone
Cara Florence’s phone

What’s on your phone home screen?

Both: Only the most important things.

What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

Cara: I get the full circle of emotions every day. It’s scary, but safe. It’s exhausting, yet I can’t get enough. At the end of the day, it’s the most rewarding experience to see the faces of those you have touched after all the hard work is put in.

Nicole: I love that as a team we have taken on every challenge head-first and felt successful in some way. It is a different experience working as a pair or trio than being alone, and it’s something that everyone should aspire to. I feel the role of “CEO” is not viable in today’s world and two or three people are able to explore all sides of a problem more effectively.

Why do you do what you do, and why does it matter to you?

Cara: Because we can. If there’s one thing I have personally learned as an entrepreneur, it’s the one who works the hardest will win every time.

Nicole: We can make a difference. We want to be an example to the world, to young girls and to other entrepreneurs out there. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what assets you have—if you have the passion, you can succeed.

crudashiansWhat’s your “entrepreneurial superpower?”

Cara: Observing and reading people.

Nicole: Taking problems and thinking of the solution no one else has.

Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now?

Cara: Darla Moore.

Nicole: Barbara Cochran.

Why do they inspire you?

Cara: Darla built an empire through perseverance, hard work, and a deep passion for entrepreneurialism. She also continues to walk the talk and give back to the community.

Nicole: Barbara understands who she is, doesn’t give up easily, and supports entrepreneurs.

What’s the best and worst thing about being an entrepreneur while also being female?

Cara: I have always struggled with feeling undervalued and being held back because of my perceived “place” in a company. The best thing about being an entrepreneur is creating my own value and “place,” utilizing my skills and talents without relying on the perception of others. The worst thing about being a young, female entrepreneur is the constant judgment that I got here some other way than through hard work, experience, and knowledge.

Nicole: I would say the worst is the immediate perception walking into a situation without people knowing who you are. I was mistaken for a “booth babe” 100% of the time while we were at E3, and it was disheartening that people were so shocked that I was the co-founder of several tech and gaming companies. The best part of this adventure is being able to define and walk my own path freely.

Do you think male entrepreneurs are “different” from female entrepreneurs?

Cara: To be very candid, the most pronounced difference I have experienced is generational, more so than gender, in the way they structure and value their employees. I found it more challenging to work with older men who disregarded my ideas and opinions in business matters because I was woman. I literally had someone tell me once to put a man on the phone because he wouldn’t have a business discussion with a woman. As always, there have been a few exceptions.

Nicole: I agree with Cara, but with our generation and the ones coming into the workforce, I find that each person is following his or her own path and are harder to shove into boxes of gender or any other classification.

Nicole Young, Cara Florence, and Maureen Coffey-Edri, the 3 Queens
Nicole Young, Cara Florence, and Maureen Coffey-Edri, the 3 Queens

What the best advice you ever got, and from whom?

Cara: “Perception is reality,” from my grandfather.

Nicole: “That’s impossible,” from many people. It inspires me to make it possible.


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