Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

Empowered Flower Girl inspires powerful living and promotes mentoring

When people hear the name of my company, Empowered Flower Girl, they often conjure images of a hippie chick selling daisies on the side of the road. Yes, we do sell goods like t-shirts, bookmarks and other products. But most importantly, we promote powerful living and mentoring. In other words, Empowered Flower Girl is a social venture with a focus on people rather than profits.

As a long-time mentor for non-profit youth organizations based in and around Detroit, I started Empowered Flower Girl in an effort to connect with girls and young women seeking products and resources that enrich and enhance their lives. Many of the organizations I worked with had some sort of mentoring component and were always seeking adult and teen volunteers.

At first, mentoring was something I did to past time. Then in 2005, it became a part of my personal and professional mission. The same year, I began writing a manuscript for my forthcoming guidebook “Power Tools for Flower Girls.” I wanted to start a company that inspires young people and celebrates their contributions to society.

I learned that youth with positive adult role models are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and activities like drugs and gangs. According to reports published on Mentoring.org, youth with mentors also are more likely to graduate and pursue higher education. That was enough inspiration for me to launch Empowered Flower Girl.

Empowered Flower Girl has an altruistic vision and business model. Our hope is that all of the girls and young women we reach will someday pay it forward and become mentors and/or launch their own do-good organizations. In addition to youth, Empowered Flower Girl helps communities by providing content and products to nonprofit organizations for programs and workshops. Tax-exempt organizations are eligible to receive up to 25 percent off our sales during their designated campaign period. This is our way of giving back and promoting collaboration.

Date officially launched?

The Empowered Flower Girl officially launched in July of 2010.

How many years and how many people has this person helped?

So far, we’ve co-sponsored two events since our July launch, including a “TweetUp” event for teens. The workshop was all about social media and online reputation management. The goal was to show participants how they can use the internet to empower themselves and others in their communities. We’ve impacted a little over two dozen tweens and teens with our workshops and have amassed nearly 300 followers on Facebook and Twitter. Our goal is to increase the impact significantly.

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

As the chief empowering officer, I am the company’s single employee. Additionally, we have one college intern and work with two freelancers who provide graphic and web design services. We hope to operate full-time within the next two years.

What is the best advice you never got?

My business mentor and friend, who owns a relationship and marriage counseling business, told me to always take time to reflect upon my accomplishments, give gratitude and then move forward. It took me a while to figure out what she meant. I now realize that often people freak out over making the next big move and they rarely get the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Partnering with nonprofits and other individuals who are concerned about youth is the smartest thing I’ve done for Empowered Flower Girl. Collaboration is key and it will help us further our mission. All business owners, especial those with social ventures, should take every opportunity to collaborate and network. If we’re in this to make a difference, we can have a greater impact together.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

In launching Empowered Flower Girl, I had to go from thinking about local connections to regional and national partnerships. For years in my corporate jobs it was about business to business marketing with other local companies but now I have a wider reach and would like to help empower young people across the country. I’m thinking on a much grander scale these days.

What can you tell other entrepreneurs who are deciding to make a difference?

Being a social entrepreneur is extremely rewarding. I think that all entrepreneurs should have an altruistic component to their business model. If you’re contemplating starting a social venture, follow your heart and go for it. The world can always use a new innovator.

What book(s) have you read that others should read?

Two of the most empowering books I’ve read weren’t focused on how to start a business or increase profits. “The Secret” inspired me to create new possibilities for myself and those around me. Additionally, “The Artist’s Way” helped boost my creative energy and actually helped me focus.

Rasheda Kamaria
Chief Empowering Officer
Empowered Flower Girl LLC
www.empoweredflowergirl.com

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