Total loan: $10,000
South Pasadena, CA, United States / Retail
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A loan helped execute marketing strategies, gets me in front of my target customers, and pays skilled local labor.
I was raised in Philadelphia, PA by a single mother. Despite the challenges we faced, my mother made sure my life was filled with enriching experiences. We’d go to African street festivals, science museums or we’d play board games like Trivia Pursuit. These experiences shaped who I am from having a passion for African culture to regularly binge watching the Discovery channel. I studied marketing in college and enjoyed internships at Habitat for Humanity and the Virginia Zoo. After college, I earned an MBA and became a tenured Associate professor of Marketing at a community college. In 2006, I was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and spent 8 weeks in Accra, Ghana which changed my life. I was immersed in the process of creating African textiles and the sights, sounds and wares of the African marketplace. This is where I felt alive and most connected to the community. I volunteered at a school for girls that taught sewing and developed nonprofit marketing curriculum with professors at the University of Cape Coast. After being laid off in 2013 I found myself at a crossroads. I considered this an opportunity and created Reflektion Design to among other things, share my transformative experience in Ghana. The road hasn’t been easy. I went back to work and ran the business part time but ironically was laid off from that position less than a year later. Since then I’ve grown the business organically using my savings and reinvesting profits. I learned product photography, social media marketing and have built relationships with bloggers garnering significant press. I’ve also gained exposure doing pop ups at major retailers like West Elm and Pottery Barn which helps keep the momentum going and grows revenues so I can continue this sustainable business.