We are celebrating The Bridal Finery's 1/2 birthday on May 20, 2018. Roberta and I have accomplished so much in such a short time. It's amazing what you can do in one year of your life when you set your mind to it. This time last year the bridal company I was working for was listed for sale. I was thirteen years invested into the company and eight months pregnant with my baby boy. I had no idea what the next twelve months would hold. I knew I couldn't interview for a job this far into my pregnancy. I decided to stick it out. Hopefully the new company would give me a contract and peace of mind. When the change of ownership happened, there was a lot of uncertainly. I let a few weeks go by and then I went into panic mode. The baby was a few weeks old and I needed to figure out something as my husband's income alone couldn't support our family.
Throughout this journey I kept on thinking about my time in Africa. Back in 2014, my husband and I spent a week in a small town outside of Kampala, Uganda. My former college roommate, Jessica, is the Co-Founder of the nonprofit Umama. We spent time with the Umama team and learned how they make a difference. The organization provides small loans for women who want to start or grow their business. The loans are as low as $70 and do require repayment. This small amount can make a world of a difference. Jessica understood the whole power of women as business owners long before the whole #bossbabe, #girlboss, and all the other # on Instagram. She knew if women could start their own business, the whole community would benefit including children.
During my decision to open up The Bridal Finery, I continued to think about these women. They really led me. I saw their strength. I saw what they accomplished out of a small loan as little as $70. I saw how their business was flourishing and how they were able to better provide for their children. I knew my situation was not nearly as significant as what they were creating. I've said this countless of times, I have learned more from the woman at Umama than they learned from me. So, I took out a small personal loan and a home equity loan(scary!) and together Roberta and me made it flourish.
I've never been one to celebrate 1/2 birthdays, but I guess that's one of the many special things about having a kid. You start to celebrate each month. Every month is significant. In business the same is true. Starting on May 20, 2018, The Bridal Finery's 1/2 birthday, we will send $5.00 to Umama.org for every bra we sell. This is our small way of saying thank you to the women at Umama for making us fearless women in business! I cannot wait to write them the first check!
To donate directly to Umama, click here.