As a child growing up on the south-side of Chicago, I've always tried to find conventional ways to make money. I didn't have plans on purchasing anything big at first, but I just wanted to go to the corner store to buy candy, chips, and a fifty cent juice with my own money. My first businesses consisted of selling lemonade and frozen cups of juice, on hot days I sold water balloons, as I grew older I started a car wash business that consisted of washing my parents and neighbors vehicles. I then ventured on to babysitting and walking the younger kids in the neighborhood back and forth to school during my summer vacations. In a high school classroom, I remember drafting my first official business plan, for a daycare center I had hopes of opening one day. Not because I wanted to be a teacher, but because my aunt was an entrepreneur and ran a daycare center in which my cousins and I would frequent during the summers.
As I became a parent the urge to find my purpose in life grew stronger. Pregnant with my youngest daughter I began writing a blog "One Haute Mommi" to moms who didn't just want to be great mothers but wanted to find their purpose in life also. From there I returned to school to study marketing while working for a non-profit in Chicago. While there I discovered a passion for helping women and moms start businesses who never thought it was possible through my consulting business "Ground Floor Group". In 2014 my family and I relocated to the Dallas Area to work for a non-profit as a Marketing Specialist. Seeking independence and the opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of others "Startup Skoolie" was born. With the growth and accessibility of mobile businesses and the food truck industry, I had an idea to turn an old school bus into a creative space where entrepreneurs could board and start businesses while having access to resources and building relationships with like-minded individuals. I had a "what" in mind but not a "who". One day during summer vacation my oldest daughter and I were having a conversation and she mentioned becoming an entrepreneur. I began asking her a series of questions about why she wanted to be an entrepreneur and what type of business she would like to start. As we began planning to create her business and to go through the steps of product development, my wheels began turning. What if I could help kids start businesses? How many children approach their parents about starting businesses and either they don't have the tools to assist them or they deter them because of their own personal apprehensions?
As the nation becomes more entrepreneurial and smaller businesses change the makeup of major cities it further confirms how imperative Startup Skoolie is. The activities taught and the skills learned not only have the potential to groom a future CEO, but also give them the tools to be natural problem solvers, doers, and forever learners. With your help, we will raise entrepreneurs!