As a young girl, I struggled to see myself through a positive light. I personally know how important it is for young girls to be intentionally encouraged, and how speaking life into them can really boost their self esteem.
It makes me happy to know that there are companies out there that are intentional about building up young girls, and molding them into strong, confident, and influential young women.
Chicks With Class is a girl’s empowerment company that celebrates style and education. The company provides fun, educational, and motivating opportunities for young girls to grow. They offer stylish apparel, summer camps, and even party packages! They do all of this with the intention of promoting positive influence, and building our girls up to be strong.
I had a chance to attend one of these events in December 2016. I wrote about my experience, and even got to interview Disney Channel’s Skai Jackson (who was one of the special guests). You can check that out here.
After leaving this event I knew that I had to get to the source of all of this greatness. Anything that promotes positivity and uplifting of our youth is a great cause to me. I was fortunate to meet the founder of Chicks With Class, Margo Jordan-Baines and she agreed to open up with me for a #FROREAL Life Story feature.
Chicks With Class Founder, Margo, shares about being a young wife, mother, and business owner.
How did you come up with the idea for Chicks With Class and what is the mission behind your business?
I was literally up one night and I had an epiphany. I prayed about some way that I could make a positive and effective impact on our youth. I come from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and there was so much negativity going on in the city. I prayed about it, and this is literally what came to me. I started this business while I was in college, and it was originally geared toward women my age, but I found that it was more difficult to connect. It seemed like everyone was pretty much set in their ways. So, I changed my approach to target younger girls, since they’re the generation of tomorrow. I figured if I could get to them and get them to start thinking of themselves more positively, they can carry these things with them as they get older. I want them to grow up with this really great brand (Chicks With Class) to represent them. The mission is to empower, educate, and entertain girls all over the world. We provide a fun and upbeat atmosphere. We did that in December with our Holiday Brunch Gala.
Did you face any trials when you first started your business?
One of the challenges I faced was that I was really one of the first people in my family to take starting a business this far. I put everything into the business. So, I really did not have anyone to turn to for advice that had this kind of experience. I was left with the task of doing heavy research, and learning how to really target my market. Especially with deciding to get a brick and mortar (store building). I had to figure out how to handle all of that. The main struggle is that I am doing all of this for the first time, and I do not really have anyone in my family to ask for guidance.
I saw on instagram that you recently celebrated your 29th birthday. How does it feel to be so successful before you have even reached 30 years old?
For me, I don’t really look at it like that.
I just feel like I have so much more to accomplish. I really do not look at it like, ‘I accomplished this before 30,’ I look at it like I still have stuff that I need to get done to make this company successful and make it grow.
Is it tough being a mom, wife and business owner and how do you balance your time?
Well, I am always a wife and mom first. I balance things by making sure that I make time to spend time with my children. I never want to look back and say, ‘I built this wonderful company but my kids don’t event know who I am,’ that would hurt me to my core. And also, my husband. I revert back to biblical stand point, I was a wife first before I was a mom, so that is always important to me.I have to get that husband and wife time in, because I definitely want my marriage to grow along with my company. If I have to choose between something to do for the company and my family, I am choosing them. There will always be opportunities for the company, but I won’t get those times with my family back.
Reaching our goals requires us to face some fears and insecurities. What would you tell someone that’s battling insecurities today?
I would say to take the insecurities that you are having right now, and think about your life 10 years from now. Ask yourself, ‘am I going to let these insecurities stop me from being great?’ You do not want to look back and realize that you wasted so much time, because of the insecurities that you are facing today. I could not let little insecurities stop me from starting this company. The sky is truly the limit and we never know how far we can go.
In what ways has Chicks With Class impacted the way you view and interact with other women?
I try not to be judgmental of other women’s lifestyles. Whatever another woman decides to do that I wouldn’t choose for myself, I try not to judge her for it. I do not knock anyone for what they feel they need to do. I try to be the one that can set an example, but I realize that everyone has their own story and that I am no better than the next person. I just try to live my life as a light for others.
What lessons are you taking with you from 2016 into this year and what are you most excited about for the New Year?
One lesson is, ‘Don’t jump into things without doing more research.’
I usually would invest in things, or people without evaluating if it will add value to myself or the company. I learned last year to not waste resources. Even when I want to help other people, I have to remember to help myself first sometimes. It is like if an airplane crashes, they tell you to put your own mask on first before helping someone else. So, I am taking that with me. I am really excited about growth potential for this year! I am excited to open my store, I am a little afraid, but I am so excited.
What advice would you give someone who is wanting to start their own business but afraid to take the first step?
If you never take the first step you won’t know how far you can go.
If I never decided to take the leap, I wouldn’t be here right now. Someone asked me, ‘Did you have money saved up before you decided to get this lease for your building?’ The answer is, ‘No.’ I didn’t have a dime in the bank. All I had was faith and a prayer. God has been leading me this entire way, and all of the things I face have made me stronger. Each test is only preparing us for the next phase. God is in control and there is nothing that He can’t do. So, I am not saying that when you jump it will easy, but if you want it bad enough it will be worth it.
You can learn more about Chicks With Class on the web.
You can also follow Chicks With Class on Instagram: @chicks_with_class