Nonprofit Girls Crushing It Creates Girlpreneurs and Confidence

(Shelly Hamalian of Shutterbug94549)
Catherine Foster, Orinda resident and Founder of Falaloops, an accessories business launched through the Girls Crushing It program.

    How do you build confidence and develop leadership and financial skills in young girls to ensure success in their future careers? Orinda resident Roxanne Christophe has made it her mission to change the stakes for girls whose confidence levels typically drop by 30% at ages 8-14, despite outperforming boys academically. Doing so, she hopes to address and begin to reverse the leadership and wage gap experienced by females in the business world.
    In 2018, Roxanne encouraged her daughters Christophe Davis then age 10, and Sophie Davis, then age 8, to take their origami business to a local farmers market. Buoyed by their success, her daughters invited Wagner Ranch and OIS school friends with small businesses to join in. After 50 girls signed on, Roxanne hosted an “Entrepreneurship 101” workshop followed by a stand-alone marketplace with 400 visitors and customers attending. The response motivated her launch of Girls Crushing It.
    Two short years later, Girls Crushing It has educated hundreds of girls in entrepreneurship. They’ve made pitches and sold products to more than 10,000 customers in the Bay Area. Each season, girls sign up for workshops that read as if they came from a university business school syllabus. They teach girls to turn their passions into products ranging from accessories, apparel and toys to dog biscuits and housewares to sell in a pop-up shop.
    Girls Crushing It reached an all-time high of 6,000 visitors at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco when they joined World Wide Women Foundation for the 4th Annual Girls Festival in November, 2019.
    The spring 2020 pop-up, during the pandemic, proved equally impressive. It became a testament to the flexibility and persistence of these young entrepreneurs reacting to a calamity and turning it into an opportunity. Roxanne explained, “Training workshops focused on how to get product in local businesses like Orinda’s Square Baby and Lafayette’s Bel and Bunna’s Books. The pandemic hit the very day items were going into the stores, and 90% of the 50 girls signed up for the pop-up event pivoted to a virtual pop-up, which logged 2,000 virtual visitors versus 500 anticipated ‘in store’ customers.”
    Catherine Foster, Orinda resident and Founder of Falaoops, an accessories business launched through Girls Crushing It, shared her enthusiasm about the program: “I feel like Girls Crushing It helped me become a real business person. Roxanne taught us how to think about pricing and marketing my product and encouraged us to experiment. I thought the COVID situation would mean we wouldn’t be able to sell anything this year, but the virtual pop-up shop helped me sell even more than I did last year. I actually ended up selling out of most of my products and being able to donate to the charity I am supporting.” Catherine gave 15% of the $550 sales from her animal-themed wristlet key chains to Heifer International.
    Corporate sponsors of Girls Crushing It include Wells Fargo, Sephora, Diablo Magazine, among other local and national business, foundations and individuals. Recently Girls Crushing It partnered with Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center to deliver virtual programming to girls around the world, offering a national and international Nasdaq Center Youth Camps with Girls Crushing It in July, 2020. Stay tuned for what pops up next.

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