In Conversation with Sonya and Tedi Serge of Girl Powerful

Girl Powerful_Blog Header

Describe Girl Powerful in a few words? 

Trailblazing, Life changing, Emotional Education.

What made you take the leap to start your own business? 

We wanted a way for shy girls to SEE what we see in them. We saw inner strength, creativity beyond measure, and deep empathy for their peers. We wanted girls to start a relationship with themselves at a young age so they can maneuver life in a happy, healthy and positive way. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

We both always worked with children, whether it was coaching the local swim team or babysitting. We both loved taking care of youth and empowering them to be their best selves. As adults post college Tedi was a teacher and Sonya worked in the music industry.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

YES. We always wanted to work together and open a store or write a TV show. Girl Powerful was born because we were seeing Gen Z become victims to the same toxic pattern as generations before. We want girls to have the mental health tools to prevent bad decision making, self-loathing and depression. 

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We relied heavily on word of mouth from parents and positive feedback from schools. Cold emails to schools got us nowhere. People connect with a face and a story. Cold calls/emails aren’t an easy way to breakthrough, but if it is all you have, then do it and manifest powerful, “YES” responses boomeranging back to you. 

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

That word comes with the feeling of shame but girls should know that mistakes are a part of life. At Girl Powerful we feel like everything is a teachable moment. A teachable moment we have had was trusting people before the trust was earned and not having clear boundaries or guidelines in a partnership. The bottom line is to know your worth and communicate. If you can’t speak your mind and discuss what you need from a boss, project, partner, friendship, etc. then you’re going to run into problems. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

We are beyond proud of the mental health tools we provide tween and teen girls through our zoom classes, our Girl Powerful Journal and our Affirmation Card Deck. We all get paralyzed by our own insecurities and fear of not being accepted. We put those feelings to bed in 2020 and we live our lives out loud and we don’t care what others think. We know we are great teachers, mentors, and friends to our Girl Powerful community. There isn’t time to waste on not hitting, “publish,” “send,” or “apply.” Do it. Do it today.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

“Who are you?” Everything you need to know about someone will show up in their answer. You will understand them in so many ways. Are they confident? Was this question easy for them to answer? Do they express empathy? Can they connect with others? Are they still learning and growing? All of those questions need to be answered with a “YES.” Our girls deserve the best and it is our job to give that to them and to safeguard them from people who aren’t ready to be a mentor.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We lost everything yet gained everything at the same time. We lost our schools and community center classes because there was no such thing as “in person classes.” We turned to zoom immediately, we were highlighted by Forbes as a brand that “pivoted” quickly and we grew into a national brand because of the pandemic. It was definitely a silver lining and the push we needed. 

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We wanted to focus on mental health education as well as entertainment that has positive takeaways. We are launching The Girl Powerful Podcast in Q1 2021 and that is our mission with the podcast, to educate as well as entertain. People deserve some entertainment that is high-level and real. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

MEDITATE DAILY so you can go with the flow and that flow feels good. 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Focus on what you can control. Focus on your mission. Focus on quality over quantity. Focus on your self-care. As an entrepreneur you dive head first into your work and you need to remember yourself as a person not just a boss lady. The person you are needs nurturing always. 

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Nature. We go outside daily. This is how we stay neutral and healthy. Sunshine, movement, fresh air…you never regret time spent outside, especially if you can put your phone on airplane and just breathe.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Heck yes. It is something to think about but not be obsessed with. There are ebbs and flows of everything in life. Sometimes you’re going to be jamming out to work and sometimes you will want to play more and take a break. When you are 80+ and reflecting on your life will it look balanced or will you be regretting that you didn’t jump off that rock at the lake, take the ski lesson, ask that person out, create beautiful art, dance like no one’s watching… better yet, know they are watching and do it anyway! 

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

We are very open. There are no surprises here. If you want to know more just ask us! 

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Take care of yourself before your business.
  • Don’t look at your phone until you acknowledge your gratitude list in the morning. Think about what you do have and not what you don’t. More good will come to you that way.
  • Set short term goals. It will help generate positive momentum for you and your business to be checking small victories off your list daily/weekly. 

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means you take pride in showing up as who you truly are and who you aspire to be. You embody your brand’s mission and you lend a helping hand when others ask. There is truly room for everyone and a Girl Powerful woman knows that there is no competition with others. The competition is with you and your “negative” habits. Being an Entreprenista you are capable of changing those habits so you can get to where you are going.

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

How to achieve a life of financial freedom with Alisha Pennington of ATvantage Athletic Training

Describe your business in a few words? Empowering, Dynamic, and Comprehensive. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been a business owner in a very niche industry (athletic training) for almost 10 years, so I have experienced the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a business owner. My…

How Jenny Strebe used positive affirmations and crystal healing to create her modern haircare brand AIIR Professional

Describe AIIR Professional in a few words? A modern haircare brand that is focused on well being through positive affirmations & crystal healing. What made you take the leap to start your own business? As I was driving every aspect of my stylist business and social media facets, the peace and relief I found in…

How FLyQuest CEO Tricia Sugita is using the esport platform to affect real change and make people happy

Describe your business in a few words? FlyQuest is an esports organization competing in the franchised League of Legends League Championship Series (LCS). What made you take the leap to help transform FlyQuest into the organization it is today? One of my primary goals throughout my career in esports has been to create a community…

Lauren Montgomery, founder of Monty’s, on making simplicity the new sophistication through her line of plant-based dairy products

Describe your business in a few words? Monty’s makes clean and craveable plant-Based essentials like cream cheese and butter that nourish your mind & body. With simplicity and nutrition at the core of the brand, Monty’s selection of cream cheeses and butter are made from real-food ingredients and crafted using time-honored techniques like fermentation. What…

How Maradith Frenkel turned bamboo into pajamas for the whole family with Little Sleepies

Describe Little Sleepies in a few words? We make buttery soft bamboo sleepwear that your whole family will love. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I saw a white space in the market after I had my son. I absolutely could not find a sleeper that checked all of the…

Erin Coles couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for in a band for her wedding so she launched her own — The Metropolitan Players

Describe your business in a few words? The Metropolitan Players is a wedding band collective based out of NYC – so we provide incredible music for weddings! What made you take the leap to start your own business? When my husband and I were planning our own wedding, we couldn’t find exactly what we were…

Azora Zoe Paknad on creating a new entry point to sustainability with Goldune

Describe Goldune in a few words? We make sustainability less beige! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was into the sustainability world, personally and professionally, but I didn’t see myself in any of the dominant narratives I saw on Instagram or online in general. On one end of the…

Elisa Marshall on creating warm, French-inspired spaces with Maman, a collection of NYC-based cafés and venues

Describe your business in a few words? Maman is a New York City-based collection of cafés and event venues, offering family inspired recipes with French influences in a warm and welcoming home like environment  What made you take the leap to start your own business? Before I opened Maman, I had many passions and there…

Kim Hehir, co-founder of Brutus Broth, on enhancing your dog’s health through specially formulated bone broth

Describe your business in a few words? Brutus Broth is the latest innovation in pet health, made with human-grade bone broth that has been specially formulated to enhance any dog’s existing diet by adding beneficial nutrients, amino acids, and joint protecting supplements. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Sue’s dog…

How a lack of female empowerment in the real estate industry lead Marina Shiferman to create her business, The Real Estate Academy

Describe your business in a few words? I teach women how to buy and own real estate correctly so they can be the bad ass queens of their own lives. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was a realtor for 10 years, I loved it but something was missing.…

Carla Olivia on revolutionizing the beauty bar experience with DashBar

Describe your business in a few words? DashBar is beauty made efficient! We are one stop beauty and wellness for the modern woman. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been an entrepreneur since I was 22 years old. I started my first business because a great opportunity was…

Christina Matteucci (a.k.a TeucciMama) on her 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Christina Matteucci, Executive Director of David Beahm Experiences and proud “Number Two” to celebrity event designer David Beahm. I’ve produced legendary soirées all around the globe, but it’s my unique, 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two that qualifies me as a sought-after speaker and coach. In…

Niki Shadrow Snyder on coining the term “givefluencer” and making an impact with the Project Pop Drop foundation

Describe your business in a few words? My husband and I started the idea for the Project Pop Drop foundation on our first date. Our business sponsors a monthly drop off at a different homeless shelter each month. We spearhead these donation events with our children, and with local businesses and schools. We call this…

How Natasha Case of Coolhaus is disrupting the dessert space with cutting-edge ice cream creations

Describe Coolhaus in a few words? We are an innovative dessert company, specializing (for the time being) in ice cream/ice cream novelties. We are known for thinking outside the box, super unique partnerships, a truly cutting-edge brand identity and an inventive way of entering the marketplace with our trucks, brick and mortars, and now national…

How Jennifer Jolorte Doro used strategic partnerships to build Nouri from the ground up

Describe Nouri in a few words? Supporting people to feel their best. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I wanted something of my own. I’ve worked for many successful entrepreneurs and I knew I could do “it” my way and really enjoy it. What was your background prior to starting…