In Conversation with Sonya and Tedi Serge of Girl Powerful
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.