We are proud to share that theStitch.com is teaming up with Microsoft–and a host of dynamic women leaders in the St. Louis community–to present an innovative and interactive workshop series designed to empower high school girls to embrace their own beauty while giving them the opportunity to dive further into the world of technology.
Each of the workshops will be held at the Microsoft Store located in the Galleria Mall. As a part of this new project, we’re showcasing interviews with several inspiring co-facilitators of the workshops. Next up, we spoke with Claire Flowers, the woman behind the sleek and comfortable Claire Flowers luxury shoe company.
Claire started her shoe company with an idea to create a heel that women would be comfortable in, whether walking into a meeting or going out with friends. With a background in technology, Flowers decided to be a part of theStitch because she not only has IT expertise, but also understands that being a confident woman with a strong self-starter mindset is necessary to be successful. She wants young women to know that they have no bounds or limits to their potential and wants them to know that they can accomplish anything with dedication and hard work.
But, she also wants young women to know they are enough without the most expensive clothes and hairstyles and that putting energy into their mind and soul is most important.
“Over the years, I have found that looks become less and less important,” Flowers says. “People I meet care about my drive, skillset and analytical skills more than my looks. Looks come and go, but your mind is what will carry you through life.”
In the interview below, Claire talks about what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur, the challenges she’s faced and how teenage girls can nurture their dreams and shoot for the stars.
Q: Claire, we know it isn’t easy to start a business on your own. What were the biggest hurdles that you faced as a female entrepreneur?
A: The challenges are everywhere; but finding the right partners at the right time is always paramount. It’s extremely difficult to start a company in a vacuum so you need to outsource the things you’re not expert enough to do on your own. That means bringing on a lot of vendors and partners. Selecting the wrong ones can be a waste of time and prove to be very costly.
Q: Any advice for teen girls interested in starting their own business?
A: I would practice being proactive and a self-starter. In high school, this means starting on that paper early, studying over time rather than the night before a test, and signing up to do things that you find challenging. Personal growth only comes by challenging yourself. Even coming up short and not always reaching your goals will help you in the long-run as you will learn how to retool and try again, which is extremely important and a trait that all successful entrepreneurs share.
Q: At theStitch, we’re all about empowering women and girls to embrace their own beauty. How do you handle self-doubts and uncertainty?
A: I write down my accomplishments. It’s easy to feel like you’re not enough to reach your goals. Looking back and reviewing my accomplishments gives me the confidence I need to get back on track and keep going.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for young girls to have self-love, how have you been able to get that for yourself, and how has it helped you become the woman you are today?
A: I said it before, but I want to reiterate it again: looks become less and less important as you get older. Your skills, dedication, and determination are what people will start to take more notice of. Spend time reading, learning and nurturing your mind. Practice becoming resilient, caring and ethical rather than worrying about the clothes you’re wearing or the haircut you have.
Q: What message do you want girls to take away from the EYOB workshops?
A: That they can do anything. That they can pour their energy into something and master it.
Claire Flowers, thank you for the interview. It’s going to be great working with you!
If you’d like to find out more about theStitch click here: theStitch.com
To find out how to be a part of theStitch EYOB Empowerment Workshops contact: StitchCharities.org