From Prayers to Plans Margo Jordan-Baines was able to create her dream business.
Chicks with Class allows her the opportunity to work with youth to teach them etiquette and social skills. With what started as a simple dream, has now become a business with classes, event planning, and even a new high school program. Margo emphasizes God’s hand in her plan as well as the need to help others who might be struggling to create their own businesses. She went from prayers to plans, but she also understands that starting your own business is hard, so she wants to help others do the same.
We got a chance to catch up with Margo and further explore more of her vision and how it became a reality. Check out some of her interview below,
Q: You’ve been developing a business around empowerment. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
Margo: Yes! I founded Chicks with Class which is a social enterprise. The mission of Chicks with Class is to emphasize and increase positive body image self-esteem and confidence through the experiences that we offer. We offer educational programs, empowerment workshops, and birthday parties. This vision really just came to me through a prayer one night. I prayed about a way for me to change society for the better and Chicks with Class was a vision that came to me. From there I just decided to focus on young girls between the ages of 5 and 11 and really transform their minds and help them with confidence and self-esteem, while giving them the tools that they’re gonna need in the future and in the present.
Q: I saw that you also offer, empowerment and etiquette classes. What do you want your girls to learn after attending those classes?
MARGO: After attending the etiquette or empowerment classes, I would like for young girls to leave well-rounded. When they come through our programs, I equip them with the tools that they need through social skills that I teach. I teach anything from fine dining, healthy living, to simple things like how to write a thank you letter or how to plan for a party and things like that. These things are social skills that are taught to girls and boys, and it really equips them. It gives them the confidence that they need to pursue their dreams.
Q: What is motivating you to continue with your dream?
MARGO: Every time I hear a child or any of the students that come through my program say “thank you so much”, “I learned so much”, or “I am more empowered today than I was yesterday”, it really just gives me that extra higher to just keep on going and impacting as many kids as possible.
Q: It’s awesome. With that being said with impacting kids, what do you want your overall legacy to be because we’re talking about women history month, so what kinda legacy do you wanna leave the world?
MARGO: The legacy that I want to leave is to aspire others to dream bigger than your biggest dream and go after whatever that goal is that you wanna reach and put 1000% effort into that and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t accomplish something, or that a dream is too big to maintain. I really just want to leave the legacy to people to overcome their tragedies with trying. I’ve had so many things that could have possibly stopped me in my tracks, and I would not be here today. If it weren’t for just the prayer and the willingness to press on, I wouldn’t be here today.
Q: Tell me a woman in history who influences you or motivate you.
MARGO: Michelle Obama is somebody that I definitely look up to because she embodies just a strong black woman. She embodies the message that I want to get to young girls that you can be confident, and you can have high self-esteem, and you can have values and morals, and you can still make an impact, and you can still do successfully without having to sacrifice who you are. She’s just an overall great person to look up to, so she’s definitely a woman that inspires me.
Q: I also saw that you are inspiring to start doing consulting. What motivated that?
MARGO: I’m going to start a consulting firm, it will be somewhere where people who want to be entrepreneurs or people who want to start their own businesses can come and speak to me about how to get started. I get so many questions and emails, Facebook messages, DMs about how do I do this. Or I get questions like “I want to start a company but I don’t know where to start?”, “How do I get funding?”, and I just have so much information to give. I want to be able to give that to other people. I will also teach people how to conduct business meetings. So, I will teach them about customer service. Customer service is key, and a lot of these millennial entrepreneurs, they do not have customer service skills that will allow their businesses to be around when they’re no longer here. So, I want to make sure that I’m equipping these millennial entrepreneurs with the tools that they need to grow their business and to scale their companies and to really think bigger than just right now and today.
Q: What advice would you give? I mean I know you said that customer service is key, but give me some advice that you would tell somebody who is interested in being an entrepreneur, somebody who’s already in the game.
MARGO: Anyone who’s interested in being an entrepreneur, I would say that the first thing they need to do is really figure out what their passion is, what’s their passion in life. So many who want to be entrepreneurs they say, “I really want to own my own business, but I have no idea what I wanna do.” So literally take a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you like to do, what you are good at so that you can start to narrow down what you will focus on because a lot of entrepreneurs like I said want concentrate on a million things. You can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. I will definitely tell those entrepreneurs that are in the very beginning stages of finding out what it is they want to do to just narrow that list down and concentrate on their one thing. Now for entrepreneurs, that are not new to this, I would tell them to make sure that their companies that they’ve invested so much time energy and efforts in is a scale-able company. I mean a lot of entrepreneurs they started their businesses and they’re doing really good, and all of the sudden, they made a huge opportunity and they’re not able to go to that next level because they’re not prepared to scale their companies. I will definitely say, make sure you’re always ready to grow your company and keep looking for ways to make your business better. There is always a way to improve the system, so always make sure that you’re looking for ways to improve what you’re doing.
Q: In the process of developing your business and growing Chicks with Class, you won $25,000. Can you explain that or what that process was?
MARGO: Last year, I was approached by a company who actually gave me my first loan, they taught me about a program called BBVA momentum. In this program, they look for social enterprises to participate in a 7-month program. Social enterprises are companies that have a mission to better the society, or just have a social mission.
They’re reaching the social mission while the companies are bringing in revenue. So they are for-profit companies and they just have a social mission. There were over 100 other companies who have entered and they chose 6 to participate. So it was a very rigorous program. We had really large assignments on top of running the business to do every month. The program gives you access to resources, mentors, and, they guide you while really helping you to grow and scale your company.
In December at the end of the program, I participated in a pitch. We were notified two weeks before the end of the program that we were in a running to win an extra cash. We did a pitch competition; it was a 2-round series. Chicks with Class walked away with $25,000 as the winner or one of the winners of the competition. It was a surreal moment because all of the hard work that I have done, not only in the program but with Chicks with Class but in general really let me know that I really have a viable company. These are judges who had no idea who I was simply looked all over the project that I had done over the past seven months, and I had to present a pitch. It was a 10-minute pitch and then a 7-minute pitch. They said we’re gonna declare you the winner of this competition because you have a viable business and you have a social enterprise, and we definitely think your company will grow. It was a great experience for great companies, and I have been in business since May of 2017. I walked away from a winner against these companies who have been in business for years who have millions in revenue, and here I am a brand new company and I won, so it was a great experience.
Q: I also saw that you will be implementing a program in local schools. Tell me more about that.
MARGO: Chicks in Class has become an approved vendor with HISE school. We are actually going to start with a high school this spring. The programs can be anywhere from six weeks to the whole school year to after-school programs. With this school, we’re actually gonna go in and for an hour or seven hours on every Wednesday, we will teach each grade level in social skills. I want to develop the program so that we can really teach kids the social skills that they need in order to increase productivity in school. Because at the end of the day, if students feel good about themselves and they’re confident, it’s gonna show in their grades, it’s gonna show with their peers, and it’s gonna show at home. So it’s really my goal to create this curriculum to teach in the school, that can really increase productivity and our society will be better as a whole.
What to follow Margo Jordan-Baines on her story that took her prayers to plans? Check out her Instagram or head to www.chickswithclass.com