Meet an Idea Girl: Kemery Oparah

Kemery was just 13 months old when she started learning Japanese. At age 8, the idea girl from Atlanta, GA decided she wanted to visit Japan and practice her Japanese. When her mom broke the news that they just didn't have the money to go to Japan at the time, Kemery decided to take matters into her own hands and raise the money herself.

DESCRIBE THE IDEA OR PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON.

Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Kemery Desu. Hassaidesu. Issaikara nihongo ga benkyo shitemasu. Dozoyoroshiku! That was Japanese for "Hi, my name is Kemery. I'm eight years old. I've been studying Japanese since I was just one year old. Nice to meet you!" That is my usual introduction. I want to go on my first trip to Japan next summer with my teacher, friends, and family, but I don't have enough money for the trip yet. That's why I started a business called Kemery Kreates. Here, I sell bracelets with your name on it in Japanese. There is also the option of having one of the following words engraved: faith, hope, love, strength, courage, peace, or kindness. You can get one bracelet for only $20.00,  add another to your order and it is only $35.00! We accept both cash and credit card. We have 11 colors and five sizes. Domo arigato gozaimashita! That means "thank you very much" in Japanese.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA?

I came up with my idea when my mom told me that we just didn't have enough money to go to Japan. If you knew me, you would know that I wasn't going to let that happen without a good fight. I thought that night, "what could I do to make money for the trip to Japan that I just can't pass up?" In the morning, I just did it. I wanted my own business for a long time. The name Kemery Kreates had been picked out for years. I thought that that would be perfect for my new business. Then I realized that if my business was called Kemery Kreates I would have to "Kreate" something to sell. I love fashion and jewelry; I'm also fluent in Japanese. That's when it happened! I thought of an idea like I always do! I decided I wanted to sell bracelets with names engraved on them in Japanese. 

WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

My GoFundMe campaign: www.gofundme.com/KemeryGoesToJapan

Kemery Kreates website: www.kemerykreates.com  

We are also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the name @KemeryKreates

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN THIS?

I think I will tell you about the time when things got a bit out of hand. One day, mommy told me that she might sign me up for a triathlon, but only if I wanted to come. So I did. I biked, swam, and ran perfectly during all of my training sessions. During the race, I was doing just fine until I saw about 15 children jumping off of their bicycles to get ready for the running portion. They made it look so easy and simple to do, so I dared myself to try. It didn't work. Turns out that those kids had had about a year or more of practice. So that was how I turned out with two skinned knees and a scraped elbow. But do you know what? I kept going on, pushing through it, and ran the rest of the race.

This relates to my business in two ways. The first way is the reason why I started the business. It was the answer to a challenge. If we didn't have enough money to go to Japan, I could earn the money by making a cool product. The other way the triathlon story relates to my business is that we planned to go to Japan this year but did not raise enough money fast enough. The solution is that Kemery Kreates will keep moving forward toward the goal and we will go to Japan next year with my teacher, another one of my best friends, and our families.

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?

Since I started my business at the end of January, I have been working very hard and I have raised about $3,300 for the trip. I'm also going to be in one, possibly two magazines soon. Another good thing is that I am meeting lots of great people when I'm selling my bracelets at different places like the farmer's markets or at events like the Activating Your Magic Conference coming up in May. 

WHAT DO YOU STILL NEED HELP WITH FOR YOUR IDEA? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU?

We need to have bigger and better marketing and more profits. Reaching more people who think education, languages, culture, and young entrepreneurs are important is key. We are looking into other items we can sell as well.  We need help reaching more people and also with insurance and vendor fees. Those two costs take a lot of the profits I make.   

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG GIRLS THAT WANT TO MAKE THEIR IDEAS HAPPEN?

My advice is to never give up because the sky is not the limit, you can go farther.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM JOB?

I'm not really sure what I want to be when I grow up, but here are some of the things that I have on my mind: I'd like to be a lawyer, a business woman, and a professional horseback rider. I might even do all of them. I think that I will be prepared for those many years of college, as long as they're not all in a row. I'm going to space them out evenly and wisely, and in doing so, make sure that I spend plenty of time with my family and friends outside and inside of school.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES?

Some of my favorite hobbies right now include sewing, dancing, reading, and more. I am also currently involved in taking Japanese classes, Girl Scouts, chorus, and I used to be in Science Olympiad, but I already competed in the championship so my work there is done. I'm about to start training for my third triathlon.

If you know a girl with a story like Kemery's, nominate her to be our next featured idea girl using this link.

 

 

 

 

 

Workshops And Keynotes

This past month I have been speaking all over for Girls With Ideas and have had so much fun!  Part of our business is providing workshops and keynotes presentations for both girls and women and we love doing it. 

I wanted to highlight some of the events I spoke recently to give everyone a better idea of what we have to offer for your next event! 

Minnow Tank 

Last month I was the keynote speaker at Minnow Tank, a pitch competition for girls in middle school. This was a very special event for me because I took the group of girls that inspired Girls With Ideas through Minnow Tank three years ago. This year, the girls had gone through a semester long accelerator program to develop their idea. The accelerator was designed by high school women that are part of the Iowa Big school.  The top accelerator teams competed for funding and resources for their ideas. The judges were all women business leaders in the area that gave wonderful feedback and support to the teams. I provided the keynote talk on how to be an idea collector to the crowd while the judges made their decisions. 

Below are photos from the teams whose ideas included: A camp for girls to learn about medical professions, making dog beds for dogs in shelters, middle schoolers providing training and school supplies for fifth graders going to middle school, and a group that teaches other kids how to make slime. You will be hearing more from some of these teams in the future! 

 

Kirkwood STEM Conference

I gave a keynote at a STEM conference for high school girls. Over 100 girls were in attendance and they got to hear from women in different STEM related professions. I gave a keynote on how everything starts with an idea and why ideas are important in STEM. Before you can code a website or build a robot, you need to have an idea for what the website will say or what the robot will do. I have found that this keynote which has some fun interactive games, is a great fit for STEM programming.

Research has shown that one of the reasons some girls shy away from STEM is because they like being creative and don't see STEM related classes or skills as needing creativity. I love to show girls that the STEM is actually ALL about creativity and adding new ideas that add value to the world. 

 

College Entrepreneurship Events 

I spoke at three different college events in the last month about advice I had as an entrepreneur. I gave a talk at the University of Iowa for the new women in entrepreneurship group. So many women showed up we needed to get a bigger venue which was awesome! Earlier that week I judged a pitch competition for the business college so it was nice to follow up with some of the women that were part of the competition.  I also sat on a panel about entrepreneurship at Cornell College.

At every college event I have ever spoken at for college entrepreneurship I have been the only woman on the panel.

I think that it is very important to have a women on these panels as a role model for women in the audience. I also think that it is is important perspective to bring. I cannot even count the number of women that have emailed me after a panel asking me for a meeting, advice, or help because they felt a woman would just understand their idea better. I always take those meetings and have loved the women I have met along the way. 

Women's Group 

One of the most common things I have heard from our facilitators is that they wish we made this program for adults because it is all new learning that is inspiring for them. While we don't have a curriculum for women we have developed a few keynotes to adapt our material for girls to women. It is always a huge hit! This past month I had fun speaking at a women's networking group and love doing events for women's conferences. 

Do you need a speaker for your next event?

I would love to help you with your next event! Our experienced team has organized and spoken at youth events for over 12 years. We know how to provide meaningful content in a engaging, fun, and meaningful way. In addition to offering Girls With Ideas keynotes and workshops, we are happy to help you plan your conference or event through any of our conference consulting services

For Girls  keynotes and workshops are perfect for the following types of events: 

  • STEM Conferences for Girls
  • All-Girls School Assembly
  • Girl Scout Conferences
  • Virtual Summits 
  • Girls' Leadership Conferences 
  • Parent/Daughter Events 
  • Girls Inc. Events
  • Summer Camps for Girls

Here is a link to our list of Keynotes and Workshops for Girls

Need a speaker for your next conference or event for women? Our programs for women are perfect for: 

  • Womens' Conferences 
  • Retreats 
  • Corporate Leadership Programs 
  • Virtual Summits 
  • Womens' Corporate Group Meetings 
  • Teambuilding 

Here is a link to list of Keynotes and Workshops for Women

We understand that many organizations  have a limited budget. Don't let that stop you!  Girls With Ideas believes that all girls should have access to our programs, so contact us today to discuss your event.

Meet Idea Girls: Mikayla & Kennedy Pelt

Mikayla and Kennedy are sisters from Arizona that decided their community needed a snow cone stand. With the help of their mom, they opened Ken and Kate's Closet, where they sell snow cones at festivals and local events. We got the opportunity to interview these awesome sisters, so read on to see what they had to say.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES?

Mikayla: theatre, acting, and entrepreneurship.

Kennedy: basketball and tee ball.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM JOB?

Mikayla: I want to be a model.

Kennedy: I want to be an entrepreneur and president.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEA OR PROJECT THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH IT?

We sell snow cones at festivals and local events. Mikayla was at a food festival and saw someone selling shaved ice. She grabbed our mom's shoulder and said, "hey Mom, how about we do that too?" Mom said, "yes, thats a great idea". That's where we started from.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Mikayla: Sometimes when we don't get a lot of customers it's stressful. It makes me want to give up. Like on days when I don't make a lot of money, I get discouraged. I just decide that I'm not going to give up and that I will have better sales next time.

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?

Mikayla: I've made a ton of money!  I can buy my mom little things when I want to. Me and my sister were also on TV on Sonoran Living. That was really cool.

WHAT DO YOU STILL NEED HELP WITH FOR YOUR IDEA? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU?

Mikayla: We need more support and people to reach out to get us fans and customers. We want to be on Ellen some day. Maybe she will see this. We also have a Facebook and Instagram page, so go follow us!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNGER GIRLS THAT HAVE AN IDEA THEY WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN?

Mikayla: Don't you ever give up. Just keep on pushing and keep the haters away. Have friends that will always guide you on the right path and support your dreams.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?

Mikayla: "You must never be fearful about what you are doing, when it is right" -Rosa Parks

Kennedy: Be yourself.

If you know a girl with a story like Mikayla & Kennedy's, nominate her to be our next featured idea girl using this link.

Meet an Idea Girl: Charlotte Gould

Charlotte Gould was born with a cleft lip and has had numerous surgeries to fix it. The third grader from Arizona didn't let that obstacle bring her down, though. Instead, she decided to sew rag dolls to sell on Instagram. Half of all her sales go to Barrow Cleft & Craniofacial Center at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. We had the opportunity to ask Charlotte a few questions, so read on for our exciting interview with her.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

I take sewing, dancing, and theater classes. I'm a movie and Broadway fan, especially musicals. I am very involved with the hospital that helped fix my cleft lip & palate.  I also started a charitable program when I was 5.  I buy teddy bears with stitches on their little noses and gift them to families of babies born with clefts.  They receive the teddy bear to keep them company during all their surgeries.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEA OR PROJECT THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON.

I design and sew little rag dolls.  I call them Sweeties and call my project Stitches by Charlotte.  After each doll is designed and sewn, I sell it.  Half of all the sales go to the hospital and doctors that I love "sew" much! 

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA?

My nana and papa bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and I decided to do something good with it. 

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR DOLLS FOR SALE?

Each doll is auctioned off on my Instagram page.

https://www.instagram.com/stitchesbycharlotte/

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM?

I have had 5 surgeries.  I don't remember the first two because I was less than a year old.  I have a tiny scar on my lip, but I love it and wouldn't change it!

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?

Most importantly, I have made people smile!  I have raised over $2000 for charity and spread love and awareness for cleft lips and palates.  Cleft lips and palates can happen to 1 in 700 babies, so it's pretty common.  I want to let the world know that all smiles are beautiful!

WHAT DO YOU STILL NEED HELP WITH FOR YOUR IDEA? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU?

I would love to have more people know about me, cleft lips, and my dolls!  Sometimes I see kids looking at my scar but I can tell they are too afraid to ask about it!  I would love if everyone who met someone with a cleft lip scar (or any scar, really) would smile and say "hello" knowing what it is and being open and accepting to them.

charlotte quote.png

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNGER GIRLS THAT HAVE AN IDEA THEY WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN?

Follow your heart and stay true to yourself.  Your idea may be hard work and you might have to miss some fun stuff because you're working, but it's all worth it when you see what you did!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. But be an example to all believers in what you say. In the way you live. In your love. Your faith. And your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM JOB?

I dream to someday own a fashion design business in California or New York.

If you know a girl with a story like Charlotte's, nominate her to be our next featured idea girl using this link.

Learning a New Skill is Easier Than You Think

About a month ago, we posted a blog with 7 ways for idea girls to challenge themselves. One of the challenges that we had mentioned was to learn a new skill. While it can be difficult to pick up a new skill, especially when you're so busy, there's a lot of online resources that can help make learning a new skill easier than you think. Whether you want to learn coding, sewing, or photography, you probably can from the comfort of your couch. Here's our list of some of our favorite online resources (some that we've used ourselves!) to help you learn a new skill.

BRIT & CO

The website that's better known for its fun articles is also teaching everything from font design to vintage embroidery. While there are a lot of paid classes, Brit & Co also offers various free ones to choose from as well.

https://www.brit.co/shop/classes/

SKILLSHARE

Skillshare is a service that does exactly what you would think it does-- allow people to share the skills they have with the world. After paying a subscription fee, you'll get access to unlimited classes. And with a selection of over 15,000, you're sure to find something for you.

https://www.skillshare.com/

KADENZE

These days, you don't have to be a college student to take college classes. Kadenze allows their users to take classes from all over the world. They offer various price points depending on the course, and you can even get college credit for a little extra money.

https://www.kadenze.com/

CODE.ORG

Code.org is a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing free computer science education. They want to increase female and minority participation in the computer science industry through completely free tutorials. 

https://code.org/ 

COURSERA

Coursera allows their users to take classes from colleges like Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and more. They have a wide variety of subjects, from math and logic to social sciences. The courses range from 4-6 weeks and are set at different price points.

https://www.coursera.org/ 

TECHROCKET

Have you ever wondered how video games were created? Techrocket allows you to actually learn the coding behind them. They also offer basic coding and graphic design classes, all for free.

https://www.techrocket.com

JAM.COM

Jam.com is a service tailored towards kids that offers lessons in all kinds of things. They charge a monthly subscription fee for one child to take one class. Their classes range from music production to machine building and each course has a bunch of different projects to go along with it.

https://jam.com/ 

YOUTUBE

If you just type "how to do ______" into YouTube, chances are that there's a tutorial for it. We created this awesome tutorial for how to build your own website using Strikingly, so definitely check it out.

"I don't know how" is no longer an excuse to not try something. Learning a new skill takes a lot of courage, but once you've mastered it, the possibilities are endless.