One of the most frequent questions people ask about By Grace is, “Where do you see yourself down the road? In one year? Five years? Twenty years?” And I will confess, we don’t always have the most articulate answer to provide. However, we have some plans and goals for our young company that we thought may prove interesting to you-the trendsetters and early supporters of By Grace Designs.
We have a clear vision of where we want to be and what we want to achieve, even if we don’t always know how we’re going to accomplish our lofty goals. At its full potential, By Grace will be a household name domestically and a powerhouse internationally, both as an employer and as a retailer.
- We will change how retail is viewed. We will help people realize that it’s not about the “biggest bang for your buck,” but rather how your money can make an impact. Each purchase will come with a story of who made it, so that people can learn to see their everyday consumerism as an investment.
- We will teach a consumer society that purchasing power is true power. This will empower both our customers and the creators of the goods purchased.
- We will allow everyone to be a part of a radical change, and will use our social media following to keep the world abreast of their contributions and successes.
- We will have a physical presence as an employer/ investor/ partner in over 50 countries.
- We will employ thousands of women.
- We will build partnerships that enable female entrepreneurs worldwide. We are not seeking employees, but partners. We will work with specific leaders in our various operations to oversee the work in each individual location.
- We will educate women both in practical, lifelong skills such as sewing and beadwork, but also offer the opportunity for scholarships in other areas of study. We will partner with local universities to accomplish this goal.
Pushing By Grace to its full potential will not be an easy task, but we are not looking for ease—we are looking for dramatic transformations. To go about this we have set out clear objectives.
- We will have American designers collaborating with local designers to create desirable apparel, accessories, and home goods. The goal is to utilize the talents and skills already existent in the communities of the indigenous artists, while also creating a product that will appeal to the masses.
- Starting with Tamale, Bangalore, and Rosebud, we will build a recognized brand. We are a grassroots organization and believe that word-of-mouth will be our most effective form of advertising in the next several years (that’s where you come in). By creating quality products with great stories, we will develop a lasting following.
- We will partner with multiple sororities, churches, social clubs, etc. who work to educate people on our mission. Thus far, we have partnered with women at the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, Lipscomb University, the University of Evansville, American University, and the University of Northwestern, who are responsible for sharing the By Grace story. We are in discussions with national sororities to sponsor fashion shows, and cultivate awareness of who we are and what we’re doing.
- We will increase our efforts in targeting people in LA, NYC, Austin, Nashville, Kansas City, and Lexington, KY. The South will be a huge target market for our dresses, the Southwest will respond well to our home goods, and major cities will respond to our mission to help humanity.
- Women are our target market, but we hope that every man’s sister, wife, and daughter owns a By Grace original, so we will also advertise to men, especially around holidays.
- We will continue to build relationships in international communities. Through our churches, our co-workers, our friends, and our family we will continually explore new locations where we can make an impact.
- We will travel to many locations to meet with the local women to learn where we can assist them, and what would be the most meaningful way to provide them with work and education. Continuous research will build the foundation for our future locations.
- We will be excellent communicators, both with those whom we employ and those to whom we sell goods. We will gain and maintain the trust of our employees and customers through honesty, integrity, and kindness.
Although we may not know exactly where we’re going to be by December or in 5 years or even in 2036, we’re on our way and have a specific vision that we are pursuing daily. Walt Disney taught us “if you can dream it, you can do it.” We’ve got the dreams, and now we’re creating our ideal reality one step at a time.
Until next time,
Kelsey and Emily