We Girls Rock
Rachael Williams is an international model and the founder of We Girls Rock, an educational organisation offering young women the skills, experience and self confidence needed to plan and fulfil their future life and career goals.
We Girls Rock offers a range of courses encompassing fashion, business, sports, entertainment and personal development to help young women determine the next steps for their chosen career paths.
Based in London, the company employs a team of 10.
Why did you decide to start your company?
I had the idea to of the company in 2009 and we started trading in 2011. I started We Girls Rock as I never had anyone to mentor me or offer me guidance when I started out modelling. I had to make mistakes to learn and grow very quick as an individual and a new model living in London.
I began teaching short courses to groups of aspiring models, but decided to offer out a range of courses from fashion to business, sports to entertainment as not every young woman wants to be a model!
Aside from our general courses, We Girls Rock offers leadership, guidance and insight into many different career paths that young women can take and further in life.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I’ve been modelling continuously before We Girls Rock started and I still do so now. Although I graduated in Psychology and Counselling I still believe modelling is where my strengths lie. I do slightly bring over counselling aspects into We Girls Rock and my modelling career, by offering guidance and support to young women.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
I always knew that I wanted to run a business but never knew what in. Aside of modelling and We Girls Rock, I also run a small company called Natural Beauty Secrets, where I write recipes and make homemade all natural beauty and skincare products. I am also in the process of writing a book filled with all recipes!
So working for myself has always been what I wanted, I just had to find out what exactly I wanted to do!
Can you tell us more about the type of courses We Girls Rock provides?
We Girls Rock offers enjoyable and educational, taster courses covering five main categories – fashion, sports, business, entertainment and Personal Development. All courses are taught by professionals in the specific career fields.
The courses are designed not only to provide individual, career specific skills, but to teach through demonstration, team work, negotiation, goal setting and communication. Ultimately, the courses are designed to develop self respect, increase self awareness and restore confidence in young women.
We have had great feedback from our teachers, schools and participants.
What was the inspiration for the We Girls Rock charitable project?
The We Girls Rock project was set up to launch our five course packages across the globe, working alongside charities who are currently working with families and children in need.
This summer we travelled to Accra, Ghana, to set up our foundation for next year’s courses in The British International School. We also plan to work with a selection of charities that carry out their work in Ghana. We have chosen Youth Alive Ghana, The Light Outreach and Akosia. We will be assisting them in teaching creative, vocational and educational courses to boys and girls, with the hope that we can make a solid impact in their lives.
All three charities work with children who live on the streets, have run away from home or are in a vulnerable situation. Donations made will fund the travel to and from these projects and materials needed to teach the children. Our inspiration is that all children need hope, inspiration and aspiration; and we endeavour to achieve a portion of that this year.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lots of great things! We held our first ever speed dating event, on August 3rd for 18-30 year olds to meet up with like minded people and have a chilled fun evening. See our blog for more info! We also held a mini Olympics day – open to families, business, friends and couples – on August 7th at Tooting Bec Athletics Track. Both events raised funds for our projects due to run this year in Africa.
We have begun teaching our courses in South West London schools and are having a positive impact on girls in year 7-11. We are teaching them all about personal development, appearance, self confidence and life skills.
Can you describe your typical working day?
A typical day for me as a model and a business owner begins at 9am with breakfast followed by castings, scheduling my diary for the next few days and checking in with my We Girls Rock team to make sure everyone is clear on their tasks.
I have lunch at 12pm followed by more castings or a shoot, responding to emails and phone calls and having meetings.
From 3pm – 6pm I focus on my daily routines, such as preparing dinner for my family. From 6pm – 9pm I’m busy planning for the next day, packing a suitcase for a shoot or planning my outfit for a casting. From 9pm onwards it’s social time!
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
The freedom you have to do whatever you please to do!
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Financing such huge projects and the daily running of the business. But, it is growing so well that it is starting to run itself! Plus we now have a bigger team so everything is moving more efficiently.
What has been your biggest triumph so far?
In regards to We Girls Rock it has been securing contracts in the schools and having L’Oreal Mizani teach our hairdressing course at the L’Oreal Academy London.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
Hope for young women is what inspires me. Faith in my beliefs is what motivates me.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting an education business?
Really dig deep and look at what is needed. Is there a product out there that is similar to your idea? Who would benefit? Also to learn from others mistakes in the business world and to seek guidance.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
Wow, I have so many ideas and plans written down in my diary. But I believe we will have many contracts in schools over London.
We will have sponsored a number of students and teachers to travel and work in London and Africa. We will be making strong positive impacts in the lives of young women creating a dominant change in current statistics in early age pregnancy, criminal records, bad behaviour, overall female development and life skills.
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You can also view Rachel’s beauty and skincare recipes for Natural Beauty Secrets on YouTube.
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Rachael Williams was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.
The Twenty Ten Club is an award-winning networking organisation designed to connect, inspire and support Black female entrepreneurs. You can also find Twenty Ten Club on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.