MEET THE FELLOWS OF THE TRESEMME X VITAL VOICES LEADERSHIP INCUBATOR
In 2019, we partnered with women’s leadership organization Vital Voices to launch our Leadership Incubator --a program created to provide training, network expansion, and mentorship to passionate female leaders with bold visions.
While this fellowship has always been rooted in helping women foster positive social change in their communities and beyond, that mission has become even clearer and more precise throughout the pandemic.
From working to help eliminate workplace harassment to providing access to culinary education for Indigenous and Black aspiring chefs, our fellows are dedicated to creating solutions for societal inequities within their communities and we couldn’t be prouder! In celebration of Small Business Saturday, we’d love for you to get acquainted with some of our incredible fellows and their burgeoning businesses.
Meet the Leadership Incubator Fellows:
- Nina Barnett
- Charity Blanchett
- Ramya Dronamraju
- Chavonne Hodges
- Nikki Larchar
- Judith Martinez
- Rubini Naidu
- Quynh Onel
- Sophie Sandberg
- Sara Shokouhi
- Natalie Tung
Nina is the founder of Grooop, a platform created to make safety more fun, inclusive, and non-invasive.
“The Leadership Incubator not only gave me the tools I needed to continue growing my company, but it also provided the support and friendship I needed through the toughest times of the year. I have a renewed sense of confidence in my company and myself as a CEO, and I would not trade that for the world. I have never felt more encouraged and loved than this past year with the incubator."
Follow Grooop: @Getgrooop
Nikki Larchar is the co-founder of Define the Line, a comic book and empowerment training system.
“This year has been challenging for so many. There was a moment when everything felt overwhelming and impossible and I was ready to call it quits. The guidance, resources, and continuous support from this program and more importantly, the other fellows were everything I needed to get through this moment. I was able to pivot, adapt, and convert our in-person offerings to digital. And that is all because of the incredible support system that this cohort has provided. I honestly owe so much to this amazing and inspiring group of women.”
Follow Define the Line: @definethelinecomic
Ramya Dronamraju is the founder of mental health app, Intuition.
“The Leadership Incubator gave me the confidence to finally start moving towards my dreams. In the past year, I started building my business and made so many valuable friendships along the way. I am so grateful I had this empowering opportunity.
Follow Intuition: @love_intuition
Chavonne is the founder of community-based fitness company, GrillzandGranola.
“With the support of the Leadership Incubator, Chavonne was successfully able to pivot her business by offering classes virtually. In response to the highly publicized systemic racism and police brutality experienced by people of color, she launched FEEL Better, a free mental health coaching program to help people heal.”
Follow GrillzandGranola: @grillzandgranola
Sophie Sandberg is the founder of Chalk Back, a global youth-led movement to end gender-based street harassment.
“The Leadership Incubator has provided me the resources and community to organize effectively during the pandemic. Discussing my challenges with other female founders has been invaluable to moving forward. With support from the Leadership Incubator, we've found ways to continue our activism under difficult circumstances, connecting virtually and developing virtual campaigns.”
Follow Chalk Back: @chalkbackorg
Sara Shokouhi is the founder of eco-friendly intimates company, b.WR.
“Owning a business at the onset of a global pandemic was a scary and uncomfortable reality for every entrepreneur. Vital Voices were the first to acknowledge this. The Leadership Incubator was quick to provide resources, grant opportunities, guidance, and community to help us manage the challenges we were facing. I'm so grateful for their support and feel incredibly empowered to be apart of the Vital Voices network of women.”
Follow b.wr: @b.wrco
Judith Martinez is the founder of InHerShoes, the modern woman's community for courage.
"The Leadership Incubator has given me a community of fellow female founders and genuine friendships that have helped me navigate the challenges of 2020."
Follow InHerShoes : @inhereshoesmvmt
Charity Blanchett is the founder of nonprofit The Dipping Spoon Foundation, which provides culinary education for Black and Indigenous aspiring female chefs.
"Vital Voices is a global movement that invests and provides opportunities for women leaders who are solving the world's greatest challenges. As 2020 evolved, so did our businesses and the Vital Voices organization as a whole. Vital Voices’ transparency through the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement made me truly value the power of sisterhood, our global community and asking for help.”
Follow The Dipping Spoon Foundation: @dippingspoonfoundation
Quynh Onel is the founder of personalized recommendation company Betty .
"COVID was a major headwind for my first company, Project 925, and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to shut it down. The Leadership Incubator and the amazing women in it gave me the space to be vulnerable, supported me through this difficult transition and helped me find confidence in myself to progress forward."
Follow Betty: @heybettymoms
Natalie is the co-founder and executive director of HomeWorks Trenton, a free community-based after-school boarding program.
“Through the TRESemmé and Vital Voices Leadership Incubator, I’ve learned to lead as my authentic self and to trust the process through embracing, reflecting and optimizing on the expected and unexpected. Most importantly, this incubator reminded me that when women come together to lead, we do so with empathy, vulnerability and strength, which only makes us stronger as individuals and as a community.”
Follow HomeWorks Trenton: homeworkstrenton
Rubini is CEO and co-founder of Selfless, a community service company interested in storytelling and community building.
“I am so grateful to have been a part of the life-changing, inaugural Vital Voices and Tresemme Leadership Incubator. This Leadership Incubator not only helped me better understand my personal driving force and leadership qualities, but also enabled me to lean into and apply this understanding to my work to navigate the challenges of 2020. This Incubator also gave me the priceless gift of an incredible cohort of fellow young women and social entrepreneurs whom I am proud to now call my close friends, collaborators, and peer-mentors.”
Follow Selfless: @getselfless