“Africare’s support of women’s education and global leadership is imperative to Initials, Inc. As a women-owned business, we take care to support initiatives of women much like ourselves to make a life of their own that they can be proud of.”
-Britney Vickery, Co-Founder of Initials, Inc.
Africare and the fashion and lifestyle company Initials, Inc. began partnering in October 2012 to establish a life-skills training center for the disabled in Northern Zambia. One of the co-founders of Initials, Inc., Britney Vickery, President, talked to us about what motivates them in philanthropy, in business, and in life.
Tell me a little bit about Initials, Inc.
Our Founders: Britney Vickery & Ivy Hall, sisters
Our Headquarters: Clarkesville, Georgia
Our Membership: Thousands of Creative Partners across the United States in all 50 states!
What started out as a personal journey for my sister, Ivy, and I, has turned into something beyond our imagination – a woman-owned, multi-million dollar, nationwide, life-altering company for families all across America. In 2005, we quickly found ourselves at the crossroads between work and family. This is a struggle we know occurs for millions of women across the globe.
Shortly after the birth of our first children, we decided to collaborate with our strong entrepreneurial background and create our own path. Setting down our briefcases and picking up a burp cloth was a tough first step. As new mothers, we found ourselves wanting to be there for our families, but still having a desire to find something that would stir our creativity and allow us to contribute financially to our households. With numerous conversations, brainstorming sessions and prayer…we found it! Starting from scratch, we found a niche in our communities for personalized products and gifts that celebrated the individual. One embroidery machine, a few months, and many extremely excited women later, Initials, Inc. was founded.
Launched officially as a Direct Selling Association, party-planning company in early 2005, Initials, Inc. is now represented by thousands of Independent Creative Partners throughout the United States, and is consistently experiencing phenomenal growth in both sales and recruiting.
Now, having found our success in the United States, we knew it was time to give back. We reached out to Africare through one of our foundation grant recipients to extend the core company message of, “There’s only one you!” We’re pleased to be working through the Initials, Inc. iCare Foundation with Africare to construct a training center for the disabled in Solwezi, Zambia, that will provide training for entrepreneurship opportunities to financially vulnerable members of the local population.
How did you hear about Africare?
We were made aware of Africare through Katherine Roberts, a colleague of ours who does work Zambia. After meeting with the Zambia Country Director, Paul Chimedza, she informed us of the extensive work and various programs that Africare provides to improve the quality of life of the people in Africa.
What made you decide to donate to Africare?
After working with their team to do a “needs assessment” for the local community, we were impressed with their ability to answer questions and propose solutions for the people of Zambia.
You’ve supported Africare in both a program and in-kind capacity. What influences your continued support?
Africare’s support of women’s education and global leadership is imperative to Initials, Inc. As a women-owned business, we take care to support initiatives of women much like ourselves to make a life of their own that they can be proud of. Recently, with our in-kind donation of scarves to Africare’s screening of “Girl Rising” in Washington, D.C., Initials was happy to be a part of an educational experience for women and girls in the D.C. area. The purpose of the Initials, Inc. iCare Foundation is to help individuals making a difference in the lives of others and truly living out the core company belief that “There’s only one you!”