She Makes It Beautiful (SMIB) encourages and inspires women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams by interviewing and sharing the phenomenal stories of women who’ve already taken that courageous leap and soared.
I ask entrepreneurs in diverse creative professions to participate, and they are more than willing to pay it forward. So, from opening a dance studio to starting a bakery to grooming pets and everything in between, you’ll read unique and empowering stories about how these women decided to make it happen.
Don’t forget! Download your free SMIB Bonus Materials below. Use them as your personal toolkit to help get that dream off the ground. All bonus materials complement the advice and tips given by each of the entrepreneurs.
This SMIB interview is with new code enthusiasts, Fatimot Ladipo and Kim Wallker-Williams, co-founders of Code Kids Rock.
There is one word that immediately comes to mind to describe Fatimot and Kim: Powerhouses. As business partners and long-time friends, they are definitely a positive force to be reckoned with. These two women are unafraid to “step into the arena” as Brené Brown says in her book Daring Greatly. They are solution-oriented, passionate change agents who most certainly understand the importance and power of service and social entrepreneurship. Recognizing there was a need to make technology enrichment more accessible and affordable to kids in the Atlanta community, they launched Code Kids Rock.
Code Kids Rock is a commitment to teaching children how to code, providing classes and curricula that supports unleashing natural curiosity and shaping emerging tech leaders.
Kim and Fatimot call themselves the “Stat Killers” because they have unwavering dedication to changing statistics that report less than 2% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science. Rather than let that deter them, these go-getters have chosen to shift those numbers by inspiring a new generation. “We are determined to do our part to reverse the statistics and invest in our children,” Fatimot shared.
Without a shadow of a doubt I believe them because not only have they done their homework, there is a mutual respect for each other as entrepreneurs and women that is evidently clear, and of course paramount to sustaining a business with a partner – something very refreshing to witness and equally exciting to hear them discuss.
What was the process like starting Code Kids Rock?
Kim: We had to research what was out there and then ask ourselves: Where do we want to start and what is our niche? From there we knew that our goal with Code Kids Rock was more time for kids to have access to learning the craft, not just immersion and exposure, but developing real skills and a love for it so post K-12 they have a career interest due to the foundation we’ve set and based on the tech skills learned from our coding courses.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from the process?
Fatimot: Having a mentor well-versed in the arena is important. We talked to our mentor about what she’s been through and discussed the do’s and don’ts of the process.
Kim: There is so much that says we are not enough; we must kill the statistics and remind ourselves of what is in our DNA. The kids are very excited and it’s our responsibility to match their level of interest through the curriculum.
Was there a pivotal moment when you recognized what you were doing would be successful?
Fatimot: Yes, hearing from parents about the opportunity to have something like Code Kids Rock and how it fits in their budget AND the community. It’s accessible to those in a different demographic, providing diversity of experience, options, and opportunities.
Kim echoed Fatimot’s observations adding that “there are limitless opportunities with building a business and tiny confirmations everyday that you’re on the right track; applying for non-profit status is another chapter of our journey.”
How do you maintain a healthy balance in your personal and professional life?
Fatimot: Social entrepreneurship and community engagement are important to me; I don’t want to engage in something just for the sake of it. I want to enjoy what I’m doing in the process. Knowing that it’s not always about gaining personal wealth, that creates the balance. Kim and I also balance each other as business partners. We are Yin Yang, and although we may push each others buttons sometimes, it works. We keep working together. We keep doing it!
Kim: My family and husband definitely keep me balanced, and also having a business partner who can provide a different perspective. I have a great support system. It’s important to have people who know you and know how you work, because what drives me is being solution-oriented.
Lastly, what advice can you give to women seeking to fulfill their own entrepreneurial dreams?
Fatimot: Be methodical about the problem you are solving, and don’t let anyone deter you from solving that problem.
Kim: I think you have to be kind of little crazy to do this! (laughs) I think that most people who are game changers probably are. You cannot play it safe or be afraid of being uncomfortable. Game changers push boundaries and have hardcore business skills.
Kim and Fatimot also shared how important it is to be a mentor along the way, to share your story to empower others, as mentoring is an essential part of giving back.
Please support Code Kids Rock and register your child. Learn more about CKR’s programs and classes HERE. They are currently finalizing their 2016 class schedule and once it’s complete, registration will be open.
Now, take a look at the free SMIB Bonus Materials that complement Kim and Fatimot’s interview.
Remember, you’re building your SMIB Entrepreneurial Toolkit! Didn’t get your bonus materials from the last interview? Well, go back, recap, and download it HERE.
Tell us what you think, Phoenix!
We want to hear about how you are inspired by Kim Walker-Williams and Fatimot Ladipo, as well as your progress building your toolkit, so tell us in the comment section below. You can also share a snapshot of how you used the SMIB bonus materials on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag: #SMIB #thephoenixrisingcollective Tag: @thephoenixrisingcollective
About the Contributor:
Ayanna Jordan is founder, workshop leader, and personal empowerment coach for The Phoenix Rising Collective. She develops and facilitates women-centered workshops on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. Ayanna also creates coaching and training that supports women’s professional growth in leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. As editor-in-chief of Phoenix Shine, she is happy to be working with contributing writers to provide resources and awareness on topics that cultivate self-love and acceptance. Right now, she is most inspired by the LYFF series and She Makes It Beautiful. You can learn more about Ayanna HERE.