Today we’d like to introduce you to Shavonn Richardson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was raised by a village of grandparents, aunts and uncles. I didn’t realize this until, I was well on my journey in life that I am the 4th generation in my family dedicated to community service. My great-grandparents, Lillie Mereday Crawford Walters and Colonel Cecil A. Walters were active in the Marcus Garvey movement. My other great-grandmother, Odessa Jones was one of the organizers of the Negro Actors Guild during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930’s and my Grandmother, Barbara Crawford was a nurse by trade, however, for many years opened her home to those in need, the homeless and elderly. I grew up with people my grandmother helped living with us during different seasons and different reasons. As child growing up, I thought this was normal and this is what everyone did – help the community.
As I grew and thought about “what do I want to be when I grow up”, I knew I wanted to help people, but how? I earned a B.B.A. from Howard University and an M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and undoubtedly knew I wanted in work in Finance. Eventually, after working in various capacities within Corporate America and realized: #1. I didn’t feel like I could really impact the community the way I wanted to #2. I noticed patterns in my life and what God was preparing me for and knew I had a different destiny.
I launched Think and Ink Grant Consulting™ (www.thinkandinkgrants.com) in 2016, combining my passions of writing and finding resources to help nonprofits by providing grant research and grant writing services. All my professional and educational experiences have prepared me to be a “social entrepreneur”, “grant guru” and “resource gatherer” that I am today – a valued resource for nonprofit organizations to help make their missions possible.
Prior to my success, tragedy struck – I lost my grandfather, Gilbert Eugene Crawford, Sr. to prostate cancer on October 18th, 2014.
My mother and I, were there the day my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. We served as his caregivers for 12 years. We had no idea where to go for resources and support for women and caregivers supporting a man diagnosed with prostate cancer. This experience led us to uphold my grandfather’s values and bring to life our vision of a world in which no man is a victim of prostate cancer by helping other women and their families who have had similar experiences.
Today, my mother and I are Co-Founders and respective CEO and COO of Blue Flowers Org (www.blueflowers.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Alpharetta, with a mission to empower women and the men in their lives against prostate cancer. We were founded in my grandfather’s memory and serve the community through our prostate cancer education and awareness programs.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It is said that we must show glory through our struggles. Struggle produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope. I must say we have all had our fair share of struggles along the way with hopefully the end result being hope for the future.
Personally, I am extremely happy that I have found work that gives back to the community and is personally rewarding. Life is a journey that is not always a straight line to the intended destination but thankfully I am living out my dream of helping others.
My struggle as an entrepreneur, as Founder and Principal Grant Writer of Think and Ink Grant Consulting™, was transitioning from the safe comforts of corporate America to unchartered territory – it was absolutely frightening. Through my faith in God’s guidance and wisdom, I have been able to successfully transition and hope my story provides hope and inspiration to someone else. My clients bring me so much joy. I am personally and professionally vested in making nonprofit organizations make their “missions possible” and celebrate successes with them as a trusted advisor and partner.
The biggest struggle and my greatest fulfillment has been continuing the legacy of my grandfather Gilbert Eugene Crawford, Sr. through Blue Flowers Org. We serve as disrupters in the advancement of prostate cancer education and awareness by leading the charge in engaging women and caregivers in the fight against prostate cancer. We have been successful in creating strategic partnerships, promoting our brand and executing our strategy of executing impactful, measurable and sustainable programs in the community.
Our biggest struggle is other organizations attempting to duplicate our mission. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and it demonstrates our impact on prostate cancer awareness of moving an entire industry to begin thinking about how to better engage women and caregivers- a big win for the prostate cancer movement!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Blue Flowers Org story. Tell us more about the business.
Blue Flowers Org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization empowering women and the men in their lives against prostate cancer. I am most proud of continuing the legacy of my grandfather. We are unique that we are founded by women, the mother-daughter duo CEO Valerie Crawford-Schiele and myself, COO Shavonn Richardson, to exclusively provide services for women and caregivers to support their families. No other organization does what we do. We are also unique because we execute our Prostate Cancer Care 360 Program providing resources for not only the physical impacts of prostate cancer but the mental and spiritual impacts as well. www.blueflowers.org
Think and Ink and Ink Grant Consulting™ provides grant research and grant writing support to nonprofit organizations from start-ups to well-established organizations. We also offer nonprofit consulting services to help nonprofit organizations work smarter, not harder, website design and content creation services to create online content to engage potential funders and donors and offer webinars for all nonprofits to take advantage of our service offering. We also offer franchise opportunities for those wanting to enter the grant writing space. I am proud of all of our accomplishments and most proud of our internship opportunities for teens and young adults. It’s our way to give back to the community by teaching youth valuable skills. www.thinkandinkgrants.com
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not sure if I would attribute our success to luck, however, I believe all things are possible through God, believe in creating good karma, displaying and attracting good positive energy.
- Address: 2400 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30009
- Website: www.blueflowers.org
- Phone: 1-855-BLUE-222
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: blueflowersorg
- Facebook: Blue Flowers Org
- Twitter: @blueflowersorg