This is part 2 of Francie’s story: The story of Bleacher Divas. To read part 1, click here:
My business was slowly growing. Before things became so busy, I used to get so excited when I’d get just one single order in any given week. Then we went to 2-3 a week, and I was elated. I will never forget the days when I got back-to-back orders four days in a row; it was such a great feeling!
No lie, when I would show up at the ball field with ladies shirts in our signature brown bags, it was their kids that would run and grab the bag from me because it made them so happy! I would hold small events, and my friends would gladly volunteer to work them to help build my business. They were so happy and proud to be a part of such excitement. They would sit with me on the bleachers at the games, helping me dream of the ways my business could grow.
The momentum kept going and eventually, I had some big projects. I couldn’t handle that volume on my own, so my closest friend would volunteer to come help me. I paid her in shirts, because at the time I couldn’t afford to pay her in cash. She was so excited to see this grow, and didn’t expect me to pay her in any other way. I was and am still so grateful for her generosity.
Unfortunately, one day life threw her a curve-ball, and she found herself needing some extra money. I knew I had to somehow pay her back for what she had done for me, so I said to her, “okay I’ll pray for my business to grow so I can pay you with real money and not shirts”. The praying began and the orders started picking up. She and I worked together like clockwork and had our routine down to an art. But the best part was that we had a blast doing it!!
A bit of time had gone by when my hubby and I found out our daughter, who was a full-time college student, was pregnant. To complicate things for her even more, she was considered a high risk pregnancy because of kidney issues she had as a child. Her entire pregnancy was consumed with two to three doctor visits a week. This, on top of being a full time student and trying to work in a retail job, just became too hard for her. So this momma had to get to praying again. I needed to hire her now so she could have the flexibility to rest when she needed, and take care of herself and her baby. We prayed, and orders picked up! My daughter had a job, she was healthy, and so was my grand baby!
This scenario, where a friend or family member needed some extra help, has been a constant with my business. I’m telling you, every time a lady needed help or life dealt them the unexpected, my customers answered the call and my prayers to grow the business were answered. I have the most amazing ladies that have my back for every event and every phase of my business and it is a blessing to be able to provide a place for them to make some extra money, as every one of “my girls” is either a single mom, a college student, the children of my friends that are busy with school and sports, or just a momma with a family that needs a little help. *One important piece of my story is that every lady who works for me helped me long before I ever was able to help them. They all volunteered for me to build my business and accepted shirts for pay.
We currently have another momma that life has thrown a curve ball that needs a job so here we are praying to build our business again and I know it will happen!
This business is not about the money for me. It never has been. It’s always been about inspiring and encouraging children, providing jobs for others, putting smiles on our customers faces as they open their bag/package, and loving what we created for them. And it’s the satisfaction in knowing that we are sending messages of love, encouragement, pride, and joy one t-shirt at a time.
I LOVE getting people’s pictures in our gear at events. Not because of pride for anything I’ve done, but the smiles are priceless and the joy is real and visible… and that matters to me! I love the texts late at night where moms tell me their child hugged their shirt.
I also love my girls and my customers. This is very personal for me. Without going into too much detail, I will just say that life has thrown me and my family a life altering curve ball. My family has been in, and is in the midst of, a storm that has spanned several years now. This business has been my saving grace. I get to pour my emotions out into designs, and get to be a part of my customer’s lives in such a special way. I feel blessed to be a part of my customer’s life events, it’s an honor and a privilege.
So to answer the question: Why do I do this? It’s to serve others in one way or another, and in return I am blessed beyond measure.
I’m sure you can see from this story why VGK Ladies has partnered with Bleacher Divas to bring you the cutest fan gear. We love their designs, and most importantly, we love that we’re supporting local, Las Vegas women.
You can find Bleacher Divas designs at vgkladiesshop.com