Thirteen-year-old Girls With Impact (GWI) graduate Amira Archibald has always put her best foot forward to achieve her dreams—no matter how big they might seem. When she was in the second grade, she learned to sew. The following year, she learned to code. So, it should come as no surprise that six years later, she formed a business idea combining all her passions (including her love of neuroscience) to create a fashion line called “Melanin Magic”.
“I let her pick out her after-school activity when she was younger and she picked creative coding,” explains Tanisha Hill, Amira’s mother. “She used online tools to dress up characters and incorporate music into her videos. As the coding progressed, she made wearable fashion. And today, her entrepreneurial spirit continues.”
Through the GWI program, girls like Amira can participate in a 10-week mini MBA course to explore what inspires them and hone the skills they’ll need to pursue their passion. Driven by the need for progress in women’s leadership (only 6% of Fortune 500-CEOs are women), the nonprofit offers social impact and entrepreneurship classes and workshops designed for middle school and high school-age girls. In 2020, U.S. Bank provided the organization with a $50,000 grant to support the organization’s continued programming and shift to an online format during COVID-19.
By combining her interests in neuroscience, fashion and entrepreneurship, Amira decided to create on a clothing line with the motive of giving back. “The idea for Melanin Magic came with the greater call for racial justice,” says Amira. “I had this idea towards the end of my Girls With Impact classes and now it has become more finalized. Melanin Magic is a fashion line highlighting pro-blackness. When you purchase things from my company all the proceeds will be donated to tackle racial injustice and systemic racism.”
Amira credits the GWI classes with teaching her the difference between a for-profit company and a nonprofit. She also learned how to put together a business idea, which she then presented to her peers at graduation last summer. “I did way more than I thought and I was way more inspired,” says Amira. “This experience encouraged me in a way that I hadn’t seen, and it gave me more hope in myself.”
Tanisha has seen positive growth due to Amira’s GWI experience as well. “Not only is she smart and compassionate, but she understands what it is like to be part of a community.”
Now that she has a solid business plan, Amira aims to continue bringing her idea to life by designing her own pro-blackness t-shirts online and then outsourcing them to be made. She’s also thinking about attending college for a business degree and studying topics that interest her like entrepreneurship, neuroscience and psychology.
Whatever path she chooses, she can lean on the what she’s learned through her GWI experience, and her mom, whom she draws inspiration from. “My mom is really dedicated—she sets a goal and acts on it. She tackles what she wants and never gives up on anything and I admire that,” says Amira. Thanks to her ambition, support system and GWI, Amira certainly has a bright future ahead.
Check out the Real Good Podcast for more stories about making a difference where it matters.