Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Garley.
Hi Tracy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hello, Voyage Baltimore; my name is Tracy Garley. I am the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at GoFundHer. Leveraging my entrepreneurial background, I am building GoFundHer.com as a premium crowdfunding ecosystem for girls and women to live their dreams. I was born in West Africa, Liberia, and moved to the United States at eleven. I graduated from Michigan State University. I knew I wanted to be a business owner at a very young age. I grew up around so many business owners. By 16 years old, I had already made up my mind that I would be running a company one day. At 19, I started my first business with my parents, Zarkpas Purses and Accessories, while in college. In 2014, I opened the doors of “Zarkpa’s” in the heart of downtown Detroit. The store was a 25th birthday gift from my parents, and I decided on Zarkpa’s because it is the namesake of her paternal grandmother in Liberia, meaning “debt-free.” As the first new retail clothing store to open in the city of Detroit after it had to file for bankruptcy, I made it my mission to ensure my storefront was open every day and that it brought energy to the downtown area. “I collaborated with other entrepreneurs to host events such as ‘Positive Tea Party,’ ‘Sip & Shop,’ and pop-up shops. Then in 2017, I decided to move Zarkpa’s to e-commerce, focusing on exposing the world to the intricacies and diversity of West African fashion through custom apparel, handbags, and accessories.”
In June 2021, me and my Co-Founder Roger Mensah celebrated the two-year anniversary of our platform. GoFundHer.Com and City Girls Big Dreams INC partnered with Simple Retro, a womenswear brand, to highlight the work of eight female leaders through a campaign shot in New York City. Simple Retro sponsored a photo shoot with the ‘Fearless Girl statue outside the New York Stock exchange. I remember standing there in Lower Manhattan, thinking about how my journey would take me to the New York Stock Exchange floor one day. Six months later, I was honored with a group of 65 women on the trading room floor as a 2021 inspiring Fintech Female by NYC Fintech Women. The Inspiring FinTech Females award recognizes women who, in their role, are transforming FinTech and advocating for women and gender equity. It was an incredible night of networking with ambitious women in the heart of the financial district. I am so pleased that God has blessed me with many amazing opportunities to help women gain funds to expand their businesses.
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Running a business with no big investment is never a smooth road. Some of the struggles along the way have been big companies like GoFundMe, which tried to take me to court if I didn’t change my business name, GoFundHer. By having God on my side, I have made it to the other side to keep fighting for girls and women to receive more funding.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
GoFundHer.com is a premium online financial platform focused on breaking down economic barriers for girls and women. Specifically, it allows anyone to invest in women via direct donations to individual profiles or featured projects on societal issues concerning women. In this way, GoFundHer.com attacks economic disadvantages at both the individual and structural levels. GoFundHer.com has a special interest in female entrepreneurship but was also created to help any woman achieve her dreams, big or small. Above all, GoFundHer.com wants women’s dreams to be the driving force behind their success rather than the happening stance of birth, privilege, and opportunity.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
God deserves all the credit. Without God, I would not be where I am today. My mother also deserves all the credit. She is my number one cheerleader. My mother has been there for me during the good, bad and ugly. I don’t know where I will be; there is nothing like mother support. I am so glad to have her in my corner.
- 5% platform fees
- $25 for Zoom Coaching Workshop
- $100 Dream Session
- Website: www.GoFundHer.Com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/_gofundher?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/GofundHercom-1743604505861961/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/_gofundher?s=21&t=uDVHTPGR9io7D6oFdFeQ0Q
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UC9RwbgciVUfzZLybJgbk2Kw
Joey Wany (Pictures with All the Women in cream dresses