“Take your mess and make it your message,” says Christi Beca, Founder and President of Flower Mound Women in Business (FMWIB). After experiencing a devastating divorce ten years ago, Beca found herself navigating from “having it all” to being a single mother with no job, no skills, no home and two children to support. After moving in with her parents and getting her real estate license, she was able to move forward and start over with a new life. Her mess became a secure future for herself and her children. “But I could not have done it alone,” she admits.
As Beca worked to move forward and start over, she began to reflect on her experience and realized that there were probably other women who had traveled this same path. So she put on a brave face and began to network, making connections with women who had a similar background. Unfortunately, what she discovered was a huge lack of support for women both financially and emotionally. And certainly nothing focused on empowering women. “So if you can’t find it, then you create it,” she shared and FMWIB was born.
What began as a Facebook group of ten people quickly steamrolled into a group of women meeting once a month in a local coffee shop to visit and share. After outgrowing that space and realizing there was a bigger need than meeting for coffee, Beca and her organization found a bigger space to meet, welcomed women of all walks and backgrounds, and applied to be a non-profit organization that offers three pillars of financial support to women.
First is the Women’s Business Advancement Grant which helps fund ideas and dreams for a woman-owned business in the community. The organization offers an application process which is then reviewed by the board. It is an opportunity to help make your business dream become a reality.
The second is Guidance Through the Gap. Some women have found themselves in a situation with immediate, basic needs and require some financial support to put their legs back under them. Beca says 78% of women, unfortunately, do not qualify for government assistance, this is a real epidemic within our community. The Gap emergency fund provides resources called “Empower Packs” that assist with food, gas and gift cards to fill that gap and ease the fear.
And third is a fund called Better Together. This fund is to help financially support sister charities that align with the FMWIB goals. This year, some events that FMWIB hosted were a conference called “Empower Her,” a book drive for kids in the community and a fashion opportunity called “Dress for Success'' where women donated business attire from their closets and encouraged women to shop for items to help them with a more professional look. The organization is literally helping women from head to toe!
Beca reminds all women to take some time for their own self-care. Prioritize your life in such a way that your cup is filled because no one can pour from an empty cup. Find joy in living out loud in your own gratitude. Staying down is a choice and your worth is so much more. Climb high as the core values of FMWIB suggest:
C - Culture
L - Leadership
I - Integrity
M - Mentorship
B - Better together
This holiday season or in the coming new year, consider giving yourself the gift of empowerment, support, connection and friendship. Beca says that you do not have to be a woman with a business, but a woman with a generous heart who receives warmth and joy that come from others’ successes. Visit these amazing ladies at their website, www.fmwib.com, to get more information on meetings and ways to volunteer.