Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Mommy, are you coding?
Those were the words uttered by my four-year-old daughter, Zofia, when she woke up and ran into our home office and saw me staring at lines of Swift code. Swift is Apple’s easy to learn programming language used to build apps. I responded, “Yes, mommy is coding.”
Zofia then asked, “Is coding the same thing that I do on my iPad when I make the cat move in different directions, hop and spin around?” She was referring to ScratchJr, a graphical programming language that teaches kids how to code using programming blocks.
I responded, “Yes, it is, Mommy is creating her first App.”
I have long been an entrepreneur, but I started taking a coding class just 4 months ago while working on a project for a client. One day I was having a really tough time trying to get work done and went looking for inspirational quotes to help keep me going. I soon realized that there were very few places where I could go to find words of encouragement from women business owners who look like me. Then it hit me - why not use my newfound Swift and SwiftUI skills to build an App that curates quotes from women entrepreneurs of color! Thus, Encourage Her was born!
The first quote I decided to include came from the famous Madam C.J. Walker, beauty industry pioneer and the world's first woman self-made millionaire, who said, “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for
the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”
With this one under my belt, I created a Google Form and began reaching out to friends and family, and several Facebook groups, to request more quotes and they started rolling in.
My two nieces, who are Black and Latina, joined in by gathering quotes from Latina entrepreneurs. They shared with me that the research process inspired them, because they were learning, for the first time, about women such as Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company, and Yenia Herrera Pernett, founder and CEO of Chicago Latino TV, who said "Don't be afraid of difficulties, don't let yourself down, put your trust in God, because he will always be with you."
In learning to code, I found a new avenue of creativity. Coding allows me to take an idea and bring it to life!
The quotes in the Encourage Her App are an incredible source of wisdom and inspiration which will motivate, and encourage you and generations to come.
Here are a few of the many great quotes you will find in the Encourage Her App:
· “You may travel a bumpy road to reach your goal, but the lessons learned on the road make the journey worthwhile.”
-Jennifer M. Sequeira, Co-Founder SEAT Caribbean & SEAT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
· "Don't let fear stop you from achieving what you want."
-Elizabeth Colón, President and Founder of Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions
· “By learning to create technology, girls learn to speak up.” - Regina Honu, Founder of Soronko Solutions
· “Confidence is always the best accessory. Own the moment. Own your space.”
· “Your comfort zone is another glass ceiling. Break through it.”
-Nicaila Matthews Okome, Founder of Side Hustle Pro, LLC.
You can download the Encourage Her App from the Apple App Store at https://apple.co/2JxroGg. I look forward to receiving additional quote submissions from Women of Color entrepreneurs worldwide. If you would like to submit a quote you can do so via the App or here. New features will be added to the App at a later date, such as the ability to follow the quote contributors via social media.
Thank you to all my family, friends and coaches who supported me along this journey. I could not have done this without you! Thank you to Ed Farm's Pathways program leadership.
Sonja Sulcer is one of the cofounders of SEAT Caribbean and Chief Innovation Strategist at SONJARZO LLC.