Posted Suzanna McCloskey on 5/27/2015 |Featured Columns & Series
This year, Girls on the Run will serve its one-millionth girl! We’re honoring this milestone by celebrating what makes each of us one in a million and by showcasing some one-in-a-million women who have made exceptional contributions to empowering girls and women.
Megan Grassell, a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Wyoming, started Yellowberry at age 17 to make unique, age-appropriate bras for growing bodies after being frustrated with the styles that were available for her younger sister. By continuing to grow Yellowberry, Megan aims to transform the bra industry for teens while helping them become more confident, empowered young women.
Here’s what Megan has to share about being one in a million.
Q: Girls on the Run envisions a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams! How did you start to realize your own limitless potential and pursue the path to where you are today?
Megan: Yellowberry began with a very simple idea: build a bra for a tween girl to wear. However, as I moved forward with that and developed the idea into a true business concept, I saw that I needed to believe in myself to keep moving forward. When I told my parents that I was going to start a business in the middle of my junior year, they smiled. When I told my friends, they smiled. When I told anyone, they would smile. Often with a pat on the back, or a wink. But not until months later, countless hours of work, and the launch of a website, products and, finally, the customers was it when they began to take me seriously. It was just an idea until I did something about it to turn that dream into a reality. I realize everyday that I am capable of a lot more than I ever would have thought. I think that sometimes when I reach a goal, or a stepping stone toward a very big goal, I should have dreamt bigger! I am in the midst of building a successful company. I know that believing in myself and believing in myself to be successful in this endeavor is one of the most important things I need to do.
Q: Of the traits and achievements that help make you one-in-a-million, what stands out most to you?
Megan: I have huge goals for myself and what I want to accomplish. When I say those dreams out loud, it scares me. It scares the people around me. But that’s how I know they’re worth having, because they push my comfort zone—a lot!
Q: Which one of the core values of Girls on the Run resonates most with you and why?
Megan: “Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent,” resonates with me the most because it’s something that I can relate to on a day-to-day basis. I consider myself an eternal optimist and always do my best to be extremely positive. I understand, especially in a start-up, the huge risks and things that could go wrong, but every day I do my best to keep moving forward, knowing what I want to accomplish with the brand, and keep looking up.
Q: One of the many things our curriculum teaches girls is how to recognize and work through challenges in productive ways. What is a challenge you have faced (or still face)? How did/do you respond, and what have you learned from it?
Megan: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far is that I am very young. I have very big goals for myself, and those are often not taken seriously when someone then knows I am 19. So, since day one with Yellowberry, I have had to work very hard to prove that I am very serious about business and my career. I have had to prove that someone very young can have a great idea, a strong work ethic and follow through with what they want to do. I’ve learned that although it may be more difficult to earn someone’s respect, once I have it, I know that I’ve gotten over another hurdle.
Q: What insight or advice would you offer a young girl today? What would you say now to your 8-year-old self?
Megan: If the worst answer you can get is “no,” then you should always ask the question. I don’t remember where I first heard/read/saw that, but it has been immensely helpful is putting myself into a situation that could have a great outcome if I’m just brave enough to ask.
This spring, Girls on the Run will serve our 1 millionth girl! To celebrate, we're sharing the stories of girls, volunteers and supporters who have been inspired to be joyful, healthy and confident. Join our virtual celebration today and learn other ways to get involved at girlsontherun.org.