An intimate look inside women-owned businesses and supporting women in the Bluffton area.
by Lili Coleman
The mission of 100 Red Apron Women is to recruit 100 women to make up a special donor group for the purpose of empowering women and their families to work toward self-reliance and independence.
Picture this: You are sitting in a room with a group of powerful and generous women. In front of you is a woman business owner telling all about her journey to run a successful business or launch an upcoming business. She is happy to share her story to inspire others. At the same time, you are making new friends and enjoying refreshments. It is a special “women helping women” bonding time and all for a good purpose.
“The ultimate goal is to recruit 100 women, hence the name,” said Lili Coleman, executive director at Bluffton Self Help, a non-profit agency whose mission is to “Help Bluffton neighbors in critical need of short term financial assistance, food and clothing, while supporting them to become more self-reliant.” Among the current members are Lisa Sulka, Mayor of the Town of Bluffton, and Constance Martin-Witter, the daughter of the agency’s founder, Mrs. Ida Martin. “Currently 30 members strong and growing, this group of women can make a difference.”
“This is an excellent opportunity to be in a position to give back to our community, as well as network with women in our town,” said Mayor Sulka. “I would encourage everyone to look at this group and be a part of it in some way.”
“We developed this group as a result of the overwhelming growth of female donors and their resources, unlike any other time in history,” explained Coleman. “Women have wealth in knowledge, finances, compassion and giving. They stand proud amongst the largest contributors in national reports on giving.”
Started in the fall of 2014, to date the women have met at R & D Wine Boutique, Corner Perk Cafe, Bluffton Barbeque, Vineyard 55 and The Bluffton Room. All of these business owners have donated their location and appetizers to support the cause.
“100 Red Apron Women is an opportunity for women in Bluffton to help other women,” Coleman said. “We do this in the spirit of our founder, Mrs. Ida Martin who demonstrated that women have the power to make a difference and the willingness to change the course of other people’s lives.”
Janet Boyden, who has been instrumental in getting 100 Red Apron Women up and running, said, “I absolutely love what Bluffton Self Help stands for and the commitment to our community this organization exhibits daily. The staff and volunteers are amazing and tireless in their efforts. I’m so excited about the 100 Red Apron Women and what we will be able to create to give back to women and families in our community.”