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Community Highlights: Meet SeQuoiya Lawrence of Bonita Butterfly

Today we’d like to introduce you to SeQuoiya Lawrence.

Hi SeQuoiya, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Last February, I got in a really bad car accident in which my car actually flipped over, I don’t remember much but I was really shook up because in my mind, I know I was not supposed to survive looking at the physical damage. I was really upset at myself but also knew that meant God has me here for a much bigger purpose so I have to do something and that’s when I came up with Bonita Butterfly Inc which is in memory of my late mother who passed away five years ago.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s never easy or fun starting a business, let alone a nonprofit organization. I work full time as well so sometimes yes I get overwhelmed because I feel I be so determined for everything to go right.

For instance back in November with the help of my mentor Sharon Elegant along with means database; I was able to provide over 300 hot meals to the homeless. We also gave out hygiene kits and along with my two cousins who also provided hot food from their catering services (Jazz It Up) and (Taste of Home). The downfall of that was that literally the day before the event the police had made all the homeless people out of the park we were set to be at. It was a total disaster, but thank God my friends were there to calm me down and we still had a successful event.

Another obstacle is donations. I hate asking people for anything, idk if it’s pride or what but that has been an obstacle.

If anyone would like to donate to our organization, you can do so by:
Cash app $bonitabutterflyinc

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Bonita Butterfly Inc is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization geared toward domestic violence of women and children. Our mission is to guide women towards a brighter future away from all forms of mental, physical, emotional, sexual and substance abuse. Our hope is that after certain programs have been put in place, they will leave with a newfound outlook and confidence in life.

Some programs I would like to implement are referrals to shelters (until we get an actual space) because the ultimate goal is transitional housing. We would also like to provide parenting classes, mental health resources, domestic violence education, substance abuse classes, anger management classes as well as business/career development and financial literacy classes.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
You have to have a lot of PATIENCE!!!!! I’m such a perfectionist and expect everything to go right and for people to think like I do but that’s not the case. Being that I started my business almost a year ago, I know there are things I can work on and I should never be afraid to ask for help if I need it. I’ve found it’s very important to network with other small businesses or nonprofits because they can give u advice and also refer you to resources that may be very useful to what you are trying to accomplish.

My first two events were collaborations, one with the nonprofit plug and another event thrown by my cousin and her friends which was like a pop up shop. I liked this event because it gave me a chance to share with the community what my organization is trying to do to help our women and children. I also made flyers and merchandise which engaged people to start asking questions and saying they knew someone who could use my services so that was great.

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