Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Chatman.
Growing up in the housing projects of Memphis, Tennessee, Crystal Chatman felt equipped to deal with life’s difficult situations. She wished for a mentor to teach her about the importance of education and self-worth. As an adult, she channeled that desire into action by founding Beautiful Spirited Women (BSW) in 2010, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and advocating for girls. BSW provides young girls and women with a powerful platform to share their personal experiences with sex, drug abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, low self-esteem, bullying and depression, and equips them with important life skills to advance in schools and workplaces. BSW tackles difficult issues such as poverty and teenage pregnancy by bringing young mothers to talk to program participants and working with girls who hold dreams of one day owning their own business as well as the ones who already own their own business. Since inception nine years ago, BSW has spread to twelve cities and states, serving 15,000-30,000 constituents each year through workshops, virtual seminars, luncheons and school visits including visiting Green Dot School Systems headquarters in LA.
Crystal heard a voice from GOD at the lowest point of her life. She was in a dysfunctional position and she needed to hear the next steps in her life very soon. With a patient heart, God gave her an assignment to go back in the community in which she grew up, have a talk with her sisters and find passionate women who had a passion to be restoration queens to girls in their community. The letters BSW appeared clear as day on a piece of paper right after her bible study lesson with the women’s group at her church. Not knowing what it truly meant, Crystal prayed over the letters and over a period of time, the letters came to her heart as Beautiful Spirited Women. After receiving the meaning of BSW, the rest was history. With her obedient response, prayer life, leadership, not giving up, having an amazing team of women who are passionate, girls, parent’s community partners and sponsors, Beautiful Spirited Women is now a GLOBAL BRAND. After all these committed years , Crystal as the Founder of BSW were chosen as the 2019 Honoree of L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth. A weekend full of festivities in NYC, Actress Andie McDowell presented her award in front of more celebrities such as Dr. Oz, Viola Davis, Gayle King and so many more. Being connected to L’Oreal Paris as the first ever organization in the City of Memphis to be awarded and the 2nd in Tennessee, has connected Beautiful Spirited Women with so many platforms after receiving her award. She was also able to attend the Black Essence Women in Hollywood Luncheon in LA and meet the Chief & Editor of Essence Magazine Moanna Luu. She was also thrilled to have Actress Cara Santana apart of their COVID-19 virtual platform during their online workshops this past spring break.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, When you are doing GOD’s work – It will never be a smooth ride ahead. As the chosen one, the struggles consisted of sleepiness nights, limited government funding, not having enough resources, being told NO back to back, not being able to get the answers you need, being connected to the right people, having difficult people around, and so much more. Of course it all took so much learning to do and figuring out, we pretty much get the picture. In the eyes of starting a non-profit, not having a big name is really hard in our world. If a person has not heard of your organization or you do not have a big name attached to it, you rarely get financial help or you will continue to get looked over until you receive a big name or make the in crowd connection.
After realizing how powerful out GOD is, we continued to serve with a change of heart, we began to allow GOD to be in control and allow GOD to drive this vehicle for us. We now have limited beliefs or worries that he will send the right people in our lives that will financially bless us with everything we need help with. He will supply us with all the resources and tools we need to survive this nonprofit world.
Please tell us about Beautiful Spirited Women Girls Mentoring Program.
Beautiful Spirited Women is a support group of women who’s soul purpose is to uplift women and girls to higher spirits, rebuild, fellowship, and assist worldwide. We are a powerful girl’s leadership program for girls in grammar, middle and high school founded in the Greater Memphis Area of November 2010. Over a nine year period, we have conducted workshops and virtual platforms within Cities in Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, California. Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, and Arkansas. We are known for making sure our girls do not go without any resources that can help them reach the next level in life. We have hosted over 300 community service projects and conducted over 300 free workshops. We are most proud of not giving up when the going got tough. As to date, we have no teen pregnancy. We have faced some trying times that almost caused our team to just throw in the towel. Everything became difficult and aggravating to everyone, but GOD stepped right in and gave a new strength to our amazing team to push through our trying times.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The characteristic that has mostly been important to my success is the ability of taking risks. I have become so fearless to where nothing does not fear me at this moment, except for public speaking lol but I have no choice but to do it. I have always taken a moment in my life to try something out or believe that a certain project will work and benefit the organization. 90% of the time, they all were successful. The times I did fail, I found another way to make it work or developed another plan that was able to take us over the top in excellence.
- Website: www.beautifulspiritedwomen.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @beautifulspiritedwomen
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bswblessings
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BSWBlessings
Nilaya Sabnis (Photographer), Yakeyah Clark (Photographer), Crystal Chatman (Photographer)