This piece is part of our #EmpoweringInnovation series for International Day of the Girl. Join us for the inaugural event at Google D.C. on Oct. 11th https://memunatuempoweringinnovation.splashthat.com/
Emily Raleigh, Spire & Co
Hi! My name is Emily Raleigh, I’m 22 years old, and I’m the Founder of Spire & Co, a website for unstoppable young women covering soulful content from self-help to style. Our goal is for Spire & Co to feel like an online sanctuary where our readers can recharge and reconnect with their truest selves.
MM: Who in your life has most inspired you to do what you are doing? Why?
Raleigh: That’s such a hard question! I’ve been super lucky to be surrounded by strong, passionate women who have instilled in me what it means to create the life you want. Both of my grandparents are entrepreneurs, and my parents were always creating side businesses and projects growing up, so the concept of building something is very much a part of my DNA. And in terms of the content we produce at Spire, I think a lot of the overarching messages come from conversations I and our staff writers have with the women in our lives.
MM: What challenges have you had to overcome?
Raleigh: I think the hardest part of all of this is learning to forgive yourself. I started Spire & Co when I was in high school. I’m now 22 years old. There’s a lot of growing up we all do within those years and I did it while building a business. There [are] so many things I’m so proud of that we’ve accomplished, but with it all came so many moments of growth and learning. It’s easy to look back and wish you did certain things differently or knew something sooner, but there is no better gift than learning how to forgive yourself.
MM: What motivated you to continue to make strides on your journey?
Raleigh: I always looked at Spire & Co as something that was given to me, not necessarily something I created. And because of that, I felt obligated to keep going because there must be a reason this was needed on the Internet, even if it was just one little article that impacted one person. There’s always been something very motivating about that. Plus, we have had live events before and I’ve had the opportunity to interact with our readers, and knowing who they are is crazy motivating because it gives a face to who we are serving.
MM: What does innovation mean to you and how do you innovate in your field?
Raleigh: I think innovation is creating something that speaks to your soul and doing so in a way that is unique to your human experience. We try to do that with Spire & Co by creating content that approaches topics from a different angle than the rest of the web, specifically focusing on empowering, personal development content for young women.
MM: What advice would you give to teenage girls around the world who are wondering how they can be entrepreneurial or innovative in their communities?
Raleigh: Approach an idea or the desire for an idea as an opportunity for self-discovery. Build with the intention of creating something that is a reflection of your soul and has a positive influence on your life and, if possible, the lives of others. Innovate with purpose and evolve without apologizing.