Holly Godfrey’s business partners are in India, Nepal and Rwanda.
The timing works well, since their daytime falls during her nighttime. As she gets ready to shift her focus from her full-time day job as the rehabilitation manager at Truman Medical Center to her startup, Catalyst Scrubs, her colleagues abroad are just beginning their day.
Godfrey launched her company Sept. 1, and in almost four weeks, she has sold more than $3,000 worth of her product: scrubs.
She works with three businesses across the country that are owned and operated entirely by women. Her company partner in India produces the scrubs that Catalyst sells online, at pop-up boutiques in hospitals and in a growing number of retail stores. The businesses in Rwanda and Nepal create accessories like lanyards, keychains and nametag holders.
All of the businesses Godfrey works with are independent, which is important to her.
“I’ve been advocating for social justice issues for a long time,” she said. “I’ve been looking at what helps with empowering women and stopping human trafficking, and research shows that people don’t do as well with supporting general charities as they do with the idea of job creation. And women in some of these countries have a hard time creating jobs.”
Godfrey connects with her business partners via Skype and phone calls most nights around 9 p.m. after she’s out of work when they’re starting their day. It’s like most businesses, she said, we talk about their needs and what needs to happen to grow Catalyst as well as their overseas business to scale.
In the four weeks since launch, Godfrey said she has doubled growth each week.
There are eight women who are employed full-time at Alpha Fashions in India, where the scrubs are made. Back in the U.S., it’s just Godfrey with some support from her husband.
And she’s working toward fair trade certification. It takes one year of sales to apply, but Godfrey says applying the fair trade principles and ethics to the way she supports the businesses and the women she works with is the whole reason she decided to take this idea to the BetaBlox Accelerator in April.
Godfrey presented to 1 Million Cups in mid-September, and is a finalist in the Kansas City Kansas Community College Innovation Summit Pitch Perfect Competition on Oct. 2.