By Stephanie Angelo
I’ll never forget the moment in our High Stakes Mastermind Group meeting when one of our members, Dala Al- Fuwaires, who is the principal of FJI.design specializing in interior design of food and beverage locations, was telling the group about her desire to do something so that she could give back and make her community a better place.
But what to do? When you’re starting a business, and funds are limited, it’s hard to just donate. She also wanted to do something in which her own work could be showcased. Because, after all, she was trying to build her business and get people to know her throughout the community for the quality of her work.
One of the other members, Jessica Corral of Headfarmer said, “Yeah, it’s really important to pay it forward. That’s what I do in my business. We do a new giving plan every year so that we can find a new way to give back to our community.” “Pay it forward?” said Dala.
Then in an instant she came up with the idea: she wouldn’t just pay it forward, she would design it forward. That moment – that second of true epiphany, was mesmerizing. It was emotional and it was profound. We knew this was no small moment. Collectively we knew something big had just happened and we were all there to witness it.
Flash of Inspiration
That’s where the idea began. Dala created a contest on her website where aspiring local restaurant owners, a person who wanted to expand their already existing line of local restaurants, or even a person who had a food and beverage related retail location could submit an application. The application period was for one month from June 15th to July 15th. At the end of that, Dala would choose a winner. That winner would receive Dala’s expert design services completely pro bono. What an amazing gift to the community! Most fledgling restaurant owners cannot afford designers and they struggle to make their ideas come to life. Dala was there to make that happen.
Last year’s winner is a pizza restaurant inside a former shipping container at a location in downtown Phoenix where all of the retail and restaurant spaces are previous shipping containers. Freak Brothers Pizza will open this fall of 2018.
It’s worth mentioning that two of the 2017 non-winning contestants we’re so impressed by Dala and the high quality of her work that they hired her for their restaurant designs, her even though they wouldn’t be pro bono. She’s just that good!
The Design it Forward project is now in its second year. Applications will close in just a few days. This year Dala has an ensemble of six industry related professionals who will select the winning application.
This is an incredible gift to the community.
Masterminding Better Communities
For me, as the Chief Focus Officer, and the members of #HighStakesMastermindGroups, we can’t wait to see who will win this year. And to have a celebratory dinner at the opening of Freak Brothers Pizza.
The Design it Forward project is special. And this is exactly the kind of idea that is born out of High Stakes Mastermind Groups. It starts with something small or an issue that’s noodling around in somebody’s mind and comes to life because of the power of the people behind it, and the support of the fellow members who are all also entrepreneurs succeeding at building their own businesses.
We exist for unforgettable small moments that become successful business ideas. Could yours be next?