January 27, 2014
Contact: Lynda Vaughn (310) 639-6000
Rancho Dominguez, CA – One wouldn’t expect the head of two successful soft goods and drapery manufacturing and rental businesses (together grossing nearly $7 million in 2013) who is responsible for the working lives of 32 employees and supplying stage drapes for music legends like Sting, Elton John and Madonna’s tours, to have time for much else beyond minding the company’s bottom line. Wrong.
On November 15, Megan Duckett, president of Sew What? Inc., a noted stage and theatrical drapery manufacturer, spent the morning giving a factory tour and inspiring talk on what it is like to run a business to a very important group: Girl Scout Brownie Troop 15445. The 10 energetic and intelligent second-grade girls and their leaders were sponsored by the local Torrance YMCA . The YMCA’s director reached out after reading an article about Duckett in More Magazine. The piece described Duckett as having “stitched together her love of rock and roll and her talent with a sewing machine to launch what is now a dream business.”
The word has gotten out that Duckett regularly takes time out from running Sew What? Inc. and sister drapery rental company Rent What? Inc. to inspire and nurture others with budding entrepreneurial aspirations across Southern California. Duckett’s calendar is regularly meshed with important tasks like tour guide and guest speaker for a wide swath of would-be entrepreneurs, including students in elementary, middle, high school, and college, as well as adults attending small business conferences. In October, Duckett enjoyed a new role: as one of three judges for “Get Started OC,” an Orange County business pitch event that garnered a small business candidate $10,000 in seed money to help drive new local entrepreneurship and product innovation.
Why does Duckett do it? She says working with groups that encourage youth entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship training, particularly in lower economic environments such as Compton, California is a personal priority for her. She sees it as a means to improving not only their lives, but ultimately our communities and the nation.
Says Ms. Duckett, “It’s so much fun working with kids and aspiring entrepreneurs, challenging them, involving them, and helping them realize their own potentials for success.” “It’s also tied to that ‘purpose beyond profits’ notion,” states Duckett. She sees her own purpose and by extension, that of her company, as one that goes beyond just the duty to make a profit.