We love meeting inspiring founders, who have a passion and mission. Today we meet Val Gittens, to learn about her inspiring founder story.
Hi Val, really great to meet you, thank you for sharing your story with us. It would be great to tell us all who you were before you started your business? What you were doing and what made you decide to change direction and start a business?
Before I started my business I worked as a money transfer and wire clerk at HSBC bank. Over the years of working under stress I became ill. Due to my illness I could not return to work. After several months on disability, I decided to go back to school and pursue my passion and what I believed to be my life purpose. I returned to school after being out for over 20 years. I completed my BS in psychology with a focus in Christian counselling and went on to complete my masters degree in professional counselling. While doing my internship my heart’s desire was to start my own practice. Shortly after I graduated I was encouraged by my husband to take a leap of faith, so I did. I opened the doors to my own counselling service and with God as my guide I am experiencing fulfillment in life that I did not know was possible.
Amazing, you went from working in banking to going back to school to graduate, and then starting your own practice. So what is your business called and what do you do?
I founded C.A.R.E counseling and I provide personalized approaches for individuals charting their journey to change using secular techniques and biblical instruction.
It is really inspiring to see, when individuals channel adversity to then start a business to help others. What was your aha moment, how did you get to where you are now?
The limitations that I experienced because of my illness was my aha moment. I was determined that my limitations were not going to stop me. I prayed a lot and was proactive in my healing journey.
In going through your journey what’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
Life’s biggest lesson so far is that your disability or limitations do not define who you are or how far you can go.
What has been your strategy which has helped you and your business succeed?
Prayer, a listening ear and compassion for others.
I understand that you are currently crowdfunding via GoFundme, can you tell us more about your campaign?
My husband Mike and I have been traveling to Lagos Nigeria for over 7 years preaching, teaching, and sharing God’s love by feeding the widows and supplying eye glasses. Just 1 bag of rice can feed a family of 4 for 3 months. We are currently raising $3,000 to help feed up to almost 50 families for 3 months.
That is such a great cause where can we learn more about your crowdfunding page?
You have a very inspiring journey and story. From what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self and what advice do you think every startup founder should know?
I would tell my younger self “Dreams do come true.” and the advice I would give to every startup is: “Make sure you love what you do. Be knowledgeable about your business and acquire the skills needed to provide the best service possible.”
Thank you Val for sharing your inspirational story and journey with us, it has been our pleasure.