The Galveston Chamber of Commerce works diligently to inspire today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs by uniting the business community and schools to facilitate programs such as Lemonade Day Galveston.

Kimmy Matthews, a BOI, has had a love for numbers and business since she was young. As a little girl, Matthews loved playing on cash registers, counting and organizing the money. Her parents Allan and Lori  have teased her because while in college she has meticulously monitored every dime she’s spent.

Another passion of hers is fashion. She shares a love of shopping and putting outfits together with her grandmother Ann Moody which brings truth to the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Matthews always dreamed of combining her passions and opening her very own boutique on the island. However, she learned a few things from her business and economics courses at Texas A&M University at Galveston and while working at Moody National Bank. She realized that her dream of a physical storefront boutique was not the most attainable for a 22-year-old with zero capital who will graduate from college this May.

Before she gave up, a light bulb came on. Matthews realized in her generation there was a way to accomplish her dream in the very near future. The solution was to start her dream boutique, Kimmy’s, online. That same day she began buying for her future boutique. With less overhead and no rent, she’s in business with her reputable e-commerce website, www.shopkimmys.com.

Matthews knew she needed to create a strong connection with locals to make her business a success, so one of her first official business decisions was to join the Galveston Chamber of Commerce and the C-Crewe, the Chamber’s young professionals group. She also became a vendor at our seventh annual Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit conference which will take place on Friday. The conference will be the first public showing of Kimmy’s, and she is ecstatic.

This young lady’s story is inspirational and it makes me stop and think about the impact of our organization. The Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit Conference is an incredible event that takes more than a year to plan. It’s easy to get lost in the details of what color tablecloths we’ll be using or what’s on the menu for lunch. Her story reminds me that the women’s conference is so much more than an event, as is everything the chamber organizes. Our events and programs provide opportunities for businesses to make connections and find solutions.

I couldn’t be more proud of this young entrepreneur for spreading her wings. I hope you’ll join me in supporting shopkimmys.com at her business launch at the conference and beyond.

Gina Spagnola is president of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce.

(1) comment

Centerpointe Moderator

It's nice that these kinds of group encouragements exist, but from a quick review of the available online accounts and promotional materials pertaining to this conference, I see a big female cliche' component.

Lemonade, fashion boutiques, jewelry design, an actress / TV host as keynote, "music as soon as you walk in"... where's the science and engineering component? If you really want to promote wider entrepreneurship development among young women, you ought to also encourage some of them to gain the specialized technical skills that will allow them to develop their own niche businesses, especially in the Houston-Galveston area which is so focused on the energy services and petrochemical manufacturing sectors. The opportunities are substantial and very rewarding, although with many of those working environments, the high heels and earrings must be left at home.

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