TEAL. It’s the color for ovarian cancer awareness, and the inspiration for the new website created by High Point University junior and HPU business plan competition finalist Alexa Crawford.
The Ever After Lady (TEAL) is a social networking hub for women with life-threatening diseases to find support, friendship and to feel beautiful.
“’Ever After’ makes you think of dreams you may never achieve. This site is designed to make you believe that you will achieve those goals,” says Crawford.
Crawford was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 16 years old, and says she would have loved to have something like TEAL while she was battling the disease.
“When you’re stuck in a hospital bed, it’s hard to feel beautiful or hopeful,” says Crawford. “You’re loved ones provide support, but it’s not the same as having someone who can say, ‘Yeah, I just went through that too.’”
The entrepreneurship major says she’s trying to create a community that women can access right from their hospital beds. She’s working with local doctors and hospitals to grow the network and bring more patients to the site.
“The word is spreading, and I’m getting a lot of positive feedback from the women on the site,” says Crawford.
Her next step is to find funding to take TEAL to the next level. She’s talking to outside investors and is a finalist in HPU’s annual business plan competition, which offers the winner up to $15,000 to move forward with their business.
She credits Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, director of the center for entrepreneurship, for helping her get TEAL off the ground.
“She has contacts, she’s been supportive, she’s spent hours with me one-on-one and she challenges me to think about things I wouldn’t normally think about,” says Crawford.
“Watching Alexa take a very personal experience and turn it into a social networking business has been wonderful, says Flanders-Stec. “ She applied what she learned in class and life to create a beautiful opportunity for women around the globe to interact.”
Crawford will spend her summer interning with the Target executive team in Greensboro. She says that will allow her to gain professional experience, and allow her to continue networking in the Triad to move TEAL forward.