WE Fellowship Big Pitch Event

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tune on on October 20 at 5:00 pm to cheer on our 5 WE Fellowship Finalists!


Cecile Hardy

Founder of NOLA Couture, high-end custom fashion design brand founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with multiple locations including one in the new Louis Armstrong Airport; co-founder of Poke Loa, the first poke restaurant in Louisiana with five locations in the New Orleans area.  The design of Cecile’s brand, NOLA Couture, offers a unique way to showcase New Orleanians’ hometown pride and includes manufacturing capabilities through sister company, NOLA Sewn.  Through NOLA Sewn, Cecile recently assisted the local manufacturing of 250,000+ PPE masks and gowns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cecile contributed to the opening of the new Louis Armstrong airport, which sparked her newest business endeavour as partner in a wine bar and food concept that will be opening soon next to Cafe du Monde in the airport.

Kelisha Garrett

Principal Consultant at Gen-X Consulting Group, a firm focused in business development, strategic sourcing and vendor compliance management; the Executive Director of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce which covers a 10-parish region in southern Louisiana and the Chief Operating Officer & Vice- President of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In addition, she is a licensed Realtor in the State of Louisiana. During the lifecycle of her prior careers, she has worked in pharmaceutical research, financial advisory as a stockbroker, a legal nurse consultant, and a licensed realtor in the state of Louisiana.

Jay Taffet

Founder of Gracen Jules, venture development firm focused on start-up guidance, growth consulting, and capital raise support, as well as Airfoil Angels, a Gulf South angel investor network focused on connecting “founders and funders” towards process-friendly seed, startup and growth capital placements.  Jay is an entrepreneurship instructor for college and community start-up programs and is an accomplished business and creative writer. He is also a long-time commercial pilot, and active in private air projects and aircraft transactions.


Kidz Kreationz is being formed to provide unique and meaningful arts programming for all children, to educate children in the arts, and to build a lifelong audience for the arts. We plan to offer a dynamic and constantly-evolving program. Although we will incorporate all of the fine arts into our programs, our focus is on visual arts. Most activities will be open-ended and enjoyed on a walk-in basis. Kidz Kreationz will be staffed by working artists, and all structures activities will be led by master artist-teachers.
Magic Hands is an all-natural odor eliminator collection that removes the smell of seafood smoke and spices from your hands. “Da Solution” is a 100% all natural Waterless Oder Eliminator that removes the smell of seafood from your hands. “Da Solution” deodorizes by removing the smell naturally, leaving your hands smelling clean and feeling refreshed.
Our mission is to lovingly restore the century old windows, doors and shutters keeping with traditional methods and materials to shine like the day they were first installed.  Our focus is to save as many original wood windows as possible through our restoration work, teaching homeowners how to do the work and in future teaching apprentices the craft to set them on a path to owning their own business and joining with us to keep the history of New Orleans in-tact through our unique homes.

Vibrant Market is a Clean Beauty, Wellness and Lifestyle store + spa where we put holistic health and efficacy first in skincare, services, resources, supplements, and makeup. We work to provide our clients with resources to be the most Vibrant versions of themselves. Inside and out, mind and body.

WATER BLOCK is an urban design studio that addresses environmental and climate risks in neighborhoods through design, community engagement, and planning. Through this initiative, we work to engage residents in urban design projects that impact their overall health. The youth arm of our work formally launched this summer and is called WATER BLOCK Kids. WATER BLOCK Kids teaches elementary age youth about architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and real estate through educational programs and products. Through this initiative, kids use a social justice lens to think critically about the conditions in their cities and neighborhoods.