Founder Profile



Sew Pinky






January 2023


Programming for girls to help them build confidence

Like many business owners, Pinky Saunders’ Fort Wayne-based company Sew Pinky grew from a hobby and has blossomed into much more.

Initially, Pinky says she pursued the craft because she wanted to make pretty clothing. Her specialty had been special occasion clothing, including beauty pageant attire. This creative pursuit allowed her to make the connections needed to host her own beauty pageants locally.

What she discovered in the process was that the business was about more than just making clothes. The beauty pageants have been a way to teach young girls about confidence, conquering fears and living in the moment. Her team also instills in girls the impotence of investing in themselves. That’s why her pageants are performance-based, meaning the contestants perform dance routines to earn trophies and crowns. (Traditionally, pageants are focused on judging the physical attributes of contestants.) Building on the theme of empowerment, Pinky hosts etiquette classes and monthly meetings to keep girls engaged outside of the pageant circuit.

Her target audience for the beauty pageants is mothers or mother figures in Allen County, with girls between the ages of 5-15.  She says each pageant (pre-COVID) captured more interest and support, which was encouraging. With that success in mind, she’s looking to use the grant funds to generate more traction and support for the parents.

Specifically, that means hosting pageants and inspiring young girls to be authentic and love and support the people around them. She wholeheartedly believes healthy competition is learned — she wants to teach them the differences between competition and collaboration. She’s excited to move forward and credits her community for supporting her mission and message and helping her positively impact girls in their formative years.