Sherin Dawud & Raina Vallot — People to Watch 2018

How you know them: You may have spotted their women’s brunches around town—or spied their bright Instagram images

Sherin Dawud and Raina Vallot talk every day. Whether it’s texting about potential venues for events they’re planning or just calling for help with outfit decisions, the business partners are like two peas in a pod.

While they appear to be lifelong friends, Dawud, 28, and Vallot, 24, met in late 2014. After successfully hosting a mutual friend’s surprise party together, the LSU alumnae decided to pursue event coordinating professionally. They started their company, Faith’s 5th Event Planning, in March 2015.

From Lamar to the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Dawud and Vallot host events for a variety of companies. And in 2017, they launched their passion project: a women’s empowerment organization called Power Pump Girls.

Through newsletters, monthly workshops and motivational Instagram posts, Dawud and Vallot aim to encourage and elevate millennial women. Their 12-part workshop series covers topics like mind-mapping and vision boarding, while also highlighting influential women as guest speakers. Each workshop builds off the previous month’s topic, leading the guests to the final event: Strike.

Strike is a two-day women’s conference debuting in August 2018.At the conference, attendees can expect guest speakers, engaging activities, goodie bags and a unique learning and networking experience.

They’re certain, too, that it won’t be the last you see from the Power Pump Girls. powerpumpgirls.org


1. The name Power Pump Girls was inspired by a Snapchat post. Vallot snapped a picture of her heels with the caption “Power Pump Girls.” The name stuck. 

2. They originally planned to host Strike in New Orleans but ultimately decided to keep the conference home in Baton Rouge instead. “We need to bring everybody together from other regions, cities and states to our area and show them what Baton Rouge can be and the hidden gems that are here,” Dawud says.

3. The Power Pump Girls newsletter highlights local female artists, business owners and events. It also includes resources like goal sheets, inspiring desktop backgrounds and other downloadables.

4. Their dream is to take Power Pump Girls national. Vallot says they’d love “to have Power Pump Girl hubs around the country that are hosting their own workshops, pop-ups and conferences—just building a community within their community.”

5. Dawud’s favorite pair of heels? Are from a local designer, of course. The cherry red, patent leather heels you’ll spot scrolling through the Power Pump Girl’s Instagram feed are by Baton Rouge native Dee Keller.

Click here to read about the rest of the People To Watch in 2018.

This article was originally published in theJanuary 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.