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Business with Purpose
31 minutes | 2 days ago
A Girl's Frontier | EP 222: Isha Uppalapati
I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: I am so excited about the next generation of young people who are coming up in the world and how they are so motivated and determined to make the world a better place. They seem to be starting at a younger and younger age. Just this year, I’ve had quite a few teenagers on the show who are just doing absolutely incredible things in the world. Today’s guest is not different, and she’s going to knock your socks off. My guest this week is Isha Uppalapati, the founder of A Girl’s Frontier, a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on helping young girls find and harness their leadership potential while providing them with the opportunities to do so. She is also the author of Her Toolbox: Learning to Be A Female Leader with Advice from Women in Power, a compilation of advice from women leaders. Isha is a high school senior (can you believe that?!) in Marietta, GA. She is doing more by the age of 18, than I think I’ve done in 35 years of life! Isha is incredibly motivating and encouraging, and you are going to love this conversation. 5:19 - The Isha 101 Isha is the founder of A Girl’s Frontier, a nonprofit that helps young girls fulfil their aspirations and helps them with their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. She’s also the author of Her Toolbox: Learning to Be A Female Leader with Advice from Women in Power. This was all before she became a senior in high school! The idea for A Girl’s Frontier started with some of Isha’s hobbies. She’s always loved making things or putting things together. She’s always had the support of her parents, and would put together doll houses with her dad, or write her own little books and even make her own binding for them. Her family and friends who gave her so much love and support gave her the confidence from a very young age that she could be whatever she wants to be and do whatever she wants to do. Even when she told her support system that she wanted to be a race car driver, they believed she would do it if she said she wanted to. Isha created A Girl’s Frontier to provide the same opportunities she had to girls everywhere. The organization helps fund education for girls around the world, including Honduras and India, connecting them to mentors who can help guide them to be who they want to be. They’ve been holding broken iPad drives. It provides books to young girls in the local community as well as iPads, which has been especially crucial during the pandemic with so many schools having to convert to virtual classrooms. When visiting India, Isha met a young girl who shared her dreams of becoming a doctor with Isha. The girl’s family was extremely poor, and Isha was moved by the girl’s lofty goals and determination. Her parents were not able to afford secondary education, and the realization that this young girl did not have the same opportunity to go to any college she chose, like Isha did, was both a jarring and life-altering moment. Isha knew there were so many brilliant, passionate people in the world who just have doors shut in their faces because of money and lack of opportunity. That moment fueled Isha to do what she’s doing now: ensuring more young girls have equal opportunities to pursue their talents and gifts. 11:39 – A Book and Nonprofit Before the Age of 18 Isha also credits her strong support system with helping her start A Girl’s Frontier. She started researching how to start a 501c3 and started working on her business filing and making the nonprofit official. In Honduras, A Girl’s Frontier works with a group of girls who’ve been rescued from human trafficking and other traumatic situations. Isha simply just started asking people for financial support and material donations, and both started flooding in. So many women are enthusiastic to share with A Girl’s Frontier, understanding their own privileges and opportunities, and desiring to pull other young women up alongside them. Isha has also learned a lot from these incredible women leaders while writing, researching, and interviewing for her book, Her Toolbox: Learning to Be A Female Leader with Advice from Women in Power. Every single women she met emphasized the importance of mentors. Isha knew they were important but really began to understand their impact while writing her book. Mentors not only help you with your struggles, but share their own to help you learn from their failures. She also learned that it’s important to learn how to fail. It’s especially difficult for high schoolers like Isha, trying to pass tests and get good grades to get into college! 17:21 – Women in the Driver’s Seat Isha wants young girls to know that they have the power to be in control of their dreams, lives, and futures. That can look like asking for help, advocating and/or standing up for yourself, and digging in and working hard and continuing to try even when things are difficult, instead of making excuses. Sign up for online seminars, talk to college admissions counselors, ask people who’ve been to college for their advice. All it is is taking control of the situation you are in and making the best of it. Isha is applying to college and may decide this Fall or Spring where she’ll go! She is even applying to international schools. She’s working hard to keep her options open. 22:27 – A Girl’s (Future) Frontier Isha knows her generation if capable of just about anything they put their mind to. Her hope for her generation is that they follow their own dreams and what they want more than generations before them. They have so much access to the world and opportunity through connection and technology, and she wants them to make the most of it. With more opportunity, there’s also more room for them to do more good in the world. Isha is looking toward the future but also staying grounded and taking things one day at a time. She wants to continue with A Girl’s Frontier throughout college and settle in a new area to expand her outreach. She’s also debating another book! 25:12 – Supporting A Girl’s Frontier Head to A Girl’s Frontier to learn more about supporting the organization and all of their programs. You can also find Her Toolbox on Amazon, which is linked at the top of this post in the intro! You can find A Girl’s Frontier on Instagram (@agirlsfrontier) and Facebook to stay connected! 25:54 – Getting to Know Our Guest Find out some fun facts about Isha like what song she has to sing along with the second she hears it, what person in her life has influenced her the most, her favorite TV show to watch growing up, what she would eat for dinner if she could only have the same thing every night, her most unusual talent, and of course stay tuned for her answer to what it means to her to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes 7:13 – “They supported me so much through anything I wanted to do, and then I came to this realization that a lot of people don’t have this amazing support system that I have. This vast support system of people telling me I can be whatever I want to be, and showing me that I can and encouraging me that I can.” 15:15 – “You have to learn to fail. You will never do well on every single thing in your life. If you did, it just means that you’re not challenging yourself enough.” Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
59 minutes | 9 days ago
Intentional Integrity | EP 221: Rob Chesnut
I think we can all agree that creating a culture of integrity in our workplaces in important. We want to be able to trust the people we work for and work with. We want to know that the company we are representing as an employee or as an owner is one that people can trust; that the brand has a certain amount of ethics behind it. That doesn’t just have to be regarding just manufacturing, but the fact that a company strives to have integrity on the whole. My guest today is creating and leading a revolution of ethical companies that hold integrity as a top priority. Rob Chesnut if the former Chief Ethics Officer for Air B&B, and the author of the new book, Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead An Ethical Revolution. Rob is a graduate of Harvard Law School and The University of Virginia. He worked for 14 years with the US Justice Department, where he prosecuted bank robberies, kidnapping, murder, and espionage cases. He joined eBay in 1999 as the company’s third lawyer where he led eBay’s North American legal team and later founded its Trust and Safety Team. Rob subsequently spent six years as the general counsel and first attorney and digital education leader, Chegg, where he helped take the company public in 2013. He joined Air B&B as general counsel in 2016, where he grew the legal team from 30 to over 150 legal professionals in 20 offices around the world. His team led initiatives to promote home sharing and address regulatory issues with local governments and landlords around the world. As Chief Ethics Officer, Rob developed a popular interactive employee program, Integrity Belongs Here, to help drive ethics throughout the company. He lives in San Francisco, and his website is intentionalintegrity.com. I will tell you that this was a fansicnating conversation. Rob has so much experience and knowledge and is the type of person I’d love to sit down with for dinner and ask 7 million questions. I asked him about half of those here today. 😉 You are going to absolutely love this conversation with Rob Chesnut! 5:58 - The Rob 101 Rob is an author, tech general counsel, and has been a federal prosecutor. He enjoys the idea of variety and being tough to label! He started his career as a lawyer in Virginia. After some time in that role, he felt like he was presiding over a lot of negativity. He started to feel pulled to do something positive and uplifting. He believes business has the power to transform the world in a positive way, even more than government, which is often pulled apart by partisan politics. Rob started looking for companies doing good things in the world. While working as a prosecutor in northern Virginia, he received calls from other prosecutors wanting records about a company called America Online (AOL). (This is when you still received a disk and needed dial up for the internet). 😉 It struck Rob that the internet may have staying power, and he started using a few sights like eBay. Most companies at that time did not need (or didn’t think they needed) a federal prosecutor, but Rob contacted eBay regarding the potential problems they might run into with illegal items, fraud, regulations, and more. eBay called Rob back the next day. He was asked to start eBay’s “Trust and Safety” department and Rob grew the team to more than 2,000 employees who helped maintain order and prevented fraud on the site. Later in his career Rob moved onto Chegg and then Air B&B. Air B&B is in the Trust business. There need to be rules and order so that people can connect over their common interests. That has been a theme throughout Rob’s career. 9:00 - Intentional Integrity While Rob was the general counsel at Air B&B, it really struck him that the world was changing. Everywhere he turned, Rob saw companies in trouble and being called out for bad behavior. At that time, the level of feedback and public criticism was really something new. People want leaders and companies to step up. Rob sat down with Air B&B founder, Brian Chesky to talk about how to drive integrity into the culture of a company. They had no idea how to start, but both agreed they needed to try it. They started developing a program that encouraged Air B&B employees to treat each other with integrity, and the employees truly embraced the program. Rob’s wife, who works in publishing started (strongly) encouraging him to write a book about it. No one else was doing it at the time and she knew it was important for the world. Rob, however, was not at all interested in writing a book. Rob’s wife convinced him by offering to find a co-writer and a major publisher. Rob thought he had all the knowledge on the subject, but the more he engaged with the writing process, the more he realized he still had a lot to learn. Rob discovered the writing was really a journey of knowledge. The book is called Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead An Ethical Revolution. It includes a wide range of perspectives from well-known artists and industry professionals. 13:19 – A Major Shift The Internet and social media have truly changed how we interact with brands and organizations. We seem to be on the cusp of an ethical revolution. Up until even just a few years ago, most companies operated under a mantra of “shareholder value.” Anything was ok as long as it increases shareholder value. Shareholder value worked for a few decades, but parts of it did not work. It did increase short-term focus but may have hurt the planet in the long run, used slave labor in other parts of the world, and not offered employees health benefits. The world started to realize the mantra was also causing problems and was no longer working. Shareholder value is now being rejected as the way companies should operate. It’s been replaced with stakeholder principles. Now companies need to operate with the best interest of all of its stakeholders. Air B&B must consider not only its investors, but their employees, guests, hosts, and the communities where it operates. Companies are beginning to realize they have a broader obligation to do good in the world. The key is to think about it holistically across all stakeholders. It should not be all about profit, but profit is important for companies to be able to fulfill their purpose. When a company is perceived to be operating ethically with its business model, with the way that it treats people, it actually outperforms the market and outperforms competitors. It’s not a tradeoff. It gives companies that operate this way a wind in their back. It helps them operate and be more successful as a business. Employees are holding their own companies accountable and customers are jumping in as well. They both care about where their money is going. If they feel a company is not ethical, they’ll move their money elsewhere and they’ll share on social media to spread the word about unethical practices. Government will jump in too if they see consumers feeling this way. 23:51 - Leveraging the “6 Cs” Rob talks about leveraging the 6 Cs to foster and manage a culture of integrity at work. The first is for “CEO.” You can talk about integrity all you want, but your CEO has to be following that and setting an example. All things are possible if the CEO is on board. The second C is for a “Code of Conduct.” Having a Code of Conduct isn’t enough. Any company can do that and follow compliance rules. It must be intentionally created with values that reflect what the company is about, and clearly communicated and followed with appropriate channels for feedback and transparency. The third C is to “Communicate Your Code.” It’s important to proactively prepare and have the message communicated from the top. Consequences are necessary for when rules are violated. Rules must apply to everyone, from the bottom to the top. There must be a clear reporting structure with fair consequences. Stay tuned to hear more about the 6 Cs and intriguing examples of how they relate to human behavior! 49:05 - Getting To Know Our Guest Find out what song Rob has to sing along to when he hears it, someone who has really impacted him with the way he approaches business, what his favorite TV show was growing up, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to hear Rob’s answer to our all important question of what it means to him to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes 8:45 - “I think that’s been a theme throughout my career. Trying to promote good in people and promote human connections through providing a little bit of structure and order to enable the best behavior.” 10:37 – “Where you work is such a reflection of who you are. The brands of the companies where you work become your brands...I think we all want to be proud of where we work. We want to feel as though we are a part of something that is doing good in the world.” 16:20 – “The world started to realize that ‘shareholder value’ mantra was causing a lot of ethical corner to be cut, and it wasn’t working. Not that shareholders aren’t important, but why should shareholder thing be the only thing that matters?” 17:35 – “Why shouldn’t a company also be thinking about what’s good for the broader communities where it operates? And I think that part of this revolution is an understanding that we need companies to think and act differently, and I’m glad that companies are embracing this new idea of stakeholder principle. 18:51 – “You need a purpose as a company. Profit is not purpose. I think you need a ‘North Star’ to kind of guide your actions. I think you have to be solving a problem in the world or doing something good for the world. I actually think profit is critical. Profit is what funds your ability to accomplish your purpose.” ~19:45 - When a company is perceived to be operating ethically with its business model, with the way that it treats people, it actually outperforms the market and outperforms competitors. It’s not a tradeoff. It gives companies that operate this way a wind in their back. It helps them operate and be more successful as a business.” ~23:45 – “You can’t operate as a 20th century company in the 21st century.” Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
91 minutes | 16 days ago
The 2020 Ethical Gift Guide with co-host Em Grey Sexton!
Welcome to the 2020 Business with Purpose Podcast Holiday Gift Guide Extravaganza! I’m so happy to have my cohost Em Sexton from The Flourish Market with me today! This is our 5th year doing this, and when we recorded at this time last year, I don’t think any of us could have predicted what was in store for us for 2020. We hope this year’s Gift Guide brings you some energy and joy for a calm and simple Holiday season. We’ll feature some fun and unique gifts for you to shop. Be sure to go to stillbeingmolly.com/blog where you can find this episode’s show notes with all of the Gift Guide details, links, and coupon codes, as well as The Business with Purpose Instagram page (Instagram.com/stillbeingmolly)). I’ll have an entire highlight dedicated to the Gift Guide so you can referenced everything in one location. For now, sit back, relax, grab a cup of your favorite cozy beverage, and enjoy with us! We’ll be answering your questions, bringing back the trivia game (you can do it, Em!), and shopping together with purpose! The Business With Purpose Podcast would not have been able to make it through 2020 without our amazing partners of the show: The Lemonade Boutique, Simple Switch, GOEX Apparel, and Ammas Uma. 5:53 – Question #1 from Molly to Em: If 2020 were a Christmas ornament, what would that Christmas ornament be? Em: First we have to acknowledge that we hold the heavy, hard, unimaginable situation we’ve experienced worldwide because of the level of this pandemic. We have grieved as a team at The Flourish Market for the people behind our products. At the same time, joy, laughter, and rest are signs of resistance against horrible things happening in the world. I have two ideas for ornaments for 2020. One would have all the new things we sell at The Flourish Market in 2020 like masks, branded toilet paper, and cross stitch kits! The second would be the PIVOT COUCH from Friends! The word of the year for business owners has been pivot. Shoutout to all you pivoting in 2020! 8:50 – First Feature: GOEX Apparel! GOEX Apparel is an incredible company that cuts and sews their items in Haiti and screen print them in Kansas City. They have an eco-friendly, low carbon footprint, and even provide custom tees like the Business with Purpose podcast “Do Something Good with Purpose on Purpose” tee! Ladies Red Cardigan – Comes in 5 colors and is your perfect basic, everyday, long cardigan with pockets! Holiday Deer Sweatshirt – Comes in adult and youth sizes! Business With Purpose Podcast listeners gets 20% off with the code “podcast20”! You can also check out goexapparel.com/mollystillman to see my curated collection of my favorite items from GOEX! 11:39 – Question #2 for Molly from Em: What is a new holiday tradition? Molly’s family has been doing a Sunday night family movie night. They watch movies that they have not seen together. The first weekend in November, they started watching holiday movies. Molly’s kids just saw HOME ALONE FOR THE FIRST TIME! They loved it and laughed so much! 😊 This year maybe it’s ok to go ahead and put up your Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Rules are out the window and we encourage you to go ahead and get festive if you want to! 13:55 – Our next feature is from Freeleaf: This company provides employment, wholistic care, and sustainability to at risk, exploited, and abused women. Their tagline is “For a world where women are knot for sale.” All of their products have knots in them somewhere to remind us that women are not for sale. We are also featuring two of their items: Infinity and Pippa Wall Hangings: They are perfect for putting on a gallery wall with framed prints and for those who love home décor, especially since many of us are home more often these days! Harmony Tassel Hoop Earrings: These rose gold hoops with deep purple knotted tassels are the perfect stocking stuffers! We have another coupon code for you! Use “purpose15” for 15% off at Free Leaf! 17:32 – Here’s our first TRIVIA QUESTION for Em! In the song Frosty the Snowman, what made Frosty come to life? 18:53 – A trivia question for Molly: What is your worst decoration or decorating story? 21:37: Our next company is Simple Switch Simple Switch is your ethical version of Amazon. Right off the bat, we have a 20% off coupon code good for ANYTHING ON THE SITE! Use code “purchasewithpurpose” Simple Switch is also offering free shipping for orders over $200.00! There are a few very unique items here that you might normally go to Amazon to find, but can find ethically-sourced instead here on Simple Switch like fully engravable wood items at all different price points: Money clips, customized items, an engravable flash, all made from genuine cherry and beautiful. Ethical wine and chocolate! There is a variety pack you can customize for yourself and they come in CANS! You can pair that with Molly’s favorite chocolate, Alter Eco Chocolate. They are great gifts to drop off your friend’s porches, order in bulk, and/or stick in someone’s stocking! 26:14 – Next Trivia Question! How many reindeer are featured in the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas? 27:32 – The Lemonade Boutique’s mission is to work with companies working with women who take life’s lemons and made lemonade. She carries so many gifts for everyone on your list. This year we’re featuring a unique item called Tea Drops. They dissolve in hot water and your tea is ready to drink in just a few minutes! They are ethically sourced and wrapped in eco-friendly packaging without any added preservatives. They’re also made in the US! Em’s favorite flavor is the Chai Spice. They’re also great for tea on the go in a travel mug! The other product is their Quilling Christmas cards. Quilling is an ancient Japanese art form where strips of paper are turned into decorative art. These quilling cards are made in Vietnam by artisans who are hearing impaired. These are beautiful for both sending a note of encouragement and throw in a gift card for some cash for a self-care coffee or tea break! Molly’s favorite products from The Lemonade Boutique are the earrings for young girls! How cute?! Your coupon code for The Lemonade Boutique is “holiday15” for 15% off! You can also get free shipping on orders of $29 or more! 32:53: It doesn’t feel like the holidays until… Hear about what moments make both Em and Molly feel like it’s officially the holidays. 36:29 – Azizi Life They have been featured on the show before, and Em has actually had the opportunity to travel to Rwanda with Azizi Life! We are highlighting their Sutton Woven Storage Basket. Not only are they great for storing pillows, toys, blankets, and more, they’re also gorgeous with handmade tassels and come in different sizes for unique décor in your home! Hand-Carved Lela Long Handle Measuring Spoon Set: These are unique, hand carved wooden spoons featuring uniquely made handles that are long enough to be stored in a utensil holder with your other wooden spoons. Use code “mollychristmas2020” for 10% from now until December 31st 41:01 – Beza Threads work with women coming out of human trafficking and prostitution. Their products are stunning hand made leather goods and I cannot say enough good things about them! They have a ton of leather goods, but we are going to feature a few for you today: Mini Tote: Comes in three colors. It’s a great bag for wearing over the shoulder or cross body. You’ll carry it forever! Double Clutch Cross Body: This bag is at such a great price point and is a great sidekick for carrying your keys and phone and all the things you need for errands around town! Use code “molly15” for 15% off! 44:05 – Time for another question: What is something people love about Christmas that Molly and Em just aren’t into? (don’t “@” us)! 50:23 – Sela Designs sells earrings and other jewelry that will set you apart from the crowd while still being on trend. 100% of profits are donated to several organizations that fight human trafficking like Mercy House and IJM (International Justice Mission). Use code “purpose10” for 10% off! Be sure to check out the earring studs Sela sells that are great for girls with newly pierced ears! And be sure to stay tuned just in case something special comes along for the holiday season! 😉 54:52 – Amma’s Umma has special ties to the Business With Purpose Podcast. Amma’s Umma founder, Chelsea used my Ethical Brand Directory to find brands for starting Amma’s Umma. Go to shopwithmolly.com for a special deal! Today we are featuring some of the new products: Riverside Open Cardi: It has beautiful stripes and is a great weight to throw on between fall and winter. Hand Knit Beanie: Perfect gift for your friends in cold-weather clients. Hand-knit and made in the USA. Use coupon code “mollyholidays” as many times as you’d like for 20% off through the end of December! Amma’s Umma has donated over $22,000 to adoptions, and $75,000 has been sent to artisans, and all that is in addition to providing ethically sourced products. Amma’s Umma is a great gift for your friends who’ve adopted or have a heart for adoption. 57:57 – Trivia! Let’s go EM! In the TV special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” what are the three words that best describe the Grinch? 1:00:15 – What food items are Em and Molly most looking forward to this holiday season? 1:04:19 - ABLE ABLE started by selling scarves from Ethiopia. You can hear more about their story on this previous episode with Barrett Ward. Today we are highlighting ABLE’s leather goods. They are made in Ethiopia and they invest in local leaders and buy from small businesses in Ethiopia. Rachel Utility Bag – this bag has three main sections and pockets all over the inside! This is the link to send to people who are buying your Christmas gifts! The Debre Wallet – these also fly off the shelves at The Flourish Market! It’s a modern wallet that comes in three colors of leather. It will last you forever and is a great, classic look for a wallet! ABLE also sells jewelry made by domestic violence survivors. The women get to work alongside each other and it raises up a community of strong, empowered women. ABLE is a great ethical gift option for the people in your life who love brands like J.Crew and Madewell. ABLE doesn’t do coupon codes very often, but you’re getting “mollys20” for 20% off (and listen in for a special surprise regarding this code)! Thank you ABLE! 1:10:21– HOT OFF THE PRESS is Elsa Jewelry – They are a BRAND NEW ethical jewelry company that is launching in December. They may not be full launched yet by the time you read this. They emailed me recently and I was so blown away by their products that I wanted to share them with you NOW! I don’t have the coupon code yet but stay tuned for it! “Elsa is the newest ethical jewelry brand on a mission to make 50% of the world’s entrepreneurs’ women. Elsa was born not far from the sea in a small town in Portugal. Each piece is touched by hand and heart and is shaped by women seeking to make something so much more than ornamental. Simple, soulful jewelry. Elsa’s first collection of four designs were intentionally made to fit your every day wardrobe and are perfect for layering.” These will be made of 14 ct gold and handmade in Portugal! 1:13:34 – Rapid Fires Questions with both Molly and Em! 1:16:38 – This brand is not new to the podcast. I’ve had their founder, Amy Blair on the podcast, and has been featured on this gift guide every single year. They are Batik Boutique. Everything is handmade and hand-painted using traditional artist techniques. The gifts we are featuring this year are for men! Men can be hard to shop for so we hope you find some items here to help! Men’s Boxer + Shave Set – comes in a gift box with hand-painted Batik Boxers, shave cream from Italy, and brissel brush. Men’s Long-Sleeved Dress Shirts – straight fit, hand-painted cotton button ups with hints of pattern. Snag these for your men and their Zoom calls! Baking Sets – Baking sets for adults and kids. Each comes with an apron, whisk, cookie cutter, and cookie recipe! Gifting made so easy! Use code “molly10” for 10% off 1:19:44 – ONE MORE TRIVIA QUESTION: What famous Christmas movie did our beloved Catherine O’Hara star in? 1:21:01 - The Flourish Market – Our very own Em tells us more about the gift section that has exploded, especially during 2020. It’s amazing to think how much The Flourish Market has transformed since the first pop up truck! There are some unique items we want to tell you about: 0% alcohol mixers for delicious mocktails! Giftsets! Be sure to check out the $20 and under gift section for accessible gift shopping HERE! Representative Memory Games and Jumbo Puzzles Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking Kits! Shower Steamers Use the code “molly” at check out for any orders over $75 or over and Em is throwing in two packages of shower steamers and an “I Will Choose to Flourish” print. When we choose to flourish it should make a path for others to flourish as well. Every dollar you spend is a vote and I want you to think about your daily and holiday ballot box. Don’t feel the burden about how you’re shopping right now but enjoy the experience of shopping ethically in the way you choose the opportunity to realize the power of where you choose to spend your money. You will decide what brands and nonprofits make it through this time we are in in this pandemic and beyond. That’s not a burden, but an exciting opportunity! Your power and impact is real! Thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s keep making opportunities for others to flourish! Thank you to all of the incredible brands that have been featured here today! We love these companies and would not have them on here if we did not absolutely love buying from them. Please join us in supporting them. Go to stillbeingmolly.com/blog and stillbeingmolly.com/podcast. Thank you so much Em for being my cohost toady. I had a blast! “It’s never been more important to use our platforms and our influence for good.” Thank you to all of my listeners who’ve been joining us for this gift guide through the last five years for all your support! If you’re new here, welcome! Hit the subscribe button and that will be the best Christmas present for me! Leave a review and tell me what else you’d like to hear! Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope it’s the best ever even in the midst of 2020! Cheers!
84 minutes | 23 days ago
George Floyd & Seeking Understanding | EP 219: Corey Paul Davis
One of the reasons I started this podcast was to provide a medium to share stories that matter around topics that matter, and to hopefully bring on guests that challenge you, encourage you, inspire you; Maybe to make you think of things in a way you haven’t previously. 2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year between a pandemic, elections, and everything surrounding the topic of race. I am so excited about today’s guest because he is someone who has had an impact on me. I pray our conversation is one that impacts you too. This conversation is challenging, encouraging, funny, and heart-wrenching. I know you are going to walk away feeling inspired. My guest this week is Corey Paul Davis, more widely known as Corey Paul. Corey is a Houston-based rapper, creator, and entrepreneur. Throughout his life, he as overcome several incredible adversities including drug addiction in his family and witnessing his mother shot by his father at the age of seven years old. Eventually he completed high school and served his community as a firefighter, where he won the Ann Sullivan award for heart and courage. He has a heart for kids who grew up in similar situations to him and started a nonprofit program for youth in the juvenile detention centers of Houston in hopes of providing them mentorship and resources. They successfully graduated over 100 teens from their Hope program and built foundational relationships with the youth in their community. Music has always been a passion of his and an outlet for his pain and thoughts. Corey started his first media company in 2011, and eventually became a full-time creative entrepreneur. Through music, he was able to amass more than 6 million streams, performed international shows, and built a strong social media presence. He has released three studio albums, two of which made it on the Billboard charts! As a young business owner, Corey quickly learned how little he knew about money management due to his lack of exposure growing up in the marginalized, low-income community. That experience started his financial literacy quest, which would ultimately lead to his desire to start The Literacy Kings Podcast. For over 10 years, he has worked to build his platform as a trusted voice for creatives, entrepreneurs, social justice, and faith. He still believes that this is only the beginning. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have a beautiful two-year-old daughter. Join me as I sit down to hear more from Corey about the ways God has woven his path so far, and Corey believes God has in store! 12:37 - The Corey 101 Corey was born in Houston, TX in a low-income neighborhood called South Park. Unfortunately, the neighborhood has a 30% high school drop out rate. Corey’s mother kept the family together. His father became a drug addict, and over time it got worse and worse. Corey started witnessing verbal and physical abuse. His father could not overcome his addiction and passed away when Corey was just 9 years old. Corey tried to find his way and became immersed in street culture and rapper. When he was just 12, he knew he wanted to rap. He started experimenting with codeine and soda. All he and his friends wanted to do was party. When Corey was 16, he met a Christian girl and at the same time, one of his best friends got saved and started talking to Corey about church. When he was 17, Corey became saved and started changing his rapping to contextualize the gospel with Hip Hop. Corey started putting out albums that made it to Billboard and started touring. Music was the seed for Corey’s other passions and ministries. Corey was also served as a Houston firefighter! He met a firefighter when he was 16, and that firefighter told Corey he loved his job. It struck Corey that someone said they loved their job when so many people talk about hating their jobs. Corey always admired firefighters because they he saw them as very community-oriented, which is something his community very much needed growing up: mentors, rays of light, people to look up to. When he was younger, Corey was more focused on rapping and partying. As Corey started to fall in love, he realized he needed to make money to take care of his spouse, so he applied to be a firefighter. At the same time, Corey’s music was doing well and started to take off. The firefighter schedule allowed him flexibility in his schedule to keep going with his music career at the same time. God granted Corey so many amazing experiences with both passions, and as a firefighter, he literally witnessed people coming back to life. 22:00 – A Change in the Rap Game When Corey started changing his rapping to match his faith, many people were encouraged by it. Some were not convinced; those who’d been along before and after he became a Christian. Corey had always been in search of a way to help his people. He was inspired by a line in a rap song, Big Picture that says “this been goin’ on too long to get even” speaking about systematic oppression. When Corey’s pastor explained that Jesus already came and fixed things. It was about worshipping the Creator, not the created. It was super intriguing to Corey. It was never about leaving his peers or telling them to straighten up. Corey knew he could bring the promise of the Gospel back to them. Corey never tried to force his new beliefs down anyone’s throat but did bring the Gospel back into his regular life. When he started having a Bible study in his house, his mom would listen in and one day, dedicated her life to Jesus too. Jesus helps us along our path and sends people to sharpen us (iron sharpens iron) while ALSO showing us in scripture that it it’s ok and that we are called to go out and be among the mess in the world as well. 29:24 – A Perfect Segue Corey encourages us to be open to experiences we have not lived, breathed, walked. It is the foundation of his next story. Corey is from a neighborhood that is low-income, systematically oppressed, undeserved areas. When a person grows up in one of these areas, there is a certain way they learn to receive people and information. Corey is from South Park, George Floyd grew up in Third Ward, a similar neighborhood as Corey’s in Houston. Corey’s church was in Third Ward, and they wanted to connect with the people there. It’s just not as simple as going in and connecting though. People have been taken advantage of so much that trust is very hard. Corey knew they had to find a person of peace. Someone who is respected and loved with similar ideas and beliefs. Big Floyd (George Floyd) was that person. He was the connector. Big Floyd came to a concert that Corey’s church put on where they provided food and school supplies to give back to the community. Big Floyd came to the concert and connected with Corey and complimented them for trying to give back. Corey and Big Floyd connected and became friends. Big Floyd told Corey about his neighborhood and the people and said, “If it’s about God business, it’s my business.” Big Floyd said he’d spread the word to the community and the word Corey’s church was trying to do in the community. Big Floyd really started spreading the word about church events and helped run baptisms, church ceremonies, and community events. The things Corey and Big Floyd both went through growing up where they did give them a voice for others. Their pasts give them voices for other young boys to listen to them and change their lives. Corey knew people would try to bring up Big Floyd’s past and use it against him, but Corey knew the 180 Big Floyd did in his life and witnessed Big Floyd facilitating baptisms in the hood, changing young lives, and advocating against drugs and gun violence. After Floyd’s death, it was important to Corey for people to know more about Floyd and that he was so much more than what can be Googled about him. It’s also important that we continue to spark change for racial justice and equality. It’s not a magic solution, it’s a marathon, a continuous work that is on our shoulders. 43:10 – Faithful Hearers of the Word We have a long way to go on the fight for civil rights. The changes we’ve seen in civil rights have only just happened in the last 50 years and it has taken slow, steady progress, and we still have a long way to go. We must be faithful hearers of the word. You can read the Bible from a self-centered perspective, knowing you should forgive your enemies but not recognizing that you could be an enemy that someone else needs to forgive. In James, the Bible tells us of forgetful doers of the Word, not hearers of the Word; a person who looks in the mirror, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. Our perspective matters, and when it’s selfish, it’s not biblical. We are called to fight for the least of these, and our brothers and sisters who are not different from us. Jesus did not come for one type of person. There is a difference between being not racist and being anti-racist. It’s important for white middle class America to bear the beautiful burden of actively using their privilege to fight racism and for being anti-racist. Corey believes it’s his beautiful burden to build a bridge in his neighborhoods in a progressive and united way. It can’t be an “us” vs. “them” progression. It has to be a united front. It is important to know that we will mess up. We can’t cancel people for making mistakes. We must humble ourselves to link arms and hike these mountains together. We will stumble and need to be there for each other to pick one another up again. We must work through our emotions together and move forward together. 1:00:00 – Seeking Understanding: Tune in to hear Molly and Corey discuss important ways to create safe places to approach difficult conversations with care and productivity. At 1:05, hear more about how to keep these lines of communication open with the young people in your life. 1:08:26 – Literacy Kings Corey became an independent musician after leaving a label with an album that made it to #16 on the Billboard charts. Now he works on a podcast called Literacy Kings with JaMorcus Trayham. The podcast breaks down popular financial books in culturally relative ways, contextualizing the material and using examples that are relatable to people from low-income, underserved areas. Many of the valuable financial education materials require you to have some knowledge of the terms from the start. Culturally, it’s hard to think about buying stock or getting an LLC and building a business from the ground up if you’re struggling just to pay your bills. Corey and JaMorcus share the mental, physical, emotionally experiences and barriers that affect people who may have never been introduced to these financial terms and contextualize them in relatable ways. The goal of the podcast is to transform it into a network that invites more voices to speak on financial topics, and to curate topics to any group of people that has been marginalized. 1:16:31 - Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what song Corey has to sing along with when it comes on, the first thing he does when he gets home from a long trip, and what artists have influenced him the most. Be sure to stay tuned to hear what it means to Corey to run a business with purpose! Memorable Quotes 21:05 – “As a believer, it shows you how powerful that we are in Him. Death to life is a real thing…he enables us here on Earth to work through Him in order to really cause true change.” 38:03 – “You will never be able to truly understand it until you lean in and listen to the voices that he (George Floyd) served.” 42: 17- “The chant, ‘We want justice and we want it now.’ I get it. I get the chant…but it’s not practical… ‘We want justice. We want it over time, continuously’ is more accurate.” 45:23 – “It’s just recognizing the magnitude of something in order to better equip ourselves for a lasting solution.” 57:33 – “It’s recognizing a very clear advantage and disadvantage and then leaning in and saying: Do I have something I can offer in this situation?” Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
54 minutes | a month ago
Fighting Human Trafficking with Denim | EP 218: James Bartle, Outland Denim
Sex trafficking is a $99 billion industry, and human trafficking in its total is a $150 billion industry. The statistics around human trafficking can feel incredibly overwhelming and at times it can feel like there is just no way that we could ever make a real change in this industry. A denim company is striving to make a dent and a real difference in fighting human trafficking. My guest this week is the incredible James Bartle, founder and CEO of Outland Denim. Outland Denim started as a means to provide stable employment and income opportunity to women who would otherwise be vulnerable to human trafficking. But James didn’t stop there. He innovated on industry standards to create an incredible line of jeans with a minimal footprint. This was an absolutely phenomenal conversation. James has been a highly requested guest this year, and I was really honored to have him on the show. We touch on some important topics and you’ll see what I mean when I say that I could have talked to him for hours! 4:32 - The James 101 James is the CEO and founder of Outland Denim, which has been in the marketplace for about four years now. They’ve spent the last six years developing their business model to impact people around the world and right environmental and social injustices. James knew in order to truly accomplish this, he needed to be impacted first. James was first introduced to what human trafficking is while seeing the movie Taken. The film mentioned in text that human trafficking happens in the real world, and it really affected James. Over the next few years, James and his wife started researching more about the issue. James had a chance to travel with a rescue agency through Southeast Asia and witnessed a life-changing and heart-breaking situation where someone was selling a young girl. James thought of his young nieces and now his own daughters. He was horrified that any human has to be sold for their own survival, family’s survival or are stolen and held captive. They knew it was an economic problem and if they wanted to solve it, they needed to come up with something that addressed the economic system and/or situation that was making them vulnerable. It is important to recognized that human trafficking is very nuanced and complex. It can’t be summarized in one movie. For James it was a very gradual learning experience. He wished he could go fix the problem immediately but realized it would be much more complicated than that. James realized that it wasn’t until they could address the roots of the problem and systemic issues that they could really start to help people out of trafficking. They knew they needed to equip people to make their own decisions to change on their own through education and opportunity. 12:19 - Change Can Come from Us Sometimes there is a disconnect approaching Human Trafficking from a business standpoint when a portion of profits go toward a cause. James and Outland Denim began early-on by melding with another industry: the ethical fashion industry. At the root of the fashion industry is trafficking. James chose to merge the two things by fighting trafficking while building a sustainable fashion brand. James learned early on in his education about trafficking that nearly 80% of people that come through rescue programs often end up in a worse position later down the road because there’s no way for them to move forward with a plan or new life. Before Outland Denim, James never gave the health of the environment a second thought, but once he was able to link environmental degradation to social injustice. He realized that his worldview as a Christian should also include a responsibility to protect the planet and that doing so also helps protect marginalized people groups. 16:10 - The People and the Planet Outland Denim understands that you can’t care for people without the planet or the planet without the people: they are very much connected. They decided to try to use industry to challenge the environmental degradation of the planet by the fashion industry while also impacting not only the lives of marginalized people groups all over the world, but even the sales associate and the brand’s stakeholders. James sees denim as the ultimate product for changing the world. It’s one of the most unsustainable and damaging fabrics in fashion. The chemicals, water, and energy used is massive. Denim can also hold a nostalgic comfort in our psyches. James compares it to music. It can conjure memories and emotions. Everyone has their favorite pair of jeans that they never want to throw out that can transport them to another time or distant memory. The goal is to remove the environmental damage and keep the positive impact. Outland Denim even prints messages of thanks in the jean pockets from the women makers who made that pair of jeans. If ethical brands are not thinking about making a product that customers want, it’s just a “pity purchase.” It doesn’t empower the artisan who made the product. When a product has consumer demand, you sell more product and are able to employ more people. We can’t push people into the change, but we can inspire them to want to be a part of the movement. More Christians can lead the way in supporting ethical fashion. If we are called to love our neighbors more than ourselves and deny ourselves and follow Jesus, we can invite others to be a part of a bigger story like Jesus does for us. 34:39 – Global Brand Outland Denim had a successful launch in Australia, and then James’ wife told him about WWD (Apparel and Retail CEO) Summit happening in New York (about 5 years ago). There was no mention of sustainability in the presentations he heard. It was all about finding cheaper production in another country and how other markets were doing. It was disheartening for James to witness where the fashion industry was then, about five years ago. James sat next to a man and the two got to discussing what James did for a living. The man grabbed a handful of James’ jeans and told him, “Tell all your investors they’re about to lose all their money!” The man’s wife, embarrassed by her husband’s actions, invited James to lunch and they stayed in touch after the Summit. It turns out the man was a distributor in Canada, and he invited James to come visit to show him the jeans. He took a big risk and put James in front three of the biggest retailers in Canada. They gave him 20 minutes, looked at the product, heard the pitch and an hour and a half later, everyone is crying and wanting to know how to help. The next day, another retailer came with a family member who was extremely passionate about sustainability and that retailer, Harry Rosen, Inc., still supports Outland Denim to this day. They’ve helped evolve the brand, the product, and bring relevance to their customer. Not long after that, Outland Denim signed a contract with David Jones, one of the biggest retailers in Australia. And shortly after that, Megan Markle visited Australia, WEARING OUTLAND DENIM JEANS! The media went crazy and James had to jump on a plane for TV appearances. She really opened the brand up to the world and because of the attention, Outland Denim was able to hire 46 new seamstresses! That lead to more exposure to other retailers and right before Covid-19 hit, Outland Denim launched with the new Nordstrom store in New York City! Many retailers really do want to be a part of creating change now and are supportive of brands that do. To support the brand, it is important for purchases to go through retailers, and is generally sustainable well into the future. 43:05 - Tune in to hear how Outland Denim has been affected by Covid-19 and the creative ways they are working toward the future. Find out how we can turn the word “consumerism” into a positive phrase and solve global issues that the government isn’t able to solve. 46:54 - Getting to Know Our Guest Enjoy hearing some fun facts about what James’ favorite movie was when he was growing up, his guilty pleasure, some common misconceptions about Australians and Americans, and of all of his pet peeves, which is the strangest, and more! You’ve got to tune in to the end to hear from James what it means to him to run a business with purpose! Memorable Quotes: 9:54: “If we really want to create change, we’ve got to change people’s hearts in countries like ours ad well as countries that we work in. We’ve got to be able to create opportunity that gives everybody, people in developing and poor nations, the same opportunities we have to be educated, have health care, save (money), and live with their families. Just the basic stuff.” 11:46 “It is incredibly powerful when you put the power back in the hands of the people to make the change themselves: you give them what they need to be successful at it and everything changes.” 32:02 – I hope that’s a legacy about the brand, that it would have a small part to play in motivating our staff that “You’re not a victim, but you’re somebody that has so much to offer in your community and in the world.” If we all look for that opportunity and use it, we’re going to create massive impact. Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
36 minutes | a month ago
Putting Words to Work | EP 217: Kaitlin Senter, Striking Conversation
Our words matter. Especially as a business owner, an entrepreneur, as a creative. Our words really matter. Words are often how we can fundamentally ensure the success or even failure of a business. How we use words to market our businesses or communicate our message often becomes an afterthought and can cause unintended harm when it comes to how our business comes across to our customers or potential customers. My guest today is using her gift of words to help businesses have the biggest impact. Kaitlin Senter is a social media manager turned conversion copywriter and brand strategist who is obsessed with pairing social impact and targeted messaging to create industry-changing content. She’s made it her mission to teach all that she knows about cause-marketing and sales-messaging to help businesses create deeply rooted impact that drives results with connective content. I was fascinated by this conversation with Kaitlin. I was a creative writing major in college and I naturally love words. It was so impactful to hear from Kaitlin about how we use words to market our business. 4:56 - The Kaitlin 101 Kaitlin’s journey to where she is today as a conversion copywriter and brand strategist began on an untraditional path. Kaitlin started as a virtual assistant, and more in more during that time, people started asking her for help with social media. Kaitlin became a social media manager but realized the actual issue most people were having using social media centered around their messaging. At the time, Kaitlin wasn’t even aware of what copywriting was! She dove into education and became a copywriter! Once she homed in on those skills, Kaitlin started learning about cost-marketing and the unique niche it has become. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise and people are starting to realize how much power they have as consumers. They want to spend their money with brands who are doing things the right way. Often there are brands that provide beautiful products at the right price point, but their message is not getting to those who would most want to know about it. That’s where conversion copyeditors like Kaitlin come in. There is a delicate balance for ethical brands in communicating their mission and still making a profit. Kaitlin works with brands to lead with that mission without compromising sales. Since so many ethical brands are great at focusing on their mission, Kaitlin often starts her focus working with them on business strategies. Kaitlin helps brands determine why people want to shop with them outside of the mission. What are the problems that a brand is solving for people outside of the mission? 9:50 – Products Pique Interest, Words Make Sales Often there are brands who look like they are super successful because the aesthetic of their brand is beautiful. Many people think that if they have something beautiful, it will sell itself, but it’s not true. The beauty of a product primes people and pique their interest, but the words behind them are what makes sales. Kaitlin realized she had a gift for turning words into an experience for people when working as a social media manager when critiquing her client’s social media marketing. She thought about what she would want to read and examples of when she’d seen it done well. What feelings do the words bring up, what thoughts do they bring up, what is the world going to look if everyone could shop this way? One of the brands that does this well is called Known Supply. When Kaitlin buys a t-shirt from them, instead of feeling guilt for making a purchase, she feels good knowing it goes toward providing a good job to an artisan and that she is not making a fast fashion purchase. It’s not about giving out information, it’s taking a shopper on a journey. It’s important that messages are genuine as well. People know when a brand is being disingenuous. Every business can be a cause-based business. Producing a great product that connects followers to the maker of the product or a story behind it creates brand loyalty with referrals and high quality, loyal brand ambassadors. 21:12 – Social Media Hiatus Would you believe that Kaitlin recently took 6 months off of social media?! As someone who runs an online business, it was certainly a revolutionary act! It helped her get clear about what kind of messaging people want to see that makes them feel refreshed instead of tired or uninterested. Without outside thoughts, opinions, and noise, Kaitlin was able to find clarity in what she wants for her own unique message. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the world of social marketing as small business owners. If there is a feeling of anxiety around it, it’s time to take a break. There is a way to find a health balance between being connected and taking time for ourselves offline. It’s about creating real, meaningful connection online, rather than feeling pressure and/or anxiety to keep up with everything happening online. 25:27 – Help with Writing! If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of getting your copy in order, Kaitlin suggests beign mindful of who you’re writing to and why what you have to say matters to them. It’s going to take a lot of thought and time, but if you don’t know these answers, you will start to feel stuck or could be tempted to simply copy the methods of others. That is when you start contributing to the noise of the internet instead of sending out messages that matter. It’s also important to “name your customer.” Go on a deep dive about who you think this person is who would want to know about your brand, who would want to buy from you. Write to that person! Kaitlin uses the “Jobs to Be Done” framework. You can Google it to learn more, but it’s basically teaches you how a product connects to the better version of the customer; the person the customer wants to be. It’s how they imagine their life after they have a certain product. It’s less about the task, but the emotional feelings a product produces; the “true job” of what your customer wants to accomplish. 30:12 - Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what Kaitlin’s not-so-guilty pleasure is, what she’s reading right now, her favorite show to watch when she was growing up, and what it means to Kaitlin to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes: 5:58 - “I think this cost-marketing niche is really unique because it’s on the rise and I think more and more consumers are worried about what their dollars are voting for.” 6:16 – “I think there’s this fine line that you have to walk between keeping your life on and making sales, but also educating in a way that doesn’t alienate those on the fringes of the cause who are just learning and they don’t want to feel bad for past decisions they’ve made or for not knowing about sustainable fashion or ethical ways or farming, but also in a way that still makes sales without feeling disingenuous.” 9:26 – “That’s what we really have to focus on: You meet the need of the customer and that mission where they connect, that intersection between mission and meeting the needs of the customer.” 18:46 – “Connection is one of the biggest components of successful marketing.” About Kaitlin Senter: Kaitlin is a social media manager turned Conversion Copywriter & Brand Strategist obsessed with pairing social impact & targeted messaging to create industry changing content. She has made it her mission to teach all she knows about cause-marketing & sales messaging to help businesses create deeply-rooted impact that drives results through connective content. Connect with Kaitlin: strikingconversation.com https://www.instagram.com/kaitsenter/ Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
54 minutes | a month ago
Overcoming Adversity & Living with Confidence | EP 216: Alli Worthington
I realize that it is a cliché to say this at this point, but I am just going to say it: 2020 has been a year! There has been this tension of trying to get through the year while also trying to focus on our goals while also dealing with what is happening around us in our culture while also taking care of our families. It is a lot. There are many well-intentioned, encouraging messages that are preached at us, especially women. Things like “you are enough”, “you can do it”, and “you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Those are well-intentioned, but in the end, often leave us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. My guest today is trying to restructure that narrative with a counternarrative that helps women understand how to overcome adversity and live with confidence. Alli Worthington is known for her straight-talking encouragement and practical tools that help women reach their dreams in business and in life. She’s a business coach and the co-founder of Called Creatives, where she coaches writers and speakers. She is also the author of The Year of Living Happy, Fierce Faith, Breaking Busy, and her most recent book, Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity and Living with Confidence. Alli is also a well-known speaker and host of the popular podcast, The Alli Worthington Show. I’ve been a big fan of Alli for a long time. It was such a treat to have her on the show today, especially at such a time as this. ABOUT ALLI WORTHINGTON: Alli Worthington is known for her straight-talking encouragement and practical tools that help women reach their dreams in business and life. She’s a business coach and co-founder of Called Creatives, where she coaches writers and speakers. Author of The Year of Living Happy, Fierce Faith, and Breaking Busy, Alli is a well-known speaker and host of the popular podcast, The Alli Worthington Show. Her no-nonsense, guilt-free take on business, family, and balance have led to appearances on TODAY and Good Morning America. Alli lives with her husband, Mark, and their five sons outside of Nashville with the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve. CONNECT WITH ALLI: Instagram: @AlliWorthington Twitter: @Alli Facebook: @Its.Alli.Worthington Website: AlliWorthington.com Podcast: The Alli Worthington Show Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
46 minutes | 2 months ago
EP 215: Christi Whitekettle, Tom McGregor, and Jeannine Umutoniwase, Founders of Azizi Life
One of the things that really sets fair-trade businesses apart is how they are often led by the artisans themselves. Fair trade in many ways can really turn a traditional business model on its head. This time and time again prove to be an incredibly transformative process in the lives of everyone that the business is impacting. My guests this week are Christi Whitekettle, Tom McGregor, and Jeannine Umutoniwase, the founders of Azizi Life, a fair-trade organization dedicated to partnering with skilled Rwandan artisans in their vision to lift their families from poverty. Since 2008, they have cultivated partnerships with more than 500 artisans. Azizi Life serves as a bridge linking artisans, designers, and global customers to offer high-quality, ethically sourced goods for life and gifting. As a not-for-profit organization, Azizi Life is dedicated to the well-being of their artisan partners and their families. In addition to opening economic opportunity through fair trade, Azizi Life invests in a range of community impact projects. Their Rwandan-led team facilitates adult literacy classes and offers other resources for personal, spiritual, and economic growth. I was so thankful for the gift of technology to be able to connect with Christi, Tom, and Jeannine in Rwanda. They are an incredible team. I loved learning more about their story and the inspiring impact they are having on communities. 5:12 - The Azizi 101 Azizi Life was started under the auspices of a different nonprofit known as Food for the Hungry that supported education, health, and small business support. Through those relationships, the founders of Azizi life made connections with artisan cooperatives and noticed that artisan’s neighbors were buying their products but were only ready to pay a fraction of what the product might be worth in other markets. Artisans were scraping by with some income from farming, but still not enough to cover their basic needs like healthcare, clothing and shoes, and school fees for their children. Cooperatives were organized with leadership and skills to make things. Azizi Life realized they could be a bridge across the gap to give artisans a fair wage and become connected to people who would love and pay for their products. Artisans could work toward their own vision toward a better future for their families through their crafts. Azizi Life aimed to register as an independent business, separate from the Food for the Hungry nonprofit. They wanted the work of Azizi Life in Rwanda to be handed over to the local community. It was their vision to begin the business with that intent. They came in with a development background, looking to eventually put themselves out of work and be able to hand over easily. Christi Whitekettle, Tom McGregor, and Jeannine Umutoniwase joined us for this episode about Azizi Life. Jeannine is the Azizi Life Chief Executive Officer, and lives in Rwanda. She joined Azizi Life in 2008 after working as a housekeeper for the Food for the Hungry guest house. That is when she met Christi and helped with Christi’s accommodations and helped Christi as a translator. She was also teaching Tom Kinyarwanda at the time. When the social enterprise of Azizi Life started, the team thought Jeannine would be a great fit to join the team and help foster relationships between the enterprise and local communities. 14:51 – Azizi Life Beginnings Azizi Life is incredibly special to Tom, but he was sure to let us know that Jeannine is very humble about her role and title as CEO! Tom’s background is as a commercial insurance broker. He became a successful account executive doing commercial insurance for relatively large businesses. He was about to turn 30 and had that feeling that many of us have experienced or can relate to of, “There has to be more than life, this can’t be my purpose.” Tom started looking for different opportunities. He knew he wanted to look for work overseas after an experience working with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) through Mercy Ships when he was 18. He started in Togo and sailed to South Africa. When he turned 30 and started having a crisis about what he wanted to do next, he took his business acumen and love for Africa and started researching and praying. Tom found a position with Food for the Hungry, Rwanda to work with a team of Rwandans doing small business training in the rural communities on basic accounting, marketing, etc. Oh, and it was an unpaid position. Tom did some fundraising in January and was on a plan to Rwanda by August. Once in Rwanda, the job was not quite what Tom had read about, mostly because Tom’s new boss did not think there was enough money in the rural community so support a non-agricultural business. Tom’s boss asked him to go around to all the people who had tried to start a business to see how they were doing. A few were ok, but many people had been trained in arts and crafts with the belief that they could farm in the morning, make baskets in the afternoon, ship the baskets out of the country, and make plenty of money. All of that was working, except for there being a big or strong market in the West for the baskets. The artisans were seeing benefits from their business as far as interpersonal relationships, but there was no cash coming in. Azizi Life had the idea to buy the crafts from the artisans and sell them in profitable markets to return money to the artisans to spend money back in the local businesses where they live. Before she found her way to Azizi Life, Christi was working in recreation bringing activities, creativity, light, and love to seniors. She came to a crossroads where her knowledge of the need and pain in the world moved her to think about how to faithfully respond to those realities. Christi’s desire to respond and her knowledge of sociology and crafting led her to the work of wholistic development, serving and understanding people in an integrated way. Christi came to work with Food for the Hungry on a similar volunteer program as Tom, trying to figure out what her future would look like. When an opportunity fell through 9 months in, she fell into a slump with no practical way to be engaged in serving people. Everything changed in a moment at church where she felt extremely uncomfortable physically, spiritually, and socially. She thought to herself that she could just go help Tom with whatever he needed to do his job with Azizi Life. The next morning, Tom approached Christi with the same idea. Christi was able to use her creative skills in a business position with Azizi Life in Rwanda. 31:12 –Azizi Life Today and the Long-Term Vision Azizi Life started with three people and one desk. Today they have a team of 23 permanent staff, 12 temporary staff, a big office with three locations in Rwanda, and over 500 artisan partners in Rwanda. Tom wanted to clarify that since Jeannine became CEO, Azizi Life has doubled in size. 😉 There are several different parts of Azizi Life: Azizi Life Rwanda, Azizi Life US, and their nonprofit and impact work in Rwanda. In the US, it is a nonprofit that handles distribution and fundraising with a push for increasing sales to 10x what Azizi Life was selling two years ago. In Rwanda, there are three main projects: the making of the crafts, educational tours where people can visit Rwanda to learn from artisans in their communities, and work through a sister organization called Beautiful Creations that help support local beekeepers! Eventually, Azizi Life wants to keep adding on social enterprises to provide employment opportunities in local villages with the intent to turn them over to the communities. Any money made by the three social enterprises is funneled into a Rwandan nonprofit that runs impact projects that will help communities overcome barriers so that they can thrive. Programs include things like adult literacy programs and loans for systems that save money in the long run like water filters, fuel efficient stoves, solar lamps and more. Azizi Life focuses on wholeness as an individual and breaks that down into physical, social, and spiritual wholeness. They offer Bible studies and Bible distributions. 40:51 – Getting to Know Our Guests Find out what Christi’s guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure is, what Jeannine likes to do for fun, and what meal Tom would eat for dinner if he had to eat the same meal every night for the rest of his life. Hear more from Jeannine what it means to her to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes 6:52 - “We realized that if we could a bridge across the gap…the artisans could work toward their own vision for a better future for their families and use their craft to those ends.”-Christi 14:22 – The artisans really value this work. Every moment when they are creating a product, they think about where we came from, what we are aiming (for), and they make sure that whoever will buy the product will be very happy about it and also they think about how it can impact their families.” -Jeannine 36:26 – “We’re really keen that people buy the products because they’re beautiful with the bonus that they make an impact, as opposed to a “pity” buy.” 38:49 – “Every business we look to start, we look at whether it’s going to be beneficial to the community and to the rural community and that will bring something to God’s kingdom there.” Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Ethical Fashion, COVID19, & Pursuing a Dream | EP 214: Paola Masperi, Mayamiko
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. It actually makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, drying up water sources, polluting rivers, streams, and oceans. More than 85% of all textiles go into the dump each year. There are many incredible fashion brands that are tackling this issue head on by creating fashionable, sustainable, and zero waste products that are making a big impact. My guest this week is Paola Masperi, the founder of Mayamiko, an ethical, sustainable, and zero-waste fashion and lifestyle brand on a mission to champion a more responsible approach to shopping. Using slow and traditional craftsmanship techniques, Mayamiko works with global artisans from Malawi to Milan to create trans-seasonal women’s clothing, accessories, and homeware collections. With a zero-waste policy, the brand utilizes pre-consumer waste and reclaims materials where possible, including cotton deadstock from reclaimed silk alongside locally sourced artisanal fabric from Malawi, geo-TS certified organic cotton and linen. Paolo is also the founder of the Mayamiko Trust, which helps Mayamikan get up and running with training schemes and microfinance projects which provide funding and teach basic financial and business planning skills. The trust then connects the trainees to fantastic ethical and sustainable fashion brands and designers. This creates links to markets where they can trade their products as high-value items according to fair-trade principles. I loved this conversation with Paola and I learned so much from her! 5:48 - The Paola 101 Paola was born in Milan, Italy and grew up there in a big family with strong, independent women and men who supported them. She moved to England to finish her studies and early in her career, traveled to Germany and then a number of African countries for work in the early 2000s. Through her work in Africa, the seeds of Mayamiko were planted and began to grow. Her worked in Africa focused on using digital innovation to support education across developing countries. Through that work, she became very passionate about the potential of the places and people she met, and the friendships she developed through her work. Paola grew up seeing two sides of her family working day jobs while also working on social engagement projects. Her dad opened the first cinema in the town which became a safe place for the youth of the town who may have otherwise been affected by the growing drug problem in the community. It became a place to learn about culture and diversity while also creating a safe community gathering space. Growing up with family who worked hard on both their careers and passions influenced Paola with confidence that she could work a day job while also pursuing passion projects and traveling the world. In the late 80s and 90s, there was not a lot of diversity in Milan, but when Paola moved to London, she worked for an educational company working on software to teach language. Each year on the project, Paola wanted to do a little more to bring education to more places and more people. She made a suggestion to the company’s leadership to see if they could apply language solutions to a broader global context. The company started working with governments across African countries to see if their technology could support bringing primary education to those countries as well. Paola spent the majority of her time working in Malawi and Uganda. It was a formative experience that taught her how much she had to learn from what was going on around her, even if just by listening. Whenever Paola lands in an African airport, it feels like home to her. 14:42 – Mayamiko The heart of Mayamiko came from a friendship with a woman Paola worked with on one of her language projects. The two started thinking about what else they could do to help empower women. They understood more than anything else that women needed choices. They agreed access to choices came from access to education and finance. In 2008, they started the Mayamiko Trust to provide those choices to women through vocational training and access to fair wages, both which would continue to open women to more and more opportunities and choices. The Mayamiko Trust allows women to make their own choices about what skills they want and need, letting them make choices about what they are trained on and what to do with those skills after training. They can either stay with Mayamiko in an apprenticeship and go on to be employed by Mayamiko, or take out a microfinance grant to set up their own business. Some of the women went out on their own and others set up group co-ops together. Mayamiko is now 12 years old, and nothing has changed in that approach to give women those choices. Mayamiko also wanted to offer sustainable income opportunities to women, so they started the Mayamiko label, setting up their own brand to create a long-lasting employment opportunity and to not be dependent on donations. Now they have a self-sustaining model that creates jobs. The first few years Mayamiko experimented with accessories and bags to test the concepts. It was 2012, and there were not many conversations happening around ethical or sustainable fashion. It was still very niche. They realized direct to consumer resonated most, and customers loved knowing the stories behind their products and knowing that the artisans making them were being treated well and compensated fairly. In 2015, Mayamiko launched a small women’s wear capsule and has been slowly broadening the quality of those projects and telling their stories to create products people love for a long time, both for their aesthetic quality, and the story behind them as well. More often than not, the root of global poverty comes from lack of economic opportunity. Both charities and business have a role in tackling global poverty. Mayamiko would not be where they are today if they’d not started their charity first. Risk is inherent to business, and Paola was clear she did not want to risk any of the money meant for charity initiatives with the Mayamiko Trust. That was the motivation behind separating the charity and the business. Mayamiko comes from the Chewa language spoken in Malawi used for both boys and girls that means “Praise” or “Thanksgiving.” Along with having a beautiful meaning, it is also the name of a child that Paola worked with and so it has a special personal meaning to her as well. 27:27 – Not the Great Equalizer Covid-19 has affected people disproportionately, and statistically it’s reversing a lot of progress that had been made for people rising out of global poverty in all parts of the world. While we’re all experiencing it at the same time, our experiences with it are going to vary greatly. For many artisans around the world, whether or not they are getting paid is a matter of life and death. Paola was acutely aware of Covid-19 a bit earlier because of her family in Italy. When the UK started to enter lockdown, the training academy in Mayamiko in Malawi had to shut down and people were sent home. For people in Malawi there started to be a question of whether to social distance or earn a living, and working from home looks very different in different places around the world. Day to day life is conducted in big cities with bustling markets and crowded public transportation is needed to do business in the cities. It’s not possible to social distance in some places in the world. The responses to Covid-19 really need to be localized. For Mayamiko, they knew prevention was the most important answer. The government did well closing borders, shutting down airports, and monitoring people who came into the country from other parts of the world. They also realized they could space out sewing machines within their facility and give everyone hand sanitizer and masks. But the reality is that to get to work, people had to use crowded public transportation options. Mayamiko decided to come up with their own plan to allow employees to work from home. While they love making clothing, it was much more important to make masks for the community. Mayamiko employees work from home while wearing masks, and Mayamiko provides a system to bring supplies to artisans at home and collect them when they are finished. Mayamiko has done their best to make the most of a difficult time. Luckily, they’ve worked hard and been able to keep everyone healthy and employed while also giving back to the community! 39:45 – Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what Paola’s favorite TV show was growing up, what her biggest guilty pleasures are, what she’s reading right now, and of course, what it means to Paola to run a business with purpose! Memorable Quotes 13:07 – “One of the things that I learned very quickly is that I knew nothing…very quickly I realized I could put all my past knowledge to one side and have a listening attitude to everything that was happening around me.” 16:39 – “We were very clear from the beginning that we were not going to make choices on behalf of women, we were just going to equip them with the skills that they told us they wanted and needed, and then it was entirely up to them what choices they made with those skills and those tools.” 23:43 – “At the time, the choice was the charity and the charity’s funds should be safeguarded to do charity work, the business should be allowed to take reasonable risk as a business would, and therefore it makes sense to separate the two. The two still have an agreement that any money that the business made, it goes back into the charity.” About Paola Masperi: Paola Masperi is the founder of pioneering women empowerment charity Mayamiko Trust and lifestyle brand Mayamiko The Label, which has sold to over 40 countries and counts Meghan Markle as a fan. With a background in International Development and Digital Innovation, Paola has a a passion for crafts, traditions and the stories they tell about the people behind the product, their relationship with each other and their natural environment, which she attributes to growing up in Italy surrounded by a strong culture of traditions, combined with a strong sense of curiosity about the future. She started Mayamiko Trust after working on several projects with women across a number of African countries, and the Label followed a few years later as a way to create dignified, creative and sustainable employment for women. The label now works with women’s initiatives across different countries such as Malawi, where the main hub is located, SriLanka, Peru, Afghanistan and Italy. An award winner for sustainability leadership, alongside Stella McCartney, Raeburn, Bottletops and others, Paola is always searching for collaborative ways to create responsibly, and ensure that her work has a positive impact along the entire supply chain by actively protecting the environment and creating safe, sustainable and creative jobs for women, as well as remaining leaders in innovation and sustainability. Paola is passionate about meaningful storytelling, and has a keen interest in the ‘future of work’, exploring opportunities and challenges posed by automation and the impact on human relationships with each other and our planetary environment. Connect with Paola Masperi & Mayamiko: https://www.mayamiko.com/ https://twitter.com/Mayamiko_ https://www.facebook.com/MayamikoTheLabel https://uk.pinterest.com/mayamiko/ https://www.instagram.com/mayamikodesigned/ https://www.instagram.com/paola_ohlala/?hl=en Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Sustainably Growing a Sustainable Fashion Brand | EP 213: Belinda Kazanci, BEL KAZAN
Every business owner will tell you that entrepreneurship is hard and it takes time. Rarely do you find a “silver bullet” or the thing that leads to your “overnight success.” Most overnight successes are really 5, 10, 30, 50 years in the making. Nothing happens overnight, especially in the fashion industry. My guest today has spent the last 15 years growing an incredible ethical fashion brand that is changing lives, and changing trends. Belinda Kazanci is the founder of Bel Kazan, and ethical women’s wear brand made with modern women in mind: Empowered, adventurous, independent spirits. Belinda started Bel Kazan after a life-changing journey to Bali, Indonesia. From the delicate flower offerings that lined the streets to their vibrant textiles and joyful spirits, she felt an unparalleled sense of inspiration among the people of Bali. It was then that Belinda decided to uproot her life in Los Angeles, determined to make her vision of a socially and environmentally responsible apparel line real. I can’t wait to share Belinda with the Business with Purpose listeners! 3:52 - The Belinda 101 Belinda Kazanci is the owner and designer of the brand Bel Kazan, that specializes in women’s clothing made from original prints in Bali and uses sustainable and environmental practices. The goal is that the Bel Kazan garments have minimal impact on the environment. Belinda and Bel Kazan have been in business for 15 + years now! They built their own factory in Bali from the ground up and have been training women and men from villages in skilled training like sewing, quality control, and more. They’ve been slowly growing their business through this skills training program. Belinda has been a singer and songwriter all of her life. She has always been doing music, and she felt like her only other creative outlet was through fashion. Her family comes from the textile business in Istanbul, which is also where Belinda was born. Much like music, she’s been around textiles her whole life. Textiles and creative expression through clothing has always been an interest of Belinda’s, but she never thought it would take off into a career. In 2005, she took a course with the Landmark Forum where she met a woman who spoke about her business in Bali. She and Belinda connected after the talk and that’s how Belinda was introduced to the manager she has now. After their initial conversation, Belinda booked trip to Bali within two weeks! She fell in love with the people, the culture, the textiles, and she started sewing her own designs with help from local women along the way. Slowly, it turned into an independent business with its own factory! And before all of this, Belinda was already a singer-songwriter who grew up playing jazz flute, singing in choirs, and was even in a band called The Echo Cell, and played all over Los Angeles for many years! She’s also written and created albums as well as worked on a few TV show and written songs for film. All of Belinda’s grandparents were in the textile business. They sold and purchased textiles, and both of her grandmothers were also seamstresses who made beautiful clothes for her and her mom growing up. Her parents own a dry cleaning and alterations business. It taught Belinda about how style, how care for fabric as well as production and purchasing. 11:18 – It’s Going to Be Successful The timing of the Landmark Course aligned with where Belinda was in her life, and she left feeling like anything was possible. She was ready for a change, and she fell in love with Bali. She was like a sponge, learning about the culture and getting to know people around her. She really felt a warm welcome from the people there. She also started falling in love with culture, textile, and colors. Belinda wanted to find a way to bring two worlds together while modernizing the textiles but also keeping their cultural feel. The plan was never an intentional move toward big production. Everything started very small scale, and even with their own factory now, is still relatively small. Belinda uses what she calls a “lean production model” which means each order is “cut to order.” When an order is placed, the garment is then cut, sewn, made, and shipped. Having their own factory allows Bel Kazan the luxury of not having to meet minimum order requirements. Reducing waste has always been a value of Bel Kazan, but they also now look at what fabrics are sustainable, garment wearability, their impact on the environment, and more. All garment cuttings are upcycled and donated to villages that need baby and kids clothing. 22:33 – 15 Years, Humble Beginnings, Calculated Risk There’s a statistic that most business fail within the first 18 months. Belinda is now 15 years in with Bel Kazan. I mentioned that things start small with Bel Kazan, but go all the way back to the beginning and it started even more humbly with no investments and $1,500 that was borrowed, and run in a garage while Belinda continued working full time. Slow strategic growth and minimizing spending helped Belinda and Bel Kazan get off the ground, as does continued awareness of the budget and spending carefully and conservatively, minimizing costs as much as possible. Taking risks and putting Bel Kazan out there has also truly paid off for Belinda. She’d always dreamed of having Bel Kazan garments in Anthropologie, so she had an artist in Bali paint a picture of the Anthropologie window with Bel Kazan dresses in the window. She shipped it to Anthropologie’s buying office with samples of each dress. A year later, an Anthropologie representative contacted her to tell her that Anthropologie saw one of her pieces and a partnership formed. The store loves Bel Kazan prints and does a lot of exclusive pieces with them. It’s been a great partnership with new projects starting regularly. A face mask partnership is on the way now! It’s a great start to see a big fashion corporate company partnering with a sustainable brand. All the money made from masks with go toward helping Bel Kazan sewers and keeping them employed during Covid-19! 30:51 – Working Vision Belinda would love to see her prints in stores like HomeGoods. So many people compliment Bel Kazan prints (which are all created by Bel Kazan and copyrighted!) and ask for them on pillows and baby clothes. 32:07 – Getting to Know Our Guest Get to know some fun things about Belinda like who she’d choose to sit next to on a 13-hour flight to Bali, which of her pet peeves is the strangest, how she’d prove she’s from the future if she could time travel 400 years into the past, and of course, what it means to Belinda to run a business with purpose! Memorable Quotes: 8:21 - “Well it’s a process, and even though I think one is writing a song and the other one is designing a garment, the process is very similar. There are different types of steps, but it’s all about details and they all kind of work together.” 19:04 - “What we can now do is, maybe (if) we have some fabric left over, we can rework that fabric into a new style so it’s not just wasted.” About Belinda Kazanci and BEL KAZAN: ORIGINS Behind every collection is designer Belinda Kazanci, who started BEL KAZAN after a life-changing journey to Bali, Indonesia. From the delicate flower offerings that lined the streets to their vibrant textiles and joyful spirits, she felt an unparalleled sense of inspiration among the Balinese people. It was then that Belinda decided to uproot her life in Los Angeles, determined to make her vision of a socially and environmentally-responsible apparel line real. Today her time is split between the BEL KAZAN production facility in Bali and her studio in Los Angeles. She is committed to giving back to the culture and people that gave her a renewed sense of purpose. APPROACH BEL KAZAN womenswear is made with modern women in mind: empowered, adventurous, independent spirits. Inspiration is taken from around the globe to create bold prints and effortless silhouettes that easily take wearers from day to night, and quickly become wardrobe staples. Every BEL KAZAN garment is crafted in our personally-constructed factory in Bali, using traditional techniques for an authentic, timeless feel. Learn more about our design process, fabric choices, and the art of creating each print by hand. CONNECT HERE: https://www.belkazan.com/pages/about https://www.facebook.com/belkazan https://instagram.com/belkazan https://twitter.com/belkazan https://www.pinterest.com/belkazan/ Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Entrepreneurs | EP 212: Brian Weisfeld, "The Startup Squad"
When you were a kid, did you ever think about being an entrepreneur? For the women listening, what about you? Do you remember seeing examples of women in the workplace or starting and running large companies? My guest today realized there was a market for reaching, teaching and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs: young girls. Brian Weisfeld has helped build a number of well known, billion dollar companies like IMAX and Coupons.com. He is also the founder and chief squad officer of The StartUp Squad, an initiative dedicated to helping girls reach their potential and follow their dreams, whatever their passion is. Brian lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two daughters, and you can find out more information about him at BrianWeisfeld.com and https://www.thestartupsquad.com/ 4:26 - The Brian 101 Brian started and co-authored The Startup Squad to inspire girls to start their first businesses and start to think like an entrepreneur, with the thought that girls with an entrepreneurial mindset will be more successful in life, regardless of the path they choose. Brian grew up on Long Island, and spent four years in Ann Arbor, Michigan for undergrad, and lived and worked in New York City for most of his career, helping entrepreneurs and founders scale their businesses. In the early 1990s, the was part of a three-person team that bought IMAX when it was just being played in museums for educational purposes. His team realized that people were walking out of those theatres blown away by the experience. They saw beyond museums and thought about what might happen if comic book characters and action-packed movies were shown in IMAX. About 13 years ago, Brian moved from New York City to Silicon Valley to work at this chief operating officer of Coupons.com. After helping grow and scale that business, he wondered what company he might grow and scale next. At the time, Brian’s oldest daughter was 8-years-old, and he watched her sell Girl Scout Cookies and charity bake sales with enthusiasm, but no knowledge of how to successfully market and sell a product (something as simple as telling them that the proceeds from the sales would go to charity). One Sunday morning while reading with his daughters, Brian was troubled by the marketing geared toward girls. It all talked down to girls, instead of lifting them up. In that moment, he decided to create a novel series to encourage girls to interest in entrepreneurship. Brian spent four years learning how to write and literally bought “Writing Children’s Books for Dummies.” It was four years of a crash course in writing with classes, self-educating, and hiring editors. He was eventually able to sign a three-book deal with Macmillan. The first two books in The Startup Squad series has been released, and the third will be released in May of 2021. 8:59 – A Pivot Brian has always been interested in business and how things work. It’s safe to say entrepreneurship has been in his background, too. He was always interested in learning and he was fascinated by the success stories of people who built businesses from nothing. In undergrad, he studied business and had plans for law school. It was just what everyone did. He realized while it would have been a good education on how to think, it wouldn’t give him the same knowledge that working for lawyers, accountants, and people in business would. After working for some time, he realized he wanted to build a company, which is what led him to the IMAX team. The first book is about four girls in 6th grade and their class is going on a field trip and needing to raise money for the trip. Each team must run a lemonade stand, and whichever team raises the most money gets special VIP perks on the trip. The girls have to figure out how to work together, and the narrative is light on business, and heavy on the social side, which appeals to girls in that age range. Each book gives lessons on business in the back of the book. There is a nonfiction section that refers to the story narrative with definitions of business terms and practical startup business tips. The back of each book also features an interview with a real-life girl entrepreneur. There is a contest each summer giving girls the opportunity to possibly be featured. 14:25 – The Startup Squad Brian new he wanted his books to be fiction, even though nonfiction would have been much easier to write! The thinking was never that every girl should grow up to be an entrepreneur, but that girls become comfortable with risk and failure and seeing them as opportunities instead of problems. Brian knew a girl who picked up a nonfiction book about starting a business already had the “business bug,” but he wanted to do fiction to appeal to a wider audience. He knew a “story first” approach would get through more than a nonfiction educational book. The Startup Squad is “girl targeted but boy inclusive.” The book is for boys too! It’s just as important for boys to read about girls being entrepreneurs as it is for girls! The reality is there are not as many examples of female entrepreneurs and business is modeled for boys much more that it is for girls. Brian advises kids who are selling items to benefit a charity to not set a price, but just tell people what charity the proceeds go to, and people often give more than the price of the item the kids are selling. 23:36 – The World Through My Daughter's Eyes When seeing what reading materials was available to his daughters made Brian want there to be more of a balance and more empowering material. All he was finding for them was books about princesses and fairy tales. Fairy tales can be great for imagination but may not have the same impact as stories of women who have endeavored toward their own business goals. Not ever book needs a lesson, but it hit Brian that there was no balance of both options. Brian notices a lot more by hearing the experiences of his daughters. Something as simple as soccer cleat selections in the store were communicating to his oldest daughter that she can’t have things she likes – like the turquoise cleats because they only come in boy’s shoe sizes. Brian wanted to see more role models for his girls that show them they can do whatever they want. When a message starts to be repeated over and over again, it becomes ingrained. Brian set out to make sure his daughters and other girls could find the empowering messages too. 30:40 – The Startup Squad Parts Two and Three The second book in the series features Harriett, one of the four girls from the first book. She’s in a rock band with her brothers and the girls take over merchandising for the band. The lessons focus on negotiation, customer service, pricing, and the differences between revenue and profit. It’s introduced in a tangible, relatable and age-appropriate message vetted by children entrepreneurship experts. The third book that comes out in May features the story of Didi, who is very artistic and starts creating wedding calligraphy for someone who is getting married. The party planner gets sick, so The Startup Squad comes together to take care of putting the wedding together for the couple. It focuses on girls discovering finding their passions and what they enjoy doing in business. 35:22 – Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what Brian would eat if he had to eat the same meal for dinner every night for the rest of his life, what his favorite TV show was growing up, I am so excited to share The Startup Squad with you! Thank you, Brian, for creating a better balance of resources for empowering and encouraging young girls in entrepreneurship. You can find more about The Startup Squad series HERE and check to see if an independent, local bookstore carries the first book, The Startup Squad, and Face the Music. You can also find the books from Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Book A Million, and Bookshop. Be sure to mark your calendars for the release of the third book, Party Problems, on May 4th,2021! Memorable Quotes 8:26 – “This was going to be different from anything I’ve ever done before. This was going to be harder, I was going to fail, I was taking a lot of risk…I had to get comfortable with failing more than I had in a long time.” 15:15 – “The thinking here is not that every girl should grow up to be an entrepreneur, but that girls who run that first lemonade stand and get comfortable with risk and failure and see opportunities instead of problems, they’re going to be more successful in life if they have that skillset…” 16:10 – The way The Startup series works is that it’s a novel. It’s been described as The Babysitters Club meets Lean In.” 19:50 – “Seeing the world through my daughters’ eyes has really changed the way I view things.” About Brian Weisfeld: Brian Weisfeld has helped build a number of well-known billion-dollar companies including IMAX Corporation and Coupons.com. He is the Founder and Chief Squad Officer of The Startup Squad, an initiative dedicated to helping girls reach their potential and follow their dreams, whatever their passions. Brian lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two daughters. You can check out thestartupsquad.com for more info. Praise for The Startup Squad "An inspiring story about entrepreneurial girls."—Ann M. Martin, author of the Baby-Sitters Club series "The Startup Squad encourages girls to dream big, work hard, and rely on each other to make good things happen. It teaches them how to succeed—and reminds all of us that girls mean business!"—Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org “A great read that is fast-paced, fun, and empowering. The Startup Squad comes complete with a treasure trove of tips for starting a business.” —Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan About The Startup Squad: Girls mean business in Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear's Face the Music, the second novel in The Startup Squad series about friendship and entrepreneurship, featuring how-to business tips and a profile of a real-life girl CEO in every book! Harriet’s brothers’ band, the Radical Skinks, are hoping to enter a local battle of the bands. Winning could get them on a reality TV show! But low funds have left them without the right equipment. The Startup Squad jumps into action! Harriet, Resa, Didi, and Amelia quickly pull together to sell T-shirts to raise money for the band. It’s a great plan, until everything starts to go wrong. From ruined T-shirts, to musicians with stage fright, and money mishaps, these tasks aren’t easy. The Startup Squad will have to focus on each member’s strengths and act like a team in order to get their business back into the groove.
60 minutes | 3 months ago
Growing Strong Roots in What Makes the Broken Beautiful | EP 211: Mary Marantz
About Mary Marantz: Mary grew up in a single-wide trailer in rural West Virginia. The first of her immediate family to go to college, she went on to earn a law degree from the nation's top-ranked law school, Yale. After ditching six-figure-salary law firm offers in London and New York, she started a business with her husband, Justin. Together they have built a successful online education platform for creative entrepreneurs. She is also the host of the highly ranked and popular podcast The Mary Marantz Show. Just YESTERDAY, Mary released her first book, "Dirt: Growing Strong Roots in What Makes the Broken Beautiful,". She lives in an 1880s fixer-upper by the sea in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, Justin and their two very fluffy golden retrievers, Goodspeed and Atticus. Connect with Mary Marantz: https://marymarantz.com/ https://www.instagram.com/marymarantz/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/marymarantzshow/ https://marymarantz.com/themarymarantzshow Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
How to Get Started Shopping Ethically | EP: 210
How to Get Started Shopping Ethically | Business with Purpose Podcast EP 210 [spp-player url=https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/businesswithpurpose/209_-_MOLLY_STILLMAN_-_ERYN_EDDY.mp3] Click a timestamp below to be taken to the exact spot in the episode... One of the most common questions I get asked on a regular basis is “How do I get started shopping ethically?” It is easily the most common question I get asked. Today I wanted to answer that question. Normally each week I interview someone like an entrepreneur, CEO, non-profit director, community leader, or just an incredible person who is trying to make a positive impact, not only with their personal life, but also with their career. My goal is to show you that no matter what you do for a living, you can make an impact wherever you are. But this week is episode 210 which means it’s time for another solo episode, and I have some questions that many of you submitted that I will be answering today! 2:52 - Why is it important to shop ethically? We’re not just talking about shopping ethically because it’s cool or trendy, it’s because it really does make a difference. Not only are you providing actual wages, skills, and safe options to real people, you’re telling other companies that these things matter, that money talks. 4:44 – Do I need to get rid of all my stuff? No! Don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything you’ve bought previously that isn’t ethical. If you want to “Marie Kondo” your stuff, I have talked about ways you can ethically dispose of the things that may no longer “spark joy” for you. You can find that information on Episode 130 5:27 – Which category is “most effective?” Is there a particular item that has a better or bigger impact than others? For example, should I start with ethical denim vs. ethical jewelry? There are a few ways to look at this. At the end of the day, it’s more about intentional, little by little choices and understanding what your morals or your values add up to. If you’re somebody who wants to shop ethically and you’re also environmentally conscious, ethical denim may be a great place for you to start. When I started shopping ethical brands, it was also important for me to look for companies making a difference in the area of human trafficking. I started with companies working directly to combat human trafficking by supporting human trafficking overcomers. You have to figure out what is an area that you really care about, or a topic you want to really tackle. Another place to start is taking a look at what products you already purchase in greater quantities. Start with that product. If you love shoes, you can start by changing out which types of shoes you buy and the companies you by shoes from. It could be beauty, or skincare, or jewelry, not only for the environment, but for clean ingredients as well. 8:20 – Shopping Ethically on a budget I have another podcast episode on this exact topic, Episode 120, which is all about tips for shopping ethically on a budget. The short answer is YES! You can shop ethically on a budget. Shopping second-hand is arguably the most ethical way to shop and it’s really affordable. Check out Episode 120 for a more in-depth look at this and 6 tips for shopping ethically on a budget. 8:59 – How do I know that a brand is really ethical? How do I know they’re not just “greenwashing?” Would you believe I have another episode about that? Episode 110 also goes into this topic of how to tell if a brand is truly ethical. When in doubt, always contact the company. Reach out and ask specific questions like whether or not they have a 3rd party auditor, where they manufacture, what kinds of auditing they do of their factories, whether they work with certified organic material, if they monitor where they source their materials from, how they check their supply chains, etc. There are very specific questions you can ask companies. If they can’t give you a definitive answer, there may be reasons for a little bit of a red flag. There are brands that green wash and lie about these things, but you can do your due diligence to not shop with them. We will make mistakes along the way, but this is about progress, not perfection. Little by little, these choices really do add up. 10:39 – How do I get my family or husband on board? This question came up a lot! My husband and I have talked about this on the podcast. I have so many conversations with him about shopping ethically that he understands that I am passionate about it, though he may not be as passionate about is as I am. He also has very different buying habits than I do and only shops for himself once, maybe twice a year at the most. He buys something and wears it until it is hanging on by a thread. That’s an ethical way to shop too. There are areas he’s also changing his own buying habits. He’ll check with me when he needs to purchase something. Just recently he needed some new gym socks and asked me if I knew of an ethical company where he could purchase his new gym socks. Turns out those are now his favorite gym socks and he wants to order from that company all the time now. Having a conversation and communication is key. Understand that there are times when husbands might just not be on board and it might take time. I also watched the Netflix documentary called “The True Cost” with my husband, which opened up an opportunity for us to have a conversation around these topics as well. I talk about this stuff with my kids all the time. My daughter is 7 and my son is 4. My son doesn’t really understand yet, but my daughter does. Now she’ll ask me if a company is ethical and she can understand and discuss it with me to an extent. There are age appropriate ways to have these conversations with these kids and explain why we care about the planet and other people. You can explain that there are children their age that have to work in factories to make toys and that kids their age shouldn’t have to do that. It’s a great way to open a conversation about ways we can advocate for those children. 15:52 - How do have these conversations with my teenagers? Since I don’t have teenagers (yet), I reached out to a friend of mine who has a teenager who is the type of young woman I hope my daughter grows up to be like. I asked her mom how she got Emma on board with this. Her teenager’s nature is to want to make sure that no one is hurt. It steers her away from wanting anything not ethically made. It’s important for other parents to find out what their teens care about. Emma cares about dogs and small children, so it upsets her to hear that children are working instead of going to school. She hates bullying, so they talk about how trafficking and the unethical treatment of people is related to bullying. It’s about finding what your teen cares about and help them see how it might relate to unethical practices in business. 17:25 – Is it ethical to wait to shop an ethical company only when they run sales? There’s likely a variety of opinions on this but in general I would say no. Brands (especially ethical brands) that run sales typically do so to clear out previous seasons or older products to make room for new products. The majority of the businesses I know that run sales run them very intentionally so that there is still a way for them to pay artisans. When they have excess inventory, they’ve already paid the artisans in full, but simply need to clear the shop to make way for new product. Sales can also be a gateway for people who want to shop ethically, but don’t have the opportunity to do so when items are full price. 19:31 – How long did it take you to transition to shopping ethically? I started this process back in 2011 and bit by bit, slowly started to change my buying habits. It’s not something I overhauled overnight and became an expert in. I’m constantly learning, changing, and adjusting. It’s become a process. You don’t have to change everything or learn everything overnight. It really can be a little by little intentional process each day. 20:37 - Do you always shop ethically for everything? The answer is, of course not. I’m sure there are people who do, but to shop ethically 100% of the time would be very difficult. I’d love to get there one day. If I can’t buy it from an ethical company, I’ll try to buy it second hand. If I can’t buy it from an ethical company or second hand, I’ll try to find a local small business to buy from. I also try to choose the lesser of the two evils if I can’t find it ethically, second hand, or from a local small business. I love Target, and they’ve actually made big strides in partnering with IJM (International Justice Mission) to help illuminate labor traffic and have started supplying from ethical brands like their fair trade denim line. Sometimes there may not be an ethical option. My daughter is obsessed with Barbie this year. I was able to find some items second hand. I felt OK knowing that whatever Barbie brand items we buy for her will be well-loved and used for years and years to come until we pass it along to another family to use. My goal is not to judge other peoples choices, but decide which ones are the right fit for me and for my family and share the information so that others can make the right choices for their family. 22:47 – Additional Resources You can follow my journal toward ethical shopping on my blog and social media: You can find me on all social media networks: @stillbeingmolly and @businesswithpurposepodcast You can find more episodes on these topics at my website stillbeingmolly.com as well as my Ethical Brand Directory. You can also join my Purpose with Purpose Facebook Group to continue learning more about shopping more ethically and intentionally. Memorable Quotes 3:44 - “When you buy from a company like a fair-trade company or a small business, you really are making an actual difference…one small purchase might be worth 10 hours of dignified work.” 7:10 - “I think that for you, you have to figure out what is an area that you really care about? What is a topic that you really want to tackle?” 10:28 – “Will we make mistakes? Yes. But this is about grace, not perfection. Progress not perfection. Little by little, these choices really do add up.” 18:31 - “The majority of the businesses that I know that run sales, run them very intentionally and so it really is an opportunity for them to pay their artisans…at the end of the day, the artisan is still getting paid their full wage…” Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Simple Switch is offering a discount exclusively for our listeners. Check out the marketplace on simpleswitch.org and get 20% off your first order with code PURCHASEWITHPURPOSE at checkout! After 2 years of global impact, Simple Switch is raising money to grow the company and make ethical shopping our new normal. You can learn more about that campaign at IGG.me/simple-switch The Lemonade Boutique This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life's lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
So Worth Loving | EP 209: Eryn Eddy
All of us have something in our lives that we might feel embarrassed by, or something that has happened to us that gives us a feeling of shame or something in our past that is holding us back. There are times where these negative thoughts come into our head and we feel like we’re not worthy enough or capable; maybe that we’re not even worth loving. My guest today is an incredible woman of faith who is trying to change that narrative to let women know that they are so worth loving. My guest this week is Eryn Eddy, the founder of So Worth Loving, a lifestyle clothing brand bridging the gap between not talking about self-worth and talking about it. Eryn began her clothing brand as a refuge. She needed to be present with other people’s stories before she could be truly present with her own. “Divorce broke me” said Eryn. “My heart had to be shattered in order to see the hole that God wanted to fill all along. I resisted accepting or believing that God could love me so recklessly and beautifully. The enemy watches our vulnerabilities and uses his findings against us, but God always brings beauty back in.” Eryn is releasing her debut book in January 2021, and she is the cohost of the new podcast, God Hears Her, which launched back in May. The podcast is for Christian women seeking friends to come alongside them in the hurts, joys, and struggles of the everyday. This conversation was so refreshing. There is an air and spirit about Eryn that is just filled with joy and peace, and I felt in so many ways that it was for me, but I know it was for so many of you listening too. 4:34 - The Eryn 101 Eryn comes from a line of self-starting entrepreneurs. Her parents manufactured furniture for 45 years, and Eryn now owns a clothing company and lifestyle brand called So Worth Loving. So Worth Loving bridges the gap between not talking about struggles of identity and self-worth and talking about it. Eryn started So Worth Loving a little over 9 years ago with no intention of starting a company. Eryn did not go to college and had no idea what she wanted to do with her career. She started working in ministry for an organization called Orange working her way up from no experience. While at Orange, the owner asked Eryn what she wanted to do with her life. Eryn thought she’d found her path working at Orange but when asked again about what she wanted to do, she couldn’t come up with an answer. Eryn realized that for a lot of her life she’d just been reactionary and never thought too far beyond whatever her circumstances were at any given time. After considering her boss’ question some more, Eryn thought he wanted to pursue music and dove in headfirst. Jumping full speed ahead into a passion you’re excited about often makes us vulnerable to other people questioning your ability to do it. Eryn saw a good amount of success with her music finding its way to commercials and TV shows. Everything happened quickly. In that time, Eryn wanted to create something to support the people who supported her music. Eryn felt that the people who loved her music were more like friends than family. They were not admiring her art from the outside, but they were actually making it happen. Eryn decided to create t-shirts for free and get this – they included her HOME ADDRESS! Luckily no one showed up at Eryn’s house, but they did sent her their t-shirts to her to spray paint and send back to them. Many included letters with stories of why they struggled with self-worth and wrestle with believing they are worth of love. It was then that Eryn realized this was about so much more than just her music. 10:10 – An Important Conversation We all struggle with self-worth at one time or another, but our society is not well-equipped to face and discuss it. Part of Eryn’s story includes her divorce while she was building and growing So Worth Loving. When Eryn started So Worth Loving and began hearing other people’s stories, she noticed after her divorce that she had not been paying attention to her own story. She was carrying the weight of what other people had been going through and was not as present in her own life. As So Worth Loving grew, the company was shipping to all 50 states and did everything in- house, and Eryn started experiencing burnout. It wasn’t until her divorce that she started to realize she’d been trying to find her self-worth in the wrong places. The hardships of shame and the divisions that can come with divorce left Eryn questioning whether she was enough and if she was worth to be loved again. At that time, Eryn decided to take about a year and a half off from So Worth Loving so spend time on herself and work for another organization. Historically, the church has not been great with responding to divorce or people who experience divorce. Divorce has a stigma and we’re uncomfortable with it because we don’t talk about it and don’t know how to talk about it. Stigmas are divisive. Eryn experienced a lot of divisive questions from people in the church during and after her divorce. Eryn decided that it was not up to her to fight her battles, it was God who she would let fight her battles, including the misrepresentation of who God is through wrong comments from people in the church. That didn’t mean it was easy, but God did fight Eryn’s battles and it strengthened her relationship with God. 18:33 – Encouragement if you are in the midst of a marriage crisis 20:41 –Book Resources: How To Survive the Loss of a Love and Option B, and The Soul of Shame 21:50 – To friends and family members of someone who is going through a divorce and some ways to love someone going through a divorce. 29:49 – So Worth Loving & God Hears Her Eryn’s book launches in January of 2021 and it’s called So Worth Loving: How Discovering Your True Value Changes Everything. It’s a formal journal where Eryn shares about her wrestling with who God is, her questions, mistakes, and journey to understanding her value. You can preorder wherever books are sold! Eryn also launched a podcast in May called God Hears Her and cohosts the show with Elisa Morgan. The two share personal stories of hope and encouragement. True freedom comes from sharing our journeys and knowing we’re not alone. Be sure to subscribe! 36:28 – Hear more about So Worth Loving, how it has evolved through the last 9 years and what the organization is doing today. They also provide valuable and helpful resources on their So Worth Living page. 38:01 – Getting to Know Our Guest Find out about one of Eryn’s unusual talents, who she’d most like to sit next to on a 16-hour flight, what her hype song would be, who she’d choose to play her in a movie about her life, and what it means to her to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes 12:09 – “When I went through my divorce, I had to go through a dismantling to see where I found my self-worth. I was finding it in my finances, I was finding it in the growth of my business, I was finding it being in a relationship, I was finding it in the communities I was around, I was finding it in the network that I had.” 12:31- “Anybody who’s listening has experienced divorce, they know that it is a death and the person is still there. You lose friends, you get a Scarlett letter immediately, especially in the Christian community, there’s a lot of shame, and people pick sides. And so all of that definitely played a part in my wrestling with ‘Am I enough? Am I worthy to love? Am I worth to be loved again?’ “ 17:32 – “At the end of the day, I knew the Lord would fight it and He did and I am so glad because it was an opportunity for me to develop a deeper intimacy with Him.” 20:35 – “You are worthy to be taken care of.” Eryn is the founder and CEO of So Worth Loving, a lifestyle clothing brand. Since starting in 2011, she’s grown her company to include customers in all fifty states and in thirty countries, and the company is still going strong. She and her work have been featured on CNN and MSNBC, as well as Southern Living and Atlanta Magazine. This creative enjoys oil painting and singing, and she’s even had her music featured on MTV and VH1. Eryn is also an author and a speaker, and she calls Atlanta home. Connect with Eryn Eddy: https://www.eryneddy.com/ https://www.eryneddy.com/soworthloving https://www.facebook.com/iamErynEddy/ https://twitter.com/ErynEddy http://instagram.com/eryneddy https://soworthloving.com/ http://instagram.com/soworthloving http://facebook.com/soworthloving http://twitter.com/soworthloving Thank you to our partners of the show: Ammas Umma Did you know I have an ethical brand directory? That's what Chelsea used to start finding products for her boutique almost four years ago! Now, Amma's Umma carries over 50 intentionally sourced brands and is the perfect one stop shop for all your gift giving needs. As a thank you to the Still Being Molly community, she is offering 20% off with code SHOPWITHMOLLY. Head to shopwithmolly.com for all the details. GOEX At GOEX, we believe in the power of purchase. We use a simple t-shirt to connect our customers with their apparel makers. GOEX customers sustain fair wage jobs that liberate workers from poverty and empower them in their families and communities. We are proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. Shop sustainable, eco-friendly t-shirts and sweatshirts with purpose today at goexapparel.com. Simple Switch I want to introduce you all to a company I believe in that helps you more conveniently purchase with purpose, SimpleSwitch.org Simple Switch is an online marketplace for ethical and impactful shopping. They let you shop online for more than 3,000 products ranging from everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to special gifts like journals or jewelry. Every product has a positive environmental or social impact, like planting trees or fighting human trafficking. Si
59 minutes | 3 months ago
What it Really Looks Like to Live Your Truth | EP 208: Ashley Abercrombie
There’s a lot of debate these days around the topic of masks…no, I’m not talking about Covid masks right now, I’m talking about the proverbial masks that a lot of us put on. Maybe we are putting on a mask that says that we think we’re perfect or our life hasn’t been hard, or maybe we’re hiding things in our past. Those masks can be so dangerous, but when we begin to remove those masks to reveal the deep layers of truth within us, that’s when we really come alive. My guest this week is Ashley Abercrombie, a writer, speaker, and author of the book Rise of the Truth Teller: Own Your Story, Tell It Like It Is, and Live with Holy Gumption. She’s also the cohost of the hilarious and helpful podcast, Why, Tho? and can be found basically wherever there is a coffee or a cheese board. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. I had the absolute best conversation with Ashley. When I met her, I knew she was my kind of person. With no further ado, join me to hear more about Ashley and her mission. 6:00 – The Ashley Abercrombie 101 Ashley is an author, speaker, and podcaster. When she was 21, she moved from the small town of Eden, North Carolina to Los Angeles where she met her husband and they had their first baby. Four years ago, they moved to Manhattan and had their second baby. Not long after, they realized how much they missed their home in California and decided it was time to move back to their beloved community there. Ashley has been writing since she was her little girl. Her best-selling author and chart-topping podcast were not overnight successes. Ashley has been writing since she was a little girl; hers has been a journey of 20 + years spent writing on lunch breaks, early in the morning, and late at night because she simply loves expressing herself through the written word. Writing has been a way for Ashley to process her own pain and serve the community around her. In her early 20s she became distracted from that calling and experienced a lot of pain, but was able to process it, recover, find her voice, and pursue writing and speaking full time. It took a long time for Ashley to understand how to put on her own oxygen mask first but take off her “performance” and “strong” mask to realize she couldn’t be strong all the time, every day. Especially in the Christian sphere, we can act like we need to show up with everything clean and tidy and that we can’t have messy stories, which is obviously a lie from the pit of hell. 11:36 – A Deep Wound, A Lifeline Growing up, Ashley and her brother spent a lot of time with their grandparents and great aunt while their parents worked. Ashley went to church with her great aunt every Sunday morning and brought flowers for the alter and opened the library for the pastor and church members. For Ashley, it represented a place where she could find respite and quiet from the noise of school and the hustle and bustle of trying to figure out everyday family life. When she was 16, Ashley decided to walk away from the faith community because as a teenager, she was struggling to relate to an older church crowd. At 21, while living in Los Angeles, Ashley came back to the church in one of her most broken moments. She found a community where she was loved and not judged. So many people grow up in the church but walk away from it at a young age, wrestling with their faith and what church looks like as an adult. We can absolutely be constantly wrestling with God and asking hard questions. There is so much shame around difficult conversations. Often the church makes judgements or avoids these conversations all together. The silence of shame became unbearable for Ashley and becoming more an more isolated worry what people would think about her but knowing she couldn’t tackle her struggles on her own. She started asking God where He was. One day she took a drive around Raleigh, NC and it started to storm. She started shouting at God and as she did, she felt flooded by the love the Holy Spirit had for her. She’d never experienced anything like it before, especially since she thought she had to have everything right before she could be loved by God. It was the first time she admitted to herself that she couldn’t hold things together, and certainly not on her own. It’s when she started to take the mask off and stopped caring what people thought about her. 21:30 – Leading with Story Recover communities lead with stories. The first thing you hear when you go to a meeting is other people’s stories. They also helped Ashley realize the things from her childhood that affected her as an adult. Ashley leads with stories in her book, the way she learned in recovery. It’s connective and teaches us that we’re not perfect. We don’t have to wear masks all the time, performing for each other. For the first time in her life, Ashley started to read the Bible and listen to sermons. She realized in the church she was fed a “victory narrative,” but when she took time to examine the lives of people in the Bible, she realized their lives were very hard and began to identify with the imperfection she was finally learning about. The Bible makes room for ALL people from all walks on life on all different journeys. Ashley realized she could finally stop trying to be perfect all the time because victories never came from easy times in the Bible. God uses imperfect, flawed people with imperfect, flawed stories. These biblical stories were literally the foundation of our faith and God’s plan! The more we own the dark parts of the story, the more healing it is for others who have parts of their stories they feel shame over. It’s easy for our shame to creep back in even in the midst of owning our stories in their entirety. God doesn’t lead us with shame or guilt or holding our past over our heads. We may have to reconcile our pasts, but you can identify that shame is not from God. It is not how we would speak to ourselves or anyone we love. We’re often expected in our cultures and societies to stay inside certain boundaries and stay in our little boxes. If we branch out from this, we’re told to get back in line. This is especially true for women in our culture. The reality of integrity is a deep commitment to being who we are, even when we’re working toward improving our lives. 32:47 – Consequences We can made mistakes and find freedom in forgiveness and repentance, but there may still be consequences to our actions. Even when David repents and has been forgiven, God tells him he will still have to face the consequences of what he did. When we’re brave enough to take off our masks and make mistakes and try again and do our best and be honest with our story, we give others the courage to do the same. We are supposed to value people as made in the image of God. It creates community here on earth as God designed it when we drop our performance narratives and allow our real stories to come through. 37:30 – Faith and Justice Ashley is passionate about social justice, fighting human-trafficking, and initiatives against mass incarceration. There’s a huge relationship between faith and justice and for many people in the world right now, they are waking up to it for the first time. Justice is the heart of God and goes hand to hand with righteousness in scripture. There is never a way we can hate our neighbor but say we love God. We can’t divorce our love of God from love of neighbor. When Ashley really started listening to people’s stories, she finally started to understand how unjust our systems are. God invites us to learn His ways in a relationship with Him that includes humanity. We must hold people and systems accountable to right damages and injustice that they create, which includes letting them feel the consequences of those actions. God has a lot to say about injustice, over 300 scriptures as a matter of fact. We are to create righteous communities and connections, valuing all people in God’s image. 51:06 – A Prayer As we navigate the rest of the 2020, Ashley’s prayer for the world and for herself is that this would be a time for us to lean into what the Spirit says. 54:00 - Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what Ashley’s professional athlete hype song would be, how she’d prove she’s from the future if she could time travel, what she thinks we’ll be nostalgic for in 40 years, and a few of her guilty pleasures. Be sure to stay tuned to find out what it means to Ashley to run a business with purpose. (So Many) Memorable Quotes 10:26 “I believe that I have a voice and that it’s important that I use it. I believe that about every person, no matter our sphere of influence. I believe that God has created us so uniquely to speak and that we live in this very wild world that is looking for hope and looking for grace and looking for more nuance than our news narratives and social media narratives allow us to have.” 10:59 “I didn’t know how to let people in I didn’t know how to say, ‘I have needs too,’ and I just thought I could always be the fixer or the advisor, the one people came to, the strong one…you realize that falls apart at some point. I’m not strong all the time.” 11:19 “I had to go on a real journey of taking off my mask and getting real and stop pretending and performing and learn how to be in real relationship with people. We can be loved even though we’re broken.” 14:58 - “I’m still unlearning some of the things [in the church] that are cultural and not biblical. Even though I’ve been hurt in the church, and I think if you’re human you have and the church is not perfect (it has imperfect people in it), overall I really do love that gathering and the corporate worship, and being together.” 15:27 - “For me in some ways the church has been a deep wound, but it’s also been a lifeline.” 22:27 – “I have come to a place where I value so much more, integrit
47 minutes | 4 months ago
Shake the Dirt & Be Encouraged | EP 206: Michael Arterberry, Youth Voices Center, Inc.
I want you to think back to a time early on in your life when you were a child or teenager. Think about an adult in your life who made an impact on you then, who spoke into your life and encouraged you. It could be a parent, coach, teacher, or guidance counselor. Who is an adult in your life that made a positive impact on you; the person you know helped make you who you are today? The reality is that there are children who grow up in our country and around the world who don’t have an adult who speaks into their life like that. My guest today had someone like that in his life, and his in now changing the lives of thousands of young people by paying it forward. Michael Arterberry is the executive director of Youth Voices Center, Inc. and the creator of The Power of Peace program. Michael began his tenure working with youth by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Iona College. In founding YVC in 2008, Michael drew heavily on his own understanding and empathy for the pressures and difficulties of the teenager years and his own experiences growing up in poverty. Michael has worked with thousands of teens in a range of settings over the past 24 years as a social worker and counselor. As a teenager, Michael himself was fortunate to receive guidance from positive adult role models who helped him over come adversities and set high expectations for his future. Michael recently released his book, “Be Encouraged!!!: 250 Days of Motivation and Encouragement and this time it’s FREE! He’s also launched his new course called “The Shake the Dirt Experience.” You can find the free book, along with the Shake the Dirt experience course information at shakethedirtexperience.com. I have to tell you: I loved my time with Michael. I was in awe of his story, his relatability, and his encouragement. You may want to listen to this one more than once. With no further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Michael! 3:36 - The Michael 101 To introduce people to his story, Michael often tells a story about a farmer and a donkey that correlates to who he is and what he does. The donkey is one of the farmer’s favorite farm animals because after working all day, he lets the donkey come back to the house to play with the farmer’s kids and then releases him back onto the farm for the night. This is the normal routine they have each night. One night after the farmer brings releases the donkey back out onto the farm after playing with the kids, the donkey wanders around at night and falls into an empty water well. The donkey is stuck and cries for help. When the farmer calls for the donkey the next morning, but he never appears, the farmer starts looking for the donkey. He finally hears the donkey’s calls and finds him in the well. The farmer brings 6 friends to help get the donkey out of the well. One of his friends suggests pulling the donkey out with a rope. They miss the donkey over and over until they throw the rope on the donkey’s hind legs and start pulling the donkey up the well. Halfway up, they realize the donkey is too heavy, so they lower him back to the bottom of the well. The farmer has to make a grim decision because he can’t feed him the food his family eats, but he’s like a pet, so he certainly can’t starve him. One of the farmer’s hot-headed friends suggests the farmer shoot the donkey. Of course, the farmer can’t do that. A more reasonable friend says “You don’t want your kids to fall into the well, so we’re going to have to bury him.” The farmer realized he’d have to sacrifice the donkey to make sure his kids were safe. The farmer and his friends all get shovels and start shoveling the dirt. Every time the dirt hit the donkey, the donkey would scream and cause the farmer distress. This continued: dirt was shoveled, the donkey would scream. Dirt was shoveled, the donkey would scream…until the screaming stopped. The next think you know, you can see half the donkey’s body, then you can see the entire donkey, then the donkey walks right out of the well. Every time the dirt would hit the donkey’s back, the donkey would shake it off and step on it. He took every scoop of dirt that was meant to kill him to to save his life. Michael is the donkey and he describes these things in his life as the “dirt”: He grew up in a home with a raging, alcoholic father. It created an environment where Michael never had a day of peace. Michael’s parents both worked full time, but his father’s money went to drinking, and his mother’s housekeeping salary went to taking care of her kids. There was a lot of love, but not much financial stability. His home was dysfunctional, but so were most of the homes in his neighborhood. Michael describes his peers raising each other, but with false systems of dysfunction instead of trying to move forward and get out of it. On top of all, there was also a lot of crime in his community. Michael was able to grow up in that environment, yet not allow any of those negative things to seep in. He refused to let it mold him into a profile of the kind of person expected to come from those experiences. 8:50 - The Master Encourager Michael wants to see people “shake their dirt” the way he was able to. God has given him an ability to make sense of the experiences of young people who are going through what Michael went through. He works on youth development with Power of Peace, his nonprofit, Youth Voices Center, and reaches adults through public speaking about his life. The turning point for Michael, when he realized he wasn’t going to let the dirt bury him really didn’t happen until he started pursing his career. When he was young, Michael’s mom tried to offset chaos in their household was to introduce Michael to sports. At 8 years old, she started him in soccer then basketball, baseball, and football. When Michael graduated from high school, he had opportunities to play any of those four sports but chose football because it was his favorite. He was able to live in the craziness happening in his home but create a traditional household from the resources he found outside of it. His coaches became father figures, his teammates like siblings, and the accolades that often come from parents came instead from the people who loved watching Michael play football. The chaos in Michael’s home became normal to him and just didn’t affect him. Once he became a Christian, and started his work, Michael really started understanding how things happen for a reason, and that God can use his life’s experiences to make positive impacts. 15:18 - Youth Voices Center Michael started Youth Voices Center in 2008. Michael went to college to study social work and mixed his academics with his life story and really started to have an impact in his career. However, he was given curriculums from agencies that wouldn’t work. He would get in trouble when the curriculums didn’t work out, so he decide to make his own curriculums. While working for a nonprofit, Michael created a curriculum called Power of Peace designed from his own ideas and experiences and programs he had studied in the past two create a two-day program for high school students. The nonprofit started paying him a salary for the program, but his boss showed him how much money was coming into the agency. It was nowhere near what little Michael was being paid. She took him to a lunch to meet a philanthropist to make a good impression to make more money. When it was Michael’s turn to talk, he had notes under the table to speak on all the accolades the program had accumulated. Right before he spoke, he tore up his notes and threw them on the restaurant floor. Instead he told the philanthropist, “Don’t worry about your money, because the person I’m most accountable to is God.” The body language reactions around the table ranged from anger to shock. The lawyer laughed hysterically. Michael just waited. Little did he know, he’d stepped out on faith in front of a devoted Christian with a lot of money. She would meet Michael for breakfast to fellowship. Each time, she’d bring well-known Christian with her as well. Finally Michael got up the gumption to ask her for money for his program, not the agency. She gave him half to talk on the road, and said she’d leave half with the agency to they would not be displeased. Michael still wanted the full amount, so he kept meeting with her secretly. She did her own research and when she realized it was his program, he sold Michael he could have the full amount. In 2008, Michael stepped out on his own and had the freedom to offer his programs to schools for FREE! FREE!!!!!! 21:13 – Fruits of Michael’s Labor Michael says the “special sauce” of his program is when he quiets his spirit and lets the Holy Spirit do the work. Sometimes he’ll be speaking and it’s almost like he’s having an out-of-body experience with the words that come out. Michael calls any kids who go through his program his surrogate kids. He has two biological children, but all the children in the program are like his own as well. One of the kids in his program came from a family where four generations never experienced a single high school graduate. Michael started working with her and became her accountability partner. There were times she wanted to give up, and it was a long road of hard work, but she became the first of four generations to earn her high school diploma. It’s what Michael wants for all his kids who come from that cycle. Tune in at 24:49 to hear a serious and powerful story about one of Michael’s kids who grew up in the foster care system and broke the cycle, going on to earn his master’s in business administration after going through Michael’s program (as a warning, the first part of this story may be difficult for some to listen to). Words are powerful. As the book of James tells us, there is life and death in the tongue. Words can build up, or they can break down. Mentors speaking positive words over someone absolutely changes lives. For Michael, it’s a mentality about creating a culture to raise oneself to a higher level to prevent circumstances from becoming our standard or our expectation. Michael’s programs create community and culture between kids that might not typically have opportunities to interact. His program creates empathy and brings kids together so that they can hear each other and understand each other, and it’s so powerful. All too often we can talk ourselves out of things that can change everything for us. For example, when attending a conference, you could strike up a new friendship on the way to the conference before you even get there, and it could change the entire course of your life. That’s why Michael says, “the change is in the show up.” 42:10 - Getting to Know Our Guest Join me as I learn some fun facts about Michael like what he would eat if he had to eat the same thing for dinner every night, who he’d choose to narrate his life, his favorite TV show to watch growing up, and a dream he’s yet to achieve. Be sure to listen to Michael’s answer to what it means to him to run a business with purpose. You can find more about Michael’s book and programs here: shakethedirtexperience.com You can find Michael’s wife, Rachel’s book “God Was Holding My Hand” here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6647636.Rachel_Arterberry Memorable Quotes 13:02- “It was really an earthshattering moment when I was studying in the word and it talked about how the enemy peeks into your future and when he sees what you’re about to get from God, he can’t stop it, but he can get in your path. When I look back over my story, he peeked into my future and saw the impact I was going to have on the world, and tried to take me out.” “I think survival and being resilient speaks to anybody in the world.” 19:23 “When she said she would give it (the money) to me, I was going to back out because I was afraid…the executive director looked at me and said, “What would your kids say if they ever knew that you had this opportunity and you passed it up?” 24:00 - “Poverty is not only financial, but people who grow up in poverty end up having a poverty mentality…always feeling like someone owes you something.” 25:52 – “It warmed my heart that I had spoke into this boy’s life and he felt like my words were powerful enough that he made sure he shared them with his peers.” 29:21 – “It created a culture in me of trying to raise myself to a higher level which prevented me from using my life and its situation as being a baseline.” 32:38 – “The change is in the show up.” 33:58 – “Sometimes the fear of not coming prevents them from being able to go over the hurdle. So just show up. Walk into the room.” 34:52 – “Fear is paralyzing, so if you allow fear to control your life, you never move. So move!” 41:13- “When you commune with him regularly as deep as I do, life is not easy, but I don’t have to do much to hear his voice. I’m being prompted as the day goes, so it’s not often that I get lost.” About Michael Arterberry: Michael Arterberry is the Executive Director of Youth Voices Center, Inc. and the creator of the Power of Peace Program. Michael began his tenure working with youth by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Iona College. In founding YVC in 2008, Michael drew heavily on his understanding and empathy for the pressures and difficulties of the teenage years. In addition to his own experiences growing up in poverty, Michael has worked with thousands of teens in a range of settings over the past 24 years as a social worker and counselor. As a teenager, Michael was fortunate to receive guidance from positive adult role models who helped him to overcome adversities and set high expectations for his future. Grateful for the role these mentors played in his own development, Michael decided to dedicate his professional life to helping teenagers navigate the difficult adolescent years. Michael decided to form YVC while working on the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) in Green Haven Correctional Facility. Serving as a counselor in AVP, Michael was impressed by the progress of inmates who entered the program with plenty of hesitation and resistance and left the program raving about how much it transformed their perception of themselves and others. Realizing the power of this type of experiential program, Michael founded YVC and launched the Power of Peace program to transform the lives of youth. In 2010, Michael was selected out of hundreds of nominees to receive a USA Network Characters Unite Award, given to individuals who demonstrate exceptional commitment to combating prejudice and discrimination while increasing tolerance and acceptance within their community. In 2014, he was the recipient of the 100 Men of Color Award for leadership in education, government, mentorship, entrepreneurial success and community service. And most recently, he was awarded the EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD from Y-COP, the Youth Community Outreach Program in Mt. Vernon at the First Annual Dinner Dance on September 29th, 2016. To learn more about Michael and how he encourages others, please visit his Blog and Subscribe for updates. Michael is also the subject of his wife’s first religion based, spirituality book, “God Was Holding My Hand,” in which Rachel Arterberry chronicles his journey of coming to know the Lord. Spanning from his tumultuous childhood, to a college football injury that turned into spinal cord surgery, Michael becomes self aware that God was holding his hand each step of the way. For more information on the book, please click here. www.michaelarterberry.com and www.youthvoicescenter.org
49 minutes | 4 months ago
Chasing Wisdom - 10 Years Studying Under Eugene Peterson | EP 205: Daniel Grothe, Pastor & Author
What to do you when your life gets hard? Where do you turn? What’s your immediate reaction when pain, suffering, or challenge comes your way? Think honestly about what your answers to those questions might be. Everyone’s answers are likely to be different, especially if you’re approaching suffering, pain, or grief from the worldview of a Christian or not. If you’re listening right now and don’t personally identify as a believer, please don’t stop listening. Today’s episode might just be for you. My guest this week is Daniel Grothe, the teaching pastor at the influential New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, and the author of Chasing Wisdom: The Lifelong Pursuit of Living Well. Daniel’s book draws upon his 10-year apprenticeship with Eugene Peterson, who translated The Message translation of the Bible. Daniel and his wife Lisa live on a small hobby farm outside of Colorado Springs with their three children, Lillian, Wilson, and Wakely. You’re going to love my chat with Daniel. This episode will go down as one of my top favorites, so jump right in and join me as Daniel shares about his life and the early challenges he went through early in his career at New Life Church. 6:59 - The Daniel 101 Daniel is originally from Tulsa Oklahoma, the son of two pastors, he grew up in church and has traveled the world as a musician recording on albums with bands like Gungor. He was in church all the time, and Daniel knew early on he was meant to work in the church too. Shortly after college, he married Lisa, and 12 days later they drove to Colorado Springs to start work at New Life Church. Daniels parents never made him feel that church was the “family business” that he had to be a part of. They invited their children into their lives, teaching them their interests and bringing them along on adventures. Many pastor’s kids resent the church because they sense that their parents were disinterested in their lives or that God is ripping their parents away from them. Daniel’s parents did do that and Daniel encourages parents to consider whether they may be giving their kids a reason to stay away from Jesus and the church. 12:09 – A Hard Ministerial Road Daniel has been with New Life Church for 15 years, but the road hasn’t always been easy there. The church was prospering when Daniel and Lisa arrived. The senior pastor was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and New Life was essentially the talking head for the evangelical church. Two years after Daniel’s journey at New Life Church began, the bottom fell out. The senior pastor of the church was caught in a scandal, and the church went from riding high to scandal and also discovering the church was $26 million in debt as the US economy was tanking. The church had to fire 44 people overnight and had to look for a new pastor. As things finally started to turn for the better and the staff started trusting a new pastor, the church was attacked on a Sunday morning by a gunman firing an assault rifle through the children’s area of the church. Two teenagers were killed in the parking lot of the church and the shooter committed suicide. 15:29 – The Message Daniel was only 25, and he and his wife had just had their first child. On his day off, Daniel went shopping in a local Goodwill, and found a book on the shelf called “The Contemplative Pastor” by Eugene H. Peterson. Daniel recognized Eugene as the person who translated The Message translation of the Bible. Daniel read the book in one day. It grabbed his imagination and Daniel decided to write to Eugene to ask if he could spend a day with him. Eugene responded! He told Daniel that he’d be willing to spend a day with him…after Daniel writes a three-page paper on “what is church and a three page paper on what is pastor to see if we even have enough common ground to begin a conversation. Eugene put Daniel through the gauntlet in response to the papers Daniel wrote as requested. At the end of that letter response, Eugene said, “If you think we have enough common ground after these letters, then I’d be happy to have you. I just don’t want to be a touristy visit.” That started a 10-year long back and forth with Eugene and Daniel. Eugene challenged Daniel, made him read and write, asked questions, listened, and pastored. Daniel told Eugene in one of his last visits that Eugene changed his life with three words: Not so fast. Eugene knew what he was building in Daniel by making Daniel work for it and fight for it. Eugene was not famous until well after completing The Message translation. He faithfully served the same congregation of 300 people for 30 years. As soon as he translates a bible, celebrities started calling. Had that happened when Eugene was younger, it would have crushed him, but the Lord knew that after decades of obscurity, he could trust Eugene with becoming available to the world. The people we stand to learn the most from are the ones that will never make it on the front page of a newspaper. Daniel describes them as Saints who have been tested in the fields of obscurity. 30:25 – Chasing Wisdom Daniel’s book, Chasing Wisdom: The Lifelong Pursuit of Living Well draws upon his 10-year apprenticeship with Eugene and Daniel’s journey as a pastor. Daniel wants people to know that there are wise sages and elders (like Eugene was for him) who can help you think through an appropriate response to life. They are hidden in plain sight. They won’t chase you down, but if you look for them, they’ll help put you on the right track. 36:04 – Leading Your Own Family Daniel and his wife Lisa recognize that their children are the greatest gift that God has given them and that they will return those gifts they will release to the world after 18 years. As parents, we are to protect our children, but our jobs are also to invite them into the way life works with all its complexities, to shepherd them and help them develop nuance and abilities to think through life logically. Daniel tells his kids stories and then ask them what they would do in that scenario. If we can’t manage our own families, what business do we have trying to manage God’s house? We need to start at home and do our best there first. 41:38 – Getting To Know Our Guest Daniel shares his recommendations of a favorite books with “wisdom from the old libraries,” his unusual talents, his pet peeves, and what his walk up song would be. I ask Daniel the question I ask all my guests, “What does it mean to you to run a business with purpose?” Be sure to stay tuned for his answer, it will be encouraging to you, no matter where you are in your business or chasing after your purpose. Memorable Quotes 10:10 - “That’s one of the great things that parents can make sure they’re thinking about: Are you giving your kids a reason to stiff-arm Jesus or the church?” 19:23 – “We think that if any kind of trouble washes ashore in our life, that this Jesus thing is a scam or our faith is weak…but a theology of suffering matters.” 28:14 – “I jokingly say that it only took Eugene (Peterson) 65 years to be an overnight success.” 28:51 – “When I look at Eugene, to me, he’s a provocation for living slowly and faithfully and letting God do what he wants to do over the course of decades.” 34:00 – “The Saints in obscurity who have been tested in the fields of obscurity and their lives have stood the test of time: Those are the people you should chase. Those are the people you should apprenticeship yourself to because they’re not looking for the wrong things. They’ve got all the unholy ambition out of them and if you’ll come close and ask good questions, if you’ll dignify them and honor them, and then just wait to listen, they’ll give you wisdom that it took them 87 years to gain. So ask! 39:18- “My job is to invite him into how life works and shepherd him along the way…so recognizing that these are our greatest gifts and our greatest gift to the world and trying our best not to give our ‘leftovers’ to our most important people. About Daniel Grothe: Daniel Grothe is the Teaching Pastor at the influential New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Daniel and his wife, Lisa, live on a small hobby farm outside of Colorado Springs with their three children: Lillian, Wilson, and Wakley. To learn more, visit DanielGrothe.com and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Grothe is also the author of the book Chasing Wisdom: The Lifelong Pursuit of Living Well [Thomas Nelson, April 2020]. Drawing upon scripture and his own 10-year apprenticeship with Eugene Peterson, Grothe has been featured in Christian Post, Christian News Journal and Crosswalk showing us how to get wisdom for ourselves by examining what the Bible has to say about it and by providing practical steps for acquiring it, including learning to ask for help, living quietly, and above all, seeking those who are themselves wise.
52 minutes | 4 months ago
Producing "The Chosen" & Impacting Media | EP 204: Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel
A few months ago, I heard about this show called The Chosen. It depicts the life of Jesus and the disciples in a unique way, taking a look at Jesus’ life, and how the disciples became disciples. When I first heard about it, I was skeptical, but I gave it a try. After the second episode, I was hooked! Not only have I watched the entire season once, I’ve actually watched it though three times now. When I fell in love with the show, I started to do more research on it. Not only is it a unique show in and of itself, it’s also the first series that is the #1 crowd-funded media project in history. It even has its own app! As I began to dive deeper, I learned more about the company producing the show, VidAngel. The show is directed by Dallas Jenkins, the son of Jerry Jenkins, who wrote the Left Behind series. I wanted to know more about VidAngel and why this platform wanted to produce a show about Jesus in such a unique way. My guest this week is Neal Harmon. Neal is the CEO and cofounder of VidAngel, a streaming service that allows parents to skip objectionable content in entertainment using groundbreaking technology. VidAngel has been highly profiled for The Chosen, and its other incredible family-based content like Dry Bar Comedy. VidAngel recently made headlines by offer all of its streaming content for free during the Covid-19 pandemic, provided that people agree to social distancing of course. My conversation with Neal was incredible and refreshing He was very transparent about the story of VidAngel as it experiences growing pains and lessons many young companies experience. You’re going to love this conversation with Neal, so let’s dive in! 4:30 - The Neal 101 Neal grew up in Idaho working on dairy farms and even tried to start his own cattle business at one point, but as he got older and learned more about the world, he started working with web businesses. After experiencing a spectacular failure right out of college, he started a company called OraBrush, a tongue cleaner that got rid of bad breath. OraBrush went from zero sales to global distribution in just a few years, thanks to YouTube marketing. Later a company reached out to Neal and his brother, cofounders of OraBrush, to help them market Poo~Pourri! The Poo~Pourri ad campaign was so successful that it turned Neal and his brother into an ad agency. Shortly after that, they started VidAngel, which is something Neal and his three brothers wanted to create for their own families. Neal’s favorite movie is Cinderella Man. The movie portrays people having character, even in their darkest moments, but the movie has a coach who has a foul mouth. Neal wanted his young kids to be able to see the story, but didn’t want them hearing or repeating those words in their home. VidAngel allows you to take popular movies and TV shows, and skip over content you don’t find appropriate for your own home. It’s like a pre-programmed remote. Neal and his brothers had a bigger vision for VidAngel, too. They wanted to have a bigger impact on media and on the world. They knew that if they found the people who valued protecting their families by using technology to skip over specific content, that they would also have a group of people they could also distribute content in a manner that would be a better fit than what Hollywood provides. 10:53 - A Broken Feedback Loop The creators in Hollywood love to see who wins the awards each year, but it seems they are essentially making movies for each other. About three fourths of the revenue in the box office comes from the family friendly movie, but half the titles coming out of Hollywood are rated R. VidAngel is bridging the gap to give creators a feedback loop. If audiences are skipping over certain scenes, creators can learn how to adjust the content that is affecting their market. It allows them to listen to their market, rather than their peers. When there is immediate feedback, there is acknowledgement of an issue and something productive can be done with that information. Since big studios own the distribution channels, they can also fill those with what they chose. VidAngel’s feedback loop helps create a voice for those without access to big distribution channels. 14:10 – Resistance, Controversy, Transparency, Growth During the summer of 2016, VidAngel faced a lawsuit with The Walt Disney Company. It was a shock to VidAngel because before they started their service, they actually wrote The Walt Disney Company in good faith and transparency, telling them about the service, giving them information on the users they’d tested it with, and asked for their feedback. They shared their own reasoning for why they thought what they were doing was ok, but also gave The Walt Disney Company an opportunity to let them know if they thought anything being done was unlawful. VidAngel heard no response from The Walt Disney Company until a year later when families were already enjoying what VidAngel was providing. VidAngel asked their customers if they’d be interested in investing in VidAngel to start growing the next phase of the company, and their customers said they’d put in over 60 million dollars to help it grow. Two weeks later, The Walt Disney Company sued VidAngel. It’s been a long, difficult journey and a lot of time spent in depositions. After the lawsuit started, VidAngel reached out to their customers asking if they wanted to take it to the Supreme Court if they were willing to invest $5 million into the company. They invested $10 million in 5 days. Because of that, VidAngel has been able to improve their product and fight the legal battle. VidAngel doesn’t know what will happen now in the midst of this process. They are trusting that they have been called to work to help families through their services and will continue moving forward in faith as they wait for the outcome and experience the process. 20:00 – The Chosen The Chosen is VidAngel’s first scripted original series. It will be a multi-season series based on the gospels and the life of Jesus from the perspective of the disciples. The first season is out with 8 episodes. The Chosen is the highest grossing crowdfunded media project of all time. VidAngel’s first original series is called Dry Bar Comedy, which has over a billion views per year. It’s a stand-up comedy series (with clean humor). When Dry Bar started out performing all the other studios in the digital space, VidAngel learned that the data from people’s skip choices can create a bigger market when the comedians improve their content based on the consumer feedback loop. VidAngel decided they wanted to do a real TV series next, and after a friend of Neal’s introduced them to a short film by Dallas Jenkins, Neal’s brother Jeffrey pitched an idea to do something similar on the life of Jesus. Neal wasn’t interested at first, but after watching Dallas Jenkin’s short film on the birth of Christ, everything changed. Neal knew then and there he wanted to get behind a project like this on VidAngel. VidAngel has a lot more exciting these coming. The Chosen has awakened in a lot of people the desire to change media. They want to hear stories from the bible that are well written with a high level of video production, imagery, and storytelling. They want to see the ability for both reverence, humanity, and light-heartedness in the portrayal of Jesus. It was important to Dallas to find someone to play Jesus (Jonathan Roumie) who was slightly unexpected, unique, and genuine, rather than a famous Hollywood actor. In The Chosen, you get much more insight into each individual’s story and what their lives were like before Jesus and then their individual relationships with Jesus. The stories are plausible, relatable, and do not conflict with scripture. There is a biblical committee and those working on the show have educational backgrounds in biblical studies and have taken trips to Israel to study. Their goal is to stay true to the Bible. 44:15 – Find out how the cast and crew are dealing with COVID-19 and what’s on the horizon for The Chosen. You can watch The Chosen on VidAngel (and skip parts that your children may not be ready for or that might be scary). You can also download the app The Chosen app. Either option allows you to watch for free! 46:12 - Getting to Know Our Guest Find out what meal Neal would eat if he had to eat the same thing for dinner every night for the rest of his life, a dream of his he’s yet to achieve, his favorite TV show when he was growing up, and of course, what it means to Neal to run a business with purpose. Memorable Quotes 13:50 - “The beautiful thing about the internet is that it provides an opportunity for those of us who don’t have a have a voice in the big distribution channels to have a voice for ourselves and create content for ourselves.” 25:20 – “I think the reason that The Chosen has so much of a good spirit about it is because I think a lot of the people making it, and the distributor who’s getting behind it, are going through similar trials and facing similar situations in modern society as what the disciples faced back then.” 38:18 – “The goal of the scriptures and The Chosen is to lead us to understanding who He (Jesus) was and that He redeems us. If we don’t get there or if we get off the mark or too caught up in how good the actors are or how famous the show becomes, then we’ve missed the mark. As soon as it takes us into the scriptures and gets us into a relationship with Christ, then it will have been a successful project.” 39:58 – “This project is just about telling the stories of Jesus in a way that we can all relate to to and can hopefully lead people of all faiths, and people who don’t have faith, to our Redeemer.” Connect with Neal Harmon and Watch The Chosen: https://www.vidangel.com/ https://twitter.com/nealsharmon https://www.facebook.com/VidAngel/ https://www.pinterest.com/vidangeln
60 minutes | 4 months ago
Using Music to Inspire the Next Generation | EP 203: GIRL POW-R
As a mom, I can’t help but look at my kids and think about the kind of world that they are growing up in. I feel an immense sense of responsibility to teach them to be good humans and citizens who are kind, generous, and thoughtful justice-seekers. There are times when we the world feels crazy and when I see amazing young people working to improve it, it gives me hope. My guests today are going to inspire you to feel like the next generation is changing the world. This week on the podcast I’m talking to the incredible all girl, pop rock band, Girl Pow-R. The group consists of incredibly talented girls ages 11-17 years-old who create and sing original music, play cover songs, and dance. They have six original songs and debuted their first album last summer. The group is based in Toronto, but its members are all across Ontario from Windsor to Niagara Falls to Collingwood to Oshhawa. Girl Pow-R’s sound is rooted in pop rock with the goal of inspiring others to be their best through their music and lyrics. All too often, young people are influenced by the thoughts and life experiences of singers and musicians who are in their late teens and twenties. Girl Pow-R believes it’s time to give young people alternatives to these messages. In addition to their passion for music, each girl also has a social cause that they represent like advocating for better education for girls around the world, ending youth homelessness, Give Peace a Chance, mental health support and awareness, and all of us taking better care of ourselves through the food that we eat. Girl Pow-R is Juno nominated (like the Canadian Grammy’s) for album of the year in the children’s category, making them the first ever group of young people to be nominated in the children’s category gor album of the year. I loved having these amazing girls on the show! Be sure to stay until the end of the show because I will be including their hit songs, This Is Us, and Never Let Go. Girl Pow-R 101 Girl Pow-R is based in the Greater Toronto area (like Drake😉). They play their own instruments, sing, and perform at local events. The group started over three years ago when their now manager, Dawn Van Dam, set out to start a girl band that would inspire the world. Dawn found the first band members through an online audition where each girl sang a song they liked. From there, Dawn selected members based on who would best represent the name Girl Pow-R. Today on the podcast we have members Aashika, Prajeet, Chloe Rae, Kalista, and Chloe. Each has a unique contribution to the group. Aashika is 12 and comes up with a lot of group ideas and sings lower harmonies. Rajesh is 13, and her unique contribution is her sense of humor and electric guitar playing. Chloe Rae is 12 and she also sings with a lower voice. She’s one of the newer members, having joined in the last few months! Emma is 14 and has been singing from a very young age. Her unique contribution is playing piano chords and her knowledge of technology. (She helps Dawn with that too)! Kalista is 16 and has been in the group since it started. She has learned how to play three instruments since joining the band. She loves helping new members learn songs and choreography. Chloe is 12 and has been in the group for two years and has learned a lot of new dances and vocal skills. She can also hit very low notes like Ashika and Kalista! 14:05 – Empowering Songs That Are Fun to Listen to Girl Pow-R songs have positive messages about empowerment for all types of people. Their hope to inspire others. Their song This is Us highlights each of their social causes. The group uses their music videos and social media to further amplify awareness and support around the causes they care about. Each girl has her own cause that she focuses on. 16:20 – Tune in to hear more about each girl’s social cause. 21:00 – Original Songwriting Girl Pow-R covers songs when they perform but they also write their own original songs. They break into smaller groups to determine what subjects they want to cover in their songs and start brainstorming with sticky notes in their dance studio. The mirrors are usually covered with ideas. Girl Pow-R songwriting in a collaborative effort where each girl has a chance to speak about something that is important to her. Then their producer gives them a beat to work from and a guide melody to get the timing and order of the song just right. Everyone has a chance to add their own input within the group. The girls have found that their mutual love of music and like-minded hopes to help change the world helps them work well together. 23:12 – Touring Fun! Girl Pow-R joined the Boys of Summer Tour in Washington, Boston, and New York. One of the craziest memories they have is going to the wrong hotel that was an hour away from the hotel they were supposed to be in! During another Summer tour, they group was in a rural area in Ontario. In the middle of their set, there was a huge rainstorm with thunder and lightning. The girls had to stop the show for a few minutes while tents started blowing away! 25:49 – JUNO Awards Nomination The JUNO Awards is like the Grammy’s in the US. Girl Pow-R was nominated for best album, which means, for the first time ever in the JUNO Awards, kids were nominated for an award! No matter the results, the recognition is a huge accomplishment for Girl Pow-R. Their hard work and touring is starting to really pay off in people listening and their causes being heard! 27:51- Big Girl Pow-R Dreams The group wants to open for one of their favorite artists. They love the Spice Girls, Avril Lavigne, and Alessia Cara. They hope to be the opener for the Spice Girls if they go on a reunion tour. Alessia Cara is also young and advocates for similar issues like kindness and loving yourself. Girl Pow-R got to meet Alessia recently, and she loved their music and ideas. 30:18 – Get to know a little more about each of the girls in Girl Pow-R! 37:15 – Getting To Know Our Guests Find out who each girl would pick to play them in a movie, what music they like to listen to get hyped up, what books and movies they like, and of course the best part…hear from each girl about what it means to them to run a business with purpose (48:50). Memorable Quotes: 49:18 - “It’s really cool to know that we’re inspiring young adults to never give up and to always believe in yourself.” 50:29 - “Music influences so many other people. It feels so good knowing you can just make someone’s day by playing music and singing and dancing and doing what I love and helping other people at the same time.” You can listen to two Girl Pow-R songs right here on the podcast by checking out these time stamps: 52:04 – “This Is Us” 55:17 - “Never Let Go” You can follow Girl Pow-R where they hang out on social media and listen to their songs by following the links below! Website: https://www.girl-pow-r.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girl_pow_r/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlPowRMusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/Girl_Pow_R YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoEcpYSxfY3QKm_3M0W9wdg Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/girlpowrmusic/boards/
37 minutes | 5 months ago
Sustainable Impact | EP 202: Deanna Cook, LIYA Collective
There’s something to be said for getting out and experiencing the world - going and visiting different countries and learning more about other cultures and communities. The more that we can expand our horizons, the more we can learn to appreciate the beauty of this world we live in and see other people through God’s eyes. Today’s guest shares how her experience of living in six different countries has shaped who she is today and why she started her business. Deanna Cook is a global change maker and development professional with extensive international experience in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Her latest project, LIYA Collective, is a sustainable accessory brand of minimalist pieces ethically made around the world. She loves yoga, travel, spending time outdoors with her puppies, and all things conscious living. My conversation with Deanna was such a breath of fresh air. She encouraged and inspired me in so many ways, and I know you’re going to love learning more about how her life and business. 2:11 - The Deanna 101 Deanna has always been interested in the world around her and learning about other countries and languages. When she was a kid, she told people she wanted to be a lawyer for the United Nations because she wanted to help people all around the world. When she went to university, she studied international business in an interdisciplinary program where she also learned French and Spanish as well as studying aboard in Spain. After she graduated, she interned with a small nonprofit in Canada that helped woman artisan groups around the world learn about entrepreneurship. When the internship was over, Deanna moved to Taiwan and taught English for a few years. She even learned Mandarin, but knew she wanted to get back into the nonprofit space. She moved to Tanzania and worked as a marketing and fundraising coordinator for a small grassroots nonprofit that worked in the local community to support children and families affected by HIV/AIDs and poverty. Deanna also worked with small, sustainable businesses in the community including a school program with the nonprofit and some larger-scale environmental initiatives. At the same time, she also experienced transformation in her personal life that caused her to examine her purchasing habits and consumption and how that all ties into a bigger global picture. Her experiences in Tanzania shaped the way Deanna wanted to live and the brands she wanted to support. After working for so long with nonprofits and schools, she started exploring how business could be used to affect change in the world. Around that time, Deanna was offered an amazing opportunity to work on an international development project in Thailand. At the end of 2018, she left Tanzania and moved to Bangkok to work with USAID on a project on education and employability in STEM fields. In her free time, she also learned about traditional Thai handicrafts and textiles. This was the beginning of connecting the pieces that had shaped her life so far: sustainable business, ethical products, and global supply chains. She started to meet with production partners to co-create products she wanted to see in her own life. When her USAID contract finished in mid-2019, Deanna moved to Costa Rica with her partner who’d started a teaching job there. Deanna continued working on the business that would later become LIYA Collective. In April 2020, preorders for LIYA Collective were launched for their first collection, sustainably made, minimalist Thai silk scarves. 8:54 – Shaped by Your Surroundings Living aboard in many different places has helped Deanna recognize the effects of the second-hand supply chain industry. Our rapid consumption in America greatly impacts small businesses owners in other places. Deanna tries to look at things in more of a global context now. There are many conversations around waste and fast fashion, but many people don’t consciously realize where things go when they are thrown away. It’s easy to forget this when waste is very out of sight, out of mind in our country. Deanna’s experiences traveling and living abroad have framed the way she takes care of what she already owns and how she disposes of things that may no longer serve her. She considers whether she can hold on to things to reuse them, repurpose, or re-wear them. She tries to buy locally from small businesses where she is rather than ordering from Amazon and having it sent to her. Conscious consumerism doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy things. It’s saying to be aware of how you buy and the way you dispose of things. 18:22 – Launching LIYA Collective Deanna carefully considered whether to launch during Covid-19. The biggest reason for deciding to continue forward with the launch was based on the fact that their production partners in Thailand were counting on the order that had been in preparation for an entire year. Deanna knew postponing or canceling the launch would have left the partners in the supply chain without a significant income they’d been counting on for so long. LIYA Collective launched a simple collection of one design in three neutral colors. Deanna worked with the partners to decide the right weave, silk, and colors of the scarf. The goal is to create an accessory you can invest in that won’t go out of style and can be worn for years to come in many different ways. In the future, Deanna is interested in warmer textiles, hats, and handbags. Her big dreams also include expanding partnerships to more countries. 27:50 - Getting to Know Our Guest Find out which country is Deanna’s favorite of the ones she’s visited, whether she has any “usual” talents, something that’s important to that she doesn’t get to talk about often, and her answer to what it means to her to run a business with purpose (pssst, spoiler alert, you don’t have to be perfect to do it). Memorable Quotes 10:51 - “When you live in other cultures, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re not going to know what’s happening a lot of the time, you might not understand the language right away. I think that’s a beautiful thing to be able to listen and to learn from others, and to come with an open mind. 16:00 – “It’s not a black and white thing and I am far from perfect…it’s being conscious about what is coming into your life, how you’re taking care of what’s already there, and what happens after it leaves your home.” 17:49 – “I want customers to really love what they’re buying, to erally take care of it and invest in pieces that they’re going to treasure.” 26:37 - “I think this is a turning point where we can reimagine what global partnerships might look like, even if we have to do more work remotely.” About Deanna Cook: Deanna Cook is an experienced marketing and communications professional with a diverse history in the social impact and sustainability sectors. Originally from Canada, she’s spent the better part of the past decade living around the globe, working on a wide variety of projects from the World Cleanup Day environmental campaign in Tanzania to multi-million dollar USAID initiatives in education and employability in Thailand. As a freelancer, Deanna has had the opportunity to work with a number of local, national, and international changemakers and organizations, including SheWorks!, CIVICUS, Gradian Health Systems, Personify, and Earthing. She also founded an ethical fashion accessory brand, LIYA Collective, and is passionate about emerging movements in wellness, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and tech. In the digital marketing realm, Deanna particularly specializes in the verticals of social media, email marketing, and strategic communications, with the goal of helping organizations streamline their messaging and thus amplify their impact. Connect with Deanna Cook & LIYA Collective: http://liyacollective.com/ https://www.facebook.com/liyacollective https://www.pinterest.com/liyacollective/ https://www.instagram.com/liyacollective/
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