We have some serious respect for this girl boss on our business blog today. She left a career pursuing acting & singing to launch The Giving Keys – and since, has established the company as a role-model to other conscious capitalists. Caitlin Crosby shares her story here. From how it all started to the stories the keys carry, to the people The Giving Keys employs. Never heard of this rad company before? Read on and be inspired.
We love The Giving Keys and everything it stands for! Tell us a little about how it got started!
I was passing through NYC on my music tour for my 1st album in 2008 — and It all started with a New York hotel room key. I wore the key as a necklace and had the idea to start engraving old, used keys with inspirational words. Realizing that in a way we are all like these keys – unique, flawed, scarred. Their message is yours for a time, but once they’ve served their purpose with you, I started encouraging people to pay it forward to inspire others.
What's the message behind the keys?
Each key is a used repurposed key that belonged to someone a long time ago. So each necklace you get is one of a kind. The inspiration comes from the people that wear a key word and then pass it on to someone who needs the word/message more than them.
The pay-it-forward idea is so meaningful and inspiring, are there certain stories customers have shared that will always stick with you?
My favorite is when a girl had a ‘courage’ key and gave it to her roommate who was suicidal. Then that girl held on to that key for 6 months and got healthy again, and then met another girl who was suicidal, and passed it on to her.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Wake up groggy for an hour and do emails in bed. Get ready for meetings and do emails in my mobile office (my car) and stop at a restaurant in between to eat & do more emails. Stop in to The Giving Keys office and get updates on our employees lives. More meetings. Then repeat, go to a restaurant to eat and do more emails. Then sleep.
The Giving Keys has employed and changed the lives of many experiencing homelessness. What is your advice to young entrepreneurs looking to make a difference with their business?
Anyone can make change. It’s not that difficult. Get passionate about something you know can be better in this world… And then start with throwing a party with your friends bringing awareness to it & donate proceeds of the party to someone you can help. Let yourself dream up other creative ways to improve the issue you’re passionate about. YOU can do it.
What's the best business advice you've ever received?
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
What I wanted to be when I grew up:
If I could work for anyone, it would be:
What gets me going on Monday Mornings: