When my daughter and I were shopping in a local boutique, she fell in love with the concept of The Giving Keys.
We are celebrating her 16th birthday this year so I went back to purchase the key necklace. I chose the key that says "BELIEVE" because turning 16 is such a milestone in a person's life and my daughter's beliefs will shape her future.
I gave her the BELIEVE necklace as well as the following poem:
Here is the key to a beautiful life full of wisdom, love, and happiness.
Believe in your heart, for the heart will lead you to love.
Believe in your faith, for God will always hold you in the palms of His hands.
Believe in your spirit, for your attitude will create opportunities and success.
Believe in your talents and use them to inspire others.
Believe in your friends for they know your secrets and desires.
Believe in your family, for they are always there for support and encouragement.
Believe in yourself for you are unique and special.
When times are troubled and you're feeling down, hold this key in your hand, close your eyes and say, "I believe, I believe, I believe."
Poem about the key necklace- When Kaleigh finds the right person, she will pass the key on to someone who needs to believe.
~Written by Kaleigh's mom (Jennifer Sullivan)
The Giving Keys - Enneagram Necklace
When I first heard the Type 2 song by Sleeping At Last, I did what most people do…I cried. No, I wept.
The song is so beautifully and poignantly written.
The phrase “Myself too” is like a daily reminder to check-in with myself. How am I doing? How am I feeling? Do I have needs that I haven’t gotten to because I’m too busy attending to others or avoiding my needs all together because I don’t believe I’m worth taking care of?
It’s something I feel I will always be working on.
Here is the GREAT news… I teamed up with the lovely people at The Giving Keys and we are giving away their new Enneagram Key Collection.
It's in celebration of @sleepingatlast's collection of Enneagram songs, so each key has a special word correlated to their Type.
Based in Downtown LA, The Giving Keys, is taking on homelessness one key at a time. Social impact is at the heart of what they do, and each piece of jewelry or accessory purchased from their collections helps create jobs for people transitioning out of homelessness! I don’t know about you, but thats a mission I know I can get behind! To date, they’ve generated 160,696 hours of work for those who need it the most. You read that right: 160,696. Incredible.
All of the pieces are assembled and hand-stamped at the HQ in DTLA. If you haven’t checked out their collections yet, do it. Do it now. They have tons of different styles of keys, ranging from modern to vintage, and they come in various lengths and sizes! I’m wearing the Brooklyn Dainty Key Necklace, which is one of their new styles! The chain is to die for and goes so well with my other layered necklaces!
Each piece of jewelry is designed to inspire you to be your best self! By now, I’m sure you noticed my key says “Strength” on it. Here’s the lowdown: In addition to picking out your key, you also choose your own word to be hand stamped onto the front. I decided on “Strength” because it’s a word that really resonates with me right now.
Here’s what makes these products even more unique: The Giving Keys encourages you to embrace your word, and then pass your piece on to a person that needs the message more than you. Not only are you paying it forward through helping homeless people find work, but you’re paying it forward to your immediate community by lifting them up when they need it the most. I love it and I’m looking forward to sharing my word with someone that needs it.
I ordered a Love & Strength Key when my boyfriend checked into rehab for alcohol. I knew that I would need strength and love to help him overcome. When we broke up 3 months post-rehab, I felt like my Love Key was almost mocking me yet reminding me Love does heal all wounds.
One month later, a friend (that I think of as a sister) was in the hospital. Although we had not spoken in more than 2 years, I heard the news and I knew that I had to go. Upon arriving at the hospital, I noticed that I was wearing my Love key. As the elevator ascended to the right floor, I couldn't help but wonder, Why was I wearing this necklace today?
As I sat at my sister-friend's bedside, I saw the anguish and despair she was feeling after being in the hospital for 9 days. I instantly reached for my Love Key. As I took the key off, I apologized for letting a petty situation ruin our friendship. I told her that, No matter what, I wanted her to know and remember always She was loved. I handed her my key, telling her the significance of a giving key, and that this one symbolizes Love.
Just as this key had transformed from a tool to a message of love and hope, our friendship would transform from non-existent to a bond built on love and hope. She was giving a clean bill of health 3 days later. Four months later, our relationship is stronger and better than it was before. She wears her Giving Key every day as a symbol that Love truly does conquer all.
The IAGDTBA Key is a collaboration with Elliott Clark the "Apartment Bartender" to celebrate It's A Great Day To Be Alive! IAGDTBA is an initiative to destigmatize mental health issues in the service industry.
Can you explain what Apartment Bartender is all about and how you got into cocktail making?
It was early 2015 when I got really into making cocktails at home. I took a Cocktails 101 class with a friend of mine, and it stuck. Fast forward several months and I started down the path of learning photography and sharing those recipes to social media. It was a creative outlet for me being able to share my experience and knowledge as a home bartender in hopes of inspiring other people to make great cocktails at home. This was really the start of Apartment Bartender, and it’s grown so much from there. What used to be me just making drinks in my apartment and sharing them to Instagram has turned into a pursuit of traveling the world, learning about the world of spirits and working with all different kinds of liquor brands to help tell their story. At the heart of it though, my goal with Apartment Bartender is to still inspire a sense of community and camaraderie through my content. If people get a great drink recipe and learn a thing or two about spirits along the way, then I’m a happy guy.
You've had a lot of keys! Can you tell us your favorite Pay It Forward story of when you gave one of your keys away?
My favorite moment was giving the IAGDTBA giving key to my older brother. I’m based in Denver, and my brother is based in Phoenix, so we don’t have the opportunity to see each other as frequently. I was in Phoenix for work several months back, and when we got together we talked and caught up on life. I shared my personal struggles and sought out his perspective, and he shared his own. At that point in time, I remember him saying he felt pretty stuck in his life, so I took the key of my neck and put it around his. I told him what IAGDTBA meant to me, and it resonated with him. I’ve said this previously, but we’re all a work in progress. Everyday is not going to be a good day, but every day truly is a great day to be alive.
Elliott Clark | Apartment Bartender
Founder + Creative Director
A conversation with Brandon Farbstein about Elevating to new chapters in life.
What does ELEVATE mean to you?
Elevate is about living life to your highest potential and stepping beyond your self-limitations. It’s about using what you’ve been given to lift others up. I discovered this when I shared my story for the very first time, which happened to be on the TEDx stage. Despite being the center of attention wherever I go, I felt invisible for the first 15 years of my life. I was a victim of my own story and I was stuck. But then I found out how powerful it truly is to be authentic and vulnerable, because that’s where the extraordinary things in our lives come from. Be your own hero, and realize that the world needs what you have to share.
What are some practical ways that people can ELEVATE in their lives?
We don’t have to change everything for everything to change. Sometimes the biggest needle movers in life aren’t those monumental things we do, it’s the more routine daily activities that can have the most influence on our lives. There are so many things that take control of our lives every day and we end up allowing so much time and energy to be wasted on meaningless and insignificant moments. To ELEVATE your mindset, you have to be willing to get in the driver's seat of your own life. Understand that you are 100% responsible for the energy you are putting out in the world every day, and your happiness is a choice that only you can make. In order for you to experience different results in life, you must be willing to do things you haven’t done. Step outside of the place that is comfortable for you and challenge yourself. Be intentional about where your time and energy are going, as what you focus on will directly correlate with how you feel day-to-day. If you are spending hours a day scrolling on Facebook or Instagram and the majority of what you see is people complaining, being nasty, negative, etc…HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO BE POSITIVE? We all need that refresher sometimes, especially teenagers. We have complete control over who and what we allow to take up space inside our minds. Practicing gratitude has been a game changer for me with mastering my mindset because it gets me out of my head and out of my own way. The next time you’re in that place of feeling stuck, force yourself to shift your focus from all of the things that are going wrong and the negatives to what you have to be grateful for in that moment. I guarantee you it will change your thought pattern to get you in a totally different frame of mind!
What was it like for you graduating and what do you think is important to reflect on or act on at that point in one's life?
For me, my graduations are the moments of transformation in my life. They don’t have to come from a piece of paper with my name on it, but are the experiences I get to have in the world around me that give me the most meaningful life lessons. Think about it: what are some moments in your life that you can reflect on that somehow transformed you? Maybe it changed the way you think, or made you see yourself in a new lens…these are the points in our life that we owe so much to because those are what made us who we are. The good, the bad, and the really ugly moments- all of those were defining points in our lives, and they allowed us to graduate to the next chapter of our journey.
Brandon Farbstein - Empowerment Speaker & Gen Z Activist
Ladies, Don’t Settle For an “Okay” Career
As women, we often find ourselves unhappy in our jobs. Sometimes, it’s the desire to spend more time with the kids; other times, it’s the stress of earning less than our male contemporaries. The best piece of advice you can hear if you aren’t happy is to change your situation. Yes, it can be challenging, but it’s a hurdle that’s worth the effort and the ups and downs. Remember, you don’t have to settle -- you do have options.
Here, we’ll look at three different paths you can take if you want to elevate yourself to reach better opportunities.
Starting your own business
The number of women-owned businesses popping up in the US is growing at breakneck speed. In other words, there has never been a better time to be both a woman and an entrepreneur. Launching your own brand or service takes loads of determination and even more hard work, but you’re up for it.
SquareUp suggests that your first step is to do some research. Take a look at the market to make sure there is enough demand to sustain a profit. Refine your business idea, and get to work studying your competitors. Once you identify weaknesses in their system, you can take measures to ensure your business stands out. All of this information should be part of your business plan, which should also include how you’ll pay for equipment and other overhead. Before you open the door, make sure you have everything in place to service your customers, collect payments, and manage quality control.
If you’ve never run a business before and want to take it slow, consider starting an e-commerce website, which will allow you to take advantage of tools and services to streamline operations. Social media, for example, is great for inexpensive advertising while drop shipping partnerships allow you to sell unique products without maintaining an inventory. To help boost your success, make sure your website is set up with your customers in mind and is easily accessible via mobile devices.
Changing careers altogether is another great option if you find yourself dissatisfied with your day-to-day existence. Dr. Randall J. Hansen explains to LiveCareer.com that this process begins by taking a close look at your likes and dislikes. It’s easier to note the things you hate about your job than it is to list what you love, but try to focus on the latter as much possible. This will give you considerably more direction when it’s time to decide where you want to be professionally.
As you look over your likes list, try to figure out ways you can utilize your current skills as an asset to your desired industry or position. For example, if you enjoy music but can’t play an instrument, you might use your organizational talents and marketing skills as a band promoter. Even if something is outside of your comfort zone, remember that your skill set will bolster your ability to take on a new career. Of course, it may be necessary to obtain a new degree or seek certification for a new career. If a degree is what you want to pursue, take some time to research grants and scholarships for women that can help you cover some of your expenses.
Seeking a promotion
If you’re happy at your company and are a smart worker with a proclivity for problem-solving, have an unquestionable work ethic, and are known for your abilities and professionalism, it’s time to let your ambition shine through. There’s no shame in asking for a promotion or making yourself stand out when it’s time for your boss to assign new titles. While you may not always get the recognition or pay increases you deserve, don’t be discouraged. Keep your other options in mind and know that there are plenty of places where you will be appreciated and given a chance to excel.
As a modern woman, you don’t have to wait for anyone to give you permission to go after professional success, and you don’t have to settle for just okay. You have tools at your disposal to make your own way, it’s up to you to use them.
A Post by Gloria Martinez
We had this inspiring conversation with actress Kristen Bell and wanted to share it in time for Mother's Day!
Any other general advice or appreciation for all the other mammas out there?
There is a lot of wonderful advice about motherhood and parenting out there. My e-mail is full of profound quotes that I've read or heard and e-mailed to myself in an attempt to remember them. Really, this just leads to a lot of anxiety about how many unread e-mails are piling up, but hey- I'm doing my best! Despite the goldmine of parental wisdom, there is something I feel is often missing from the conversation which is that mothers must build their village. Moms, these days, are juggling an unnatural amount of responsibility that used to be shared and parceled out over many people. Grandparents used to live down the street, our neighbors weren't strangers- they were friends who would pop over to add an extra pair of hands. We used to be much more connected and over time we've pushed aside a lot of our social animal instincts, which has led to mothers feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Building a community is the key!
What is one of the values/memories/experiences you hope your child(ren) remembers when they’re older?
I have a truly atrocious memory so if they were born in my likeness, they don't have a shot at remembering anything. And that's okay with me! I don't need them to remember birthday parties or vacations. Those are fleeting moments. Though I do think we've given them something permanent that is worth retaining - the feeling of comfort and security. Life has a lot of variables, so it is important that my children to know there are two people in the world who are constants. I hope they always carry that with them as they move through life.
What inspired you to launch Hello Bello?
We launched Hello Bello because we didn't think it was fair for people to chose between what's good for their baby and what's good for their budget. It's premium ingredients and an affordable price point so that everyone has access to the best. We like to say Hello Bello is Mom's ingredients and Dad's prices!
Kristen is rocking looks from our Mother's Day Collection!
Courage is a word that I used to identify with “fearless” people. Heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, or firefighters who bravely put their lives on the line. I assumed they had something that I didn’t have. But along this wild and twisting journey, what I’ve learned is that courage is something that is available to me, to you and to us all. I’ve come to recognize that courage isn’t about being fearless—it’s about feeling your fears and simply going scared.
My “going scared” moments, as I call them, began to occur more and more often when I decided that life outside my comfort zone held the key to what I was really made to do. One month a few years ago, I was standing at the edge of that comfort zone, peering into the unknown but exhilarating realm of possibility. My husband Joe and I had decided to grow our family through international adoption, but the 2008 market crash had devastated our small real-estate business and left us desperate to raise the funds we needed to bring our son Jack home from Rwanda.
Courage has a way of cornering us, and that’s what Jack’s adoption did for me. That little boy with his big brown eyes filled me with a determination that I had never known before. Joe and I would bring our son home, and no market crash was going to stop us. Whatever courage I possessed, imperfect though it was, would have to do. It was then that I remembered my conversation I had a few months prior and an offer to start a business—an offer that I had laughed away.
Joe and I had traveled to visit Uganda to begin researching the adoption process, and while there a friend of mine had told me about Jalia and Daniel, a local couple who were also rallying their courage for the sake of their family. They were talented jewelry-makers, but had no marketplace where they could sell their products—and they were struggling to care for their two kids. Would I be interested, my friend wondered, in selling Jalia and Daniel’s handmade styles in my community to help fundraise for my adoption?
At the time, I had blown off the offer. My plate was full. You know the kind of plate I am talking about? The two kids under five, already running a side hustle kind of plate. Starting a new gig— one that involved selling jewelry— was not even a consideration. Sure, I had always loved digging through my grandma’s jewelry box, but starting an entire business with artisans counting on me made the stakes feel just so high.
But now, a few months later, here I was with the conversation echoing in my heart. I knew it was time to focus less on the cost and more on the gain. So that’s how I found myself standing in my living room surrounded by boxes of paper bead jewelry (along with my grandma’s china and anything else sell-able I could get my hands on), with a beating heart and every voice at the middle school lunch table in my head telling me that this was a dumb idea, I decided I would risk. I would risk no one showing up and I would risk looking desperate. I would risk failure and this actually being a dumb idea, and I would stand there in the messy middle of a vulnerable and uncertain outcome. I would do it anyway.
Courage felt out of reach that night—but ultimately, it was love for a little boy half a world away that catalyzed me to push through my fears and go scared. And am I ever glad I did. Because you know what happened? Women showed up for me that night. They came, and they marveled over the handmade products, and they rallied around our family. As it turned out, my friends and neighbors loved the story and style of Jalia and Daniel’s products, and soon I was taking additional orders for items that had already sold out. At the end of the night, I stood in that same living room feeling grateful. “Maybe,” I found myself thinking, “this isn’t a fundraiser. Maybe this is a business.”
Fast-forward to today, and Noonday Collection is the world’s largest fair trade accessories brand. We create dignified work not just for Jalia and Daniel, but for 4,500 other Artisans in 13 countries across the globe. Over 2,000 women are growing their own Noonday businesses as Ambassadors who hold Trunk Shows in their own communities—just like I did in my living room 10 years ago. And that little boy with the big brown eyes? Today Jack is home, and kicking a soccer ball like it’s nobody’s business.
I often think about that night that I unknowingly held the first Noonday Collection Trunk Show, and how close I came to missing out on this incredible journey. If I had waited around until I felt completely prepared, or completely confident, or completely courageous, I never would have gone at all. I’ve come to realize that it’s not in finding fearlessness that we soar—it’s in standing up, taking a deep breath, and simply going scared.Jessica HoneggerFounder And Co-CEO, Noonday Collection