BELLA New York - Nov/Dec 2015

Page 132


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! While receiving is fabulous, the spirit of the holiday season truly lies in giving. These entrepreneurs and brands are giving back by creating jobs, inspiring girls to pursue a higher education, and truly making an impact in people’s lives. By Vanessa Coppes

CAITLYN CROSBY | THE GIVING KEYS After a stay at a New York hotel, actress and singer/songwriter, Caitlin Crosby, started wearing the hotel key as a necklace while on tour. She had the idea to start engraving old, used keys with inspirational words. “I realized that, in a way, we are all like these keys – unique, flawed, scarred, and sometimes discarded by others,” she explains. Crosby wanted these keys to have their purpose renewed over and over again. Now, Crosby’s Giving Keys partners with several non-profit organizations that cater to individuals affected by homelessness.

COURTNEY MACAVINTA THE RESPECT INSTITUTE Courtney Macavinta, founder of The Respect Institute (TRI), is on a mission to make respect the status quo. TRI gives youth and their influencers the tools to redefine respect and build self-respect so they can break cycles of bullying, violence, abuse, inequality, poverty, poor health, unhealthy relationships, inadequate education, and early death. “When your self-respect is your engine, you can go anywhere in life,” says Macavinta.

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SSEKO DESIGNS Sseko Designs is a fashion brand based in Uganda. In addition to handbags and accessories, they manufacture beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways. Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it’s working: Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.

BRI SEELEY THE INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN PROJECT Bri Seeley is the founder of The Inspirational Woman Project, created to change the world. Seeley believes every woman is inspirational and that by combining our individual inspiration we can create an impact felt by future generations of women. Her book, The Inspirational Woman Project, compiles 99 interviews with women of all ages from around the world about what it means to be a woman and how women inspire the world around them. The 100th interview is blank because whomever owns the book (or receives it as a gift!) gets to be that 100th inspirational woman. Seeley’s goal is to inspire others to inspire the world together. InspirationalWomanProject. B