Here’s why giving back is the key to success for Caitlin Crosby’s social impact enterprise.
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When singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby turned her hotel key into a necklace, she had no idea it would be the start of a social impact company now known as The Giving Keys.
While on tour, Crosby started selling keys engraved with encouraging words at her merchandise tables. After the necklaces began outselling her albums, Crosby knew she had unlocked the key to success.
Since 2008, The Giving Keys has expanded from a one-woman business into a social enterprise dedicated to paying it forward. Crosby’s pieces are sold in over 1,200 stores across the country, and she has built up a celebrity following through stars like Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.
Today, keys that once opened doors now open so much more. The Giving Keys has provided more than 130 jobs to people transitioning out of homelessness, who make and assemble the products. “It’s incredible to see the power of words, and the power of human connection, and how we all need each other,” says Crosby.
Each handmade piece of jewelry comes engraved with a meaningful sentiment like Believe, Hope, Courage or a custom word, and wearers pay it forward by passing them on. Once a wearer gives their necklace to someone they know or meet who is in need, they are encouraged to send in the story to The Giving Keys’ website, where hundreds of other collected tales can currently be read.
“I think the thing that makes people really special and interesting is their unique story,” Crosby says. “We’re all humans, we all need these words.”
In this episode of How Brands Are Born, learn how Crosby took a passion project and turned it into a business focused on ending homelessness, one key at a time.
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