More

This woman sold $20,000 worth of stationery, and it's helping women everywhere.

Your next calendar could do so much more than tell you what day it is.

This woman sold $20,000 worth of stationery, and it's helping women everywhere.
True
Facebook #SheMeansBusiness

For Lauren Shuttleworth, the mission of her social enterprise, Words With Heart, is — well — close to her heart.

"I was volunteering at a school in Kenya a couple of years ago and was hugely affected by the number of girls I saw dropping out of school simply because they were unable to afford the school fees," she told Upworthy in an email.

She wanted to find a way to "provide a sustainable funding source to see these women and girls through school." So she came up with Words With Heart, an eco-friendly stationery company that also funds women's and girls education projects.


Image via Words with Heart, used with permission.

Why girls' education?

Image via iStock.

Over 60 million girls across the world are out of school.


Image via iStock.

Two-thirds of the world's illiterate population are women.

Image via iStock.

Just one additional year of school can increase a girl’s earnings by 10% to 20%.

Image via iStock.

And when 10% more girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases by 3%.

Convinced? Lauren's future customers were.

After Lauren came up with the idea for Words With Heart, she set off to start a crowdfunding campaign.

A photo posted by Words With Heart Stationery (@wordswithheart) on

They needed to pre-sell at least $15,000 of stationery to get things off the ground. She started a Facebook page and began sharing videos and posts of Words With Heart's crowdfunding campaign.

After 30 days, due in large part to the connections made through Facebook, Words with Heart had pre-sold $20,000 worth of stationery.

Image via Words with Heart, used with permission.

Lauren has come out on the other end of her enterprise with some great tips for anyone starting their own thing.

1. Reach out for help.

"One of the biggest lessons I've learned is the importance of reaching out and connecting with those that can help your business. Its amazing how much support will come your way if you simply ask for it."

A photo posted by Words With Heart Stationery (@wordswithheart) on


2. Tell your own story.

"I've also learned that being authentic, transparent and telling your personal story goes a long way. ... I quickly realised that on the occasions when I shared a bit of my story on our Facebook page, our sales always went up."

A photo posted by Words With Heart Stationery (@wordswithheart) on


3. Remember your "why."

"When things get hard go back to your WHY. When I make a mistake or something goes wrong (which happens A LOT) I go back to my passion for womens' and girls' education. I'll read the stories from our charity partners and remember the reason why I started the business and what its really all about for me."

In love with with this image from our incredible charity partner @onegirlorg. They're currently recruiting for 200 passionate, committed ambassadors to join them in leading a movement in girls education. Check out all the deets via www.onegirl.org.au/ambassador 💪💃📓
A photo posted by Words With Heart Stationery (@wordswithheart) on


For Lauren, the why is crystal clear. As she puts it,

"Life for a girl receiving an education is filled with opportunity. These girls will live longer, healthier lives, get married later, have fewer, healthier children, and earn more than they would have without an education."


Image via iStock

Words With Heart is currently funding primary and secondary education projects (along with some small business training) in Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Working alongside charity partners such as OneGirl.org.au, and Care.org.au, each stationary product funds a specific number of education days for women and girls in the developing world. Each product shows where its funding goes and how many days of education your money will buy!

Words with Heart wants to fund 500,000 education days by the end of 2016. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling like I might need a notebook.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.