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These Founders Explain The Power of Giftless Giving

Career

Don't give gifts, give meaning. As we grow wiser, we understand that a life well-lived is marked by the lives we touched, not by the number of gifts we receive or the cocktails we consume. There is another way- #gogiftless. Bridge2Act matches you with some amazing charities that represent your values, and create a unique donation link for you to share with your friends, family, and random Internet friends.


You give. The nonprofits receive.

The co-founders, Hitha and Samira give you some important reasons why you should #gogiftless not just for this holiday season but all year long, yes for birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries and just to tell someone you care.

Save the planet.

Gifting a donation requires absolutely no wrapping, wasteful packaging, and takes up zero room in your suitcase when you travel home for the holidays. You’re saving the planet AND have more room for shoes.

Holiday shopping sucks. A lot. Think about the hours you spend searching for perfect gifts, braving the crowds and the bad weather, only to discover that your mom bought that book for herself already.

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the headache of delivery delays, traffic, and stress over finding the only thing your father doesn’t own? Yes, yes it would.

Give Impact.

While you can’t imagine starting the year without the latest Fitbit, chances are it’s going to end up collecting dust in a drawer by March. Now imagine the impact if that money was donated - aid to refugees, soap being distributed to entire villages in Burma, or a girl’s tuition for a year could have been provided. Trust us- nothing will make you feel better than helping out a fellow human!

Be mindful.

A mindfulness practice is much more than sitting still for 5 minutes and focusing on your breath. It’s about being aware of what’s going on in the world, and taking small actions to make it a better place. Jump start your mindfulness resolution early by gifting donations to loved ones for the holidays. It may sound cliché, but one small step can help you be the change you want to see.

Our world is so much bigger than the town, city, and country we live in. All around the world, so many people lack the basic essentials we have. It’s important to be a global citizen - educate yourself on what’s going on, and take small actions to improve the lives of others.

Set an example.

The little ones in your life look up to you - literally and figuratively. Set a strong example by gifting them a donation and deciding what organization to donate to together. Not only will you be teaching them the importance of giving back, you’ll help them find the causes and organizations they’re passionate about.

Gifting a donation is easy. Really easy. You can make donations for your loved ones while catching up on your recorded shows, drinking a glass of wine, with a face mask slapped on. Multitasking FTW.

What is the value of $20? For your mom, it could be a pair of pajamas she doesn’t really need - or it could provide a medical examination for a girl who’s been rescued from sex trafficking. What would make the world a better place?

Because you don’t need any more stuff. You don’t. You really don’t.

NO.GIFTS does the hard work for you - vets the charities transfers 100% of your donation to them in real time and delivers a beautiful card to your loved one informing them of your impact.

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Business

How Postpartum Mesh Underwear Started My Entrepreneurial Journey

"Steal the mesh underwear you get from the hospital," a friend said upon learning I was pregnant with my first daughter.


It was the single best piece of advice I received before giving birth in December 2013. My best friend delivered her daughter eight months previously, and she was the first to pass along this shared code among new moms: you'll need mesh underwear for your at-home postpartum recovery, and you can't find them anywhere for purchase. End result: steal them. And tell your friends.

My delivery and subsequent recovery were not easy. To my unexpected surprise, after almost 24 hours of labor, I had an emergency C-section. Thankfully, my daughter was healthy; however, my recovery was quite a journey. The shock to my system caused my bloated and swollen body to need weeks of recovery time. Luckily, I had trusted my friend and followed her instructions: I had stolen some mesh underwear from the hospital to bring home with me.

Unfortunately, I needed those disposable underwear for much longer than I anticipated and quickly ran out. As I still wasn't quite mobile, my mother went to the store to find more underwear for me. Unfortunately, she couldn't find them anywhere and ended up buying me oversized granny panties. Sure, they were big enough, but I had to cut the waistband for comfort.

I eventually recovered from my C-section, survived those first few sleepless months, and returned to work. At the time, I was working for a Fortune 100 company and happily contributing to the corporate world. But becoming a new mom brought with it an internal struggle and search for something “more" out of my life--a desire to have a bigger impact. A flashback to my friend's golden piece of advice got me thinking: Why aren't mesh underwear readily available for women in recovery? What if I could make the magical mesh underwear available to new moms everywhere? Did I know much about designing, selling, or marketing clothing? Not really. But I also didn't know much about motherhood when I started that journey, either, and that seemed to be working out well. And so, Brief Transitions was born.

My quest began. With my manufacturing and engineering background I naively thought, It's one product. How hard could it be? While it may not have been “hard," it definitely took a lot of work. I slowly started to do some research on the possibilities. What would it take to start a company and bring these underwear to market? How are they made and what type of manufacturer do I need? With each step forward I learned a little more--I spoke with suppliers, researched materials, and experimented with packaging. I started to really believe that I was meant to bring these underwear to other moms in need.

Then I realized that I needed to learn more about the online business and ecommerce world as well. Google was my new best friend. On my one hour commute (each way), I listened to a lot of podcasts to learn about topics I wasn't familiar with--how to setup a website, social media platforms, email marketing, etc. I worked in the evenings and inbetween business trips to plan what I called Execution Phase. In 2016, I had a website with a Shopify cart up and running. I also delivered my second daughter via C-section (and handily also supplied myself with all the mesh underwear I needed).

They say, “If you build it, they will come." But I've learned that the saying should really go more like this: “If you build it, and tell everyone about it, they might come." I had a 3-month-old, an almost 3 year old and my business was up and running. I had an occasional sale; however, my processes were extremely manual and having a day job while trying to ship product out proved to be challenging. I was manually processing and filling orders and then going to the post office on Saturday mornings to ship to customers. I eventually decided to go where the moms shop...hello, Amazon Prime! I started to research what I needed to do to list products with Amazon and the benefits of Amazon fulfillment (hint: they take care of it for you).

Fast forward to 2018...

While I started to build this side business and saw a potential for it to grow way beyond my expectations, my corporate job became more demanding with respect to travel and time away from home. I was on the road 70% of the time during first quarter 2018. My normally “go with the flow" 4-year-old started to cry every time I left for a trip and asked why I wasn't home for bedtime. That was a low point for me and even though bedtime with young kids has its own challenges, I realized I didn't want to miss out on this time in their lives. My desire for more scheduling flexibility and less corporate travel time pushed me to work the nights and weekends needed to build and scale my side hustle to a full-time business. If anyone tries to tell you it's “easy" to build “passive" income, don't believe them. Starting and building a business takes a lot of grit, hustle and hard work. After months of agonizing, changing my mind, and wondering if I should really leave my job (and a steady paycheck!), I ultimately left my corporate job in April 2018 to pursue Brief Transitions full-time.

In building Brief Transitions, I reached out to like-minded women to see if they were experiencing similar challenges to my own--balancing creating and building a business while raising children--and I realized that many women are on the quest for flexible, meaningful work. I realized that we can advance the movement of female entrepreneurs by leveraging community to inspire, empower, and connect these trailblazers. For that reason, I recently launched a new project, The Transitions Collective, a platform for connecting community-driven women entrepreneurs.

As is the case with many entrepreneurs, I find myself working on multiple projects at a time. I am now working on a members-only community for The Transitions Collective that will provide access to experts and resources for women who want to leave corporate and work in their business full-time. Connecting and supporting women in this movement makes us a force in the future of work. At the same time, I had my most profitable sales quarter to date and best of all, I am able to drop my daughter off at school in the morning.

Mesh underwear started me on a journey much bigger than I ever imagined. They sparked an idea, ignited a passion, and drove me to find fulfillment in a different type of work. That stolen underwear was just the beginning.