Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I actually started out as a Musical Theater Major at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. During my sophomore year, I produced a holiday benefit concert called Carols for a Cause – I gathered my class and we performed festive music and raised money for a local homeless shelter. That experience solidified my belief that we ALL have talents that can be used to better the world in some way, and we have a responsibility to utilize them. After my sophomore year, I decided to pursue a career behind the scenes in the entertainment industry (but the concert has been going on every since 2010!). During my time in live television, I met so many inspiring people with such varied passions. It motivated me to find my own passion project. Several years later, The Kind Coalition was born.
What exactly is The Kind Coalition?
The Kind Coalition is a home goods and apparel company with a focus on kindness. We’ve partnered with some incredible anti-bullying organizations, and for every purchase made, we donate 50% of our profits to support their initiatives. But The Kind Coalition is more than a product – it’s a social movement. We’re asking our customers to take the #OneDayataKind challenge – post a pic in your Kind Coalition gear, commit to doing one INTENTIONALLY kind thing a day for seven days straight, and tag someone else, challenging them to do the same.
What inspired you to start The Kind Coalition?
My dad is a Lebanese immigrant, and needless to say, life in post-9/11 U.S. hasn’t been easy on Arab-Americans. Growing up, it was difficult for me to watch the racism and prejudice he often faced. More recently, it’s occurred to me that our current social climate has created a deep divide, and my hope was to help bridge the gap – to change the conversation. The goal of The Kind Coalition is to shift focus away from the things that divide us and towards our unifying humanity.
How did you come up with the name?
Who doesn’t love a good alliteration?! Jokes aside, the definition of a coalition is an alliance for combined action. I love the idea of “kindness” in action. I wanted the name to feel active and to activate. More than anything, I wanted people to feel like they belonged to something. The Kind Coalition is an alliance where everyone is welcome.
50% of your proceeds are donated to organizations combatting bullying; can you tell us about that?
We are so thrilled to have partnered with wonderful organizations who have made it their mission to eradicate the bullying epidemic. Our hope is to help educate people about the important work they’re doing, inspire involvement, and of course, be as hands-on as possible in supporting their initiatives. These organizations are working at the ground levels to equip the next generation with the tools they need to be compassionate, empathetic, inclusive people, and we want to do everything we can to support that.
Is there a favorite product?
What is your favorite part about running The Kind Coalition?
Without a doubt, the people I’ve met along the way. Anne Frank is quoted as having maintained a belief that people are truly good at heart. The Kind Coalition has reaffirmed this belief for me. It’s amazing to meet so many people who connect with our mission and to hear their stories. It invigorates me and fuels the mission of the company.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Through partnerships and social media (and of course, press ops like this!). We are really working to build a community of people centered around a common goal. We prefer to focus on impact and progress rather than t-shirts and mugs (even though the swag is fun!). Our mission is to make kind cool again and to energize and gather people around this idea.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Brace yourself for the rollercoaster – entrepreneurship is a lot of hurry up and wait. You might have days where the activity is rampant and seemingly unending. You may walk away from those days feeling empowered and accomplished. And the next day might be slow and silent. That is entrepreneurship. I believe that successful entrepreneurs are able to ride the waves and see the tides through. Everything is temporary – successes and failures – so it’s important to cultivate a strong inner equilibrium. I also subscribe to the 20 minute rule – this is the idea that you have 20 minutes to mourn rejection/ “failure” / loss (as it relates to business – not personal loss, obviously) and then you have to pick yourself up and decide how to proceed. I try my best to stick to this rule. It re-enforces the idea that we are so much more than any single event/mistake/rejection.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? :)
This too shall pass. Good or bad, this too shall pass, so revel in the good and release the bad.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
We are so excited to offer She’s Fit to Lead readers a special discount code! Use “FITTOBEKIND” at checkout for 10% off of your order!