LOS ANGELES– As a successful actress and singer-songwriter busy with touring and recording, it would be easy to lose touch with the realities of those outside the Hollywood network. But not for Caitlin Crosby, who sees every person she passes as important, unique and inspiring. It is this humble, caring, inquisitive nature that led Crosby to create her business and charity, The Giving Keys.
The story starts when Crosby began wearing a used motel key engraved with the word LOVE as a necklace. The jagged edges and rough surfaces of the key, says Crosby, serves as a reminder that even through our imperfections we are loved. Repeated compliments and questions from fan and friends prompted Crosby to begin selling discarded keys at her merchandise stands, engraved with words such as STRENGTH, HOPE, COURAGE, and FAITH.
The keys became a wild success. “Every night, from state to state, the key necklaces would sell-out. And suddenly, before every show, instead of rehearsing and tuning my guitar, I found myself scrambling to find keys and assemble the chains and clasps, just to keep up with all of the orders,” Crosby told the Huffington Post. She began encouraging those who bought the keys to go one step further and to give the key to someone they felt deserved it. This mission spawned The Giving Keys website as a forum for people to share their stories.
The Giving Keys’ mission goes much further than paying it forward, however. One evening, Crosby crossed paths with two young homeless people, Rob and Cera, and felt compelled to take them out to dinner. Over the course of the meal Crosby discovered that Cera makes jewelry. At hearing this news “a light bulb went off,” exclaimed Crosby, and she brought Rob and Cera on board as new business partners for The Giving Keys.
The Giving Keys now employs ten homeless individuals and seeks to empower and support them as they try to transition out of homeless living. “At The Giving Keys,” Crosby told Hollywood.com, “we couldn’t agree more that the long-term solution to homelessness is to empower capable people to overcome their own challenges through employment and education.” Crosby also partners with Lon Angeles-based Chrysalis, a non-profit agency that works with the homeless population to establish employment opportunities.
Crosby praises the powers that entrepreneurs and consumers alike have to change the world through business. “By bringing the entrepreneurial spirit into the equation, consumers now have the power to help make the world a better place through their everyday purchases,” Crosby explains. Furthermore, revenues help to supplement donations and create more financial stability.
“I knew nothing about the fashion or jewelry industry when this all started,” Crosby admits to the Huffington Post, “but now The Giving Keys are being sold at Fred Segal, as well as 40 stores around the country.” Crosby’s story illustrates how anyone with a kind heart, humble mission and determination can change the world for the better.
The Giving Keys offers a variety of jewelry lines on their website. In addition, the Precious Metals collection is available in time for Valentine’s Day. To purchase or for more information, please visit http://www.thegivingkeys.com/.
– Mallory Thayer