Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today?
I grew up in inspiring Los Angeles and started young in entertainment, professionally acting in Elementary and High School, and then for over 15 years toured the world as a Singer Songwriter. While on tour, I started making The Giving Keys and selling them at the merchandise tables, but then The Giving Keys started selling out more than my CDs. I came up with this Pay-It-Forward concept to not only get a word engraved on the key necklace that you needed in your life, but to then pass it on to someone you feel needs the message more than you. I knew there was a missing link to the brand, and wanted some of the proceeds to go to some sort of charity or cause, but nothing felt right. I later came across a young couple that were experiencing homelessness and living in a cardboard box in a dumpster. I took them to dinner and had my aha moment that I should employ them to engrave the inspirational words on the keys! That turned into partnering up with all the incredible nonprofits around the issue of homelessness, and ended up employing over 150 people that were trying to transition out of homelessness for over a decade.
What inspired you to start The Giving Keys?
Growing up in church and youth group, I was raised going to homeless shelters and was always passionate about helping those in need. Before The Giving Keys, alongside my actress friend Brie Larson who I met filming a movie, we started a movement called ‘Love Your Flawz’ and took hundreds of pictures of people holding up their handmade signs, turning their so-called flaws and imperfections into a positive; to remind them that that’s what makes them special and one-of-a-kind. So when I was later on tour in NYC, I had the idea to engrave words on my hotel room key, and the first words I had a locksmith engrave was ‘Love Your Flawz’
What are you most proud of?
Though getting Oprah’s seal of approval, and writing two books are the normal external validation proud moments, I’m learning to rather seek internal validations to be proud of who I am instead( not what I do /what I’ve done /even helping people. So I think I’m honestly most proud of trying to be a good-single-mom through the most challenging few years in my personal life that I wasn’t expecting. Proud of the ‘Resilince.’ Which by the way is our The Giving Keys 2024 Word Of The Year:)
How do you balance being a founder/CEO, an author, and mother? What do you do to help stay grounded?
That’s the million dollar question, right? I have done a lot of work around this topic. I aim to crack the code every…single…day, and as life goes, some days I nail the perfect recipe of ‘balance,’ (very rarely) and some days I’m a pile of teary mush. I made a note on my refrigerator that says, “The Type Of Mother I Want To Be.’ It says things like: ‘I will keep my work during work hours, and focus on the kids before and after school until bedtime. I will put away my phone and be present with them. I will look into their eyes, and enjoy these precious moments I'll never get back.’ ( Though today, I had to give edits for time sensitive work emails the entire time I was at the grocery store with them, and hiding more work emails in the restroom WHILE playing hide and seek.) All this is great author material so have been loving slowly writing my 3rd book (albeit sometimes while driving or in tiny voice memo notes all throughout my day) That also helps ground me as being an author is basically like therapy journaling in a poetic way.
What do you need a little more of in your life right now?
I've been resisting the meditation thing. I have an aversion to spiritual trends, but I’m realizing that this one is legitimately scientifically beneficial to my mental health, work, nervous system, parenting and well being.
If you could give one key and a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
It would say ‘One-Of-A-Kind’ - to remind myself that all the things that made me not fit in, where the very thing God would use to create something beautifully unique in the world.
What advice would you give to busy mothers like yourself?
Count your blessings. As a single mother the last 3 years, I see other mothers who have husbands that help with the financials, emotional support, logistics, - and though I’m hearing from them that it’s hard for a myriad of relatively valid reasons, It still is blessing to have a partner to help hold some of the weight. I’ve seen that go unnoticed / overlooked while focusing on the negatives of their partner instead of appreciating how much help they do in fact bring to the table.
What is a favorite quote or saying of yours?
An inspirational quote by Frederick Buechner about the value of Achievement: “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.”
Shop the Story
Elisa Midi Dress | Belize Blossom
Regular price $288
Regular priceUnit price per
Malina Midi Dress | Bright Pink
Regular price $268
Regular priceUnit price per