Business with Purpose takes you “behind the scenes” with some of the world’s most generous entrepreneurs with host Molly Stillman of "still being molly blog - stillbeingmolly.com." From the CEOs of mission-driven brands, to directors of small, community non-profits, and everything in between, Molly is sitting down with men and women who believe in changing the world through not only their personal lives, but also their professional careers. We believe that every person was created with a purpose, for a purpose and this podcast gives inspiration for how we can all make an impact by supporting businesses with purpose.
Spreading the Joy | Shalini Samtani, Open the Joy
Every parent knows one of the scariest times is when your child gets sick. But when a child is hospitalized or diagnosed with a rare or serious illness, it affects everything. It can be really scary for children who are struggling.
My guest today is taking her personal pain with her own child’s sickness and bringing joy to sick kids all around the country. Shalini Samtani is the founder of Open The Joy and the Spread the Joy Foundation.
4:29 – Shalini 101 Spread the Joy Foundation delivers activity kits to children at their hospital bedside. She started making the kits on her kitchen table with her mother three years ago. Last year, she sent 5,000 to 6,000 kits to more than 100 hospitals across the country. Open the Joy is a for-profit company that makes toys focused on well-being and emotional intelligence in kids, such as a love and forgiveness box, anger management box, etc. Shalini got the idea after being in a hospital room with her daughter and trying to Google ways to entertain her and keep her positive. 6:42 – Difficult news Shalini’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease that caused her body to react differently to sickness. 10:15 – Finding her purpose Shalini never imagined she would design kids’ toys. She describes the experience as finding her purpose. Giving back to sick kids is what drives her. 16:38 – How to buy the toys Toys are sold on Open the Joy’s website and Amazon. They have launched a new emotional intelligence line of toys, including a love and forgiveness box, anger management box and a kindness mission box. 19:24 – “You heal by healing others.” “While the world is focusing on making kids smarter, our focus is to make them kinder,” said Shalini 25:35 – Spreading like wildfire Shalini has been amazed at how quickly her business grew. She says it has spread like wildfire. 27:22 – How her kids view the hospital now Her daughter doesn't have any memories of being in the hospital. She now associates the hospital as a place where you get a joy box, because of Shalini’s business. Her daughter and son think the hospital is a place where you do nice things for people. 38:05 – Get to know Shalini What brings her joy? Snuggles What song she loves to sing? Yellow by Coldplay FEATURED QUOTES
“I never believed in my wildest dream that’s what I was going to do – to design a toy collection.” – Shalini
“I’ve always been kind of like one of those souls, finding my purpose.” – Shalini
“The give back – that’s what drives me more than anything.” – Shalini
“We want it to be fun and engaging, but we also want it to be nutritional for their souls and for the development of their minds.” – Shalini
“While the world is focusing on making kids smarter, our focus is to make them kinder.” – Shalini
“You heal by healing others.” – Shalini
“I never really understood why this little project grew like wildfire … I feel like I watch miracles.” – Shalini
Shalini Samtani has a diverse background in Law, Real Estate and Design. However, her true passion lies in brining joy to sick kids. She is the founder of Open The Joy® a truly unique toy company that focuses on building emotional intelligence in kids; and the Spread The Joy Foundation® a registered non-profit that delivers free activity kits to hospitalized children at their bedside. Since its launch in 2019, Open the Joy has won several industry awards including Best New Products for Kids 2019 at NY Now, New Kids on the Block award at Toy Fair 2020, and Best New Manufacturers award at Toy Fest West 2020. Shalini Samtani’s leadership and the truly unique nature of her business has been awarded recognition by the Tory Burch Foundation 2020, as one of the top 50 female entrepreneurs sel
Caring for Foster Families | Allie Roth, With Love, Oregon
Did you know there are more than 400,000 children in the U.S. who are in the foster care system? The average age of a child in foster care is 8 years old, and there are more boys than girls. There are so many kids who need a home, support and love.
My guest today is Allie Roth, president and founder of With Love, which aims to help foster families change the lives of children ages 0-6 by providing resources that nurture dignity, hope and community.
2:42 – Allie Roth 101 Allie is married with two children and has always loved kids. She was a teacher and learned about some of the needs in the community. She doesn’t say “foster kids.” She says “kids in foster care.” She created her nonprofit in the Portland area. 7:18 – Misconceptions about foster care In Oregon, about 1 in 100 kids are in foster care, which is double the national average. It is not normal. On any given day, there are around 7,000 kids. Part of the reason is the opiate crisis and housing instability 13:28 – Misconceptions about kids in foster care No kid goes into foster care through a fault of their own. Kids need a loving place to land while their parents are in rehab or have other issues. 60% of the kids in foster care come from neglect. 17:15 – Fulfilling needs They have volunteers who shop for the kids so the kids feel seen and known. They gather car seats, bottles, shoes and other basics. After 90 days, foster parents can reach out and ask for more supplies. 21:53 – How did Allie begin With Love? Beginning a nonprofit is really hard. Allie talked with other nonprofits to find out how they did it. She focused on volunteering, and found a lot of retired people who wanted to help. 27:27 – Connecting with other organizations Allie gets calls and emails all the time about working with other organizations. She is very active on social media and has met a lot of people through that. Eventually, she wants to do replication seminars so people can learn about foster care 101. 36:17 – Ways people can support Allie’s work Intentionality is key. Instead of just dropping your stuff off at a donation center, ask yourself, “Who can I bless with what I have?” Allie believes in transparency and shares how her organization is doing in an annual report and on social media. 43:11 – How her kids have adapted to being foster family Having kids is a huge asset. For Allie’s family, she brings in kids who are younger than her children. They don’t have a placement all the time, so her kids get excited when a new child comes to stay. 46:27 – Get to know Allie Her guilty pleasure? People Magazine Song she has to sing? Panic at the Disco’s “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” FEATURED QUOTES
“In Oregon, there are about 1 in 100 kids in foster care. That number is double the national average, so that is not normal.” – Allie
“On any given day [in Oregon], there are around 7,000 kids in foster care, ages o to 18.” – Allie
“Volunteers are the heartbeat of what we do.” – Allie
“Who can I really bless with what I have? That’s being intentional.” – Allie
https://www.withloveoregon.org/ https://www.withloveoregon.org/allie-roth About Allie Roth: Allie Roth is the President and Founder of With Love, which is a non-profit organization working to support foster families in Portland, Oregon. For Allie, With Love is more than an organization with a cause, it’s a must-have movement. Since 2013, she has brought love and dignity to the forefront of foster care, changing the lives of thousands of families and kids in the community.
Diversity in Children's Literature | Sailaja Joshi, Mango & Marigold Press
I’m an avid reader, and one of my favorite things to do with my kids is to read to them. A few years ago, I realized it was easy to find books where my kids could see themselves in the story. But I began to take that for granted and wanted to include more diverse literature.
My guest today is Sailaja Joshi, CEO of Mango and Marigold Press. She has built a company dedicated to this very idea, that books need more diversity.
3:56 – Sailaja 101 Mango and Marigold Press is an independent publishing house that shares sweet and savory stories of the south Asian experience. Sailaja is a mom, wife, passionate runner and excited about disrupting the publishing space. 7:05 – Her personal experience The idea of Mango and Marigold started during Sailaja’s first pregnancy. She wanted a library themed baby shower. She was looking for books that represented her culture, history and heritage. What she found was really disappointing. Some of the books she found were culturally inaccurate or insensitive. She decided to do something about it. She had an entrepreneurial spirit but knew nothing about publishing. 11:39 – How she started her business She tried writing books, and it didn’t work. So she asked a friend with a background in children’s literature for help. “I think it’s really important for children to be able to see themselves and children to see others having these great moments of joy, and that’s what our books do,” said Sailaja 16:41 – What she’s learned after publishing 20 books A big piece she learned is how the books are healing, not for children, but for parents “I think for so many parents, these books are things that they were just dying for in their youth and didn't have,” said Sailaja 19:55 – Feedback The books resonate because they are great stories and are empowering. Sailaja says it’s a wonderful feeling. 27:03 – Her favorite book Each book has a special meaning and a deep place in her heart. “I love stories that just celebrate black and brown joy. Those need to take up all the space on the bookshelf,” said Sailaja. 33:32 – Get to know Sailaja Her favorite song to sing – Destiny’s Child Bootylicious Her favorite meal – pizza Favorite TV show – 80s and 90s children’s shows FEATURED QUOTES “I’m really excited about bridging the accessibility gap in children’s literature and beyond.” – Sailaja
“I was looking for books that represented my culture, my history, my heritage, and what I found was really disappointing.” – Sailaja
“I think it’s really important for children to be able to see themselves and children to see others having these great moments of joy, and that’s what our books do.” – Sailaja
“I think for so many parents, these books are things that they were just dying for in their youth and didn't have.” – Sailaja
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OR LINKS
https://mangoandmarigoldpress.com/ https://mangoandmarigoldpress.com/pages/sailaja-joshi About Sailaja Joshi: Sailaja N. Joshi is a design thinker, intersectional feminist, mother to two, a bibliophile, an entrepreneur, lover of bold, modern design, diversity activist, and an aspiring dog owner.
A Massachusetts native, Sailaja grew up a voracious reader. From Leo the Lop to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Amelia Bedelia, she loved every book she read. If you were to ask her today what her favorite book is, she'd likely say either the Harry Potter series OR The Tao of Pooh. It really depends on the day.
She has always been interested in exploring multicultural generations and loves using those skills in new and exciting ways as the CEO and founder of Mango & Marigold Press. Mango & Marigold Press is an award-winning independent publishing house that shares the sweet and savory stories of the South Asian experience. Founded in 2014, the company has produced fourteen
Fundraising with Purpose | Carol Fassino, Fair Trade Caravans
If you went to public school or played sports growing up in the U.S., you remember fundraisers – the wrapping paper, popcorn, catalogues, etc. We all have these memories.
Fundraisers are important to help organizations raise money, but what if we changed the way that we fundraise? What if we made an impact not only for the organizations that we’re raising money for but also the people making the things we are selling?
My guest today is Carol Fassino who created Fair Trade Caravans, which provides transparent information about products’ origins, stories behind the artisans and farmers and how the products are priced.
3:14 – Meet Carol Fassino Carol came from a structured world, including public schools and working in the electronics industry. She worked in the corporate world until a few years ago. She never wanted to climb the corporate ladder and had a lucky opportunity to reevaluate what she wanted to do with the second half of her career. She wanted to make a difference. She decided fair trade fundraising was the way to go. 11:15 – How Carol started her company She explored how to start the company online instead of visiting schools one by one. “It is so hard to get past the initial 10 people that love your idea, that are related to you, that are friends with you. You go out there, and you think everyone is going to embrace that idea, and they don’t,” said Carol. 16:14 – Response and feedback The feedback and response to Carol’s business have been great, and her business has grown. 23:25 – A lasting impact It starts with us as adults to teach children how products are made and teach them about fair trade. “We’re trying to make fair trade a global mission through empowering a caring community of doers,” said Carol. 25:17 – How do the fundraisers work? People can set up their fundraiser online with all the products they want, including their logo and how much they want to raise. Carol sends the school a check for 25% of the product sale. The challenge we’ve had is getting the word out and promoting the fundraisers. 27:55 – A diverse product line Carol has a diverse product line, including home decor, jewelry, coffee, tea, etc. Carol sells products between $15 and $40. 31:37 – Get to know Carol Carol is a big reader and reads the newspaper every morning. She also likes lighter fiction and historical fiction. Her favorite song – Total Eclipse of the Heart Her favorite meal – something with a lot of flavor FEATURED QUOTES
“It is so hard to get past the initial 10 people that love your idea, that are related to you, that are friends with you. You go out there, and you think everyone is going to embrace that idea, and they don’t.” – Carol
“We’re trying to make fair trade a global mission through empowering a caring community of doers.” – Carol
Coffee with Purpose | Brian Holland & Britt Mooney, Phoenix Coffee Roasters
We all know that coffee is one of the most popular beverages. I fully admit I am in the minority for not being a coffee drinker. But I can’t deny how much coffee culture has an influence on our communities, our country and our world. There are so many people involved in the supply chain.
My guests today are Brian Holland and Britt Mooney of Phoenix Roasters in Atlanta. They wanted to take their passion for coffee and for people and make a difference. They are two of the most incredible people.
3:50 – “You haven’t had our coffee” I don’t like coffee, but Brian and Britt say they can convert me. “We convert the 70% of people who want to love coffee into coffee lovers,” said Brian. 8:08 – Britt and Brian 101 Brian is founding pastor of Phoenix Community, a church planning network. He was a church youth pastor for 20 years. In 2008 they started Phoenix Roasters because they ran out of money as a church. Britt grew up in the church. He was drawn to teach overseas with his wife, and they were missionaries. When God called him back to the U.S., he wanted to live as a missionary in his own country. He wanted to work with Brian and describes the coffee business as living the dream. 13:35 – Say Yes. How God-Sized Dreams Take Flight Britt wrote a book, Say Yes. How God-Sized Dreams Take Flight. It tells their story and asks readers: What has God called you to do? People always want to know where they are going and how they are going to get there. But you need to trust God. 18:30 – Say yes and be blessed We’re told if we say yes, we’ll be blessed. In their business, they try to help the kinds of people that Jesus would have helped. 23:16 – Figuring out the next steps A guy on their leadership team kept saying, “What if we’re a marketplace church?” It’s an international model. They wanted to do coffee shops. Brian asked God what He wanted him to do. He heard God say, “It’s not in the shop. It’s in the bean.” 28:43 – The roaster story They realized there’s no money in repackaging somebody else’s coffee beans. “We realized we needed a better business model, and we’re going to have to learn to roast our own coffee,” said Brian. “But none of us knew how to roast.” 35:02 – Coffee that matters Mother Theresa once asked a man, “What do you do that matters?” You want to have purpose and meaning in your life. God led them into ways for their coffee to matter. 46:00 – What is on the horizon? They have plans to be aggressive, and they want to help the micro farmers who are getting swallowed up by big corporations. 53:10 – Get to know you Strangest pet peeve – Brian can’t stand hard swallowers Something we would never guess – Britt used to have long hair and was in a heavy metal Christian band FEATURED QUOTES
“We always say around here, we’re blessed and highly caffeinated.” - Brian “We convert the 70% of people who want to love coffee into coffee lovers.” – Brian “In 2008 we started Phoenix Roasters because we ran out of money as a church.” – Brian “We realized we needed a better business model, and we’re going to have to learn to roast our own coffee. But none of us knew how to roast.” – Brian LINKS
https://phoenixroasters.coffee/ https://www.amazon.com/Say-Yes-God-Sized-Dreams-Flight/dp/156309410X Thank you to our partner of the show, MamaSuds!
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The Story of How We Bought our Farm
The other day I was having a conversation with a friend, and I realized I’ve been doing this podcast for 4½ years. A couple years ago, around episode 100, I introduced solo shows every 10 episodes. So, here we are – episode 230. Today’s episode is about something personal to me.
0:39 – We bought a farm! If you follow me on Instagram or read my blog, Still Being Molly, you know that my family and I recently bought a farm. I know that for a lot of people, people are probably thinking, “What? This is random!” It’s something we’ve been dreaming and praying about for a really long time. Today, I’m going to tell you the story about how it all happened. 4:11 – The lowest point in my life In fall 2010 I was at arguably the lowest point of my life. I was tens of thousands in credit card debt. I didn’t know many people where I lived and worked a bunch of jobs. I didn’t know the Lord. I was struggling with broken relationships. In late 2010, I started dating my now husband, John, started attending church with him and was saved. 6:06 – Talking about hopes and dreams John and I began talking about our dream of owning a farm. When we got engaged, we dreamed about what our life would look like. One of the things we talked about regularly was buying land, building a house and being more self-sustainable. I was working hard to pay off my debt. 8:37 – Serious conversations about money As a young married couple, John and I had a lot of conversations about money. John didn’t struggle with money, but I did, so we wanted to have clear communication. We have a joint budget and track every dollar that comes in and goes out. We started to put money away for a big expense down the road like land or a house. 11:00 – Our little garden We started with a garden in our backyard, and it started with one little garden bed, and it was a giant fail. I had this dream of having this massive garden. The only food we were able to grow was cucumbers, and they took over and grew through the fence. As the years went on, we got better at gardening. After five years, we had a truly, truly successful garden. 13:32 – Getting aggressive about savings About two to three years ago, we really started being very aggressive in our savings towards land. We hustled and we worked really hard. At the end of 2019, we began to realize this could become a reality sooner rather than later. We began looking at land and had many contracts fall through. 18:20 – Pursuing houses on land We finally decided to pursue houses on land instead of building a house. We looked at upwards of 15 houses and put in offers but kept getting rejected or outbid. John came home one night frustrated about the home-buying process. We had been praying. Later that night, three hours later, a house came on the market. We both looked at it, we looked at each other and said, “I think this is it.” We went to see the house that weekend and finally got the house. 21:52 – A dream come true We aren’t living there yet. We are doing renovations, but we are just so, so thankful. It is a dream come true. In a lot of ways I still feel like I’m dreaming. I share this whole story because, for nearly a decade, this was something that John and I had talked about and dreamed about and prayed about and saved for. I want to encourage you, if you have a dream, make little steps each day. We want to be able to serve others with this home. FEATURED QUOTES
“My family and I recently bought a farm … People are probably thinking, ‘What? This is random!’ … It’s something that we have been dreaming about and praying about for a really long time.”
“A house came on the market … We both looked at it, we looked at each other and I said, ‘I think this is it.’”
“We are just so, so thankful. It is a dream come true.”
“I share this whole story bec
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Love BWP! 💜
As a long time listener of the business with purpose podcast, I’ve recommended it to SO many people in my life as a one stop shop for diving into the ethical product industry . Molly is always entertaining and chooses incredible guests and subject matter to keep listeners engaged. I’ve learned about some amazing brands through Molly’s show and highly recommend.
Great content and a great host
Molly has such a womderful way about her. The podcast sounds like two friends sitting on a porch sharing a converssation about how to make the world a better place. I thoroughly enjoyed being a guest and will be an active listerner of her podcast in the future.
Perfect Podcast for Women Social Entrepreneurs!
This podcast brings together so many women from so many different walks of life who are working to make the world a better place! It’s inspirational and informational, with lots of concrete actionable tips for living and working for the greater good. I can’t wait to make my way through all the past and future episodes.