Stephanie Hansen: She’s a Brave Entrepreneur

August 1 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Putting on a Brave Face

There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens when you’re going through a challenging time, like getting laid off or experiencing family strife. That’s when your true friends really step up. Like sifting for gold, the pyrite falls through but then good stuff appears just when you’re about to give up hope. It’s awesome to have those girlfriends you can laugh with at happy hour, but every woman needs a gal pal who doesn’t scare off easily when you reach those difficult stages of life, that one friend who will send you an uplifting little note reminding you that you’re brave, that you will get through this.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: More Than 1.5 Million

Sometimes that kind of much-needed encouragement comes from the helping hand of a friend. But it can also come in the form of a charitable donation. While many of us donate our money and time to charitable organizations, many of us also receive help, particularly women and children. According to a recent report tracking charitable organizations, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit groups in the U.S., with 95 percent of Americans contributing more than $373 billion in annual charitable donations.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Stephanie Hansen, Founder and CEO of Bravelets

Today’s Woman to Watch is taking the idea of charitable fundraising to heart. Her name is Stephanie Hansen and she’s the founder and leader of Bravelets, an organization on a mission to help people harness their bravery in the most trying of times.

Stephanie has a moving story, one that started with heartbreak but has led to remarkable success, particularly for thousands of deserving charities. After Stephanie’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was devastated. But through the fight, she wanted to put on a brave face for her mother, who was also doing her best to be brave for Stephanie and the rest of her family. Strengthened by the powerful concept of bravery, Stephanie created bracelets engraved with the words “Be brave” that she and her family members could wear as a form of support for her mom. The bracelets served as a reminder to never lose faith, to embrace inner strength despite the tough times.

The bracelets were a minor yet meaningful symbol of hope, strength, courage and endless support for the family, and Stephanie soon realized her jewelry could also help others facing difficult life challenges. Before long, Bravelets was born, with a uniquely generous mission. For each engraved Bravelets bracelet, necklace, watch and charm sold, Bravelets donates 10 percent of the profit to a nonprofit organization of the purchaser’s choice. Since 2012, Bravelets has donated nearly $3 million to thousands of deserving charities that support a variety of causes, from Alzheimer’s disease research to foster care and domestic-violence recovery.

What I adore about Bravelets, known as “cause jewelry,” is that anyone can set up a fundraising page, so it’s not just about fundraising for the biggest charities out there. If you have a sick kid and want a way to raise donations for hospital bills, or want to raise funds for a mosque that burned down or in memory of a lost loved one, you can set up a Brave page, share the link with friends and start raising money for the cause with every Bravelets item sold.

Oh yeah, and the Bravelets jewelry is lovely. With a variety of stylish offerings, you’ll definitely find your favorite piece of wearable bravery.

We’re so grateful to Stephanie for creating a business that not only financially supports so many deserving causes, but one that empowers people struggling through tough times to harness some courage and be brave.

QUITE THE QUOTE

Today’s encouraging quote comes from the always-inspirational Mahatma Gandhi, who said:

“Bravery is not a quality of the body. It is of the soul.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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