Episode Archives

The Perfect Postpartum Present with Lilac Pack​

The Perfect Postpartum Present with Lilac Pack

Friday, February 1, 2019

I started Social Good Blueprint to examine how others are creating awesome social change… I wanted some inspiration, and thought you might too.  If you don’t want to miss this, you can sign up below and receive it each week in your inbox!

[1] Currently Playing – Episode 40

Posted a podcast presenting the perfect postpartum present… dive into Lilac Pack with founder Emily Lawrence: a “moms helping moms” company, providing care packages to support women in their postpartum period.  She shares her journey and her insights with some awesome tips for an entrepreneur fresh off their launch. 

[2] Driving Impact

EmpowerBus Moves Boldly Ahead to Provide Upward Mobility for All – with a title like that, how can you not increase the speed limit for social impact? Aslyne Rodriguez and Jerry Tsai have been guests on the podcast with their startup EmpowerBus and they continue to grow their capabilities of connecting people with reliable on-time transportation… one of the biggest barriers for people living in low-income areas to access jobs they need to grow in their career.  “What’s unique about social enterprise, is that everyone can contribute to social impact through their purchases, volunteer time, lending expertise, in a collective effort to strengthen our communities,” says Tsai, “And that’s what EmpowerBus is all about.”

[3] Medium for Change

Jack Graham, built Year Here, a cool fellowship program, bring aspiring social entrepreneurs into the frontline of social problems, and providing support to get off the ground.  He says, “you don’t have to be rich to do good — but it helps” — where work in the social impact space commands lower salaries driving away top talent.  He makes an interesting argument, but I’m also met many entrepreneurs who succeeded simply because they had no choice of failure.  And I’ve seen some innovative ideas because some smart people care more about the world they live in then, the dollars in their bank account.

[4] Pave a Path with Social Enterprise Alliance

Opportunities to pave a path with Social Enterprise Alliance and their scholarship for membership are open until Feb 24th — they’re a great organization supporting social entrepreneurship, with 16 chapters throughout the US.  Plus they’ve got a good shop where you can buy stuff that makes an impact with Toasting Good.

[5] Social Impact Spotlight

#SocEnt highlight of the week – if you’re in Columbus, and you need some good coffee, you might check out Bottom’s Upa coffeeshop working to reduce infant mortality.  They are on West Broad just past 315.  Great atmosphere too!

[6] Start Some Good

For some immediate impact, check out this project on Start Some Good: Training rural electricians to build solar grids… in Myanmar, where roughly two-thirds of the population live without access to the national grid, which leads to higher costs of candles and kerosene.  This project is upgrading a local village’s grid, with solar power to reduce their costs and create a better solution.  Lightbulb!

Supporting Moms with Lilac Pack

Emily built the company Lilac Pack from the ground up – a true “moms helping moms” company, providing care packages to support women in their postpartum period (the first 6-8 weeks after childbirth), with their personal recovery and to help them get their best start nursing.

It’s a time when the attention is so focused on their newborn that quite often a new mother doesn’t get the attention that they need. While they’re in the hospital, there may be fantastic support and tons of information, but it’s hard to take it all in, especially if you’re medicated or otherwise overwhelmed from childbirth.

Emily Lawrence, an engineer by trade, wanted to change this, so she brought her idea to an event called Give Back Hack.

“It was insane.”

An introvert by nature, she gathered her wits and pitched her idea to a crowd of strangers, only to be surprised by such a supportive environment. Over a single weekend, she was able to form a team and flush out her project.

“They pushed you to get out into the community… as in to put on your shoes and get on the ground and talk to people face-to-face to get their input on your idea.”

She was surprised at how much she accomplished over the weekend, but luckily her journey didn’t end there. She went on to SEA Change – an accelerator for social enterprises, which provided her a 14-week deep dive into building her business model, connecting with experts, and further validating her idea.

For Emily, it also gave her the opportunity to push herself to develop the social impact side of her business. As she puts it, it’s easy to put this off until later, but you’ll never get around to it — instead, start with your impact and it gives you direction and a standard to live up to.

So she built Lilac Pack as a social enterprise — in addition to the core product, they are a living wage company that provides child care support. (Child daycare often creates a job barrier… the cost is too high for low wage jobs.) The third aspect to their social mission is resource matching — they have a mommy map with locations of services for lactation consultants, doulas, and other similar services as an open directory of relevant services.

Now she’s up and running, and growing her business – learning how to tackle online marketing, and how to develop a presence on social media. I was so thankful that she shared some of her insight on the podcast.

When asked what surprises she’s had about starting a company, Emily responded:

“I thought it was going to be harder. It is hard, and just like being a mom, it is relentless. It does not let up, but if you have an idea, and if you are passionate about that idea people will get behind you.”

Having Emily on the podcast is such a joy – we journeyed with her during SEA Change while we were building Wild Tiger Tees, our t-shirt screen printing social enterprise employing youth experiencing homelessness. She was one of the first to utilize our services to print t-shirts to helped us pilot our program – and she continues to openly share her business insight with us, magnifying the impact that she makes. I love what she’s doing with Lilac Pack, and if you know anyone about to give birth, her packages make for beautiful gifts – so go out and support her wonderful venture!


Lilac Pack

The Mommy Map

Give Back Hack

SEA Change

Look Out 2019

Look Out 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

I started Social Good Blueprint to examine how others are creating awesome social change… I wanted some inspiration, and thought you might too.  If you don’t want to miss this, you can sign up below and receive it each week in your inbox!

[1] Look Out 2019

Triple pundit’s outlook for 2019 highlights that a third of startups have a social good component to their business, but found in research that as disposable income decreases, that people are more interested in purchasing the cheaper mass produced products than their purposeful counterparts.  The rise of impact investing helps provide new funding models, making it easier for social enterprises to grow… but these companies are going to continue to find ways to communicate the importance of impact. 

[2] Teaching Tech

In NYC, PwC rolls out robots to help Students Learn Tech.  By bringing fun technology into the classroom, they hope to inspire interest and engagement with technology.  Hopefully, if they can get students to look away from their mobile phones for more than 3 minutes, then I suspect they’ve made a great start.

[3] Impressionable Impact

I love projects like Art & Clay on Main, with a social mission to provide training and employment for individuals with disabilities, but their business is delivering activities with artistic expressions – such as painting pottery, painting on canvas, and working with clay.  Something about creating something physical brings people closer together.

[4] Appetite for Change

Okay, I shouldn’t be writing a newsletter when I’m hungry.  But if you’re hungry, why not support a cause at the same time.  In Columbus, Ohio, Hot Chicken Takeover has taken over… with an employment model of hiring people with barriers to entry.  They can hardly meet the demand, so it’s exciting to see others join in, such as Freedom a la Cart, L.A. Catering and Too Good Eats.  Enough talk, now it’s time for a snack.

[5] Social Impact Spotlight

Give Back Hack is one of my favorite events.  It’s a fantastic weekend hack-a-thon centered around starting ventures that have a social impact, but unlike other hack-a-thons, they support ideas after the event ends.  We went to Give Back Hack, Cleveland last year – and launched a t-shirt company called Wild Tiger Tees… employing youth experiencing homelessness.  Coming full circle, the youth just printed shirts for the upcoming Give Back Hack event in Baltimore, MD on February 1st. How’s that for social change?!?

[6] Start Some Good

Need some quick inspiration to Start Some Good? This week I supported the project: Kindle a Fire: Help K-Lumet Create Inclusive Jobs! — partly because it’s snowing outside and fire starters sounded like a good idea, but also because I love people who create jobs for those with barriers to entry. Check ’em out!

First Edition

First Edition

Friday, January 18, 2019

Starting the new year with a newsletter that has some uplifting ideas to take my mind off politics. Because great stuff is happening and I want to hear about it, and I suspect you do too.

[1] Currently Playing – Episode 39

After last year’s hiatus (we started a social enterprise of our own, called Wild Tiger Tees), we posted Episode 39, Investment Insight with Alan Grodin! With Wild Tiger Tees, we’re screen printing t-shirts with youth experiencing homelessness, and one thing I’m curious about is how people mentor youth, so I reached out to a long-time friend, Alan, whose career in financial services spans decades. He gives back to his community by sharing his insight into how to approach financial planning for retirement, and he shared this in detail on the podcast.

[2] Scaling a different wall

I saw the rise of impact investing this year – people were talking about it everywhere… because it makes sense. Grants have their place, but what if you could get your money back and you could give it again? 2018 was the Year Wall Street Got Sustainable Investing… and a lot of other people did too.

[3] The Girls’ Index

ROX, aka, Ruling Our eXperiences – took skills training from OSU research and launched a venture to give girls the skills they need to live healthy, independent, productive, and violence-free lives. Now they are expanding their impact nationwide helping girls find success. Here’s hoping they take over the world.

[4] Purposely Political

A Year in Purpose: The Top 10 Trends of 2018, highlights the growing trend for companies and employees to stand for something. I kept trying to stand for something, but it just looked like I was stomping my feet.

[5] Social Impact Spotlight

A trip to India last November took me to Madurai, and I couldn’t pass up seeing the Aravind Eye Hospital – they are one of the grandfathers of social enterprise, founded in 1976. They are a the premier model for providing services to those who can’t afford by managing costs and subsidizing care with multiple price points. While they have slightly better amenities next door for the paying customers, the facilities for non-paying customers are beautiful, clean, and incredibly efficient.

[6] Start Some Good

Need some quick inspiration to Start Some Good? Because kids rock, and this looked like a fun way to make an impact, I gave to Learning through Social Circus and Play in Myanmar this week. Check ’em out!

Investment Insight with Alan Grodin

In this episode we dive deep into investment insight, on how to save for your future.

The People Helping People podcast is back after a long break.  Over the last year, I went to Give Back Hack up in Cleveland, and pitched an idea to start a t-shirt screen printing company to employ youth experiencing homelessness.  The idea was selected, a team was formed, and we launched Wild Tiger Tees. Working in partnership with the Star House, we’re helping mentor and employ youth in the Columbus area.

The youth that we work with are amazing – they’re all quite different with each navigating their own challenging situation – and usually without family or mentors giving them feedback or direction.

So, I was excited to recored a podcast with a long-time friend, and New Yorker, Alan Grodin, founder of Northern State Financial.  He has a career in financial services, but has been giving back by teaching youth about finance and saving… so I was curious what he does.

Alan started his financial services right on the precipice of the tech bubble… and weathered the storm in 2008, when the average stock lost 40% of its value.  He speaks about good savings habits — but what struck me is that his core message was to build the habit.  In your 20s and 30s, even if you can just save $50 a month – it’s giving you the mindset you need to be successful later on.  On the flip side, he warns to never be fooled by credit cards, and to learn how to use them as tool to only spend what you have… never to accumulate debt with them, because their interest rates are so high that it becomes a very ineffective method of managing your money.

I didn’t know this, but when selecting a financial advisor, you can search on FINRA — (I even checked out Alan) and advisors with more complaints, or those that move between jobs more often, should be treated with suspect.

The podcast is packed full of investment advice, and is a great starting point if you have no idea about saving for your future, so tune in!

“B the Change” with B Corps

In this episode, Jason Moore, founder, and principal of Fulcrum Creatives, explains what a Certified B Corporation is, how companies can qualify and what it means for not only businesses but communities.

SEA Change: When We Support Social Entrepreneurs

SEA Change—The Social Enterprise Accelerator—is an organization that supports social entrepreneurs by helping them develop a sustainable business model, access funding and solidify their meaningful impact. In this episode, we talk with Lauren Edwards, director of SEA Change and owner of Next Step Business Consulting.

Lighting the Way with Eleventh Candle Co

Eleventh Candle Co is a social enterprise that seeks to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation, and addiction. It is a way to employ women and empower them through work.

Celebrating Zero Waste with Tyler Bonner

Zero Waste started as an effort with the Nelsonville Music Festival, to transform how they manage waste at their festival. Thier goal? Zero Waste.

Practical Advice For Students Who Dream Of Doing Good As They Travel

The new generation of adventure-minded travelers is no longer drifting through unique destinations just for having fun.