The Giving Keys is a Los Angeles-based jewelry company known for their unique engraved key designs. However, this company is not your average jewelry brand, its business model actively makes our society a better place.
It all started in 2008 when Caitlin Crosby, a successful actress, singer, and songwriter, founded The Giving Keys. While passing through New York City on tour, Caitlin stayed at a hotel that used real keys for the room—the initial spark to her idea for the company. Inspired by the uniqueness of the key and in an effort to not lose it, she began wearing it around her neck. Caitlin had the idea to stamp the message “LOVE YOUR FLAWZ” on the key to wear as an inspirational reminder. In fact, this phrase was a reference to one of her songs! Caitlin eventually had other keys made with inspiring words like love, strength, and let go, and she began selling them on tour to people who were struggling with all kinds of things like cancer, break ups, job loss, etc. Realizing that in a way we are all like these keys—unique, flawed, and scarred—she would encourage the crowds at her shows to wear a key as a reminder that they are unique and one-of-a-kind. After individuals wore the key for a period of time, Caitlin encouraged them to pay it forward by giving it away to someone who needed the inspirational message more.
The keys started taking off, with their pay it forward messaging touching the hearts of people across the country. As the keys grew in popularity, Caitlin was making them around the clock everywhere from taxi cabs and airplanes, to backstage before her shows. Despite its initial success, she knew there was still a missing link to the Giving Keys.” Within a few months, she found that link while walking down Hollywood boulevard when saw a couple sitting under an umbrella holding a sign that read “Ugly, Broke, and Hungry.” After inviting the couple to dinner and creating a strong relationship with the couple, Caitlin asked them to become engravers for The Giving Keys. Such a job opportunity eventually helped them transition out of homelessness and afford a place of their own. This couple was only the first homeless individuals to be employed by The Giving Keys.
There are an estimated 553,742 homeless people in the United States. As of today, every Giving Key is assembled, packaged, and shipped from Downtown LA by people out of homelessness. Through this social impact employment model, The Giving Key has logged 131,163 hours of work to the homeless, and overall, they have provided more than 130 jobs for people out of homelessness. Not only do these jobs help stimulate the economy, but it gives many individuals a better quality of life—the whole purpose of The Giving Key in itself. Graduates of this program have found housing, started their own businesses, regained custody of their children, maintained sobriety, and found a renewed sense of purpose. By purchasing a Giving Key of your own, you can find inspiration within yourself, eventually give inspiration to someone else, and ultimately support job creation for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Especially with the severe political and social justice issues occurring within our country, The Giving Key is a company that is actively trying to make our world a brighter place through their employment tactics and the uplifting messages behind their products.