Today we can celebrate our freedom, thanks to the courage and bravery of our forefathers. As it reads on the Bravelets™ website, “There are times in all of our lives where we need to be brave – whether for ourselves, for our family, for our friends, or even for a complete stranger.” Five years ago Stephanie Hansen had to search inside and find her “brave.” It was after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer that she gathered her “brave” and created Bravelets™ as a symbol of “hope, strength and courage.” Read on to learn about this amazing bracelet fundraiser.
The story goes that she was searching online for something special to give to her mother after the diagnosis, but wanted something more than a piece of jewelry or a material item. She wanted something that would also support a bigger cause. She googled “gifts that give back.” The things that came up in the search talked about giving back, but weren’t specific. They always seem to say “a portion of proceeds” or “a percentage of profits.” It was never clearly spelled out what was going to the cause of choice.
Bravelets™ were born out of the frustration of not knowing how much of your money was actually going to a good cause. Stephanie wanted Bravelets™ to have not just a clear mission, but a clear accounting of what portion went towards the specific cause. Another aspect that makes Bravelets™ extra special is the possibility of fundraising opportunities by “consultants” supporting various causes. This unique idea has supported over a thousand different causes, and the total amount raised…well, let’s give Stephanie the opportunity to share that number.
Buying Jewelry and Doing Good? Oh Yeah!
I’m Taking Charge: Bravelets™ came about after your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Can you tell us the Bravelets™ story?
Stephanie Hansen: I will never forget the day my mom told me she had breast cancer. When I heard the news I held back tears, and tried to sound calm. I knew that I needed to be brave for my mom. She was trying to be brave for me and my sister, as she didn’t want us to worry. We were trying to be brave for her. Out of this process, Bravelets™ was born.
I wanted to make something that my sister, my mom, my dad and I could all wear in the weeks leading up to her mastectomy – a symbol that we could all look at and remember to be brave.
There are times in all of our lives where we need to be brave – whether for ourselves, for our family, for our friends, or even for a complete stranger. Bravelets™ bracelets are more than just something to wear on your wrist. They are a symbol of hope, strength and courage. They are designed to help you be brave in the toughest of times.
I’m Taking Charge: Bravelets™ has grown quickly since you began. How much money have you raised so far, and how much actually goes towards the causes you support?
Stephanie Hansen: Bravelets™ began in the beginning of 2012 and in those four plus years, we raised over $2 million in donations for all of the causes that are supported through our Brave Page fundraisers. For each item purchased on www.bravelets.com, $10 is donated to the associated cause!
I’m Taking Charge: What causes besides breast cancer does Bravelets™ support?
Stephanie Hansen: If all of the causes that we support were listed here, it would take up pages! The great thing about fundraising with Bravelets™ is that any cause that fits under the umbrella of our mission is welcome! We don’t exclusively support nonprofits or organizations, we allow individuals to raise money for themselves as well. Currently, our causes range from cancer research to animal rescue shelters to individual medical expenses; more causes and fundraisers are being added every day!
I’m Taking Charge: Do you design the jewelry sold by Bravelets™?
Stephanie Hansen: Yes, I have designed all of the Bravelets™ jewelry thus far, with help and input from my amazing team.
Bravelets™ Bracelet Fundraiser’s Unique Business Structure
I’m Taking Charge: You have an interesting business structure that allows people to become involved by individually fundraising for their cause by using Bravelets™. Can you explain how that works.
Stephanie Hansen: Bravelets™ is actually not a nonprofit. We are a for-profit company with giving at our core. Organizations and individuals are able to create fundraisers with us through our Brave Page program. Then $10 from every purchase on the Brave Page is donated to the associated cause. We don’t believe in the phrase “a portion of proceeds will be donated….” What does that mean? Is a portion one cent? Is a portion 1%? That kind of giving is confusing and un-fulfilling to the purchaser. We want you to feel good about your purchase. We want you to know, when you look down at your wrist, that $10 was donated to your cause. We want you to know that you helped make a difference.
I’m Taking Charge: How do people get involved as a consultant? Is there an expense to get started?
Stephanie Hansen: To get involved as a fundraising consultant, all you have to do is begin the sign-up process and purchase a starter kit. We have two options for starter kits: The Business Basic ($199) and The Business Pro ($299). Fundraising consultants earn commission for every piece of jewelry they sell through charity events, at home parties, or [at] their online fundraising boutique.
The cost of your starter kit is all you will pay to become a fundraising consultant, and by selling 30 pieces of jewelry, you will have earned back the cost of your starter kit AND raised $300 for deserving causes!
I’m Taking Charge: How many people “work” for Bravelets™ as “consultants”?
Stephanie Hansen: We currently have 103 independent fundraising consultants that work with us, but that number is growing fast! They spread our message of bravery all over the country by attending events, getting involved in their local communities and nonprofits, and hosting their own events.
Want to join Stephanie’s team of bracelet fundraiser consultants, or maybe just add another stylish bracelet to your wrist? Bravelets jewelry and accessories can be purchased at bravelets.com. You can find your cause and choose the perfect style for you. If you are interested in learning more about independent fundraising, visit https://www.bravelets.com/join.