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This Jewelry Company Is Using the Power of Words to Change Lives Here's why giving back is the key to success for Caitlin Crosby's social impact enterprise.

By Kristen Aldridge

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby turned her hotel key into a necklace, she had no idea it would be the start of a social impact company now known as The Giving Keys.

While on tour, Crosby started selling keys engraved with encouraging words at her merchandise tables. After the necklaces began outselling her albums, Crosby knew she had unlocked the key to success.

Since 2008, The Giving Keys has expanded from a one-woman business into a social enterprise dedicated to paying it forward. Crosby's pieces are sold in over 1,200 stores across the country, and she has built up a celebrity following through stars like Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.

Today, keys that once opened doors now open so much more. The Giving Keys has provided more than 130 jobs to people transitioning out of homelessness, who make and assemble the products. "It's incredible to see the power of words, and the power of human connection, and how we all need each other," says Crosby.

Each handmade piece of jewelry comes engraved with a meaningful sentiment like Believe, Hope, Courage or a custom word, and wearers pay it forward by passing them on. Once a wearer gives their necklace to someone they know or meet who is in need, they are encouraged to send in the story to The Giving Keys' website, where hundreds of other collected tales can currently be read.

"I think the thing that makes people really special and interesting is their unique story," Crosby says. "We're all humans, we all need these words."

In this episode of How Brands Are Born, learn how Crosby took a passion project and turned it into a business focused on ending homelessness, one key at a time.

How Brands Are Born is presented by Cardone Ventures, in partnership with Original Stories Media. Learn how Grant Cardone and Brandon Dawson can help your business transform and scale to 10X levels HERE.

Kristen Aldridge

Founder of Original Stories Media, Journalist, Producer and Storyteller

Emmy-winning journalist and brand storytelling expert Kristen Aldridge is founder and CEO of Original Stories Media, a production company that specializes in capturing the origin stories behind the world’s most impactful brands. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, she has created content garnering millions of views for hugely successful platforms including Entrepreneur, ESPN, ABC, CBS, Yahoo!, and SHAPE.

Passionate about all things entrepreneurship, Aldridge created the original digital series How Brands Are Born to shine a light on all the remarkable people changing the world one big, bold dream at a time. Her mission is to help leaders reveal their most authentic selves so they can more effectively unleash their vision, inspire their culture, and bring deep value to the marketplace.

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