Talk to me:
Founder of the giving keys & loveyourflawz. Actress. Singer/Songwriter. Spokesperson. Activist.
SS: You wear a lot of hats, between your career as a music artist, The Giving Keys, and various social impact ventures. Describe your journey to where you are now.
CC: After growing up acting, I started writing songs about all the things I saw behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. My first album is called Flawz, and and it prompted me to start a website about body image issues for teenage girls called LoveYourFlawz.com. I started touring for music and selling different creative products at the merchandise tables, which is where The Giving Keys was birthed. I knew people weren't buying the keys just because of the fashion element. They were resonating with the story, message and mission behind it. The girls needed to be reminded that they were 'one of a kind' just like these keys.
SS: What has inspired each of these business ventures and passion projects?
CC: I spent years observing, examining, and analyzing how and why humans are hurting. I always prayed, "God, give me your heart for people." I believe he answered that prayer and The Giving Keys was the outcome. Even in my early years writing songs, I always wanted to write about issues that people were going through to hopefully encourage them. While on my music tour and creating different products I made a lot of observations, and tried to strategically create a product and movement that would heal people. With Loveyourflawz I saw that so many girls (including myself) suffered from low self esteem because they compared themselves to media images that are impossible to attain. Then I did a film where they airbrushed an entirely different body onto my face for the movie poster, which allowed me to see first hand, how fake so many of those images are. I was even jealous of my own fake airbrushed body! I also saw many girlfriends placing their 'value' on what guys thought about them. I wanted all of us to embrace our 'quirks' and so called 'imperfections' because those are the things that make us beautiful. I wanted to change our perspectives to see our 'Flawz' as beautiful. It was my own form of therapy. I wanted our value and confidence to come from our character, integrity and uniqueness. Here's the Flawz video from 2009 that I spend years filming and editing. I'm super proud of this one. Watch it here.
SS: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
CC: Yes definitely. Even when I was a barista in high school, I would design clothes, bedazzle belt buckles and secretly sell them from behind the coffee counter. While doing music tours, I loved coming up with creative and inspiring products to sell at the merchandise stands.
SS: You've had deep roots in the social impact space for a while now. What advice would you give to brands who are breaking into this industry and marketing themselves as "social good" brands?
CC: Keep your eyes open to all needs you see around you. Do it because you actually care and have genuine love and compassion for that community.
SS: Describe a day in the life of Caitlin Crosby.
CC: Wake up and do emails in bed. Get ready for meetings and do emails in my mobile office (my car) and if I have time in between meetings, stop at a restaurant to eat and answer more emails. The I typically head to The Giving Keys office to get updates on our employees lives and issues I need to help with. And then more meetings or give one of our supporters a tour of our HQ to introduce them to some of our inspiring employees that are transitioning out of homelessness. When I head home I order in Thai food delivery and end my day on the couch catching up on mindless reality shows to further decompress.
SS: What's something that not many people know about you?
CC: Im afraid of the ocean because of sharks, I hate working out and I still feel like a 12 year old inside.
SS: If you could switch lives with anyone for a week, living or dead, who would it be?
CC: Oprah or Mother Teresa
SS: Someone to follow on Instagram?
SS: The theme of this issue is "Impact" - how do you wish to make an impact in your lifetime, big or small?
CC: I hope to make an impact by encouraging people to love a life of care, love & service of the hurting.