As a lover of words and contradictions, it must have been the name Conscious Capitalism that first caught my eye and sent me down a rabbit hole to learn more. Entrepreneurial by nature, even as a child I thought capitalism had been given a bad rap. But the stigma is real, and it’s no surprise I would take my MBA into the philanthropic world to develop synergies between corporations and humanitarian issues. Later my role would shift into public relations and raising awareness for problems caused by consumerism: severe health, environmental, and societal consequences. Eventually, I started my own nonprofit called Fashionkind to support the very personal cause of addiction recovery.
For a little background, our charitable foundation assists women in recovery as they journey toward self-sufficiency, a critical ccomponent for wellbeing and relapse prevention. We outfit these incredible ladies with beautiful clothes and hopefully a boost of confidence as they embark on job searching and interviews – for many, a game of rejection. We also learned, unsurprisingly, it is typical for our clients to have contempt for their previous work experiences. At best, they were engaged in tasks they felt were meaningless, lacking integrity, and did not pay enough to meet their basic needs. Their relationship with work, I felt, was the real crux of the matter. This was particularly unusual considering the obvious talents they possessed. It was not laziness or incompetence; it was fear. I wondered if the modern-day workforce was committing a form of spiritual violence on our most vulnerable population. Rather than “getting back to work” as an answer to a problem, perhaps the work itself was the problem. I began to worry about sending a newly recovering young woman into a job where the financial benefit was too negligible to sustain the cost to her soul and, potentially, her sobriety.
True capitalism is about creativity, problem-solving, and abundance – a far cry from the corporate corruption many conjure when the word is used. I knew there would have to be a shift in consciousness – an overall celebration of (1) the harnessing of our innate gifts, (2) the use of it for good, and (3) the personal reward of financial benefit from our efforts. This is why Conscious Capitalism spoke to me. It is a concept, a collective of like-minded individuals, and a movement I am proud to get behind. I believe that this realization will catch fire, and when it does our society will prosper from the economic freedom and security that Conscious Capitalism supports.
Founder of Fashionkind
CCSD Director of Volunteers