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Heart & Soul Blog

Thoughtful Thursday: Spotlight on the Inspirational Company, The Giving Keys

Alyson Campbell


Contributed by Jenna Slavin


Welcome to Thrilling Thursday, Heart & Soul PR’s new content series, taking an opportunity to spotlight businesses doing it right.  This week, we take a look at The Giving Keys, a company dedicated to paying it forward using inspirational keys.


“It all began with a hotel room key that would change lives.”  You might have heard about the company The Giving Keys because they are in more than 1200 stores throughout the U.S. such as Nordstrom and Fred Segal, but what you might not know is story behind how this amazing company was started.


The Story Behind the Brand

It all started a few years ago when Caitlin Crosby, a working singer/songwriter went on a small tour and decided to engrave her New York hotel room key with a message that resonated deeply with her, “Love your flaws.” When she went to the locksmith to engrave her hotel room key she got the idea of engraving other unused keys they had with words such as inspire, faith, believe, and courage. When she went on tour she began selling them at her merchandise table alongside her CDs. In between songs, she would relate her story of the song to a key. The keys were such a hit that they sold out at every show. She realized that there was something more to this and that she needed to do something about it.


One day while walking down Hollywood Boulevard, she came across a homeless couple, Rob and Cera, holding a sign that said, “Ugly, Broke, & Homeless.” She struck up a conversation with them and decided to then cancel her plans she already had for that night and take them to dinner. As she got to know them, she learned that Cera made jewelry. This was her “a-ha” moment, realizing they could do business together, and it became her company’s mission to help those who have been affected by homelessness.


The Brand’s Growth

Since then, the Giving Keys have been loved by thousands of people who began sharing the inspirational keys. “Embrace your word, then pay it forward to a person you feel needs the message more than you. Write us the story of why you gave it away.” (Caitlin Crosby). People have been wearing a key around their neck that has a deep meaning to them until they come across someone that they feel needs it more and the cycle just continues to grow.


Smart Partnerships Lead to Success for All

The Giving Keys have partnered with The United Way and PATH, non-profit organizations dedicated to employing and reducing the numbers in the homeless population. Rob and Cera have now saved the money that they have made by working with The Giving Keys to by a house. Other workers have found love and security. The “keys” to this brand’s success is paying it forward and being open to connections. 


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