‘The Giving Keys’: Jewelry to pay it forward


Advertisements for the Giving Keys have caught my eye recently. I though that inscribing old keys with meaningful words like “Strength” and “Love” and putting them on bracelets and necklaces were a cute idea, but I wanted to learn more about what was behind the idea. After doing some research, I would like to share the inspirational background behind The Giving Keys.

According to The Giving Keys, the company was founded by singer-songwriter and actress Caitlin Crosby, who started engraving discarded keys with uplifting words. For Crosby, these keys showed that although you may feel broken or discarded, like these keys, you should embrace your individuality and rare beauty. Crosby told her audiences they should wear these keys until they meet someone that needs the keys more than they do, give away the key, and then write Caitlin the story of why they did so.

Crosby was greatly impacted by the stories that were sent in, and she knew she wanted her business to be linked to charity. One day, Crosby came across a couple experiencing homelessness on Hollywood Boulevard, Rob and Cera. It turned out that Cera was a jewelry-maker, and Crosby asked the couple to be her business partners; the twosome finally acquired enough money to have a home of their own, and both are now employed.

Many employees for The Giving Keys were people trying to transition out of homelessness, and the company has given them the opportunity to make that transition.

The Giving Keys is now partnered with the United Way, an organization that focuses on volunteering and donating towards causes that help to strengthen communities and improve lives. According to The United Way, volunteers and donors emphasize assisting with education, health care, and financial stability.

In March 2013, The Giving Keys also partnered with Chrysalis, an organization that provides resources for those experiencing homelessness to find employment.

The Giving Keys has also united with LIFT, which builds relationships between those experiencing poverty and advocates.

In addition, the company workswith Downtown Women’s Center to provide permanent supportive housing as the first step in the transition out of homelessness and into a brighter and better future.

Today, Crosby’s keys are being sold at almost 2,000 retail stores, including Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Fred Segal, Kitson. The gorgeous keys range in material, type of necklace, and, of course, the words inscribed on them.

I cannot wait for what this unique, inspirational company has in store in the fashion industry and society alike.