If you are/or were an American Idol fan, or have an inkling to occasionally catch the tabloid shows after the news, like Entertainment Tonight (ET), then you have probably seen the likes of this:
La’Porsha Renae, and Taylor Swift are probably some of the most electrifying performers that have come along in a very long time. From the moment of her audition, American Idol fans were captivated by La’Porsha’s spirit, her magnificent hair (affectionately nicknamed Kokomo), her bone-chillingly beautiful voice, and also a beguiling, mysterious key she wore all the time.
Taylor Swift has never ceased to amaze us, as well and interestingly enough, she has been photographed frequently wearing…yes, KEYS. The guys on the big screen are getting in on the trend as well!
It’s big, people. These keys!
So, what’s the deal behind this off-beat accessory? It turns out that the key has way more significance than just as a piece of quirky styling. So, what is this key?
It turns out that it is actually a Giving Key. The Giving Keys is a company started by Caitlin Crosby that makes and sells jewelry out of keys, engraved with inspirational words. The keys are intended to be inspirational, and a source of strength and encouragement to and from the giver and the receiver. The company partners with nonprofit organizations to help combat the pervasive problem of homelessness in America.
The story of The Giving Keys begins, inauspiciously enough, in a New York City motel. In an essay on Huffington Post, actress and singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby explains that she fell in love with the look of the old, rusted key to her motel room, so she “permanently borrowed” it and began wearing it on a chain around her neck as a piece of jewelry.
Once she was back home in Los Angeles, she engraved the word “Love” on it, inspired by the many compliments she received. She began to sell various used and discarded keys engraved with uplifting messages on the merchandise tables at her shows. She told the fans, as it says on the company website, that we are all like these keys, “unique, flawed, scarred, and sometimes discarded by others.” Now, these old, otherwise worthless objects have a renewed purpose.
Crosby knew that she wanted the keys to have some sort of bigger social purpose than simply a message of paying it forward. According to the company’s “story” on their website, the inspiration came from a chance encounter with a homeless couple bearing a sign that read, “Ugly, hungry, and homeless.” She took the couple, Rob and Cera, to dinner that night, and by the end of the evening they had become her business partners (after discovering that Cera made jewelry). Today, the company’s mission is to help those affected by homelessness. It partners with organizations such as Chrysalis and The Downtown Women’s Center, which work to provide jobs and housing to those people. The Giving Keys employs 28 people who have struggled with homelessness, and has helped 22 move into permanent housing.
Messages on The Giving Keys are things like FEARLESS, HOPE, CREATE and STRENGTH. They also sell LOVE, BEST FRIEND, PARTNER and DREAM, along with many more. When the key-wearer encounters someone in need of the message they wear, they are encouraged to give the key away and share their own story.
La’Porsha Renae has shared small snippets of her own extraordinary struggles on the national stage, including her ongoing divorce and history with abuse, and has emerged as a powerful, awe-inspiring force. The Giving Key, which she has attached to the hoop earring herself, is a beautiful symbol of her own journey, and a piece of encouragement to us all.
Now you can own one of these keys! LTD 7 has The Giving Keys in stock!
We have partnered with New Creations in Harrisonburgto sell these keys in our stores. What a wonderful way to “double” pay it forward!
Of course you know the one that is sometimes around my neck. I will give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.
(Hint: it begins with a D…and ends in REAM.)
I love, love, love, love…(did I say love?) these giving keys! #spreadlove
Get one today! Or better yet, get more than one. Just think of the possibilities! Let’s all pay it forward, every chance we get!
Living the Dream,