Lucinda Yates -- Changing the World, One Pin at a Time:
It takes courage to tell your story when that story
involves difficult circumstances. Those who share such
stories are, in my opinion, the bravest of the bunch.
Lucinda Yates is one of these women.
made some pretty big mistakes in the 80s," Lucinda
says. "It was not only my responsibility to own
up to those mistakes but to find a way to better myself.”
In establishing a multimillion dollar company, Lucinda
Yates has certainly made a change for the better.
a divorce and a financial setback, Lucinda found herself
homeless. "I sold all of my belongings and moved
into my van. I thought it would be a short period of
time before I was able to establish myself and find
a place that my daughter could call home. In the end,
this period of time lasted two very long years."
Lucinda found a part-time job as a waitress. While she
was able to make enough money to buy food, she also
discovered what would turn out to be her passion: making
jewellery. She learned the craft of making jewelry during
the time she spent with other homeless people.
her way to work one day, she experienced her Eureka
moment. “I was walking past a frame shop when I spotted
all sorts of scrap matte board in a trash can,” Yates
recalls. “I took the discarded boards and started cutting
them into elementary shapes. I put a rectangle over
a square, and it looked just like a house to me. I heard
this voice go off inside my head , saying, Wouldn’t
this make a great fundraiser for the homeless?’”
designed a set of "house pins" in her cramped
attic, and sold them to a homeless shelter for $6 each.
The shelter, in turn, sold them for $10 to raise funds
for their operations. One fundraising project led to
another and, within its first year, her new business
grossed $89,000. “The next year,” she says, “I grossed
$300,000--then $1.4 million, then $2.6 million. I had
challenges beyond my wildest imagination. I had no experience
running a company. I had never dealt with payroll or
staffing issues. However, I realized that running a
business wasn’t that different from running your life."
date, Designs By Lucinda has sold over four million
pins and has grossed over $24 million dollars. She has
helped over 6,000 non-profits throughout the world raise
awareness as well as funding.
“I sometimes wonder, if I hadn’t been homeless, would
I have been looking in the trash can?” she says. “Would
I have found such profound inspiration somewhere else?”
company now employs over 50 people, many of them women.
Working Mother Magazine has named Designs By Lucinda
one of the 25 best companies in the United States, and
it's no wonder. As Lucinda puts it, "They go home
at night knowing that what they did all day has gone
to help somebody else out in the world." The motto:
"Changing the world, one pin at a time".
only is Lucinda changing the world with her business,
she is also a national public speaker. "We don't
focus enough on connecting with ourselves," she
says. Lucinda encourages her audience to "imagine
your best self." She offers some key wisdom: "If
you can't imagine yourself someplace else, guess where
you're going to be? Right where you are."
can find more information on Lucinda's company here:
News items on Lucinda
can be found here:
England Cable News
Women's Journal - Out of the Box
by Lucinda Pin
Copyright 2007 Lia Grimanis all rights reserved