This weeks CALI Award goes to a very entrepreneurial young woman, Karen Buttery, who has dedicated her life and her business to making a difference.
Q: Tell us about all the projects that you are involved with.
Karen: I currently work with four not-for-profit organisations in Australia:
I had the belief that it was possible to build a business that would allow me to support not-for-profit organisations and at the same time support my family. Through the sale of health and wellbeing products I am able to support these foundations by raising funds.
Life 2 Project, was the first not-for-profit that I started to work with and something that is close to my heart. The project supports women recovering from domestic violence through mentoring and counselling services. And the statistics are startling.
The Australian bureau of statistics has reported that 23% of women who had ever been married or in a de-facto relationship, experienced violence by a partner at some time during the relationship. Unicef has estimated that as many as 275 million worldwide are exposed to violence in the home. I don’t think it’s going to get any better unless we do something to break the cycle of violence in the home.
Q: What is your inspiration behind the work that you do?
Karen: In business and in life, my passion is to create a legacy and know that I have made a difference – in my family’s life and in others’ lives as well. I want to show my children that if you persevere, you can succeed in whatever you put your mind to. I also suffered from domestic violence so being able to include projects that support these great causes and be able to inspire women who are going through what I did.
Q: What are you aiming to achieve?
Karen: I would like to build a sustainable, successful business that focuses on supporting not-for-profit organisations and projects. For me, success is not only financial; it is also personal fulfillment, the belief in what I do every day, and being able to spend time with family and friends.
With all the not-for-profit’s that we support, I hope that our partnership will help make a real change in how these organisations raise funds, supporting them with ongoing income. It’s so important, particularly in our current economic environment.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Karen: I received an email from one of my not-for-profit organisations last month that I am particularly proud of…
“A quick thank you! We received our first donation cheque last week : ) Thank you so much for all your efforts to bring us on board. I’m really looking forward to being able to spend more time with you this year.” From SunnyKids
Q: Why are you so motivated to make a difference?
Karen: Personal experience. I was in a violent relationship and, when I decided had to get out, I found I was completely alone. I had no family in Australia and didn’t know where to go for help. When I heard about Life 2 Project, I knew there was an opportunity to partner to make a change for the better in peoples lives.
The two key issues that most heavily impact families of domestic violence are deep emotional trauma and loss of financial stability. Often belongings and assets are lost and earning capacity is diminished. Depression, post -traumatic stress disorder, stress, anxiety, fear and low self -worth compound and it is often the reason many families exist on the poverty line.
The Life 2 Project is creating a holistic program to address these key areas, a program creating emotional and financial empowerment, healing, education and strategies to bring long term financial and emotional stability.
The project is currently pursuing various streams of income to fund the program, including the “1000 Shoppers Campaign”, where everyday families shopping for everyday products support our programs. The aim is to change the attitudes and habits of shoppers by purchasing better, safer products.
At least 5% of the shopping revenue is used to subsidise entry to The Life 2 Mentorship Program. The idea is to leave the harmful toxins in everyday products behind, buy safer products at competitive prices and help to break the cycle of domestic violence.
As one thousand shoppers join the campaign we generate enough revenue to subsidise 6 people per quarter to enter the Life 2 Mentorship Program.
Q: Do you feel there is reward in your efforts?
Karen: The beauty of what I do is that I am financially rewarded at the same time as I am raising funds for not-for-profits. I don’t have to look for the ‘feel good’ factor to compensate me for the lost time and wages spent volunteering to raise money for a not-for-profit. It’s one and the same. Every time one of my customers shops with my partner company, the not-for-profit gets a portion of the sale and I still get a commission. It’s a real win-win.
Q: If you had your way, everyone would spend 5 minutes a day…
Karen: Inspiring others and giving selflessly to help other families in need. Looking at a small way they can help another without personal financial gain being at the forefront of their action.
Connect with Karen: