Where you are born should not determine whether you have access to the health services you need to stay healthy. This is everyone’s right and something world leaders committed to achieving as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, millions of children around the world don’t have access to vaccines that can protect them from polio, measles, and other diseases. Globally, a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.
Two year ago, Bloom + Grace, which offers jewelry for the socially conscious consumer, partnered with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to help support United Nations efforts to expand access to vaccines so children around the world can lead healthy lives. Through the partnership, Bloom + Grace donates a portion of every purchase to Shot@Life.
We recently had the chance to check in with Bloom + Grace founder Dani Lachowicz about her experience as an entrepreneur for social good and an advocate
for protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Jenni Lee: What inspired you to start Bloom + Grace and get involved in helping expand access to vaccines to protect children around the world from
Dani Lachowicz: While working in sub-Saharan Africa, I witnessed firsthand the impact of access to basic childhood vaccinations. Inspired by my time in developing countries, I wanted to create an exciting way for people to give back to a cause that could change the lives of so many children around the world.
JL: Can you talk a little bit about how Bloom + Grace works? How do you work with local artisans How do you work with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign?
DL: Bloom + Grace is committed to working with the most talented artisans around the world and to create long-term sustainable employment opportunities where our artisans can grow as we grow. With Shot@Life, each piece purchased provides up to 24 lifesaving vaccinations to children in developing countries. Vaccinations are a great, quantifiable way to show the impact of each purchase to our customer and to get them excited about the cause.
JL: Bloom + Grace is a great example of how businesses can do well and do good. What’s your advice to entrepreneurs who are looking to start businesses
focused on social good?
DL: Doing good is good business. Customers are caring more and more about the story behind their purchases. They want to know how their product is made andif it is having a positive impact on the world. Giving back, whether on the sourcing or charitable giving side, definitely does not make things easier on your business, but it will make you happier, your employees happier, and your customers happier.
Happier employees means greater employee retention and happy customers means more sales.
That said, when forming a charitable giving partnership, you – as a brand – need to be committed to a long-term, sustainable partnership. If you are not committed to the charity or the cause, your customer will notice.
JL: What are the achievements of which you are most proud?
DL: To date, we have provided over 45,000 children with lifesaving vaccinations through our partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign. We have created long term partnership with artisans groups and watched as their businesses have grown with ours. Finally, we’re incredibly proud to have produced season after season of high quality, unique jewelry that our customers love.
JL: What gives you hope that we can create a better world where all children have a shot at healthy lives?
DL: Vaccines have played a critical role in reducing the number of childhood deaths. Immunization has saved the lives of more children than any other medical intervention in the last 50 years yet one in five children lack access to these immunizations. Approximately 1.5 million children in developing countries die each year from preventable diseases. If we can increase the access to these vaccinations, we can give these children a shot at healthy lives.