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Community Highlights: Meet Monika Wiela of Give Back Box

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monika Wiela.

Hi Monika, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m a founder of Give Back Box. Growing up in Poland, I didn’t have much: no toys, no shoes, and very few clothes. Even if I had money, there were no goods in stores anyway. When my uncle sent me a toy from the U.S., my eyes as were opened in a powerful way—not only to a joy but also to possibility. That day, I realized that there was a world out there were these amazing things existed. And I couldn’t help but want to provide those things for others. Skip ahead to a decade ago immigrated to America. Soon I sold my first pair of shoes on the internet and eventually founded a successful internet fashion business.

But in 2012, a chance encounter with a homeless man sparked an idea in me. The man held a sign saying he needed shoes. I understood his lack. I returned the next day with footwear for the man, but he was nowhere to be found. Compelled to do more, Give Back Box® was born. The platform allows consumers to re-use the cardboard boxes from their e-commerce purchases to forward used clothing, accessories, and household goods to the charities. Give Back Box® encourages environmentally friendly practices, in addition to providing an easy way for consumers to donate items to a non-profits. I know, the gift of a single item could very well change a life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Its have been not a smooth road. From all obstacles like language barrier to lack of money, connections and resources to make impossible happens, to simple doubt of friends and family. But it was worth every single one!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Give Back Box® provides vendor services to retailers and charities, giving each and every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse your online shipping boxes in which you received your purchases or any other cardboard box you may have to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes, etc., to make a major difference in the life of another person. Give Back Box® has teamed up with some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., including Overstock, Amazon, Loft, REI, Levi’s, Asics, Ann Taylor, LEGO, Nordstrom, JC Penney and many others.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I do read a lot, mostly biographies, novels and self-improvement books. Working with my mentor Meir Ezra on improving my life and business skills on almost daily basis.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Olya Marynets Tim Sabatino

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