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Life and Work with Misty Castañeda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Misty Castañeda.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started with a video on Facebook of a six-year-old boy named Dane, who was using his artistic skills to “do good” for others in his community. As a passionate “do gooder” myself, I started imagining how different the world might look if we, as parents, consciously decided to raise our kids to be more like Dane. Although I found some resources online that focused on teaching kids about kindness and helping others, most were geared towards young adults and teens, and largely left out young children.

As a Mom who’s had the opportunity to live abroad and volunteer internationally, raising a kind and compassionate child that thinks of others before himself is one of my most important goals. And at a time when many of us are sinking further and further into technology, we see kids following our example and becoming more detached from the immediate world around them.

In 2016, we launched For Purpose Kids to inspire kids, ages 5-10, to learn about being kind and doing good for others, animals & the environment. Our Subscription and Toolkits engage young kids in meaningful conversations and activities using multi-cultural characters and stories, as we believe there’s no better way to foster kindness and compassion in the world than through education and storytelling that focuses on our similarities, rather than our differences.

Kids are the future. And we want to do everything in our power to make that future a kind and compassionate place. We envision a future where children learn love and acceptance over hatred and fear, and it carries into their adulthood as they become global citizens. Where we not only embrace our differences, we celebrate them. Where we live in gratitude and focus on sharing with those who have less.

Be Kind. Do Good. Make the World Better.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Social Entrepreneurship has been a much more difficult journey than I had expected at the outset. The idea I had of building a social good brand for kids that would become an overnight success, especially one that seemed extremely relevant to the current climate in the country, was completely inaccurate. Building a business, particularly one that is focused on one’s passion and not solely on generating revenue can be a long and emotional journey…one where you question yourself and your ideas on not just a daily, but sometimes on an hourly basis. But I’ve also learned that this is where the magic is for me and other entrepreneurs that I’ve met along the way. Along with the feelings of discouragement, doubt and fear comes a unique exhilaration, knowing that you are working against all obstacles to build something new and different and that could impact the world in an important way.

There are two things I can say that have been the most critical to me making it to where I am with For Purpose Kids. The first is the deep “knowing” that I have in my heart for the mission of the brand. Some may call this “knowing” intuition or drive, and it’s literally the thing that keeps me moving forward, every single day. People often talk about the importance of finding one’s purpose in life and the joy that comes with that “finding”. For Purpose Kids is the culmination of every experience that I’ve had in my life up until now and is, without a doubt, my purpose. But that “knowing” and “finding” can be difficult to pitch to an investor or a customer at times, but for me, I’ve learned that trust and patience are the solutions in those situations.

Which leads me to the second thing that has been critical for me thus far- finding and building a community of people, particularly women, that are on the same path of entrepreneurship as I am. We are so fortunate in LA to have so many options and opportunities to connect with other change-makers and badass women working hard to make the world better. These communities have connected me with people that I can share my biggest triumphs AND deepest fears with- and in turn listen to their experiences along the way. They are my cheerleaders and champions and they motivate me to keep going- to keep pushing and striving, especially when it’s hard. Building a business, or an empire of kindness as I like to tell my husband, can be very lonely and intimidating. Impostor Syndrome is real, but it can be diminished by community- community which serves to let us know we are not alone.

Please tell us about For Purpose Kids.
For Purpose Kids is a social good brand inspiring the next generation of global citizens by teaching kindness and doing good as a way of life. Our Toolkits & Subscription, our first products, include curated books and fun, interactive activities around helping people, animals and the environment. Each Toolkit focuses on a special cause and our activity guides use multi-cultural characters to help kids connect to the world around them.

We are one of the first subscription boxes encouraging children to become global kid-izens, one act of kindness at a time. Our goal is to help children plant the seeds to grow a better future by learning to be kind and make the world a brighter place. But our goal is not only to be known as a subscription box company- our goal is to become a kid’s brand offering unique books, clothing and merchandise for kids that will continue to inspire them to be kind & do good, as well as to become a platform highlighting other social good kids’ brands working hard to make the world a better place.

One of the things we are most proud of at For Purpose Kids is our give back model. As a social enterprise, we are not only focused on solving a social problem (the lack of kindness in the world towards others, animals & the planet), but we also donate a portion of our sales to non-profit organizations around the world that are dedicated to supporting underserved communities or preserving the planet. We have some exciting ideas on how to expand our current give back model and hope to be able to implement and share those soon.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Wow…tough question, with a million possible answers. But there are a couple of key barriers I’d like to mention per my experiences both in the corporate world and as an entrepreneur. The first is the idea that women are emotional leaders that lead mostly from the heart. In my corporate career, I was often told I was “too” emotional or “too” concerned with the feelings of others and that I needed to focus more on the “bottom line”. One of the hardest, and BEST decisions I ever made, was to walk away from a successful “corporate” career. The good news is that this idea of focusing only on financial metrics is shifting, albeit slowly, and I’m glad I had the courage to stop pushing up against this barrier in a company that wasn’t quite there yet and start leaping over the barrier with my own enterprise. The barrier still exists, but I do believe it is lowering.

Another significant barrier that exists for females and female entrepreneurs specifically, is access to funding. Although this is not something I’ve encountered thus far as I haven’t entered the arena of pitching for capital, statistically speaking, a woman’s access to capital is FAR less than that of their male counterparts. Women receive only single digit percentages of venture capital and bank loans as to compared to men and therefore this creates significant barriers to success for females to lead currently. As with the example above, this landscape and narrative is changing- but at a far slower rate than most realize.

The last one I’d like to talk about is us- women ourselves. I was raised by loving parents that taught me to be independent and that I could be anything I wanted to be. And however much we “believe” that to be the narrative in today’s society, the last 2 years have shown us a lot more of the reality that truly exists. While the systems in place may allow for women to be in a place of leadership, society doesn’t wholly support us in the path to get there. I’ve done a tremendous amount of inner work to quiet the things in my head that tell me I’m not “enough” (whether that be in regards to my intelligence, appearance, financial standing, beliefs, etc.), but it’s a long and often exhausting road. That’s where I’ll once again mention community, particularly for women, as I believe women supporting women will be one of the best ways to continue to break down this barrier.

Pricing:

  • For Purpose Kids Toolkits (Be Kind & Do Good Starter Kit, Helping People & Communities, Helping Animals, Protecting Our Environment) @$45.00 each + plus shipping
  • For Purpose Kids Quarterly Subscription @$39.99 per quarter, or $149.99 pre-paid (all US shipping included)
  • Color Me Kind Tee @$20.00 + plus shipping

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marisa Vitale Photography (lifestyle photos); Sydney Krantz Photography (product images)

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Lizzie

    January 4, 2019 at 19:18

    We need more dope people like Misty! Instilling “doing good” at this age will combat the current state of hatred in the world #kindness

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