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Meet Brooke Marston of Charity Girl Problems

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Marston.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Six years ago now I was laid off from what I thought, at the time, was my dream job. In hindsight, it was definitely the best worst thing that could happen to me. Thought I definitely didn’t feel that way at the time. Being unemployed for an extended amount of time is a valuable experience I think everyone should have at some point in their life – though I would never wish it on them!

While I was looking for a job, I started volunteering as a way to meet people, stay busy, and have things to talk about in interviews. I never loved networking so volunteering felt like, for me, a much more natural way to meet and connect with different people.

Volunteering taught me SO MANY valuable lessons during this chapter. But the most important lesson was the intangible value you gain personally when sharing what you have (whether it be your skill set, your knowledge, or simply your time).

Throughout that whole chapter of my life, friends and acquaintances continually reaching out, asking for advice on how to start volunteering. Many had done so in high school or college and missed it now that they’re well into their “adult” life; some wanted to honor a loved one’s memory by supporting a cause close to them. But many felt that volunteering or giving back in any way meant you had to give all of your time or large amounts of money.

And that’s why I decided to launch Charity Girl Problems – to show people that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to giving back. And there is no right or wrong way, either. All that matters is that you do something.

My goal with Charity Girl Problems, since the launch, has been to empower people to find their own unique-to-them, give back style through doing what they love and are passionate about. Whether it be choosing to support brands with a give back mission, to mentoring an at-risk youth or human trafficking survivors, to donating a percentage of the profits you receive on products you make to a cause close to your heart, to giving clean socks to the homeless neighbor in your community. All of these things make a huge difference when we combine all of our individual acts.

I’ve learned through the years that the most powerful way to create change is through storytelling. So when you visit Charity Girl Problems, you’ll find the stories of people who are using their own unique talents and skills to creative positive change. Hopefully, by reading their stories, you’ll be inspired to create your own give backstory.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think anyone in the creative or entrepreneurial space will tell you that the road is far from smooth. There are constant ups and downs. Always new walls that feel impossible to climb.

But man, the high that comes when someone shares with you how your content inspired them to do something… that’s truly something special. Knowing you touched someone’s life for the better somehow manages to help you forget all the struggle it took to get there.

Some of the things I’ve learned along the way:
The learning curve is steep and you’re going to make mistakes. Like, all of the time. And you’ll constantly feel like you know nothing at all and are just hoping no one else has caught on to you yet. But if you’re passionate enough about what you are doing, people will never catch on.

No matter what it looks like from the outside, a large majority of your time is spent solo in front of a computer. Whether it be editing photos, writing copy, trying to catch up on an insatiable email inbox, or keeping up with social media – 80% of your time is spent staring into a blue screen.

You will lose friends along the way. Which sucks. Some people don’t understand why you choose [insert project here] over them. But, if you’re like me and always searching for silver linings, that does open the door for new people to enter your life. And those people not only understand (usually because they’re in a similar boat), they become the best cheerleaders in your corner. Keep. Those. Friends. Close.

There will burn out. It’s a lot to build something from scratch solo. And it can get lonely (as noted above). So find something – ideally physical – to keep healthy and maintain perspective. For me – that was running.

Instagram will hurt your feelings. Both on a personal level and a business level. They will continue to bury your content in an effort to drive their revenue streams. They’re a business, so I get it (though I’m a bit salty about it). And there will be trolls who say mean things. Just remember that their comments are more about their insecurity than what you’re doing. And, at the end of the day, Instagram (and all other social channels) are only a means to share the stories you have to tell to a specific audience.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
For readers, Charity Girl Problems is a place to come to be inspired. Whether it be a resource as you figure out your own giveback style or a place to learn more about the innovative ways people have found to make a difference, hopefully, you leave feeling empowered. My goal isn’t to hit you over the head or guilt you into doing something. My hope is that, through learning people’s stories, you’ll feel inspired to begin your own give backstory.

For brands, my approach is more of a cause marketing collaboration. Recent trends in consumer habits have shown that social impact initiatives are extremely important for clients in the decision making process. The goal of Charity Girl Problems is to share the human and social impact stories of your brand to build a long-term relationship with current and future clients.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
This question is hard to answer as honest, I work with a lot of people in other cities/states, given a large majority of the work I do is online based. Hope you don’t mind if I skip it.

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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.

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