Designer and CEO Sara Campbell talks giving bigger as she hosts Boston Women in Media and Entertainment charitable event on Giving Tuesday
Sara Campbell Ltd. knows about giving. They have donated to a long list of organizations nationwide over the years from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, GA to the Young Women’s League of Canaan in Caanan, CT. On Giving Tuesday on November 27, it was just another day for this shop to give back.
Dressed in a stylish blue and black dress is Sara Campbell, designer, founder and CEO of women’s clothing boutique shop, Sara Campbell Ltd. She hosted Boston Women in Media and Entertainment (BWME) for Giving Tuesday, opening up her shop for great deals on her fashion line with 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting Cradles to Crayons, a local non-profit that fights childhood poverty. On Giving Tuesday, attendees were encouraged to contribute a new coat for a child age 5 to 17 to be delivered to Cradles to Crayons.
This is Sara’s second time hosting BWME at this location and her sixth year hosting this event. Designed in the USA, Sara Campbell Ltd. has 25 locations nationwide. The Sleepless Critic and BWME co-founder and Magic 106.7’s Candy O’Terry spoke with this event and the act of giving. Click here to learn more about BWME, how to join, and the opportunities they offer all year. Click here to learn more about Sara Campbell, her collections, the company’s community involvement and much more.
Sleepless Critic: You work a lot with Cradles to Crayons. What does Giving Tuesday mean to you?
Sara Campbell: Giving Tuesday means nothing to me because I don’t believe it should be one day a year. As a shop owner, a manager to my employees, and all the people I am responsible for, our mission is to give back and serve our customers, our community, serve each other as a company, and everyone who works together. It’s service. I believe that is what small business is and should be. It’s delivering that act of kindness that makes a difference in somebody’s life today. Every day, I have my employees write up an act of kindness they did today in our stores. When I get a blank, I am not happy.
I raised my business knowing I was supposed to give back, whether it’s buying someone a cup of coffee or paying a toll which could be 25 cents at the meter. I was taught to give what you can and that’s your way of putting back what has been given to you. It is what feeds our business, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. You have to have faith for whatever the journey is.
It’s getting more and more obvious these days how much we have to breed kindness, thoughtfulness, and empathy. Faith is hard, especially when it’s eCommerce and it is Cyber Monday. The tariffs in China are hugely impacting me. I’m made in the USA and we don’t make zippers in the US. I have to import supplies and it’s going to be passed to the consumer because my payroll is increasing. My staff deserves raises, healthcare, insurance, everything. As a strategy, the only way we are getting through it is hopefully to grow and have our bricks and mortars survive and prosper, but it takes our loyal customers to make that happen.
Candy O’Terry: I’m a loyal customer!
Sara: You are! Giving Tuesday drives a lot of prosperity to different organizations that wouldn’t get it otherwise. To that end, I am for Giving Tuesday. The drive to get bigger is I can give bigger. I can do more. It’s not that we are getting bigger and getting a bigger house. I’d like to get out of debt (laughs.)
Candy: The Sara Campbell brand is selling all across the country.
Sara: It takes a village of friends, customers, team workers in this office, in the sample shop, and in our stores. I’ve had this idea that I’m going to take a picture of all our stores and we’re going to cut out paper dolls. They are all going to be holding hands around the building. That’s what community and this wonderful night is all about. It’s the women who are part of Boston Women and Entertainment. So much camaraderie excites us and helps us get through the dark days.
Candy: I met Sara about ten years ago. I interviewed her for a show called Exceptional Women on Magic 106.7 and she became my friend. As the years passed, it doesn’t matter if I do 50 or 60 events a year, if I can show up wearing a Sara Campbell dress and say in front of 1,000 people if they like my Sara Campbell dress. I am so loyal to her because she is a local designer with a heart of gold.
Sara: I will never say no to you. I don’t care what you need or want because you are delivering the message through you to bigger places.
Candy: See that is what Giving Tuesday is all about. Good goes around. That’s why we are here tonight because if I can introduce ten new people to the Sara Campbell brand and they buy Sara Campbell and they tell their friends, it’s a win-win all around.
We love local charity Cradles to Crayons so much and will leave this place with two giant bags for them. Sara donated about ten jackets for children. We’re going to write them a nice check and I’m going to show up with this stuff to our giving factory tomorrow. We’re going to help local Boston kids walk to school with a beautiful, warm pink coat on looking like a million bucks.
Sara: I learned the beauty of giving a brand new coat to a child from Kids Clothes Club, another local organization started in Brookline, MA. We have had kids write us to say they slept in their new coat in the kitchen last night because they just didn’t want to take it off. It’s so good for their self esteem. I’m going to write Cradles to Crayons a check so they can go get the size for the exact kid they have in mind.
Candy: When we walk out of here tonight because of the kindness of these women and Sara, we’ll be able to donate something to children in our own community and that means so much to us.
Sara: We have to take care of each other. Candy, thank you for orchestrating such a fun night. You are a change maker.