Branding Matters

Jordan Gilford - Let Your Passion Drive Your Purpose

January 21, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 52
Branding Matters
Jordan Gilford - Let Your Passion Drive Your Purpose
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Jordan Gilford, the Founder and CEO of Gems For Gems - a multi-faceted charity that focuses on the empowerment and economic recovery of female survivors of domestic abuse

Jordan has earned tremendous accolades for her work with For Gems Gems including being named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40, a True Beauty Foundation Community Change Maker & the recipient of the Green Sparrow Agent of Change Award. And most recently, she was named on Aspioneer’s TOP 20 UNDER 40 list for 2021.

I invited Jordan to be a guest on my show to talk about the Gems For Gems brand. I wanted to learn what inspired her to start this much needed charity. And I was curious to learn what role branding plays in their fight against domestic abuse.

💥IF YOU WANT HELP GETTING YOUR CLIENTS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BRAND,  REACH OUT TO ME ON SOCIAL AT BRANDING_BADASS OR EMAIL ME AT JGOODSON@GENUMARK.COM

Joelly Goodson :

Hi I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass, and welcome to season two of Branding Matters. My guest today is Jordan Guilford, the Founder and CEO of Gems For Gems - a multifaceted charity that focuses on the empowerment and economic recovery of female survivors of domestic abuse. Jordan has earned tremendous accolades for her work with Gems For Gems, including being named one of Calgary's Top 40, under 40, A True Beauty Foundation Community Change Maker, and the recipient of The Green Sparrow Agent of Change Award. And most recently, Jordan was named on Aspioneer's Top 20 under 40 list for 2021. I invited Jordan to be a guest on my show today to talk about the Gems For Gems brand. I wanted to learn what inspired her to start this much needed charity. And I was curious to learn what role branding plays in their fight against domestic abuse. Jordan, I am so honored and thrilled to have you with us here today. Welcome to Branding Matters.

Jordan Gilford:

Thank you so much for having me. This is awesome. I'm excited to be here.

Joelly Goodson :

I'm so excited to have you here. Just to give our audience a little bit of a background, I think you and I met I was trying to think about it. I mean, it was a few years ago, I don't know if it was four years ago, maybe when I was first introduced to you and introduced to gems for gems and not knowing anything about it. And I was just blown away by what you're doing and everything. And so we connected. And then I said to you know, I'd love to be involved. And I tried to do what I could and I think I did the joy drive with you guys. But I never felt that I was doing enough, I guess. And I really want to get more involved, cuz I've seen what you guys are doing. And so I finally you know, reached out to you. And I said, Jordan, I want to help you, I want to help you with your branding. And I think that's when I got to learn way more about the background of what you're doing. And I'm so excited to be a part of it and be an ambassador, no doubt, you're gonna do great, great things and gems for gems is going to do great things nationally. And then who knows, maybe internationally. So I want to thank you for everything that you're doing. And I'm so happy to have you here today. So thank you before we get into it, congrats on being named on as pioneers top 20 under 40. For 2021. Can you share what that's about? And what it is?

Jordan Gilford:

Well, I was interviewed for it. To be honest, I didn't have any idea who else got it. But when that award list came out, I was shocked. It's International, which is even more of an honor. What is asked planners first of all.

Joelly Goodson :

What is it?

Jordan Gilford:

Well, it is an international magazine that seeks to be able to build up businesses to be able to show the public and different organizations kind of who up and comers are they seek to help facilitate collaborations and just to really kind of help people have their finger on the pulse of what's up and coming and what to watch for.

Joelly Goodson :

And you were surprised? That's even better. Before we dive right in. I want to know a little bit about your origin story. Where did you grow up? And can you share a little bit about your childhood and your parents?

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah, for sure. So I grew up in a rural village, that's not even a town, there's 150 people, not 150,000 150 People super tiny, but 20 minutes away from the next form of civilization. And it was a very quiet, modest life, we were incredibly poor, we often didn't have heat, hot water, food, even, it was a challenging childhood, but in a way that I was kind of unaware of, because it was all I ever knew, I didn't really have a real grasp on what we were missing. Because there wasn't we didn't have internet, we didn't have any of these things that would really nowadays really highlight what you don't have, we were just focused on when we did have, even though we were living a difficult life, we really focused on the positives of it. And we didn't have a deep awareness of what we were missing that really honestly like that mentality has been something that has grounded me throughout my whole life. And it has really given me an enormous amount of resilience, because I do know what it is to have nothing and to still be able to see joy and experience happiness in that.

Joelly Goodson :

So what did your parents do? Were they still married?

Jordan Gilford:

No, my parents separated. They were living apart from when I was 18. And they officially separated when I was 17. Their relationship was not great. There was no abuse there. I know some people when they look at my life now and my husband is absolutely lovely. And we've been together since I was 18. People immediately will look at my dad as a potential for where the inspiration behind connected to domestic abuse came from. And it's not at all sadly I did experience abuse in several different areas while I was growing up, but not from my family. You personally. Yeah, yeah. For a year. Oh, yeah. Then when I left home, I was 18 Just before I met Tommy, I had another Iranian with that type of thing. And then I met Tommy, when I was 18 just turning 19 I honestly because of having him. So in my corner, I teetered on the edge of spiraling out of control several times, but kept me able to come back and finally find my footing in my mid 20s. But there was a, it was bad for many years, many years in a short life, a good four or five years where I did not have my footing whatsoever. And then we got married when I was 25. And we had babies right away. And it was honestly the big change for me was becoming a mother, and just put everything in a different perspective for me. And shortly after that, we moved out to Calgary from Nova Scotia, and I started gems within a year domestic abuse and low income for two areas that were really married in my life. And that's why I wanted to help women who have survived domestic abuse. And I focused on shelters, because it's people who don't have a lot of other people in their corner. So I wanted to be there for the people who I understood and who needed help.

Joelly Goodson :

Wow. And so you moved to Calgary, What year was this when you moved here?

Jordan Gilford:

2014, I think and then the first jewelry drive was that first Christmas.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so you moved here in 2014. And you thought, you know what, that's it. I want to help people that were in my situation. And so you just decided to start a charity? Like, how do you do that? Can you share how you did that?

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah, sure. Honestly, Gems is so not traditional. I did not start Gems For Gems to start a charity whatsoever. There was a story when I was 14 brother and my sister and I gave our mother, we pulled our Christmas money together that my grandmother gave us. And we gave our mom a little bracelet. And she bawled on Christmas morning when we gave it to her and she left the room. Yeah, and devastated us because she just left. And when she came back, she had done her hair, put on our best clothes and done her makeup. And she just sat us down and told us that this little piece of jewelry put her back on her own radar. And so remembering that story at Christmas time that I decided to try to collect gently use jewelry, from the women in the public and give it as Christmas gifts to women in shelters. And it just exploded that first year we did packages with three to five items in them for 436 women, which is amazing. And then now we're over 18,000 across Canada just took on a life of its own. And then as it started to grow, more people came involved and and I started becoming more aware of different holes in the domestic abuse world. And I just tried to step up and do the best I could every time I saw something. But literally from the beginning, I have never had to do this on my own. There has just been more and more people all the time holding me up holding gems up and encouraging me and being like just huge support. It is a charity that was made accidentally but accidentally on purpose. It's been an amazing, beautiful ride, but really inspiring because of how many people have just, yourself included, jumped on board and bought into this dream of mine, which is just amazing.

Joelly Goodson :

That's incredible. So you decided, Okay, I'm gonna do this. So it wasn't necessarily you would thought I want to do a charity. But because of what you did with your mom that Christmas, which by the way, is very touching on Google the clump, they're listening to that you decided, Okay, we're gonna do that on a bigger scale. And then did you just go around to your friends and say, Hey, do you have any used jewelry that you can donate? And we're going to put together these packages, and it just started like that on your own. Did you have help?

Jordan Gilford:

No, just Tommy and I cleaning and packing.

Joelly Goodson :

That's amazing.

Jordan Gilford:

Well, the first year, I approached the owner of Orangetheory, fitness and Seaton, and I begged them to help me collect. And every single one of their trainers got on board. So they mentioned it at every single class. And that's really where we were able to get the bulk. But from one location in season and season wasn't built up then at all. So it's really just right from the start. That's what I mean, like people just they liked the idea and rallied around it. And off we went, the charity idea came to my head once I wanted to do the scholarships, because I knew we couldn't volunteer our way to paying for scholarships. So we needed to be able to be a credible source for people to donate money and had to get a little bit more serious than and it's gone really, really well.

Joelly Goodson :

That's great. And so Gems For Gems. So the name I'm assuming comes from the fact that that bracelet that you gave your mom name is so important when you have a brand and the more that you own the name, but the more that personifies what you do specifically is great. And I mean gems for gems really says it all. And so it's a great, great name. Thank you for sharing that story. I had no idea about your experience growing up. So it sort of makes sense. Now I know you and I've had conversations about Gems For Gems, you're very specific about saying that it's domestic abuse versus domestic violence. Can you share why and what the difference is between domestic abuse and domestic violence?

Unknown:

Sure. So this is yet another example of how Gems is a bit unique and a bit against the grain because domestic violence is the typical term that everyone uses. The reason why we specifically and very consciously say domestic abuses because when someone hears the word violence, they immediately think of someone hurt, like physically hurt beaten up. And that's the first picture that comes in your mind is great as far as getting sympathy and getting extra donations and all of that, because it makes people immediately activate that part of their brain that induces nothing but sympathy. But the reality is not just physical, the reality is financial, the route reality is emotional, there's so many different forms of abuse. And the reason why we really do not want to focus just on the violence side is that I don't want people who are being manipulated and coerced, and all of that to not see that as the abuse that it is, I don't want it to be that you think you need to be beaten up to qualify for support from us. You don't, there are so many different forms of abuse, and each one of them are qualified to receive the help that we can give. And I think that, by mistake, our industry has done a major disservice to so many survivors out there. And I just really want there to be no confusion around the fact that every single form of abuse warrants support help, and the acknowledgement that it is abuse

Joelly Goodson :

So you're really intentional about that.Well, makes sense. You know, it's funny, I started watching the Netflix series Maid. I had no idea what it's about, someone just recommended to me and I started watching it. And it wasn't long until I was like holy, you know, and then because of my experience volunteering with Gems For Gems, I really felt this connection to the character. And you know, there's one scene in particular where she goes in, I don't know if you've seen. Have you seen the series?

Jordan Gilford:

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, that scene where she goes in to try to get help. And the woman the officer, I don't know what her title was. But she was telling her or asking her like, why she didn't come sooner. And the character the main character was like, well, because I haven't been abused. He never hit me. And the the officer, the person who she was talking to was like, What are you talking about? Of course, you've been abused. That was like, this lightbulb moment for me where I thought about gems for gems. Okay, yeah, like I get there's there's probably so many people out there right now that don't even know they're in abusive relationship. Right? They don't even get it because they're like, Well, I haven't been hit. So it's not abusive.

Jordan Gilford:

So I like he's a jerk, but he doesn't hit me.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, manipulate. Yeah. And so I really, really love that, you know, you're very intentional with calling it domestic abuse, because I don't think people really get it. And so a part of what you're doing is educating the masses. And also, I think the victims that may not even know, they're victims, and you're saying, Hey, you're being manipulated, or, Hey, if you're in a situation where someone is bullying you, and these are all the different ways you're being abused, and we can help her to help,right?

Jordan Gilford:

100% Yeah, it's also I mean, an invitation to consider your own beliefs around domestic abuse, when you hear domestic abuse as opposed to what everyone else calls it, which is domestic violence, it invites thought and invites introspective look at your own environment, a loved ones around you, I just think it's important.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, it definitely is. Okay, so then when you decided to become a charity for someone out there, let's say who's listening who might want to start a charity, you know, because it's not just as easy as like, Oh, I'm going to start a charity. How do you become a registered charity?

Jordan Gilford:

There's a lot of work and everything I wrote an article recently, actually, for that top 20, under 40. And my whole article was, this is what you're signing up for. So if you don't have this, seriously, consider not doing it. Because there's so many other ways you can make a beautiful impact in your community, you have to be a certain type of human to actually make a goal of this, it was not easy at all, very worth it, but not easy.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I would say you have to be very, very passionate about it. And then your passion drives your purpose. Do you hear that? A lot of times in branding, actually, specifically and in business. And so you have that you're obviously extremely passionate about it. And that's your purpose. So now you've officially been a registered charity for how many years now? Four years?

Unknown:

I think close to 6 or 5 and a bit. Yeah, around there.

Joelly Goodson :

I was never good at math. So what are some of the biggest lessons you've learned since you started Gems For Gems?

Unknown:

Oh man, there's so many! One of the ones is to be incredibly careful with partnerships, I would say my biggest learning lesson there was to make sure that there's a start and end in the charity world, you need to have good blood everywhere you possibly can. And having a beginning and end means that you can exit a partnership that might be too great people that just didn't, it didn't work well together. And you can end it gracefully, as opposed to ending it with any hurt feelings or anything like that. So that was really important. Also, to really follow my gut instincts. There's been plenty of situations where what I wanted to do was not what I should have done, and I knew I shouldn't have let something happen, but I did because I thought what's the worst that could happen? Well, you get back to Brown thing, the worst that can happen is a hit to the brand. And the thing is with me, it's not just a hit to the brand, it's a hit to all of you ambassadors that have given your time, your name your everything to gems, and that's on me. So I care so much about that. And I'm incredibly strategic and careful. Now, I had a few bad learning lessons recovered from and I won't be making those mistakes again.

Joelly Goodson :

And by failing. I mean you started this, you had no idea what you were doing, I assume, right? So you went into it blindly. And that's how you become successful is by failing. And by making those mistakes and learning.

Jordan Gilford:

I think I you know, one of the things that it has been a really big guiding principle for me is to not attempt to be good at everything, make sure you have the humility to see you're weak and go work with people who are great at it in the beginning of gems, because I was unproven. I didn't seek out all the people that I should have, because I didn't have the proof in our proverbial pudding, that we would have been a good investment for people. Thankfully, I had some really wonderful people come on very early, that filled a lot of my holes. But there were still holes that created gigantic chasms because they were unfilled for a long time, branding is one of them.

Joelly Goodson :

That's what I'm here for.

Unknown:

I know. And you're a Godsent! That, to me is the biggest thing that I would say is that so many people want to do this solo. And I'm myriad of different reasons. But one of them is that people don't want to share limelight. And that's thankfully not something that I've ever struggled with. But I know a lot of people do. And I just think it's so very important to be able to have the confidence in yourself to understanding what your weaknesses are as one of your biggest strengths. Because that makes it possible to compensate for them, you're never going to be the best at even half the things you need to do. But you can be the best at understanding what you need and going out and getting it well.

Joelly Goodson :

That's a really good lesson, you know, for businesses in general. And and even for entrepreneurs or small business owners is they always say the most successful businesses if you surround yourself with the best people, right, and you know how to delegate, I don't know if necessary, if it's an ego thing. I mean, maybe part of is an ego thing, I don't think you have that problem. But I think this is your baby, right? So this is your baby, and you want to make sure it's handled well. And so handing off your baby to different people is scary. And it's a bit risky, right? And I think a lot of entrepreneurs to have that same mindset. But the reality is, if you surround yourself, you say, Okay, well, I know what I can do, but I'm in a hand, have this person take care of this part and this part, and then you're gonna have this amazing support system around you, you're all gonna rise together? Oh, I think it's probably a learning process. So those are all really good lessons. So I appreciate you sharing with that. So I want to talk a little bit more about the nonprofit world because the reality is there are a lot of charities out there, right? I mean, worldwide, which is great, you can never have too many charities and people doing good is always great. And with that there's going to be competition, and especially now you know what's going on in the world, and people are struggling financially. And sometimes it's not as easy to get donations or volunteers. There's only so much to go around. So what does gems for gems do differently that helps you stand out from your competitors? Because they are in one sense competitors, because you're all competing for people's money and time and everything else? What do you do differently that sets you apart? Other than of course, you?

Unknown:

Well, our team. And to be honest, it's been the biggest thing that sets us apart. Our Ambassador Program has been a major game changer for us.

Joelly Goodson :

Can you share a little bit about what that is? For people who don't know?

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. So our Ambassador Program is full of people who have to apply to become part of it and full of people who are very driven to make a difference, but also who buy into the gems for gems way, our way of thinking, our belief, for instance, that in the domestic abuse versus domestic violence, and we meet those people with the expectation that you will step up and do what you can when you can and how you can. So that's actually something very unique about gems for gems is that there's a lot of organizations that have a very rigid volunteer program and all of that. But when I was building the ambassador program, I had a lot of push from the people who are already in gyms to make that very rigid and a bit of exclusivity. I'm just not that person. I just very much wanted to be that if someone believes in what James is doing, and has their heart in the right place. Yes, come join us. And it doesn't matter to me that you have a busy month, a busy six months, a busy year, because we have every single one of our founding ambassadors still. And it's because we have what we call livable commitment to gems. So it works with your life with your family with your everything, anything at my house. Always children are invited and it's never gems or your family or gems or your work. It's very much it works with your life. Everyone has good feelings towards gems. No one feels obligated or upset that they have to go do a gem thing. It's very just nothing but positivity. Which is wonderful because then ambassadors go out and they talk about gems for gems, and it's from the middle of their heart, they're proud, they're excited, they're happy, they are literally being all that is gems in the community. And I just love that. The other thing that is really difference maker with gems is that we are very solution focused organization. And we are lucky enough to be a solution focused organization, because there are so many wonderful organizations out there that are putting their finger in the hole of the leaky bucket, and we need them if you're bleeding out, you need someone to stop the bleeding and to worry about what is happening right now. But because there are so many organizations focused on the now it has given gems, liberated gems to be able to fill the hole down the road. So when women have stopped the bleeding when they're ready to now take on their next step in life, and they have the motivation and the strength, we're there to say, yes, here's a scholarship, here's this opportunity. Here's that opportunity. Here's our Thrive program, here's how you can learn about resilience and financial literacy and on all the other things that we really work to be able to help women get on their feet. In the aftermath, we are not immediately post abuse, we are a little further down the way from that. And again, we're lucky to be able to focus there because there are so many other organizations focusing on the immediate now post abuse, those are two things that were just naturally very different. The other thing too, is that I don't worry about anyone else at all.

Joelly Goodson :

What do you mean, you don't worry about other people? You don't worry about what other charities are doing?

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

That's great. They say, just keep your eye on the ball and focus on

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah, I don't. I don't worry about it all. In fact, I share their stuff, I help promote them, I write reviews for them, I build them up because gems in general, like I want us all leading by example. And the world I want to live in is not one that we are focused on competing with everyone. I want to live in a world that everyone's just doing their best on then with everyone during their best donors and volunteers choose from everyone's best, not because anyone's putting anyone else down.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I love that. And and it's so important to do that, you know, I'm kind of the same way. I mean, and we I think everybody in their brother has a podcast, I'm waiting for you to start your podcast. Everybody has a podcast, right? And if you start thinking about what everyone else is doing, it will just drown you focus on your goal, your mission, your purpose, and you just go with it. So I love that you said that. Because I think that is really, really important. And I think you're doing amazing things. And I also love what you said about how your mission is helping empower women empower themselves. So you're sort of saying now that you've gotten out of that horrific situation, because a lot of people they say, Okay, leave the situation, then they leave and they're stuck being in a position where they could drown where you're like, okay, you don't have to drown. Here's your life, but we're going to give you the skills, and we're gonna help you build a life for yourself. So empower yourself to make it on your own. And you don't have to depend on that person that was abusing you.

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah, very much so. And we want to make sustainable change. Even if a woman was to find herself in another abusive relationship. She's never going to be dropped again. Yeah, ever. To me that is lasting change that sustainability. That is real impact. And that's what I'm all about.

Joelly Goodson :

That's amazing. You mentioned the pandemic earlier. So since the pandemic, there's been a huge rise. I don't even know what the numbers is. Do you know what this numbers are in the rise in domestic abuse since the pandemic started?

Unknown:

It's up 190% or so. It's bad. It's horrendous?

Joelly Goodson :

How is Gems For Gems specifically dealing with COVID and the rise in domestic abuse? How has it affected you?

Unknown:

It's affected us in a lot of different ways affected me specifically through Gems in a way that I didn't see coming. Sometimes weekly, I get sent pictures from women with destroyed faces and bodies because they don't know what to do. It is not an understatement to say that COVID has, quote unquote, cause an increase because it's not just about it getting worse for some people. There's a lot of people who were married to that jerk, as I mentioned before, but now that jerk doesn't have a job anymore. Now he's drinking more. And that created the opportunity and the perfect storm to be able to bring that side of him out. I mean, we focus on women's survivors, but there's plenty of abuse from women to men too. So in my world, I keep saying hee hee hee hee hee as far as the perpetrator. But I want to be clear that there's plenty of women who have started abusing or who have always been abusers, the statistics is that for hospitalization and for situations involving the police that 80% are male perpetrators, and as much as the opposite sex couples.

Joelly Goodson :

What about the LGBTQ community? What about transgender community? Is that just not something that Gems is involved in? Can you share a little bit more about that?

Unknown:

Yeah, I sure can. One of the interesting things that I've heard is that in transgendered couples and in gay and lesbian couples, their traditional rules of don't hit a girl are two they're so interestingly, things can escalate quicker because there just isn't the same rules right off the hop. We all raise boys don't hit a girl. Don't hit a girl. Don't hit a girl. So when it's two girls or when two people on the same level sexually

Joelly Goodson :

Gender. You mean gender

Jordan Gilford:

Yeah. When it's an equal playing field, gender wise, there's not the same job. Yeah, are there right from when we're little kids? I haven't really worked consistently with shelters who specifically are there for every other form? What I know well is women but I've heard a lot about how the same rules kind of don't apply. That is a world that I have very little experience in, but that's what I hear.

Joelly Goodson :

So Gems For Gems is specifically helping women just because that's your wheelhouse. That's what you know, that's your experience. And that's your focus.

Jordan Gilford:

Yes, but say someone who's transgender applies for a scholarship then okay

Joelly Goodson :

So it's open to everybody.

Jordan Gilford:

If you identify as a woman, you identify as a woman, okay?

Joelly Goodson :

Could a man apply for a scholarship?

Jordan Gilford:

If you're identifying as a woman,yes

Joelly Goodson :

Let's say they're gay, and they're in a relationship, and they've been abused by their partner, and they come to you and they want to apply for a scholarship? Are they eligible as well?

Jordan Gilford:

So right now, no. But we would love to be able to branch out, it's very important to me to stay consistent to our donors and to our supporters. And so what I would have to do first is make an organizational addition, which would be scholarships for men. And then it would have to be people who are buying into them, because you understand to our donor base and our community of ambassadors to a lot of them are abused women. So that's something that I don't want to say thank you very much for your donation. You struggle with men and all that, but now I'm going to put your donation towards man, I don't think that that's being true to my words. And that's certainly something we're open to down the road, no question.

Joelly Goodson :

Jordan, I hope you don't feel like putting you on the spot or anything. Because at the end of the day, you have a niche. And it's really important. And you know, we're gonna get into branding here in a second here. But when you're a brand, and you have your target, and you have your audience, you find your niche, and you have to be very specific to your niches. And that's what you do. And it's not about exclusion, or anything it's about this is the nation, this is the market that you're serving. And these are the reasons why. And that's totally cool. And that's great that you're doing that I applaud you. Just FYI, as you know, I'm your biggest fan.

Jordan Gilford:

I know! And I want to be clear that I care personally very much about survivors period. We focus on

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, no, I totally agree. So that's a women because of my experience. And like I said, we didn't grow Gems For Gems intentionally in this direction at all, and then suddenly was growing. And so I stayed very true to my why. But certainly, we get bigger and bigger and bigger. They need help just as much as we do. Every form of abuse victim needs really great segue into branding, because that, as I help just as much as straight women or women in general. I certainly see the need for that. But I do also agree with what you're saying. Because people will say, yeah, well men are abused to like, Yeah, well, there's testicular cancer, too, doesn't mean that you shouldn't do a breast cancer fundraiser, just because you're focusing on one doesn't diminish the value. mentioned, it's finding your niche, your brand has gone through some changes in the last little while, it's been sort of slow and steady, we rebranded your IG account, which has been a lot of fun. And that's going great. And you know, it's increased, I think, your awareness and followers and you're redoing your website, and then you have your swag. So tell me a little bit about the Gems swag and what the purpose is behind that. And your mission.

Jordan Gilford:

Sure, why started Gems swag prior to the pandemic, the whole point of it was to be identified, and have our brand identified when we're at different events that we were hosting. And then when the pandemic hit, and all kinds of fundraisers were canceled, and donation started going down because people were losing their jobs. I was like, why don't we grow this to try to compensate for what we've lost? We were very fortunate with that it's done very well, it's certainly something we're going to continue. So on the financial side, that was the push behind it, but the whole BE THE CHANGE part of it is very much an extension of what I said before, as far as as leading by example. My whole goal with the be the change on our swag was to be able to inspire people in the community, you don't even have to open your mouth. And that's very much how I feel about leadership is that lead by example, you can tell people over and over and over again, but show them to me that's powerful leadership and I wanted to be able to give that to anyone who purchased our swag, the ability to lead by example and to inspire people just from the clothing you're wearing.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that and I you know, I love that you have BE THE CHANGE on all your merch because that's my wheelhouse as you know. And I've been talking to a lot of people recently about instead of just putting a logo because you could have just put the jumpsuit logo on there which we just redid but I love big change because it's an action and it's creating you're also creating engagement with the audience. So when people see someone wearing a BE THE CHANGE t shirt the natural thing is to go Hey, what's that right what is the the change and now you're creating conversations and you're creating engagement. So that is really important, but I've been talking a lot of people about that now instead of putting our logo let's do a little bit different. Let's put a slogan let's put a tagline let's put something fun that is going to engage the audience and get them to Maybe ask him more about what that means. And so BE THE CHANGE does that. And I think that's great. And you're another great example of why swag is so important and why it works and why it really is helping you to get brand awareness out there into the space and digitally as well, because most of us are online now. So doing that, well, your branding is looking really good. And I'm excited to see the new website. So Jordan, before we go, I'm curious, you know, we've already accomplished so much in the past six years with Gems For Gems, what's next for Gems Gor Gems? What's your next mission? And then what's next for Jordan Gilford?

Jordan Gilford:

Well, in a lot of ways are one in the same. So we just recently launched our newest initiative called Hope's Cradle. And that is a safe surrender cradle and a fire station in Strathmore with entrance from the outside so that mothers who are not able to look after their babies can safely surrender their babies there with full anonymity. And that has gone so well, we certainly want to be able to branch that all over Calgary and all over Alberta, and then beyond. We already have interest in Nova Scotia, BC, Manitoba. That is a big focus.

Joelly Goodson :

I want to stop you right there. Sorry, I want you to back up and give a little bit more information about Hope's Cradle. This is so so important that I want you to take the time to really explain why it started and what specifically it is.

Jordan Gilford:

Sure. So two and a half years ago, our board chair detective Dave sweet came to me because he had found yet another baby abandoned and deceased. And he has unfortunately had this situation happen many times. But this one hit him hardest because it was on Christmas Eve, and the department was calling the baby baby Eve. And it was just heartbreaking all around. Interestingly, when I had heard about that story, I had already started researching what could be done. This is kind of what I'm talking about. Because we are nimble and really focused on solutions, we have the ability to think outside the box and see a problem and respond to it. So I had already started thinking about what we could do. And then he came to me and asked me if there's anything that I think gems for gems could do. I said, Absolutely. So we took the concept of a cradle of a safe surrender cradle to our board, and immediately the whole board voted yes. So then I got to work. And we wanted to partner with the hospital, because obviously that's the end destination for any surrendered baby. But COVID hitch so we kept trying to wait for a quick, low and COVID to be able to initiate it and it just didn't happen and and then over this past spring and summer three times while I was speaking to Dave, a new baby was called in babies literally kept piling up. And finally on the last one, I was like God, enough is enough, I have to find another alternative. And in the States, they partner with fire stations. So I decided to switch gears look for a fire station. Fortunately, I was connected with one almost immediately. And then five months later, we launched our first Hope's Cradle.

Joelly Goodson :

That's amazing. And so what it does is they actually built this box cradle. It's beautiful and warm and everything where I'm a mother who has just given birth, who has no feels that they have no other option other than dropping their baby in a dumpster, like sorry for being so graphic. But that's what happens right is now they can actually go to this place and anonymously leave their child there with a note knowing that that child will be now able to survive and taking care, which is such an incredible initiative.

Jordan Gilford:

Thank you. It's very easy to look and villainize a woman who would do that. And the proof behind it is it's a lot of traffic girls, and women who feel their baby is better off deceased rather than what would happen to them at the hands of the pimps and stuff. It's bad. As soon as you understand more, it's very easy to have nothing but sympathy for most of the situations. And it is a resource for the babies, obviously. But it's also a resource for the mothers because most mothers would never want to be put in that situation

Joelly Goodson :

You have the first Hope's Cradle launched in Strathmore, Alberta, Canada. So now you're looking for other fire stations around Canada?

Jordan Gilford:

Yes, we want this to go as far and wide as possible. I really want us to be able to be the ones to do it so that it's all under the same name. You talk about branding again, too, I want I want women in need to be able to look up Hope's cradle and boom, have countless options across Canada all accessible, I think in order for them to be able to be a valid third option. So there's abortion obviously adoption, obviously and have hopes credo be the third option is really my big goal. But in order to do that, they need to be very accessible. So they need to be everywhere. They need to be very well known. And that's my goal.

Joelly Goodson :

I have no doubt that it's going to happen. And I'm excited to be part of it. And I just want to end with this. And I just want to say you know a lot of times when I'm talking to leaders, and we talk about branding and what makes brands successful, and a big part of it is about brands being transparent and being authentic. and connecting with their audience, right and getting your audience to fall in love with your brand is good branding. And I think you do that so wonderfully, you and I've talked so many times. And I always say to you, Jordan, you got to do another video because people love you because you're so warm, and you're so real. And you speak from the heart and it shows and you knock it out of the ballpark every time. And so the reason you're becoming so successful on my part is because you really know how to connect with people on a level that is sincere and that they believe in you and they fall in love with you, and they want to help they want to help you succeed and help other women. That's why I think gems for gems is doing so well. So if people want to learn more about you and about gems for gems, and how they can get involved, what is the best way for them to connect with you?

Jordan Gilford:

Well, reaching out on any one of our platforms. And if you want to speak directly to me, you can just ask that the message gets sent to Jordan. So you can literally Facebook Instagram, our website.

Joelly Goodson :

What's your address, your website address

Jordan Gilford:

Gemsforgems.com. I almost said www but you told me that's so 1990s lol! So not doing that anymore!

Joelly Goodson :

Awesome. I love it. And then what's your Instagram?

Jordan Gilford:

It's GemsForgemsCanada. If you want to take a look at our swag line it's on our website, there's information on Hope's Cradle, our Ambassador program and our scholarships. One of the things about our scholarships is that we name all of them in memory of women who have been lost to domestic abuse.

Joelly Goodson :

Back to your swag for a second. So do 100% of the proceeds from the sale of your swag go to support Gems For Gems and your initiatives?

Jordan Gilford:

Yes! 100%

Joelly Goodson :

So that is really important. And the other thing is the jewelry drive. If anybody out there, and I am sure there are tons of people who have jewelry that they're no longer wearing, how can they donate their jewelry?

Jordan Gilford:

It does not have to be anything fancy whatsoever. The mandate is gently used. So you can send it into our mailbox. If that works. You're out of Calgary. And if you're in Calgary, you can contact us and we can get one of our ambassadors to come get it from you. And we'll store it for our Christmas giveaway.

Joelly Goodson :

And can they find all that information on the website?

Jordan Gilford:

Yup!

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, perfect. Jordan, thank you so much. It's so great to see your beautiful face and talk with you and learn a little bit more about your story and love that you shared that with everyone. So thank you again. When are you coming back to Calgary? Do you have a date yet?

Jordan Gilford:

ASAP? I miss it. Thank you so much for having me. And for all you do. I just think the world of you and I'm grateful to be here. Grateful to know you, honestly. And this was lovely.

Joelly Goodson :

I'm gonna cry. All right. Well, thank you and we'll chat soon. Okay, sounds good. All right, bye. And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. But most of all, I hope you had some fun. This show is a work in progress. So please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want to learn more about me and what I do to help my clients with their branding, feel free to reach out to me on any of the social channels under you guessed it, branding, badass branding matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly Goodson awesome. So thanks again and until next time, here's to all you badass is out there.