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What It's Like to Run a Mother-Daughter Company That Gives Back

Hannah is senior lifestyle editor at SheKnows and STYLECASTER, covering love and sex, politics, career, home, food, travel and more. Her work has been published by Glamour, Refinery29, Dr. Oz the Good Life, Redbook, Elle and others. Foll...

Sue Kramer co-created an innovative jewelry company with the mission of paying it forward

Mamas Make Change
Image: SheKnows

Mother's Day is a few days away, and you might be planning brunch with your mom or what flowers, card or gift you'll send the woman who gave you life. No matter how close you are with your own mom, there's something so inspiring about mothers who are out there creating positive change (see many more stories of these women here). Among them is writer and filmmaker Sue Kramer, co-founder of a jewelry business called Marbelous and founder of a networking company called Connecting Dots Guru.

Based in Brooklyn, Kramer runs Marbelous, a jewelry business, with her 12-year-old daughter, Lutece, and their close friends, Rae and Tess Olmi (another mother-daughter pair). After the success of Marbelous, which launched four years ago, Kramer created Connecting Dots Guru this past March, which plays matchmaker between businesses and people.

Both companies share the same mission: to give back, and with every transaction, donations are made to nonprofits including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Save the Children, The Malala Fund, BluePath Service Dogs and Christy Turlington's Every Mother Counts.

To find out more about how Kramer spreads hope, kindness and empowerment in life, business and motherhood, check out our Q&A with this giving-focused mompreneur below.

More: How This Mompreneur Is Creating Positive Change Through Her Clothing Company

SheKnows: What led you to start businesses that give back to important causes?

Sue Kramer: As a writer, filmmaker and storyteller for most of my career, I always wanted to create businesses that told a story about giving, making an impact and the way businesses are run in this world. My goal is inspire and teach all businesses worldwide that there can be a charitable component to every exchange. Both companies represent circles — metaphors for the globe and making it a better place.

Sue Kramer co-created an innovative jewelry company with the mission of paying it forward
Image: Sue Kramer

SK: How did becoming a mother affect your perspective on life and business?

Kramer: I've always taught my daughter that it’s great to have high goals and dream big but to always consider doing it while simultaneously giving back to others. In the age we live in, I think we need to teach our children that kindness is possible and can be financially rewarding. Our advice is to let your kids dream big because dreams can come true for them as well as others. Never count them out just because they're children.

SK: Can you tell me a bit about how Marbelous came to be?

Kramer: Rae Olmi's family and mine were the best of friends and next-door neighbors. At age 8, our girls, Lutece and Tess, started designing jewelry that resembled marbles. They both wanted to create a company that gave to charity. Rae and I were completely in sync in wanting to help make the girls' dreams come true.

Lutece and Tess came up with a list of charities to give to and the wonderful name Marbelous. Because Tess’s cousin is autistic, we decided that giving to a charity for autism was essential, in addition to a charity benefiting mothers to help in the global fight for maternal health.

A local boutique saw a Facebook post of us wearing the necklaces and launched our collection in their store. The girls got industry attention when they spoke at a conference about being young entrepreneurs. Word and interest spread organically, and within a few months, 10 stores were selling our products, we were getting media coverage, and even having celebrities like Amy Poehler wear the jewelry.

Sue Kramer co-created an innovative jewelry company with the mission of paying it forward

Image: Marbelous

SK: What's it like going into business with young daughters?

Kramer: Running a company as two pairs of mothers and daughters is very fulfilling. The girls are busy in middle school, so they serve as creative directors, and Rae and I design and run the business. Most of the challenges we've incurred are around people's incredulity that 8-years olds could create a real jewelry business.

All four of us take ourselves seriously as designers. We've taught Tess and Lutece some essential lessons along the way about business and charity. They're constantly coming up with new ideas about how to give back, and I can’t imagine that mindset won't be in place for the rest of their lives, as it's now part of their DNA.

Sue Kramer co-created an innovative jewelry company with the mission of paying it forward

Image: Marbelous

SK: How do you and Rae talk to your daughters about what's going on politically?

Kramer: We believe that to combat hate, we must all conduct ourselves with even more kindness and try to give back to charities that are busy fighting the injustices in the world and helping those in need. Rae and I have taught this lesson to our girls and now they're teaching that same lesson to others by role-modeling it themselves.

Both Marbelous and Connecting Dots Guru are grounded in social responsibility and global consciousness — which we believe in our current political climate is more important than ever.

SK: What's your goal with your new business, Connecting Dots Guru?

Kramer: I’ve managed to take my innate skills and turn them into a thriving business. With Connecting Dots Guru, I use my director’s eye to help rebrand people and companies while facilitating connections that help them reach their own goals. I charge a fee and make people donate to charity for every connection I make.

Within seven weeks of launching, I have more than 100 clients — or "dots," as I call them — all giving to charity. I can barely keep up with the amount of requests I am getting, and it's thrilling to know that with every connection I make, a donation is made to one of my favorite charities.

More: 10 Moms Who Embraced Their Passions, Inspired Change and Wrote About It

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