Chloe Aftel Studio
She's an enthusiastic humanitarian, effective philanthropist, intelligent optimist, courage creator, jewelry designer, life inspirer and so much more. Caitlin Crosby has made caring a fashion statement. Her mission is simple, yet uniquely inspired. Caitlin sits down with us to explain how she plans on creating a better world - one hope-filled key at a time
Can you tell our readers a little about The Giving Keys?
I really believe we are all unique and each person has the power to unlock incredible beauty in the world. I found unique vintage keys to be a powerful symbol of this belief. After engraving my first key with the word LOVE and turning it into a necklace, my friends and people that came to my shows began asking for their own keys. I made more keys with words like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM and COURAGE. I realized that these simple keys became incredibly powerful when the wearer of the key would give it away to someone else. Finally, I realized that I wanted to create jobs for LA locals who are affected by homelessness, so at The Giving Keys we employ people who are transitioning out of homelessness to make each vintage piece of jewelry.
What was the inspiration behind giving the keys away to someone in need?
I had this really powerful moment in a church parking lot one day. After a service this woman came up to me and handed me a pair of earrings and said she felt they were for me so she gave them to me, a perfect stranger. It was this crazy moment that really affected me and the way I think about how we handle our possessions. I'll always remember that -- that she so freely gave something valuable away to bless someone else. That's what we want The Giving Keys to be -- not something you hoard and hold onto, but something you keep for as long as you need it, and when the time comes and you meet someone who needs that word more than you, you give it away - you pay it forward.
It’s really impressive how many celebrities have connected with this project: Selena Gomez, Rachel Zoe and Sara Bareilles, to name a few. How did The Giving Keys spread through Hollywood so quickly?
Ever since the beginning I've felt like the keys speak for themselves in this really incredible way. I'm constantly surprised by how such a simple idea -- a key with an inspiring word strung on a chain -- can have such an impact on people. LA is built on image and a lot of other things that don't really matter at the end of the day -- I think people hear The Giving Keys message and it connects in a deeper place. Our friends in Hollywood connect with our jewelry for the same reasons that anyone else around the world does - hope and inspiration are powerful whether you’re living on the streets or in the Hollywood hills. We never outgrow our need for either of those things.
Can you tell us about your partnership with Chrysalis?
We have been working with Chrysalis for the past year. Chrysalis is a well-established non-profit serving LA's homeless population with a tagline of "changing lives through jobs." At The Giving Keys, we couldn't agree more that the long-term solution to homelessness is to empower capable people to overcome their own challenges through employment and education. Chrysalis' clients have proven to be an incredible workforce to create the jewelry that our customers have come to love so much.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We see you are partnering with Not For Sale for the month of January.
The modern-day slave trade is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, enslaving more than 30 million individuals today. Not For Sale is doing incredible work with a mission to create a world where no one is for sale and we were thrilled to partner with them to create a custom pendant featuring a unique charm. The charms are the product of artisans in the Amazon, which create an important source for income and empowerment for women in Peru. The process of producing this piece of jewelry is in itself very important, as it has a direct impact on the lives of women fighting against the risk of exploitation. 20% of every pendant purchased goes through Not For Sale to support people vulnerable to human trafficking. We got an awesome story from one of the Not For Sale staff that through their educational and awareness programs in Peru one of the women they worked with kept her daughter from being lured into a trafficking ring and actually was able to bring the trafficker to justice.
Your new precious metals collection is coming out soon. What made you want to do a higher end collection? And are those all recycled keys too?
Our new Precious Metals line will be released just in time for Valentines Day. These keys are cast in the image of an original vintage key and are made of bronze and 14k gold. People were really interested in having a higher end version of a Giving Key so we started exploring options and are really happy with the way these came out. To elevate the product using more valuable materials meant creating our own keys based off some of our favorite key styles. Recycled keys and 14kt plating are not friends we found out. We think these keys are a really delicate and elevated expression of the heart of The Giving Keys. These ones might be a little harder to pay forward (but we believe in you)! They will be available for sale at Henri Bendel, on our website, and in select retail outlets.
You team up with a lot of other ‘pay it forward’ organizations like TOMS, Conscious Commerce etc. Do you think that there is a shift in consumers wanting to buy products from more responsible companies and why?
Americans are incredibly philanthropic, but we think traditional approaches to charity are struggle truly eradicate the social problems plaguing society. It's just not as sustainable to live by donations rather then revenue. By bringing the entrepreneurial spirit into the equation, consumers now have the power to help make the world a better place through their everyday purchases. The more that 'pay it forward' organizations thrive, the more it sends a message to other corporations that customers want their purchases to make the world a better place. We're headed in the right direction!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to encourage everyone to use what's in their hands to create change. I never thought that by engraving a key with the word love that I was starting on a journey to what The Giving Keys has now become. In the past two years I have watched dozens of members of our team blossom with confidence and hope and have received thousands of stories of the keys helping people. Keep your eyes open, there are people in need all around you. To learn more visit The Giving Keys.
Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.