Confession time. I’m a crazy dog lady. Actually, I’m a crazy animal lady.
For the past 15 years, my passion has been volunteering for animal rescue. My husband and I have fostered dogs, horses and the occasional cat or kitten. It is truly a labor of love, and one of the most fulfilling “jobs” I have ever had. The true lifeblood of animal rescue is funding. Of course, there’s always a need for more volunteers, but without funding, we cannot save lives. And let me tell you first hand, as the founder of a non-profit rescue organization, no matter how hard you work at fundraising, the need will always exceed the available funds.
Enter Plunder. I had fallen in love with the jewelry nearly a year prior and had tossed around the idea of starting my own Plunder Design business. I just didn’t feel I had enough time. But in the Spring of 2016, I found myself in a very dark place emotionally. In the span of just a few months, my family suffered several devastating losses. I was struggling to come to terms with my grief, and was searching for something, but I didn’t know what. Then, quite by surprise (or perhaps divine intervention), my friend Shannon joined Plunder Design. She had always been such a bright and shining light in my life, and we had spent many hours chatting about our love for animals, and our desire to serve others and give back. I knew it was the sign, or the push I needed, to finally take the plunge.
When I started my Plunder Design business in June of 2016, my goal was to earn enough extra money to have the freedom to donate a bit of money to the charities I support and volunteer for. I figured any amount I could contribute was better than nothing, right? So I named my business “Trinkets 4 Tails” with my rescue dog Autumn as my mascot, and I embarked on a truly life-altering journey. Quiet honestly, I didn’t expect much. I presumed I’d do a few fundraisers and share some jewelry with my other crazy dog lady friends, and I would make a little extra here and there. Well, y’all, God had other (huge) plans for me and my business.
Within just a few months, I was making regular, quite sizable donations to rescue and I was able to sponsor the veterinary care for all of my foster animals through proceeds from my Plunder business. And I was watching what I call the ‘magic of the bling’ make my friends feel young again, extra sassy and more beautiful. They started taking selfies wearing the jewelry. Planning outfits around what Plunder pieces they wanted to wear the next day. There was a little extra spring in their step to boot. It was (and continues to be) so incredibly beautiful to witness.
Giving Back in Many Ways
Enter my team. That Plunder ‘magic of the bling’ was at work again. Women wanted to join me. I mean, what?? I hadn’t even asked anyone to join my team. Perhaps they just saw the joy, the enthusiasm and the potential, and they wanted the same. Before long, they too had women joining them. It was as if, seemingly overnight, there was a small army of women, my amazing and beautiful team, determined not only to better themselves, but to better the lives of others through the gift of Plunder. I thought my heart would burst as I watched each of them blossom and grow in their own businesses.
I presumed when I started my Plunder Design business that “giving back” would simply mean donating to charity, but I quickly realized that it was far more multifaceted than making monetary donations. Through Plunder, I was giving back to women their feeling of beauty, a youthful exuberance, a sparkle in their eyes. The Plunder Design business opportunity was giving back a sense of financial freedom and the hope of a bright future for women and their families. Through the Plunder sisterhood we are giving back a sense of community, connection, and a support system to women who likely didn’t even realize they needed it.
Had I waited until I had the “time” or felt 100% “ready” to start my business, I’d still be waiting. I cannot begin to imagine how different my life would be today, if I hadn’t taken the chance on Plunder. I’d have missed out on the last 13 months of deeply meaningful experiences, old friendships renewed and new friendships developed, and the amazing gift of empowerment that Plunder Design has provided to myself, and to the beautiful women I now call my sisters.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
(By Team Member and Plunder Stylist Michelle McMullen Salyers at www.plunderdesign.com/trinkets4tails/)