Interview with Zoe Mesnik-Greene, Founder of Lasting Smiles
Glitter girls we recently sat down with Zoe Mesnik-Greene, Founder of Lasting Smiles. Lasting Smiles is a neat little lip balm that we absolutely adore! Every 1,000 lip balms sold funds one cleft surgery — transforming a child’s life forever. Use Your Lips; Smile for a Cause®. Zoe told us where the idea of Lasting Smiles came about from, her amazing advice on helping out your favorite charity and how to follow your dreams. We also have a cool giveaway with Lasting Smiles. Read on as the deets are at the bottom and you’re going to want to get your hands on this one! 🙂
GLITTER: How did Lasting Smiles come about?
ZOE: I watched a short piece about children born with cleft lip and palate birth defects. As I began doing research on the medical condition, I felt compelled to make a difference but in a lasting manner. As I started thinking about how we could change the way we looked at funding for cleft surgeries, it dawned on me that I could make a connection between cleft lips and lip balm which we apply to our lips multiple times a day. This led me to work to develop Lasting Smiles into a fun, fashionable lip balm. We source our organic ingredients from three fair trade certified cooperatives and every 1,000 lip balms we sell funds a cleft lip or palate surgery for a child in the same countries we source our fair trade ingredients!
GLITTER: How did you feel when you learned that Nordstrom was going to carry Lasting Smiles?
ZOE: With Nordstrom being such a respected fashion specialty retailer, I was beyond excited!!! The Nordstrom consumer cares about quality, design, and philanthropy thus there was a perfect alignment to Lasting Smiles. Lasting Smiles launched in the Brass Plum Teen Department. I get so excited that our generation is passionate about causes and global change. And cares about purchasing products that are meaningful while doing well.
GLITTER: What makes your lip balm a fair trade product?
ZOE: It’s easy to forget all the people behind the products we use everyday! Fair trade certification guarantees a minimum price and premium payment, which producers use to invest back into their businesses and communities. Fair trade gives people in developing countries the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Learn more about fair trade at: http://www.fairtrade.net.
GLITTER: How does Lasting Smiles give back?
ZOE: Good question. Every 1,000 lip balms sold provides 1 cleft lip or palate surgery for a child. Lasting Smiles has partnered with Smile Train, which is the largest and leading cleft surgery organization in the world to carry out these surgeries. Together through partnership we have the ability to help more children smile for the first time.
GLITTER: Where can buyers find Lasting Smiles? Is it in other retailers as well?
ZOE: Right now we are also available at select Whole Foods and online at Drugstore.com/Walgreens.com!
GLITTER: What are the plans for 2015?
ZOE: Lasting Smiles launched the end of 2014, so in 2015 we strive to grow the Lasting Smiles community and further are impact around the world!
GLITTER: What advice do you have for teens who want to help their favorite charity, but don’t know where to start?
ZOE: There are so many more resources these days to take action and get behind causes and charities. Have a brainstorm session with friends. Don’t think that just giving money is the solution. Volunteering with your time and giving your voice makes a big difference too. If you are so inclined, be entrepreneurial in how you help your favorite charity and think out of the box with ways to fund raise, as often the ideas are right in front of you!
GLITTER: What advice do you have for teens who want to follow their dreams, but are afraid to jump ahead because they don’t know what’s waiting on the other side?
ZOE: What I have realized about entrepreneurship is that it is often hard to really know what is on the other side. There are constant changes but this is the beauty of it. The hardest part is taking the first step. The journey will be full of bumps along the road, but when you are deeply passionate about something this drives you to continue. If you believe in something worthwhile do not let other people get you down. Find the people who believe in you, who can mentor you, and help provide you with the wings to take flight.
Thanks so much, Zoe, for the amazing advice and Glitter girls, make sure to follow Lasting Smiles:
Valentine’s Day Social Media Contest
We are super excited to share Lasting Smiles. Use the hashtag #lastingsmiles and tell us what makes you smile. FIVE people will win the Lasting Smiles 5 flavor collection pack! Hurry as the contest ends on February 14th!