Chrissie Lam - Founder of the Love is Project

What is the Love is Project & The Supply Change?

The Love Is Project strives to create a more connected world based on inclusiveness. In 2015, the Love Is Project launched as a social media campaign and is now a standalone lifestyle brand with a dedicated team and platform. To date, we've employed over 150 Masai mums in Kenya, 100 artisans in Indonesia and 60 women artisans in Ecuador. Artisan wages have gone to fund education, health initiative, home improvement and additional income generating projects.

The #loveisproject grew out of a simple desire to find out what love means to people around the world and how, despite our circumstance or history, love unites us all. The Love Is Project exists to share the story of Love – in all its good, bad, joyful and painful guises – via an authentic movement from the ground up. We've seen how connecting others through the universal truth of love brings laughter, joy, and happiness. 

We’re thrilled to expand our production from Africa to Southeast Asia & South America along the equatorial line, creating jobs while fostering local artisanal craftsmanship. This “Pay It Forward” social enterprise model extends this concept to empower women artisan and their communities worldwide in an ethical supply chain of love. Through this symbolic full global rotation, LOVE connects us all. We are looking forward to growing and scaling this concept to more countries and communities in the future.

The Supply Change is the consultancy I started after leaving corporate fashion in NYC that help connects brands to artisans groups and creates collaboration products. The Love Is Project is trademarked under The Supply Change LLC.

More here on Our STORY: https://www.loveisproject.co/pages/our-story

Do you believe you were born with the innate qualities to want to help others or did this evolve into who you are today, because of your experiences and travels? 

It’s been an evolution, with much trial and error along the way. I was born with passion, drive, inquisitiveness and resourcefulness. I love creating, traveling and connecting people. However, I wanted more purpose in life and started to explore ways I could do that.

After volunteering in East Africa in 2008, I realized the charity model is not sustainable. Economic empowerment is the way to make true impact within communities. By leveraging my past experiences and network, I’ve merged design and international development to forge a new career path for myself. The Love Is Project is a culmination of my talents, strengths and passions.

In stressful times, how do you stay motivated and positive in spreading your mission of love? 

It’s about balance and baby steps. If I’m stressed out, I’m not functioning at my best. I make time for wellness - yoga, swimming, tennis, massages, naps, meditation, being in nature and spending time with friends and family.

I find out what is the root of the problem (stress) and make changes accordingly. If you can move the needle forward a little bit each day, that’s good enough. Luckily, I receive positive, motivating words of encouragement from supporters each day which is uplifting to hear.

Being able to "Pay It Forward" from Kenya to Indonesia and Ecuador and witnessing the impact of job creation on the women artisans and their communities is incredibly inspiring.

Be Grateful. I think about how far this project has come since the beginning... the experiences, how it has evolved, how much I’ve learned and all the amazing people I’ve met along the way.

There is nothing else I rather be doing.

What do you like to do outside of work that directly impacts your career? 

Travel. I’m a bit of a travel junkie…over 103 countries so far. I started traveling at a young age and through out my fashion career in NYC. I love meeting new people, trying new foods, discovering design inspiration and learning about new cultures and their social-politcal & environmental issues.

How important is having a daily routine?

For a long time, my routine was not to have a routine. I was constantly traveling and every day was a new day. I have more of a routine now that I based in San Francisco and Bali the majority of the time. I think it is nice to have a routine for a bit, but it refreshing to bring in more spontaneity. This year I’ve been focused on my business and scaling, so my routine is more work-centric.

What are one challenge and one lesson you've learned from your experience as a founder? 

Lesson I’ve learned over time:

"Do not allow my actions to disempower myself.” 

Challenge:

Remember to delegate. You can’t do it all by yourself. Find great people to work with and empower them.

 INSTAGRAM PHOTO via  @  thesupplychange  "Love & Peace. Grateful to have original supporter  @emmanueljal  a part of the  @loveisproject   #loveisgreen  photoshoot today in  #Bali . Beautiful day hanging with friends & sharing the love.  #wewantpeace   #loveisproject "

INSTAGRAM PHOTO via @thesupplychange "Love & Peace. Grateful to have original supporter @emmanueljal a part of the @loveisproject #loveisgreen photoshoot today in #Bali. Beautiful day hanging with friends & sharing the love. #wewantpeace #loveisproject"

What are your top two favorite #LOVEISPROJECT memories? 

1. Launching the #loveisproject social media campaign in early 2015 with American Eagle Outfitters (US & UK), Whole Foods and Colette (Paris). It had gone from a personal Instagram photo project into 1000 stores in a matter of six months. It was incredible to see the outpouring support. It was a whirlwind and an exciting time.

 INSTAGRAM PHOTO via  @LoveisProject  "Paris, je t'aime." #bastilleday #loveisproject" Photo ©  @trailofcrumbs

INSTAGRAM PHOTO via @LoveisProject "Paris, je t'aime." #bastilleday #loveisproject" Photo © @trailofcrumbs

2. Relaunching Love Is Project as a standalone brand-online platform, beginning of 2017. It was a rebirth. I felt more empowered than ever.

It was wonderful to travel back to Kenya, reconnect with the Masai community and hear about the impact and see the progress the Love Is Project had made there. I love coordinating the different photoshoots in all these countries. It's always a fun day bringing people together and sharing the love!

Can you tell us one invaluable resource that has helped in the growth and development of the Love is Project?

Digital Marketing - We would not be where we are now without Facebook and Instagram ads. Faster growth and awareness.

What is one piece of advice you can offer me, from one female-founder to another? 

Stay focused and authentic. 

Surround yourself with a supportive circle you can ask for advice.

Don’t listen to the haters.

Have fun!

I would LOVE to share repeatedly 1 message to the world, on your behalf, what should I share? 

Self-love. You can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.

What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote? 

"Love is proportional to your will.” Essentially, the stronger your will, the bigger your love. 

I heard this quote while I was traveling in Russia, from a woman named Julia. I really loved it.

The Love Is Project is true testament to that.

In one word, describe yourself:  

A Catalyst.

 "Be Grateful. I think about how far this project has come since the beginning... the experiences, how it has evolved, how much I’ve learned and all the amazing people I’ve met along the way. There is nothing else I rather be doing."

"Be Grateful. I think about how far this project has come since the beginning... the experiences, how it has evolved, how much I’ve learned and all the amazing people I’ve met along the way. There is nothing else I rather be doing."

 "Be a part of the greatest love story every told! With the purchase of every  LOVE BRACELET , you are helping women around the world feed, clothe, and educate their children!" Get yours today!  SHOP

"Be a part of the greatest love story every told! With the purchase of every LOVE BRACELET, you are helping women around the world feed, clothe, and educate their children!" Get yours today! SHOP