Purple Elephant Founder Interview!
Posted on 19 December 2016
Good Morning Girls!
Now that our partnership with Purple Elephant is in full swing, we've decided to give you guys a little back-story on the amazing founder of the organization; Caitlin Johnston. We are so happy to be working with Purple Elephant, and learning more about the founder has gotten us even more excited to introduce her to all of you! Enjoy this little interview with founder and CEO of Purple Elephant; Caitlin!
Q: When did you create Purple Elephant, and what motivated you to initially come up with the idea of creating such a non-profit organization?
A: Purple Elephant was created in 2013 with a purpose in mind to change the way young people think about Alzheimer’s. At the time, I was working in long term care and found a need to raise awareness for the disease among those 35 and younger as this population had no clue what was happening to their parents and grandparents. There is such a stigma associated with the disease and this idea that it only affects “old people”, which, is very far from the truth, and at the time, was alarming to me.
I truly believe I have always had this underlying passion for brain health and there were situations, people, and challenges in my life that helped me to uncover it. I continued to constantly think about how I could further help this younger demographic and ignite the same passion I had within me, in them. The name Purple Elephant came from an idea I had one day while mediating, as elephant’s never forget and purple is the most recognized colour world wide for memory. In addition, I added a forget me knot around the elephant’s trunk.
Q: Did you ever imagine that starting the Purple Elephant foundation would benefit so many people?
A: I mean, I dreamt of it just like any other founder would, but no, I never thought that the growth and impact would pick up so much momentum in these early years. The organization is only 3 years old and we have already had over 1 million website visits in 2016 alone. I’m very proud of my team and my board as this has been a work in progress, and such important work for the cause.
Q: What’s the most impactful advice you’ve ever been given?
A: A quote that has been repeated to me on a weekly basis by one of my mentors: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead. It’s one of the truest statements that I have ever heard and I tend to repeat it in my mind every time that I am faced with a challenge. Determination, passion, and perseverance will break boundaries and help to lead you in the right direction.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of starting your own non-profit organization?
A: When looking at things from a starting point I believe you need to have your outcomes set and always come back to those outcomes when faced with all of the various different stages you will go through before and after you are off the ground. If you stick to your outcomes then you won’t get lost among the daily tasks.
Q: What advice would you give a young woman looking to start her own business; non-profit and beyond?
A: Numbers don’t lie. – Take time to get comfortable with numbers because at the end of the day they will be your best friends. Measure, Measure, Measure. – In order to improve your business you must use metrics. Be in love with what you do. – At the end of the day, it’s your passion that will drive through the tough and challenging days.
Hope you guys enjoyed learning a bit more about the founder of our latest partnership! Be sure to check out our "Be Strong" bracelet supporting Purple Elephant!