Name: Lily Yeh
Business: Little Loving Hands
Location: Vienna, Virginia, U.S.
Industry: Children’s Goods & Services
Reason for starting? Only 20% of 10,000 kids in a recent Harvard survey noted that their parents talked to them about being kind. As a mother of two young children, I wanted to teach them early on about appreciating how blessed they are and the importance of helping others. Unfortunately, when I was in search of ways for them to be involved in charitable giving, there were limited opportunities due to their age. I knew there had to be a better way, so I developed Little Loving Hands, which allows children to have direct, hands-on impact to helping others and learning about who, why, and how they are helping. The best quote that defines the business is by L.R. Knost: “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
Related: Read about another mompreneur here.
How do you define success? Success would be seeing the influence our service has on both adults and their children in shifting their focus on kindness and charitable giving. On a bigger and long-term scale, it would be ideal to see how creating a sense of empathy for others reverses the current negative trends around issues such as bullying, harassment, and cheating. Ideally, we would like to see our service adopted worldwide as a common investment in a child’s learning and development. Equally important, success will be defined by the impact that we can have in supporting the charities that we spotlight. This includes providing them with items in need and generating awareness of their cause and efforts.
Biggest success: My biggest success to date is seeing the impact of Little Loving Hands on my two daughters, who served as the initial inspiration for the business. Prior to Little Loving Hands, they questioned what I did every day for 40+ hours a week when I said I was going to work. Now, they understand that mom’s work is to help others help people in need. Serving as an example to them, I have seen a growth in their compassion and consideration for others. While they still show toddler tendencies, they are able to understand that not everyone is as lucky as they are and that it’s important to make an effort to help those in need. The excitement and pride that they show every time they have completed a craft to be sent out is one of the best signs of success.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our top challenge is growing our customer base and generating awareness around our brand and service. We have successfully been able to work with some top influencers, such as popular mommy blogs, to share details about Little Loving Hands with their followers. We’ve also received a number of earned media placements that have been beneficial in creating a word-of-mouth buzz. Last, but certainly not least, we pride ourselves in the product and customer service that we deliver, which encourage others to share their experience with potential new customers.
Who is your most important role model? My husband, Jeff, is my most important role model as I watch how he conducts himself both personally and professionally. As a father, I watch how he places importance on morals and being a “good person” over any other priority for our kids. As a friend, I watch how he is loyal and kind to others and always putting their needs before his. As a business professional and founder of his own company, I watch how he always thinks about the impact of his actions on his employees and customers. And lastly, as a husband, I watch and feel the support he gives to me as I work towards making Little Loving Hands a success.
Edited by The Story Exchange