At the age of seventeen, Xenia Vorotova found her life completely changed after moving to New York City from the city of Izhevsk, Russia. Xenia, her mother, and her sister came to the United States for better opportunities in life and were immediately enchanted with the music, the fashion, and the change of pace that a huge American city offered.
However, the transition from Russia to America brought on financial roadblocks and the family of three found themselves with little money and living in a homeless shelter for six months. During that time, Xenia would sketch out fashion designs as a hobby and to escape the harsher realities she had to face.
Fortunately, those same sketches would get noticed by the non-profit Sanctuary For Families founder Dorchen Leidholdt, who helped Xenia attend fashion school to make those designs become reality.
After being able to climb out of homelessness and start attending fashion school, Xenia soon took on a new name that millions would soon recognize: Doe Deere, the founder and owner of Lime Crime cosmetics and the fashion label Poppyangeloff.
Doe Deere was able to turn her sketches and dreams into reality through hard work and determination. Lime Crime employs 35 people in the Los Angeles area and makes an annual revenue in the millions.
Doe Deere attributes her successes in beauty and fashion to her upbringing. In particular, she says coming to America and becoming a citizen is the biggest reason why she is now CEO of a hugely popular cosmetics line. She is living what she considers the American Dream and made it possible through hard work and organizations such as Sanctuary For Families.
From Russian immigrant to homeless in Manhattan to CEO of Lime Crime, Doe Deere wants women all over the world to know it is possible to achieve anything and to be unapologetic about their successes in life.
When David Zalik was running his own e-consultancy firm, OutWeb, he started to notice a pattern with some of his home-improvement industry clients. Many of the nation’s largest home-improvement companies, like Lowe’s, Benjamin Moore and Home Depot, were losing large amounts of business at the point of sale. Zalik dug in a little further and discovered that even more business was being lost through contractors that usually buy supplies from these outlets. He started to zero in on the cause.
Bridge financing for retail customers
What Zalik found was that there were a large number of high-end home remodeling projects that were falling through due to the fact that the people trying to complete them had severely underestimated the true final cost of the projects. Over a period of months, Zalik started looking into this issue, doing in-depth research. What he found left him stunned. Zalik estimated that there were billions of dollars in home renovation projects being lost each year due to the customers simply running out of cash to complete their projects or not having enough to begin with. He saw a golden opportunity.
This was the original insight that led to the creation of GreenSky Credit. GreenSky Credit was founded as a way to help homeowners who were looking to complete costly and cash-intensive home renovation projects but who didn’t have the cash on hand to do so. One of the most brilliant aspects of the GreenSky Credit business model is that it only focuses on prime borrowers, most of whom are doing projects that will very clearly lead to added value on their homes. Although the loans themselves are mostly unsecured, Zalik realized that homeowners who have high FICO scores to begin with and who are seeing immediate boosts to their home values of more than the cost of the projects are extremely unlikely to go into default.
The lenders that GreenSky Credit partners with to extend these instant point-of-sale loans, therefore, are more than happy to offer some of the best loan terms in the business, including no payments or interest for the first year. Almost all GreenSky customers end up paying off their loans with no penalties.
Stream Energy has deepened their philanthropic endeavors by founding Stream Cares to engage in charitable work full-time. The Dallas. Texas based energy company has long been involved with philanthropic charity, but after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on their fellow Texas city of Houston and the surrounding areas, Stream Energy decided it needed to step its charity game up a bit and thus launched Stream Cares.
When so many of their employees were directly affected by the devastating hurricane, Stream Energy matched all the efforts of all of its employees who volunteered or donated money and resources. Already committed to helping out, Stream Energy made sure that the efforts of their workers were rewarded by this doubling of what they raised. Stream Energy was a major force in Dallas area charity, but with the advent of Stream Cares they can now expand to other cities such as Houston and even to other states to help increase their charitable giving and help grow their brand as a company that cares about people.
The company itself makes no big deal of the fact that charity can help their business: They are very aware of this and use their charity as a PR opportunity, but before they call the press they make sure that their actions really will help. By teaming up with other charitable organizations that specialize in areas like helping the homeless or assisting veterans, they ensure that they do more than have a good PR opportunity: They ensure that what they do actually has a positive impact on the communities they are trying to help. If they gain some good will in said communities while doing so, it just signifies that they know how to brand themselves and male their name known so they can grow and continue to help.