March 8, 2023

Creators for a Cause is an internal product series that showcases the Company’s pride of creation culture and highlights the incredible design talents of our colleagues. Creators within Centric Brands design limited edition products available for purchase exclusively by Centric Brands colleagues. 100% of the proceeds are donated to a non-profit chosen by the designer each month.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Rebecca Steiner, Senior Vice President, Sales and Co-chair of Centric Brands’ employee resource group, WIN – Women Initiative Network, created over 100 beautiful handmade cards inspired by the art of letter writing that her mother passed down to her as a child. 100% of the proceeds from the cards will be donated to Her Justice – Shift the Power, a non-profit organization providing free legal help to women living in poverty in New York City.

We interviewed Rebecca to learn more about the inspiration behind her handmade cards.

How did you get into handmaking cards? 

My Mom is an artist, so I grew up in a very creative household, and I was fortunate to get a lot of her creative genes. We always made handmade gifts growing up and I was taught to always send thank you cards for any gifts I received.  In addition, my Mom always wrote us letters and little notes, so at a young age she instilled in me the art of letter writing.  I guess I picked up that beautiful trait, as I’ve always loved sending notes and letters to family & friends, which was the catalyst for designing and creating my own cards.  I started by making handmade holiday cards with photos of my child (and lots of glitter!) – before commercial printed cards became a big business – and then over time it grew into birthday cards & thank you cards.  I find myself drawn to stationary and craft stores, where I find inspiration and ideas.  The creative outlet helps me to relax and unwind, and I love putting positive energy into the cards that I send out. At one point I had the thought of selling my cards (Creators for a Cause will make that dream come true – ha! ha!), so I registered my little company’s name “Zoe Elle Papers” (my child’s name), which you’ll see stamped on the back of each card. There are a few people in the office that have a little collection of my cards at their desks, which always makes me smile!  So now it will be fun to share my cards with everyone through Creators for a Cause!  

What does a handmade card mean to you?

Now-a-days people mostly send an email or a text when they reach out, but nothing beats opening up the mailbox and seeing a handmade card (amongst all the bills & junk mail) personally addressed to you. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone is thinking of you & sending you warm wishes.   And I think a handmade card makes that experience all the more special.  The art of letter writing feels like an old-school form of communication, so I’m trying to do my part to keep it alive.  I love celebrating the people I adore and highlighting special or significant events in their lives, whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a congrats or just a personalized hello. And when someone receives a card, it’s tangible.  You can keep it on display and look at it whenever you want to be reminded of those kind words or special moments in your life.  I love knowing I am spreading love & joy through my handmade cards. 

What does supporting causes mean to you? 

Many of us are fortunate to have the resources, support, and opportunities that other people in the world don’t have.  We may have financial stability or the safety and security of being surrounded by family and friends who can help us through difficult times.  I think it’s important to appreciate all we have and do the best we can to support others who are less fortunate, as there are many people out there struggling to get by each day.   If we all do a little bit to give back – whether monetarily or with our time – then we can make a difference in someone else’s life.

Tell us about the cause that is benefitting from these cards.

The proceeds are being donated to Her Justice – Shift the Power.  It is a non-profit organization that provides free legal help to women living in poverty in New York City.  Her Justice provides these women – many of whom are survivors of domestic violence – with free legal counsel so they can feel safe and self-sufficient.  It’s a resource that allows them to get back on their feet and sometimes start over in their lives on a better path.  Her Justice recruits and mentors volunteer lawyers to provide free legal help to address individual and systematic legal barriers.  They have supported over 7K women and their children by providing over 64K hours of free legal advice, which equates to almost $39M of legal fees.  Many of these women feel like they are able to get their lives back in order and find hope through the services provide by Her Justice.  

What is the importance of International Women’s Day/Month and how can we keep the sentiment all year long?

It’s important to celebrate women every day, but in the month of March it’s a nice time to remind ourselves of the accomplishments of women throughout the years and the impact they’ve had on our culture and society.  It’s a time to reflect on and celebrate the acts of courage, bravery and determination of everyday women who have made changes in the world for other women.  From science to politics to business, it’s a chance to recognize the trailblazing women who have led the way for change.  As the Co-Chair of WIN (Women Initiative Network), I think it’s important that we continue to encourage and support all the women of Centric Brands.  To date we have almost 100 women who have joined WIN, and we’re hoping to continue to grow this group!  We focus on professional development, employee experiences and giving back to our own community & beyond.  I’m so honored to be a part of such a great group of women.  I’ve met so many women thru WIN who have impressed me with their style, eloquence, passion and personality – there are so many inspiring women at Centric Brands!