Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Ferguson.
Caroline, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started Grateful & Company because I wanted to empower people to believe that they were worthy. We exist to empower people to recognize their self-worth, to acknowledge the value in those around them, and to do both of these things with physical appreciation- hence our three pillars, recognizing, acknowledging, and showing with the intent of ending suicide, specifically on college campuses.
13 Years ago I lost my best friend, my dad, to suicide, and it completely rocked my world. I didn’t understand how someone so loved and strong could break and feel so worthless. Now being in college and having lost friends to suicide and having loved ones losing loved ones to suicide, I finally decided that enough was enough- I had to do something. I’ve also had this obsession with physical gratitude, specifically handwritten thank you cards. I just think that they’re the greatest things ever honestly! Having this passion for physical gratitude and this dream of ending suicide- I decided to go to work and try and figure out how I could combine the two.
With the help of a lot of amazing people at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, Grateful & Company was born! I did a bunch of research and learned that being physically grateful is actually scientifically connected to lowering levels of depression, thus lowering the rate of suicide. I also learned something interesting when it came to happy people and grateful people… did you know that it is actually not happy people that are grateful, but grateful people that are proven to be happier? Funny, huh? Regardless, I had found my connection. If I could empower people to see the good in themselves and the world around them, maybe- just maybe it would be enough to convince someone to stick around a bit longer.
So that’s what we do. We sell awesome products that remind people to say thank you and that they’re amazing. Why are we particularly passionate about ending suicide on college campuses? Glad you asked! Suicide is actually the second highest cause of death amongst college students… 1 in 12 actually have a suicide plan in place… and at the end of this year (on average according to a national statistic) over 1,000 college students will have committed suicide. I went to work to figure out how I could take Grateful & Company and lower these numbers- if not eliminate them completely. Our bottom line is now going towards improving mental health resources on college campuses.
Specifically, right now we’re working with the University of Houston. We’re working towards funding therapists to come on campus to conduct suicide prevention programs for the student body. Gratitude has become so much more than saying thank you.
Gratitude has become an opportunity to save a life. It’s a game changer. Buying a product could literally save a life.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think the biggest challenge that I face is empowering people to feel confident and comfortable talking about something that isn’t very comfortable. Suicide is touchy and messy, but it’s something we need to talk about. It’s hard and it hurts- but my 1st goal is starting the conversation.
Grateful & Company – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m on a mission to empower physical gratitude with the intention of ending suicide- specifically on college campuses! I sell a bunch of fun apparel and products online at www.gratefulandcompany.com that have “be grateful” plastered all over them. From the sale of our products, we are actively working towards improving mental health resources for college students.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is two things. The first being helping one person live and breathe easier. The second being empowering someone to know they are worthy and loved.
- Website: www.gratefulandcompany.com
- Phone: 832-260-5181
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @gratefulandcompany
- Facebook: @gratefulandco