20something profile: Alexandra
Imagine receiving a bracelet that’s been all over the world. It’s inscribed with the words “travel in kindness,” and the person who gave it to you tells you it travels through the act of giving. The bracelet makes you feel a little more adventurous and a little kinder too. It inspires you to give the bracelet to someone you meet on your own journey.
This bracelet is what my inspiration has been for about a year. It’s the reason why everything I own (aside from my backpack) is in storage right now. I’ve become a semi-nomadic, ocean loving, 25-year-old entrepreneur.
I traveled as much as I could during college: backpacking trips through Europe and cross-country road trips of the US. Upon graduating from Loyola University New Orleans in 2011, I did as many graduates do and went the corporate route (which, I’m proud to say, lasted one full year).
Throughout the last 7 years, I’ve been involved in startups and learning about leadership and business development. I knew, one day, my passions would collide.
The purpose behind the trip was simple: my vision for the company I launched in July, Project Pangia. Pangia is a social network that connects travelers through the giving and sharing of bracelets and encourages environmental and economic growth along the way.
When my friend who I was supposed to travel with called to tell me she wouldn’t be able to go, I decided to purchase a flight to Indonesia the following day. Booked the flight on September 26th, packed up the house I’d rented in Newport Beach, CA, and was on a plane to Bali on September 30th with no real plans. I ended up staying 5 weeks…
Inspired by the locals I met, their developing economy, and the environmental conditions of their land, I’ve made it our mission to improve these circumstances. Our goal is to create more financial stability by providing jobs and developing a mentorship program for the people we’ve hired.
We currently have two amazing people who will be making the bracelets — with plans to offer the program to others. Each of them has a business of their own and is eager to work and learn.
We use recycled surfboards to make the beads for the bracelets. Each one is marked with its own code and is registered on the Project Pangia website. When you purchase or receive a Pangia bracelet, go online to see where the bracelet has been, add a picture and note, then give it to someone you meet on your journey!
Starting a business is “work,” but I guarantee when you find purpose and when you feel there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing — you’re headed in the right direction. I love bringing a team together and seeing things happen!
We’re set to launch a 4-month campaign at the beginning of 2014. By increasing our online presence and raising the funds we need to enhance the program, our goal is to spread awareness of the bracelets and the impact each one has on the people and planet!
Choose your own adventure. Travel in kindness.