FASHANTHROPISTS: TANYA WHEELESS
Tanya Wheeless is the founder and creator of Happy Grace. Happy Grace offers a fresh perspective on wellness that’s for the everywoman. Through her unique Soul Care products she helps women achieve harmony, self-love and happiness one simple, bite-size lesson at a time. Tanya’s Book, The Fab Life, and her innovative line of products, Happy Grace, make it simple for women to nurture their mind, body + spirit on the daily. Learn more about Tanya Wheeless…
How do you describe what you do: I help women access the happiness that already exists in their lives through my books, products and workshops. After years as an attorney and CEO in banking I had lost my way and gotten disconnected from my own joy. I found my way back with a lot of time, effort and learning. Today, I’m passionate about sharing my method, the GLOW Method, for accessing joy with other stressed out, working mamas who are trying to do it all. I’m an unabased happy evangelist because I know that we cannot live our best, shiniest lives if we’re weighed down by negative energy.
What is the mission for your businesses’ giving: To support and empower women and girls.
How do you give back to society through your business: As a small start-up, we don’t have a big budget, so I try to be strategic about how and where we support causes that are important to me. In the past we’ve sponsored events, I’ve mentored other female entrepreneurs, donated product to swag bags and, most recently, I created a special set of our Bliss Balms from which we will donate $1 of every set sold to a local charity supporting women battling breast cancer. Personally, I support the Girl Scouts and volunteer with StreetLight USA, helping girls who have been victims of sex trafficking. I can’t wait for the day when we can do much, much more as a company.
Charity or Charities of choice: Girl Scouts Cactus Pine Council and Impact One Breast Cancer Foundation
Why have you supported these causes: Girl Scouts because I love their emphasis on leadership development for girls at a very young age. I think we need to develop those skills early before girls buy into a message that tells them they can’t or they shouldn’t.
Impact One actually reached out to me initially. I donated to one of their events and then my sister-in-law was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. So, when it came time to take our corporate philanthropy deeper, I went back to Impact One because they help women like my sister-in-law and they’re a smaller local organization where I felt like I could have a bigger imact.
Favorite business based on their giving efforts and why: The Phoenix Suns are outstanding community supporters. When I was an executive with the team and and sat on the Board of Phoenix Suns Charities I got to see first hand how committed ownership and the players were to our community. One of my favorites memories was creating an experience for a Make A Wish child. He became a player for the day, we had a press conference and everything. It was really special. Sports have a unique opportunity to touch people and I love that the Suns are always there to answer the call.
Who influenced your spirit of giving and how: My mom and my grandparents. They all gave in different ways, but it was their willingness to lend a hand, no matter what, that they had in common. They helped friends, volunteered for causes, stopped for people on the side of the road, volunteered for Hospice, served at their church. What I learned from them was that giving doesn’t require a lot of money, it just requires a compassionate heart. I have always tried to live that by giving what I could, when I could.
How do you believe fashion can aid philanthropy: Fashion can make you feel like a million bucks and when people feel good - they do good!
What is your biggest philanthropic accomplishment: The best is yet to come, but serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for two brothers in foster care is something I’m very proud of. To think that I had a small role in helping them find their forever home with a loving family is pretty special.
Favorite philanthropic quote: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” - Muhammed Ali
Learn more at: http://www.HAPPYGRACE.com