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Loral and Eishel Quinn are a mother-daughter team of innovative inventors. They believe that everyone wants to help those in need, and they’re making it fun and easy to do so.
This story was produced by Joy Smith with sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher and fact checked by Joe Rhatigan. Our executive producer was Joy Smith.
Get to know Jill Koziol, CEO and co-founder of Motherly, a well-being destination empowering 40 million women to thrive as mothers. Hear about Jill’s journey as an entrepreneur, and her advice to kids about starting their own business!
A special thanks to our narrator, Jill Koziol. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!
|Loral Quinn was in her kitchen in Edinburgh, Scotland, scribbling down ideas on post-it notes and then sticking them to the wall.
“Mom, what if we group them together? Maybe all the charities can go over here?”
That was Loral’s teenage daughter, Eishel, who loved brainstorming about new ideas with her mom. Especially when they involved doing something good in the world. Eishel worked in retail, selling ethically-sourced cosmetics and essential oils. Loral came from a financial background, strategizing and growing technology businesses.
Together, they wanted to design a tech product that would help people make a positive impact on the world. And it had to be sustainable, effortless and fun.
But how were they going to go from ideas on post-it notes to a real product that would influence and inspire the world?
As Loral liked to say, they just had to “get on and do it.”
Loral was a go-getter from day one. She grew up in Edinburgh, a bustling city with dark stone spires, surrounded by craggy hills and mountains. Loral was very proud of her Scottish heritage, especially the strong women in her family. Her mom always told Loral to take risks and believe in herself. And Loral did just that.
She was the first person in her family to go to university, the first to run a marathon, the first to travel to the United States, the first to do a lot of things! By the time she was 18, Loral was working in a powerful position at a bank, traveling the globe and advising people on their investments.
But her single most daring achievement was when Loral gave birth to her own daughter, Eishel. Being a single mom to this little girl made Loral determined to channel her talents towards making this world a better place for the next generation.
|Fast forward a few years, to when Loral and Eishel were in the kitchen together, rearranging their post-it notes. Eishel was a teenager by then, clearly following her own path. She loved developing new methods for eco-friendly living — studying the impact that humans have on the earth and selling vegan and climate-friendly products. Just like her mom, Eishel was a go-getter. The two were very close, inspiring each other with different ways to do good in the world. This is how they came to be facing a wall checkered with post-it notes.
They were dreaming up a clear, effortless way for people to donate to those in need. And they wanted charities who needed funding to have a bigger audience using new technology.
“Okay, I can design the brand,” Eishel said. “What do we have so far for our concept?”
“What if it was somehow part of everyone’s daily transactions?” Loral wondered out loud.
“Like putting leftover change in a jar!”
“Yes! And what if users could see the positive impact they were making with each penny, helping and sustaining each other?”
That was it!
Loral and Eishel decided they’d call their brand “Sustainably.” Their idea was simple, but brilliant.
They’d create a mobile app where users could link up their bank card. Then, every time people bought something with that card, Sustainably would round up to the nearest dollar and donate the spare change to a cause that felt meaningful to the user – like human rights, animal shelters, or preserving natural resources.
So, let’s say a milkshake cost four dollars and seventy-two cents. If you linked your bank card up to the Sustainably app, the twenty-eight cents left to get to five dollars would automatically go to a worthy cause of your choosing, without you lifting a finger.
Now, twenty-eight cents might not sound like it could rescue stray animals or save the rainforests, but with Sustainably adding up a penny here and a nickel there, every cent mattered. When all the donations were put together, they made a huge difference.
|It took a long time for Loral and Eishel to get their proof of concept in place. For starters, they had to talk to investors, and hire engineers to design the software. Then they had to pitch to banks and charities to see if they’d join forces. It took a lot of creativity and confidence to be heard, as there were many more men being funded for their start-up projects than women. Loral and Eishel learned how to be bold and spot opportunities, marketing their idea so it felt fun and easy for people to use, testing and retesting their app to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Finally in 2017, after years of working at it, Loral, Eishel, and their small but mighty Sustainably team launched the app for Monzo Bank customers. And the next time those customers went to buy something…
the change went directly to the charity of their choice!
Loral and Eishel were thrilled. Their idea actually worked!
Of course, this was only the beginning. Now that they’d proved that Sustainably could be effective and easy, they wanted more people to have access to it. They saw that the more people gave, the better they felt, and there were so many worthy causes needing help.
Loral and Eishel quit their jobs so they could work on Sustainably full-time, encouraging new banks and charities to sign on. They enlisted mentors and advisors to help too, so they could get Sustainably into more hands. And soon, they were winning all sorts of technology and start-up awards, including Startup of the year in 2019!
|Today, Sustainably is still expanding its reach — connecting more people every day with the causes and charities that mean the most to them.
“It’s a new way of living and giving,” says Loral. “You can change the world every time you shop, spread kindness every day and see your impact instantly.”
It feels empowering to do good — to show people how easily they can make a difference. Every time they sign up a new member to their app, Loral and Eishel know that what they’ve created together is meaningful and important. Everyone has the potential to make positive change.
So remember, whether it’s developing a revolutionary new app or lending your neighbor a helping hand, this world needs more rebels like Loral, Eishel, and YOU.