Niki Shadrow Snyder on coining the term “givefluencer” and making an impact with the Project Pop Drop foundation
Describe your business in a few words?
My husband and I started the idea for the Project Pop Drop foundation on our first date. Our business sponsors a monthly drop off at a different homeless shelter each month. We spearhead these donation events with our children, and with local businesses and schools. We call this our “Social Responsibility System”. This is the root of why we call ourselves “givefluencers”. We give by example. We were honored by the White House with a gold medal and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. We contribute to delivering life-saving supplies and feeding over 90,000 meals per month for people experiencing homelessness.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. My husband has as well. Since we were both in high school we had jobs and launched our own businesses even in high school.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I started working in the fashion industry as a celebrity stylist and contributing editor to several publications. I also produced celebrity catwalk fashion shows and red carpet events.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Oh yes! It was not even a question.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Go “all in”. When we decided to implement the mantra of “giving while making a living” that was the strategy! Then came the term that brought it all together. “Givefluencers”. When you become a “givefluencer” we have personally experienced the universe opening up to our wishes, because the “law of attraction” is triggered through the act of being a “givefluencer”. By embracing your “giving spirit”, you start pulling things toward you, which enables you to achieve your goal of giving. We knew that this strategy worked for us. It was our responsibility to pay it forward and empower others. It is not only going as planned but the best has yet to come.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I have had to learn some painful lessons, while battling a learning disability, which helped me set myself apart from others. I learned to think outside of the box at a young age, which enabled me to be innovative in many ways. It allowed me to accomplish many things I’m proud of. It’s helped me overcome many challenges, by my belief that “everything happens for us, not to us”.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I truly believe I have been a “givefluencer” all my life, but it was just this past year that I coined the term. In addition to giving back on a personal level, I do it professionally. I think the most important part of being the creator of this word is to empower others to jump on the giving train and be a “givefluencer” as well. To enlighten, empower and inspire others to influence by what they can give is the best accomplishment. Creating a business model that has built giving back into the infrastructure is another way I have reached accomplishments as a “givefluencer” professionally. I personally wake up every day with the desire to serve. Taking action on making “giving” a way of life feels like an evergreen accomplishment.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
For me this one is easy. I ask them what their goals and dreams are. Once I know that I can help work with them to make sure we are helping serve them to reach their goals. If they join the team to help us reach our goals knowing we both support each other. “WHY” makes a better experience for everyone.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year was truly the hardest year for us and so many others. We are in the office supply business and offices have been shut down for a year. Since our business sponsors our foundation, Project Pop Drop we did not want to stop our philanthropy efforts. we continued to find a way to give back throughout the pandemic. Our office supply company, called Platinum International Products and Services, sponsors a monthly drop off at different homeless shelters the last Saturday of every month. We have been spearheading and hosting these donation events along with our own children, as well as with local businesses, with local schools, churches, synagogues, and the Girl Scouts, for the past ten years. We call this our “Social Responsibility System”. This is the root of why we call ourselves “The Givefluencers”. We are influencing others by what we can give and by giving by example.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are currently about to launch our first online course called “Giving While Making a Living”, and a book shortly thereafter. We are also collaborating with the producer of a television show called “GIVE” on Oprah’s OWN Network. You can expect to see the world becoming a more giving place as we create a movement redefining what it means being an influencer. You can expect some of the world’s biggest names and biggest givers as well as everyday givers to get on bard. #GIvefluencers
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
I first of all learned that this quote is very true. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present. The point is always be present and be grateful whatever situation you are in. The point is you are in it and alive. I also learned the importance of emotional currency. Emotional currency is the love exchanged between two people through the act of giving. Both the giver and the receiver feel a strong and a loving sense of satisfaction. It matters because this emotional currency of love changes the way both people “see the world” and when you change your perception of the world you can “change the world”.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
If you implement our “Social Responsibility System”, which I explained to you earlier, into your business, that is the key. It’s a system that locks you in every month to follow our system, which we have put in place. This system has successfully worked for over a decade now. The key is follow up. The first step is making the commitment to have one day to stay consistent with on a monthly basis to give back. That makes it real. You then hold yourself and your business accountable.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
My family! Family is everything to me. It’s my “why”! I tell my husband and kids how grateful I am for them and how I love them every day. We work hard. We play hard. My family and continuing to serve others together has really kept me grounded.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Well on some days, I feel like I am crushing it, and on other days, I do not feel balanced at all. Some days, I am not sleeping as much as I should be. However I don’t let a day go by that I do not show up for my husband or for my kids. They come first, always. My family is everything to me. It’s my “why”! The main thing I feel is completely necessary, in order to keep a balanced life, is to always verbally tell my husband and my children every day that I am grateful for them and that I love them. I make sure, no matter how late I work, that every night, I kiss my husband and kids goodnight and tell them I love them. I am also a firm believer to go all out on holidays, birthdays, weekends, and even national days! I go all out and don’t hold back on everything in life. I make sure to celebrate life together as much as possible so I can bring my family the most joy possible. In other words I make a mundane day magical and a boring day fun. We work hard here and we definitely play hard and that is true balance to me.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
Before I was a celebrity stylist magazine editor and philanthropist , I was a cross country runner. People that know me now would never believe I would swap out my stilettos for racing spikes. I believe that long distance running helped my mindset and showed me how to push myself mentality and physically. That trained mentality helped me get through a challenging triplet pregnancy. Whatever the mind can conceive the mind can achieve.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Write down what you want to do and put it right in front of you. Out of sight. Out of mind.
Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
Identify your “why” everyday and start the day off confirming it in your daily routine—the true purpose that drives you and the real reason you want to prosper. Then put your order into the universe and declare it that you want it. Then most importantly believe in it.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
An Entreprenista is someone who is not afraid of a challenge. She also turns her challenges into opportunities. She goes for what she wants no matter what life throws at her. They rise to the occasion. They are confident and courageous because you can’t be an entrepreneur without confidence or courage. She believes in herself, no matter what her family, friends and society tells her, she is showing up. Lastly, if you’ve ever been blessed to see a newborn baby enter the world, you know in that moment that life is truly a beautiful thing. Your life is forever changed. You also know that it is a woman who makes this powerful moment possible. Without her strength, courage, fortitude, and love, we wouldn’t even be here. It’s those heroic qualities that are often overlooked and under appreciated. Welcoming a human life into the world is the ultimate gift of love and courage. I believe what is equally special, is recognizing just how bold and strong women really are. Just being a woman and then adding the word entrepreneur into the mix is bold. Please, tell your mother, your grandmother, and your sister, or your friends, “thank you”. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for being strong. And thank you for taking on the boldest of all challenges. This is all a task that only a woman can do. An Entreprenista is and always will be a superwoman.