Kate Glantz is the CEO of Heartful.ly, a wedding registry for charitable giving. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and around the world, couples and their wedding guests are empowered to fund real development projects and build a legacy to grow alongside their marriage.
What motivated you to start your business?
Right out of college I joined the Peace Corps in Tanzania. My village was poor by every standard, but the way we celebrated life milestones was full of pure joy and generosity. It permanently altered the way I celebrated, too. Returning to the United States and taking up tenure as a “professional wedding guest,” I realized that weddings could be a powerful opportunity to give back. I didn’t see anyone out there building the solution I wanted, so I decided to create it myself!
What is the greatest barrier you faced in launching your business and how did you overcome it?
Doing a lot with almost nothing has been and remains the greatest barrier in growing Heartful.ly. I believe so viscerally in its need to exist, that my passion has often been enough to mobilize very talented people to get onboard for little or no compensation. This isn’t a sustainable solution, but in these early days, it’s been a true lifeline and testament to the fact that we’re building something very special!
Do you have a mentor? How did you find him/her?
I am fortunate to have many mentors. Some were introduced through formal channels, but most are people who I have met over the years and whose feedback I value and respect. I don’t think there’s a one size fits all approach for mentorship and consider many of my peers mentors as well!
If you could go back in time to when you were first starting, what would you tell yourself, with the intention of avoiding mistakes and heart ache?
Don’t hold yourself back. It took me a long time to take Heartful.ly from daydream to reality because a part of me was waiting for permission. Once I realized that this was the type of permission that had to come from within, I put one foot in front of the other and began building!
What resources have been most helpful to you?
I find that casual, in-person meetings have been incredibly helpful. Whether discussing business, sharing startup stories, asking for advice (or giving it), building real relationships has been the most valuable and enjoyable part of this journey. Also, Google. I’ve spared myself a lot of time and embarrassment by Googling my questions first.
What does success look like for you?
Success to me is building a platform that people enjoy using regularly, while growing a sustainable business to back it up.
What do you do to recharge?
Good people, good food, good drinks, and bad TV. J
What’s your advice for a woman that’s considering starting her own business?
Go for it! You can recover from failure, but always wondering “what if” is a much tougher pill to swallow.