Earlier this week, SocialBusiness.org published a profile on PopNod, and we now got the chance to speak with its founder Stephanie David. She talks about inspirations and how she made the jump to going full-time with her the project that turned into PopNod.
Four Questions with Stephanie David
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
When I married my husband, we decided to make donations to the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society in lieu of wedding favors. The donations had sentimental value for us and our families. Since then, we would have frequent debates about the power of giving, and would look for ways to integrate it seamlessly into our everyday lives. We found that there was no platform out there that truly satisfied this need, and that gave us the power of choice. So I decided to build PopNod--a way for shoppers to give back to causes they care about while shopping at their favorite stores. Not only can shoppers choose their stores and their causes, they also earn cashback savings each time they shop and can choose how much of their cashback to donate. We wanted our model to be a win-win for both the shoppers and their causes.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
For over a decade, I had rising careers at large Fortune 500 companies. The work was always challenging, and the support system in these large corporations were phenomenal. However, I always thought about how I can make a difference in a broader, more direct way. I had volunteered my time with various non-profits and organizations, but I wanted to help them even more. When I launched PopNod and saw that it was gaining traction, I decided to take the plunge and leave my corporate job. Working with non-profits and organizations, as well as talking to people about the causes they care about, has been such a rewarding experience.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration in a number of ways. I am constantly inspired by people who are passionate about the causes they support and care about. They are the people who work at the non-profit organizations, or the shoppers who share their personal stories about why they support a specific cause. However, the one who inspires me the most is my father. He has gone through a lot of physical hardships over the last decade, but he has powered through them with such strength and grace. He always has a huge heart and is the most selfless person I know. For that, he has inspired me to do what I do now.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I have a personal theory that my creativity is directly correlated with my surroundings and caffeine. I try to surround myself with all things colorful and bright in my office, and I work best in a sun-filled room. I also tend to do my most creative thinking in a car or in coffee shops. More often than not, I try to have brainstorming sessions with my team--I feel it is important to surround myself with creative and open-minded people who are not scared to skirt the norm.