Our interview with Chicago Ideas Week 2015 –
KonectIDY bracelets are more than just fashion statements; they’re passion statements. In 2013, Peter Ettenborough and Tony Peluso founded the bracelet company as a way to allow nonprofits and individuals alike to express their goals and values—all in vibrant technicolor. Two dollars of every bracelet is given to the respective charities, with an additional one percent of sales donated to eco-friendly organizations. We spoke with Ettenborough and Peluso about the stories behind their bracelets, their positive outlook on the world and our personal favorite KonectIDY product—the Chicago Ideas Week 2015 CIW YOU(th) bracelet. http://konectidy.com/shop/chicago-ideas/connect-inspire-empower/
What KonectIDY bracelets do you wear?
We wear almost all of the bracelets at some point in time as we care about every message, and every cause, equally. Our goal is to wear and share positive messages and “create more positive.” Currently, we are wearing the Friends of Aine Bracelet, The “Go Gold” Frankies Mission bracelet and the Gandhi for Children Bracelet.
What are their stories?
All of them have related stories. Friends of Aine is memory of eight-year-old Aine, Tony’s next door neighbor, and is meant to remind people that a child needs a place to grieve when they lose a sibling. Frankie’s Mission “Go Gold” bracelet advocates for more funding for Childhood Cancer Research; currently, only four percent of all research money goes toward children’s cancer research. Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s son, created the Gandhi for Children bracelet, which signifies that lasting world peace begins with our children.
Do you have any KonectIDY stories or memories that stand out from the rest?
We have done some very interesting and memorable things to get this business started, but one of the best was when we personally presented the Gandhi for Children bracelet to Arun Gandhi. Tony brought his 12-year-old son, and Mr. Gandhi opened up his home and was so gracious to us—and so nurturing to Tony’s son.
What is your best advice for finding positivity in the world?
It’s all in your attitude and how you perceive things. The world is full of wonderful things and so many heroes trying to spread positive energy in their own way. So, open yourself up to the possibility of positivity and “create more positive.” It’s the ultimate paradox, but we can truly live “konected” in our own unique way.
Why do you think it’s important to partner with organizations like CIW YOU(th)? What do you hope to see come out of the project with CIW YOU(th)?
As Gandhi saod, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What better way to influence change and create more positive than with tomorrow’s leaders: our children! After Chicago Ideas Week 2015, our hope is that every child will be in some way influenced by the bracelets they wear, that they will wear and share the message proudly, as well as connect with others who will do the same. Our movement is built on passion, sharing positive energy and the true and good human spirit.
What are your next steps?
The sky’s the limit in terms of possibilities and next steps, but ultimately we want to create a color-coded, positive energy movement reaching every corner of the earth. Then, we can then truly live “konected!”