3 Nonprofit Friends Join Forces to Shine

Working late into the night at the same nonprofit organization, Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi soon became close friends, making happy hour plans and confiding in each other about matters that others might find delicate or overly personal—from credit scores, to how to ask for a raise, to the struggle with “how to not suppress my personality, which I like,” says Hirabayashi, “but also be taken seriously and not be seen as bubbly and young.”

“We gave each other really tactical advice that also wasn’t cheesy, and it felt very empathetic,” says Lidey. “There wasn’t a voice like that out there at scale, and we definitely heard that from our friends, too.”

So when the colleagues started talking about their own venture together, it’s no surprise that they thought back on the advice they had shared. What if they could offer that same service to other women? Career and life coaching with the same “accessibility and vulnerability” they had with each other?


“There’s nothing that comes at you directly in the morning that feels like a friend, that sounds like the way your friends talk about, just, the real shit,” says Hirabayashi.

In August 2015, everything finally clicked.

“What about using what we’re good at, what we’ve done for the past four years at DoSomething, which is really focusing on text messaging?” recalls Lidey. “What about a daily text?”


Their brand would target millennial women, like themselves, but could benefit anybody looking for a little guidance and positivity in their day-to-day life. Known as Shine, it sends users a motivational quote or GIF to their phone every morning at 8:30 AM and encourages them to set goals for the week. There’s also an advice section on the website with articles designed to help further boost users’ confidence.

And they’re reaching beyond their initial target audience. To date, the team has exchanged over 7 million messages with users. Shine’s users are about 70 percent female, and 88 percent are 35 and under.

In April, a good friend, Jonathan Uy, from, joined the co-founders. The former mobile technical lead at is now Shine’s chief technology officer.

“These past four months have been the most productive four months I’ve ever had,” says Uy. “It’s cool that I really do get to have a hand in all these things. It’s a feeling that I haven’t had before, where you just sort of directly and concretely see how much of an impact you have on the company that you’re working in. Every single thing that we do has just a weight to it. It’s a really nice feeling. Like the things that you’re doing are significant.”

Based out of Brooklyn’s WeWork Dumbo Heights, the Shine trio laughs wildly when they’re together, and for a company just over a year old, they make starting a business look effortless.


“I think it helps that we’re friends and we’re obsessed with each other,” says Lidey. “We also have a genuine respect for each other and respect for each other’s niche areas. And we also share a lot of areas—there’s a lot of great foundation to work off of that we’ve built over the past four years, like not even meaning to necessarily.”

Hirabayashi agrees, adding that on “Self-Care Saturdays”—a rare day to recharge—“ I love biking. And I love wine. And I love hanging out with Marah and Uy.”

Photos: Lauren Kallen

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestGoogle+

Expert Advice: Angela Yeh’s 3 Tips for Recruiting Top Talent

Angela Yeh has been in the design recruiting industry for 20 years—long before innovation and strategy were buzzwords. So the founder of Yeh IDeology (pronounced “Yay ideology”) knows from experience about the challenges companies face when they’re trying to attract top-notch creative change management talent.

1. Know what people are saying about you. “Don’t get so caught up in drinking too much of your own company’s Kool-Aid that you’re not aware of what others are saying about your brand,” Yeh warns. “The world is way too small and too transparent to not be mindful. If you want the brightest talent, you need to cultivate self-awareness and clarity on the employer side. Tell the best of your story, but also be ready to frame all aspects of your story. Talent is looking for authenticity. If talent doesn’t see consistency between the branding and what they are hearing from the talent market, they aren’t going to bite.”


2. Offer benefits tailored to personal growth. “Businesses in every industry have to realize they aren’t competing in their own small pool, but across all industries for the best of the best today,” says Yeh. “That has created such a high demand for talent that it’s created a talent’s market at the premium level. The best potential employees want work they are proud of, quality of culture, and quality of life, as well as growth, expansion of opportunities, and top compensation. Set high expectations on what you’re looking for, but also be ready to offer something of value to talent’s growth needs.”

3. Know what you’re actually looking for. What does “innovation” mean to you? Yeh says it can be considered “a broad term, but your specific definition can be different.” Regarding your own definition, “Be clear about the goals, challenges, and actions you are truly looking for.” Also, innovation can be incremental as opposed to paradigm shifting, and both are valid depending on what’s best for your company’s innovation initiative. Be honest and clear what scale of innovation you want to help determine the type of talent that’s right for the job,” she explains. “No point in hiring a paradigm shifting change agent when your company is only needing a laser-focused subtle shift.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestGoogle+

Holiday Gift Guide: Best Stocking Stuffers

For more unforgettable ideas that wow, inspire, and bring cheer this holiday season—made by members of the WeWork community—stay tuned here.

Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, the people on your list deserve something nice in their stocking. Something fun, something useful, or something that will pamper them just a little. And, of course, it needs to fit in a sock. We’ve come up with a few things to make you win at gift giving.

Panatea green tea packetsPanatea

Who doesn’t love matcha? Time to stock up on green tea to help fuel that holiday cheer. Panatea—you gotta admit, it’s an awesome name for a company—offers ceremonial-grade green tea powder from Japan. And it couldn’t be easier, according to founder David Mandelbaum, a WeWork NoMad member. All you have to do is pour, stir, and sip. No whisk necessary. Buy a 10-pack canister for $19.99 and slip a few packets in the stockings of all the health-conscious people on your list.

Frenzy Flare temporary tattoosgold-silver-tribal-jewels-temporary-tattoo

When the weather outside is frightful, one thing that will delight anyone on your shopping list is water transfer tattoos from Frenzy Flare, a temporary body art studio. Their henna-style traditional designs come in a variety of colors, including metallic (our favorite), and white or black, if you want to keep it classy. And sharing them is “very entertaining,” according to founder Carme Boixadera, who works out of WeWork Williamsburg. All the designs are handmade in Brooklyn and start at $10.

do-you-have-a-chargerDo You Have a Charger?

We’ve all been in that situation: sitting at a cafe, cheering at a ball game, or enjoying a romantic dinner, and your smartphone has barely any battery power left. There’s no nearby outlet, which wouldn’t matter anyway because you left your plug at home. No problem, because WeWork NoMad member Artur Fruman has a solution. The Do You Have a Charger? portable charger, available for iPhone and Android, is small enough to fit in your pocket and has plenty of juice. And they’re individually wrapped, so you can take them anywhere. This is a must-have for anyone on your list who can’t live without a phone. They’re $8 each.

bearnaked_christmas_gift_darkpost_pgBear Naked Custom Made Granola 

The Kitchn is “totally obsessed” with Bear Naked Custom Made Granola, and quite frankly so are we. You’ll love making your own personal blend of granola with more than 50 different chef-inspired ingredients, ranging from the tried-and-true options like cranberries or pecans to the off-the-wall choices like jalapeños or kale. And for that festive taste in your mouth, there’s also bourbon flavor. All the ingredients from this WeWork Fulton Market member are thoughtfully sourced and don’t contain genetically modified ingredients. WeWork members get 10 percent off now with discount code HOLIDAY10.

Illustration: Lisa Ito

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestGoogle+

5 Nonprofits Doing Inspiring Work with Young People

It’s the holiday season, and a lot of us are thinking about donating to charities that we know do great work with children. Here at WeWork we have many members striving to help kids everywhere. Here are just a few that you might consider donating to this year.

Project 375

Focusing on mental health issues among young people, Project 375 works to improve access to care and treatment for at-risk students. A good example of what they do: Project Prevent, which works towards early prevention and intervention through technology. As Carissa Johnson, president of Project 375, puts it: “Stats like one in five students living with a mental illness—and knowing that over 50 percent don’t get help—is what makes our work important.” Find out how you can get involved with Project 375.

Room to Read

Lack of educational opportunities for young girls inspired the creation of Room To Read, a nonprofit with global impact. The statistics speak for themselves: of the 800 million people around the world who are illiterate, more than two-thirds are women and girls. Room to Read collaborates with schools, communities, and local governments to ensure they understand the importance of literacy. Check out how you can help support students in your global community.

Protect the People

When you donate to Protect the people you know exactly where your dollars are going. For example, give $25 or $50 and you’re providing holiday toys and new clothing for kids whose lives were thrown into turmoil when Hurricane Matthew swept across Haiti. Larger donations can replant fruit trees or even a whole field of crops. Protect the people focuses on issues like promoting women’s rights, providing economic opportunities and protecting civilians during times of conflict. And they use research-based solutions that have been proven to work.


This organization has a magical mission: transform the lives of children around the world through wonderful books. The Chicago-based nonprofit works to do more than send books to children without permanent homes or who have endured tragedy in their lives—although that is certainly part of the mission. It also works to set up great library spaces where young people can access books and involve local role models who can spend time read and engaging with kids. They’ve even published their own storybook, called The Little Brahmin.

The Malala Fund

The Malala Fund focuses on providing and promoting education for girls around the world. Studies show that providing girls with an opportunity to acquire an education positively influences both local and global communities. “But today, more than 130 million girls around the world are out of school because of poverty, discrimination and war,” says Development Officer at Malala Fund’s Tamara Zeidan. The organization is “working toward a world where all girls can learn for 12 years and lead without fear.” Learn more about how you can help spark social and systemic change with the Malala Fund.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestGoogle+

Jose Galindo’s Financial Education Kicked Off on the Playground

Jose Galindo had money on his mind even as a young boy. Since he wasn’t getting an allowance, he started his own origami business. The 9-year-old quickly found a market among his peers on the playground. Fascinated, they dug out their lunch money to buy paper stars.

“When the kids at school saw them, they wanted them because they didn’t know how to make them,” says Galindo, who grew up in Colombia. “Once I sold out of my paper stars, I saved the money and opened my first savings account. Back then, $30 was enough to open a savings account.”

That was Galindo’s entry into the finance world. About 20 years later, he would start MoneyMio, the “only bilingual website dedicated to empowering Latinos with personal finance education.”


Galindo went on to study economics and finance in the U.S. His aunt, who was a professor at UCLA, took him in so that he could get an American education. Ready for his first internship, he landed an interview at Merrill Lynch. There he was asked a hard-hitting question: “Are you ready to work as hard as we work?”

Galindo began to doubt his abilities, assuming his colleagues would come from privileged backgrounds and have Ivy League educations. But he decided not to let that stop him.

“They gave me the internship,” says the WeWork Irving Place member. “When I got hired, they said they were impressed by my work ethic. A year later, they gave me a full-time offer, so I joined them for one year, building all the business models as an analyst and learning about the technical aspects of banking.”


Galindo’s idea to launch a finance-focused startup came from his years as an investment banker on Wall Street. He wanted to make the information he learned there more readily available. He remembers helping one friend cut her monthly student loan payments.

“I walked her to the bank and got the loan processed in less than an hour,” Galindo says. “She saw how her monthly payment dropped by 30 percent, and she started to cry, asking, ‘How can I thank you?’”

Galindo realized he was onto something.

“There’s a huge market in the U.S. that is vastly underserved,” Galindo says. “That’s when I thought, ‘This is it. I can combine finance, tech, and my cultural background and help my community.’ It was a nice way to connect the dots and create something that has value and purpose.”


MoneyMio helps people learn about their personal finances and teaches them the importance of opening savings accounts and building their credit.

“One problem in the Latino community is they don’t have any credit history or they have made some mistakes,” Galindo says. “Only 26 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. have savings in a retirement account. It’s a matter of making a lot of the information available in their language. This is the place they can trust and find help for things they need.”

Photos: Katelyn Perry

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestGoogle+