Hope Wissel

What is the Link Between Self-Esteem & Technology in Girls?

I am excited to tell you about a groundbreaking study of more than 10,000 U.S. girls which Thirty One Gifts cosponsored with Ruling Out eXperiences, Inc. (ROX).  It is the largest of its kind and revealed surprising information on the role of technology on girls’ self-esteem. I know we have all heard about cyber bullying or “the mean girls” on social media and for some, they say “it won’t be my kid”.  Well, I felt the same way many years ago, until I read something my daughter wrote about being bullied.  You can read the story on my very first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs The Invisible“.

The findings of this study is heartbreaking.  While they give us a glimpse into the raw truth about girls fifth through 12th-grade and their perception, it is also an opportunity for us to look for ways to be mentors and be a positive influence in their lives.

The mission of ROX (Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc.) a Columbus, Ohio-headquartered nonprofit organization is:


ROX announced the findings of their study from The Girls’ Index: New Insights into the Complex World of Today’s Girls a few months ago.  This national survey was taken of 10,678 fifth- through 12th-grade girls with the sole purpose of capturing the girls’ perceptions and experiences around fitting in, body image, peer pressure, academics, friendships and relationships. The report is a comprehensive picture for parents and educators on the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors of girls across the country.  The demographics are from every walk of life – cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic of the school district, and the type for school for a broad spectrum of girls.

The findings of The Girls’ Index include:

#1 Most girls like to be in charge, but self-doubt can impact their pursuit of leadership.  A surprising 46% of the girls reported they don’t say what they are thinking or disagree with other peers.  WHY?   Because they want to be liked with 1 in 3 girls being afraid to be a leader because they don’t want others to think they are bossy.

#2 30% of the girls with the highest grade point averages (4.0 or above),  don’t think they’re smart enough for their dream careers. Despite their high academic achievements, they are still filled with confidence issues.

#3 Girls who spend the most time using technology (8 hrs./day) are 5x more likely to be sad or depressed nearly every day compared to the girls who spend four or fewer hours.  If this isn’t a reason to restrict technology time, I don’t know what is.  Technology and social media greatly impact girls’ relationships, achievement, confidence, mood and school engagement.

#4 By high school, sexting is common and prevalent with 2 out of 3 girls reporting by 12th grade they have been asked to send a sexually explicit photo to another person.  I am so grateful cell phones weren’t popular when my daughter was growing up.

#5  Girls who have strong and trusting friendships with other girls fare better and report significantly lower levels of sadness and depression.

ROX concluded “girls who have strong and trusting friendships fare better, it is crucial girls receive the opportunities and tools they need to forge the positive friendships which safeguard their emotions and experiences.

This study shakes me to my core.  I grew up lacking confidence.  I had friends but not the kind of strong trusting friendships which helped me to battle sadness and depression.  Those emotions and experiences traveled with me through my college years straight through to my years of addiction.  My goal was for my daughter’s life to be different.  She was blessed to have one or two strong, trusting friendships growing up yet on the inside she lacked confidence despite the outward strong appearance.

The bottom line is we as parents, teachers and coaches are missing out on at least half of what girls think, know and believe.  YIKES!  We are losing the creativity, contributions and impact these young girls can make on the world.

As these studies become public, as awareness grows, we have an obligation to do better and a responsibility to make the world a place where girls can feel confident and capable.

Thirty-One Gifts proudly partner with ROX to provide girls with opportunities to talk candidly and openly about their experiences, while arming them with tools to positively and safely use social media, navigate relationships and manage pressure to ultimately develop a positive self-concept. Learn more about ROX, including ways you can get involved, at rulingourexperiences.com.

Share some of the products from Thirty One’s URU collection.  The Be the Give! Littles Carry-All Caddy comes with a special message “Love who you were born to be”.   A great way to encourage and celebrate the young girl in your life for Valentine’s Day or Easter or just as a “thinking of you” gift.  It is also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks and candy.

Won’t you help to make a difference in the live of a young girl?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Customers For Life

This week’s theme is all about increasing your sales.  How many of you have had one-time buyers?  You know the ones who buy at a vendor event or a party then never buy again?  Maybe they were just helping out a friend?  Maybe they were impulse shopping?  Maybe they didn’t like the product once they got it? Whatever the reason, you have never heard from them again.  For me, that is probably because I haven’t been very good with customer care calls but maybe you have been so you are wondering why you don’t have a customer for life.

In an article in Inc magazine there were some tips on how to change these one time customers into customers for life.  Interestingly enough, the article made one KEY statement regarding changing one time customers into loyal ones – SURPRISE THEM!  Here is how you can do that:

  • Beat your customers to the punch.  The best way to do this is with customer care calls.  Now, I don’t mean those calls that are ASKING THEM to do something for YOU.  I mean, a call that simply says “thank you for you order and how do you like the product that you purchased “.  This means changing the mindset that we have so that we can break through to our customers.  When was the last time that you got a thank you call just for ordering. If there was a delay in their order, apologize and offer then something with their next order.  
  • Make shopping easy.  As a direct seller, we have company websites – some are easy to navigate while others take some figuring out.  I have been fortunate to have customers call or email me when they had a problem with the website, this isn’t always the case.  If someone placed a large order via the internet that might reap them additional rewards, would you call them and offer them the discounts?  Why not?  Who doesn’t like something for free or at a discount when they are placing a large order.
  • Resolve issues without a fight.  I happen to work for an AMAZING company that has a “no questions asked” policy in the first 90 days as long as things aren’t personalized.  If you are making those customer calls, you can resolve any issue before it escalates and you have a disgruntled customer.   If it is past the cut-off or the item is personalized, I try to find a solution that will work for both the customer and myself.    
These may seem like basics but we all need a reminder once in awhile on how to take care of our customers so that we can build our business.  A happy customer is a repeat customer.  So surprise your customers – call them to say thank you, call them to make sure that they are happy with their product BEFORE the warranty expires, or just call them to wish them a happy birthday, happy anniversary (anything that you remember from the party that you can congratulate them on).  

Off to make those customer care calls because I am looking for loyal repeat customers!  How about you?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!