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FROM THE DESK OF DAPHNE BENZAQUEN, FOUNDER OF DAPH.

I am lucky enough to have grown up with parents who wanted to give me the world, take me on trips and expose me to different experiences and cultures. I learned a lot as I grew up, but the most important thing I learned was that I should be very thankful for everything I have and not everyone is as fortunate.

Having visited Peru every year since I could remember, I would always see children begging on the street for money for food, selling candies or doing jumping tricks on the road in hopes of getting some money from the crowd waiting for the stop light to turn green. My parents made it a point to make sure both my sister and I witnessed these events. We realized there were many children and people out there in need of help, whether it be money, food, our time or a simple smile to acknowledge them. It drove home the importance of giving back.

When I was younger, I volunteered in various organizations, learned a lot about people and their stories, some sad, others very sad and some even with happy endings. I’ve folded baby clothes for crisis centers, fed the homeless and even translated for Spanish speaking patients in American clinics. The experiences were many, but they all resulted in that warm “feel good” feeling. You know what I’m talking about. And although it may sound selfish, it’s true. Part of why I give back is because knowing that I made a positive impact in someone’s day makes me feel good, it makes me happy. And who doesn’t like doing things that make them happy?

When it came time to start my own business, I knew that giving back would be one of our key values, whether it was with my treasure or my time, I wanted to make an impact.

At daph. we center our give-back initiatives around positively impacting both our creators and customers’ communities. 

Treasure

During our first years in business, daph. donated to help a special needs school in the jungle of Tarapoto, Peru, Prite Nino Jesus. In August we were able to contribute to and witness the inauguration of the multi-sensory wing, as well as see the infrastructure improvements. We also helped fund the construction of a therapy pool for the students. The appreciation from the school, its teachers and students was unforgettable. The following year we contributed our efforts in Lima to support a school with 25 students ranging in ages 5-30 years and 4 babies under a year old. The school takes in children who have been abandoned, some because of their special needs, by their families and works with them to develop their motor and social skills while giving them the opportunity to grow by going to school and taking special courses. We were able to provide the students with everyday supplies to help them succeed.  

Time

Entrepreneurship is hard. 

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but if one is resilient enough to defy the naysayers and persist with grit, they can create great things. 

As I continue on my journey growing my brands, some that I have created on my daph. journey, I purposefully make time to help other creatives, makers and thinkers take their ideas to execution, just like I did several years ago. 

From participating on high school career day panels, mentoring college women and coaching young businesses owners, I thrive and truly cherish being able to inspire, educate and at time, commiserate with others. I share success stories and frustrating mistakes, I challenge them to think outside the box, question their thought process and motivate them to keep going. Although these experiences do take time away from my business, by paying it forward, as many of my mentors have instilled in me, I am able to help grow other amazing businesses that will positively impact communities everywhere. 

For that I am grateful.

-DAPHNE