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Founder's Story

Lauri Jones Pastrone Headshot Icon


I believe that companies have the ability to help resolve some of the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges through their purchasing power. That’s why the organization that I founded, Peace by Piece International, helps companies easily use that purchasing power to make an impact on people’s lives when they purchase corporate gifts.

I saw an enormous opportunity when I learned that in the US alone, over $250 billion is spent annually on corporate gifts, according to Forbes. I wanted to be part of something that helps companies see an easy way to spend some of that money on gifts that help provide jobs and skilled training to people in underserved communities. Because when women and other forgotten individuals rise, the world becomes a more peaceful, prosperous place for everyone. That has become my life’s work.

My journey to Peace by Piece began over 20 years ago. From the early 2000s, I started sponsoring women who had been impacted by war through an organization called Women for Women International. Through those relationships and the many friendships that evolved, I was able to see first-hand how marginalized women and underserved communities in places like Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Haiti, Guatemala, India and the US could transform their lives. They all needed three things to become self-reliant: a safe and trusted community; the tools and skills do something society wants or needs to make an income; and a market for those skills or products.

In the 6 years since establishing Peace by Piece I’ve witnessed literally thousands of disenfranchised women and men lift themselves up when they were afforded those three things. It’s their inspiration that shapes what I do every day. And I’m not the one who has made that happen. It’s been our client corporations who have decided to act.

Thistle Farms with Lauri and Katrina and Deborah smiling
One of my favorite photos with Katrina Robinson, the National Sales Director of our partner, Thistle Farms, and Deborah Johnson, COO at Peace by Piece International.

Our value proposition is simple. Gift buyers in businesses and organizations struggle to connect with worthy makers that are employing people who might have otherwise been forgotten – and this is normal. It’s much easier for a busy Executive Assistant or Event Planner to click onto their supplier site to order some branded phone chargers or puffy vests. Few even have the time to ask where those products are made, by whom, and who profits from the purchase. Most importantly, they are left without a compelling story to tell about why the employee or client they are giving the gift to should really care or feel inspired about the gift, and what individuals (not factories) got paid for creating it.

Connecting with worthy makers of high-quality gifts is a process I am proud to take on. Since 2017, I’ve been building Peace by Piece by personally meeting and vetting makers in underserved communities who receive the income directly from the orders we provide. Their stories and their courage are life-changing when you learn about them. We help decision makers change the world one gift at a time.

When you think about gifts for your employees, clients, and stakeholders, I hope you will join me on this exciting and purposeful journey!

Lauri Pastrone

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