Ok, so she might not technically be a woman just yet, but as her below mission statement so clearly inspires, age never has to be a factor in the face of making great change, and neither will it be in our crowning of Vivienne Harr as this month’s Fierce Woman of the Month!
You don’t have to be big or powerful to change the world. You can be just like me.
Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kristine Fine Art Photography
The relentless spirit of this savvy little lady, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist, has generated great action and life changing results. All it took was one image; two young boys weighed down by stones almost the size of their full bodies and tied to their heads while on the enslaved journey of making a delivery through the Himalayas
We’ve all been there, exposed to heart-wrenching images of poverty or suffering way too difficult for many of us to even comprehend and too daunting of a thought for most of us to take action. Children on the other hand have an ability to tap in to an innocence unfettered by self doubt and thus sensitive and proactive about fulfilling their wildest dreams.
Compassion is not compassion without action.
At the age of 8, Viviene turned a standard summertime kid activity of creating a lemonade stand, in to an ongoing, world-changing, and awe inspiring mission to end slavery! After reaching her $100,000.00 fundraising goal on the 173rd consecutive day of maintaining her stand, one day of which was spent selling her tasty “Lemonaid” in Times Square, she proclaimed she wasn’t going to stop until child slavery becomes obsolete.
Two years later and she’s still at it with unbelievable advances in completing her mission – new mobile technology that helps raise money for your favorite cause, a documentary featuring her story, a b-corp company bottling her tasty lemonaid and a published children’s book about how big things have small beginnings!
I’m going to help the world be a better place.
That was Vivienne’s first ever tweet. With approximately 18 million enslaved children around the world, Vivienne certainly has her work cut out for her, but by staying focused on the positive, she has obviously kept her word and shows no signs of slowing down. Her organization gives 5% of all gross revenues to hand selected groups that do leading work in eradicating slavery.
It’s hard to believe that slavery still exists in this day and age. Although so called “modern day slavery” looks slightly different, it is no better and is defined by the International Labor Organization as “victims of forced labour globally, trapped in jobs in which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave.”
If our feature story hasn’t fully captured for you yet this Fierce Woman’s spirit, maybe her direct poignant responses to our exclusive interview below will.
At Maxim Hygiene, we define a Fierce Woman as a “glorious female creature whose idea of beauty is hinged upon the idea that she can change the world with each choice, each moment and each breath of her life.” Who in your life is a Fierce Woman (or Fierce Little Lady) and why?
I am the fierce woman in my life. I know I can change the world. because I’m already doing it. To believe it you have to do it.
You’ve had the pleasure of traveling to Times Square, presenting a TedX talk and ringing the bell at the Twitter IPL, opportunities so many people only dream of. Which of these or any other experiences you’ve had in sharing your great mission, was the most impactful and meaningful for you?
The most fun and impactful and meaningful. Hmmm… let me think about that. Well, I really liked going to Orlando and getting the key to the city and going to Disney World. But the most meaningful was when I went to Dallas and I met former enslaved girls, and I made them smile. It had a big impact on me and on them too. It was really amazing!!
You’ve truly fulfilled the figurative and literal intention of the famous expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” As a pre-teen, you must be experiencing some seemingly “sour” and challenging changes that accompany this growth period. Is there a particular common difficult pre-teen experience that you’ve been going through and can share about? In particular, how have you applied the same “lemons to lemonaid” philosophy that made your business so successful, to this tough pre-teen experience?
Sorry I just became a preteen because I’m only 10. so I haven’t quite gotten to many changes yet. Sometimes friendships can be hard. I find the best thing is to stay positive and try not to take things personally.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re embettering the world through your work at Make a Stand?
I like building tree forts with my friends. I like playing with my brother Turner who’s four. I like playing dolls. I like playing with my favorite toys. But most of all I love to just be out in nature climbing a tree!
Where and what do you see yourself doing in ten years from now?
After I have ended child slavery I want to set up an animal sanctuary for animals that were in slavery and circuses and everything. I am very passionate about the treatment of animals.
Vivienne spent the past few weeks meeting with companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter, yet still found the time to share the above perspective with us (that’s one summer camp agenda any parent would die for).
We are so inspired by her story that throughout the next week 10% of all Maxim product purchases made by clicking here and entering the following coupon code at checkout, will be donated to Vivienne’s non-profit: ENDSLAVERY You’ll also get an exclusive 10% discount off your total order.
You can also click here to donate directly to the Make a Stand Foundation.