Three years ago, University of Wisconsin Madison alumna Laura Kiel was in Chicago working for WGN-TV, going through the mundane every day — not ever feeling completely satisfied.
“I was focused on climbing the corporate ladder and eventually running a TV station,” Kiel says. “It was one of those jobs that you know, everybody wants and people are so impressed by. But really it was slowly just becoming uninspiring and kind of wasn’t feeding your soul. You end up doing the same thing every day, day in and day out.”
Kiel came to want to think about what she could do for herself rather than follow the path her generation took of focusing on climbing the corporate ladder.
“A lot of it was a sudden realization that it wasn’t enough and that I had more to give,” Kiel says. “Then I was given the opportunity to open the agency out West, which was a big huge move, a big undertaking and I think when you make one change, it inspires you to make a lot of change because it’s so positive.”
Now running her own advertising agency, Prime Time Marketing West in downtown Phoenix, Kiel has a lot to keep herself busy, including a project called the Change Dispensary which seeks to spread positive messages.
The Change Dispensary began as a blog, which is now featured on the business’ website.
“We believe you should read inspiring things and dream,” the website states. The blog features four categories of positive messages which customers and visitors alike may contribute to. These categories include: when passion trumps a paycheck, goals: being brave enough to fail, I’m going to change things up and you get to choose.
After the blogs proved a success, Kiel saw people’s need for positive affirmations and combined with her love for giving personalized gifts, Kiel created Piggy Boxes. The retail portion of the project began just four months ago. Why pigs?
“Pigs are a symbol of abundance and prosperity and good fortune and luck overall,” Kiel says. “The piggy boxes stand for what we want them to bring to you which is peace, inspiration, gratitude, good vibes and your truest self.”
The word Piggy is an acronym which stands for Peace, Inspiration, Gratitude, Good Vibes and Your truest self. There are four piggy box categories which you can curate for yourself or for someone you care about. There is the original Piggy Box, the Birthday Box, the Love Box and the Career Box. Prices range from $49-$99 depending on how many items (3-5) you want in the Piggy Box.
Jennifer Boonlorn, owner of Soul Carrier handbags, another Phoenix area business admires Kiel’s work to spread positive affirmation.
“There’s something very magical, glittery about it,” Boonlorn says. “You open it up and it is literally happiness. The way she packages it and the product design. It’s just so cool it makes you happy and has such a positive message behind it.”
Boonlorn believes the boxes are perfect for students aged 18-21 because she sees it as a time when people are going through difficult things, big changes in their career, relationships coming and going, important birthdays.
“I think it's a super cool idea and people will like it," says sophomore and chemical engineering major Nimisha Tanna. "I'm not sure if people my age would go for it because I feel like a lot of people are on a tight budget and try to go with homemade gifts but I think maybe people like five years older would really go for it."
With a long history of giving people personalized and inspirational gifts, Kiel wanted to turn it around and start doing the same thing for people she didn’t know, just to spread positivity
“When I was younger and people would ask what I wanted to be when I was older, I would say Santa Claus,” Kiel says. “I was always obsessed with the receiving and so I would always put together crazy gifts for all my family and friends since I was really young and I would spend weeks and weeks just trying to find the gift that was totally them.”