Lance Armstrong started the trend with his Livestrong foundation and the fight against cancer.
Now, two friends have taken those yellow wristbands and put them to another important use. Their cause is helping you find a job. And this story starts with their personal tales of financial heartache.
“I'm underemployed. My income has been cut by over 50 percent in the past three years. I even had to sell my house,” said Barbara Bourn, an interior design sales consultant in Sarasota, Fla., who used to live in Charlotte.
Her good friend, Stephanie Aucoin, who also lives in Florida, is in a similar situation. Laid off from her accounting job, she's still looking for work.
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Things got so bad that the friends even joked about standing on a street corner, wearing a T-shirt that said, “I Need A Job.” It was at that point that a light bulb came on: A T-shirt might not be the answer, but maybe a wristband would.
The two friends found a manufacturer, and since April, have sold more than 9,000 of the bright yellow bands. They read, “Laid Off. Need a Job.” Their customers come from as far away as England, Denmark and Australia. “I think the biggest reaction is, it gives people hope and inspiration. Even though, of course, not a lot of people are hiring right now,” added Bourn.
Already, the two women have heard stories of success. Tracy in Atlanta sent them this message: “One day I ran in a store to grab a Pepsi and while in line, a woman noticed my bracelet and asked me where I got it. I told her and in return she told me about a staffing company. I got an interview and a job … Perhaps it was luck, but I would not have spoken to this woman without the bracelet.”
The wristbands sell for $3, with $1 for shipping. Bourn says she and Aucoin aren't looking to get rich – they just wanted to help. They've been there and know how frustrating a job search can become.
“I'm hoping employers take notice and the more people that wear them the more employees are going to look for them,” Bourn said. It's all about breaking the ice. Get someone to ask about your bracelet, and, just maybe, they'll have a lead on a job.
You can check out the wristbands for yourself at www.laid offneedajob.com . Or you can call Bourn directly at 941-341-9867.