Social Impact Heroes: Satya Scainetti is using jewelry to inspire people to be inclusive and understanding towards people with Autism
…For the Autism community, it’s awareness, which means knowing that this community exists and is not going away; understanding, which means taking the time to understand each child’s unique strengths and gifts; and inclusiveness, which means inviting these beautiful beings into the mainstream so they do not feel isolated from their communities as a whole.
I had the pleasure to interview Satya Scainetti. Satya is the founder and designer of Satya Jewelry. A philanthropist, yoga teacher and Reiki healer, Satya lives a lifestyle dedicated to giving back to the world community. Satya has built a devoted global following as she creates beautiful, inspiring and meaningful jewelry that resonates with each customer’s own personal journey.
Thank you so much for joining us Satya. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
So many things brought me to my career path, but most of all my Dad, who taught me to never settle for what you do in your work. He was a Buddhist and believed in finding joy in all you do — even if it was doing the dishes or cleaning your home. This gave me the drive to keep searching until I found my happiness in work. I had so many careers leading up to Satya Jewelry. I was a hair dresser, a preschool teacher, a social worker and had a children’s party entertainment business in California for years. Each one of those careers led me here.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I had just opened my first retail store on Bleecker Street in NY. One August morning, I was straightening out the store before we opened and a woman walking her dog started knocking on the window. I opened the door and she told me she was the producer for a new show that would be airing in September called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and she would love to use our store to film. Three days later, they were all in our shop filming and I was in the episode called, “Allen Meet the Parents.” Mind you, this was 17 years ago and most brands did not have e-commerce sites for shopping. This was a national TV show, so we had 6 weeks to get a website up and running, which we did! It became a huge buzz for the brand. Our episode was shown on international flights for years, and I would get calls from people all over the world commenting on the show.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made was when I tried doing some of the bookkeeping/accounting for the business. It was not cute! My lesson was you can’t be good at everything and to bring in help for those things that you are not good at — especially finance.
Can you describe how your organization is making a significant social impact?
I started the company with the intention to give back. When I was given the name Satya — meaning truth — 17 years ago, I had a dream I would design jewelry of all truths and donate money to children around the world. I have been so blessed to work with many celebrities and organizations and raise over a million dollars for charity, as well as spread awareness of important issues that affect children and families around the world. I do this by donating a percentage of the sales through the Satya Foundation, our 501c. In honor of Autism Awareness month, we’ve partnered with NEXT for AUTISM to create the Beautiful You Collection. Designed with hope and heart each piece in this collection celebrates the unique gifts within us all. For every piece sold we are donating $40 to NEXT For AUTISM.
Can you tell me a story about a particular individual who was impacted this cause?
I go to India each year to design in one of our factories, but I also go the see the children in Rishikesh at a place called Ramana’s Garden, a children’s home on the banks of the Ganges River. A few of the Ramana’s girls who are now students at university in Delhi were visiting, and I asked what they are studying. One was studying social work; another was studying law and the third girl wants to be a doctor. They were so grateful for our help. I asked what they will do with their degrees, and each one of them said they will come back and help their brothers and sisters. It was so beautiful.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
For the Autism community, it’s awareness, which means knowing that this community exists and is not going away; understanding, which means taking the time to understand each child’s unique strengths and gifts; and inclusiveness, which means inviting these beautiful beings into the mainstream so they do not feel isolated from their communities as a whole.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership to me is living by example. I believe you have to earn leadership, and learn to hold the space for others to shine; you also have to stay steady when challenges arise.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Be more discerning. I work from my heart and believe in the good in all people. In business, this is not always the case and I learned this the hard way a few times.
2. Hire people that are smarter than you.
3. Never micro manage, but instead, empower your employees.
4. Train each person to do their job better than you.
5. Keep a balance of your time and energy.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would inspire a 40-day movement of loving kindness. I would ask each and every person to do one kind act to another living being each day. It could be a smile to a homeless person, a compliment to a coworker who is having a hard time, a kind word to someone that is not so nice to you or to volunteer somewhere with an open heart. If we all did this collectively, it would make a positive shift for the world and the 40 days would become every day.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I love Gandhi’s quote,“Be the change you want to see in the world.” I believe living by example is the only way. People look up to you not because of what you say but because you are living the truth you speak. I do my very best to live this way.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them! :-)
I would love to have a breakfast or lunch with Oprah! She is someone I look up to over and over. I want to design a piece of jewelry with her that will represent a movement to change the world and all money raised will go towards children leaders.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can find us at @satyajewelry on instagram and twitter and at https://www.facebook.com/satyajewelry on facebook.