If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be?
To help you answer that question is The Future You Project, a community that women can turn to when they are looking for inspiration on how to live their best life, while supporting and encouraging others through all of life's ups and downs.
The concept behind The Future You Project was born from some of Jennifer Lee Zawadzki's most difficult days in 2018. She had just moved to a new area, was going through a divorce and felt hopeless.
Her friend Kristy Carruthers creatively found a way to give Jennifer hope from a distance: sending her a series of anonymous gifts and encouraging letters signed "Future Jen."
"Kristy thought if she could give me a glimpse into the future, she would be able to reassure me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel," says Zawadzki.
The gifts and letters continued to come over the next several weeks, and each one gave Zawadzki the strength and hope she needed to persevere.
"Kristy hoped that a convincing testimonial from herself would give me the hope I needed," says Zawadzki. "After all, who would have a clearer picture of what the future held than my own future self?"
A total of 5 gifts and letters from "Future Jen" were delivered - one a week, for five weeks. Zawadzki says that by week three, she started to believe in "Future Jen" and by week five she felt empowered to completely transform her life.
Then, a year later, the final gift was delivered. A bonsai tree with a note that said "I told you so" and a packing slip with Kristy's information on it. "Had the packaging slip not been included, I still wouldn’t know who these gifts originated from," adds Zawadzki.
"That's when I knew I had to share this gifting experience with the world," says Zawadzki. "What Kristy did for me in my hour of need, transcends any other traditional gift. The encouraging letters I received from my future-self gave me hope in a way that no other gift or experience could, and they are a keepsake I will cherish forever."
The Future You Project is a concept that gives women a way to celebrate, elevate, and encourage the women they love most in this world, through all the stages of life. The website officially launched to friends and family in November 2020, and in January 2021 it went public.
"We carefully started thinking about the journey of women, and the many milestones and challenges they may face throughout their lives," says Zawadzki. "This led to the creation of 42 curated gift boxes that range from celebratory milestones such as birthdays, promotions, and retirement, as well as boxes that support women through difficult times such as personal illness, the loss of a family member or pet, and infertility. We also have a wide range of self-care and thank you boxes that provide women with a unique way to share their gratitude and appreciation."
Each of the gifts are unique and contain 4-5 high-quality items that are hand selected and carefully curated to deliver the message you want to send.
"Whether it's cheering up your bestie after a breakup, telling your mom how much she means to you, apologizing to your sister for that thing you said, or consoling a friend who’s suffered a loss," says Zawadzki. "These curated gifts and experiences express your thoughts and feelings in a way that feels uniquely personal."
The letters included in the boxes are unique to The Future You Project. "This is the magic that takes a beautiful gift and turns it into an extraordinary treasure," she says. "With each gift the sender can choose a personalized letter written from the perspective of the recipient’s future self. The letters are beautifully written and offer encouragement, sisterhood, humor, love, and most importantly, a glimpse into the glorious future that is headed their way."
Zawadzki says that as the first recipient of what would become The Future You Project, she is a living testament to how the gifts can create significant changes in your outlook, positivity, and overall feelings of joy and hope.
"And that’s our goal at The Future You Project - the bring lasting positive impact to someone you care about," she says. "Imagine if your future self could speak to you from where she is, 5 or 10 years in the future, and tell you personally, all about the magnificent things that await you there? It’s a message that lasts a lifetime and transcends any other gifting experience."
Current best-sellers at The Future You Project include: Brave & Bright, Soul Sisters; Breakup Survival; The Future is Bright and Deepest Condolences.
Curated gift boxes and five-week gift experiences are available at futureyouproject.com. On the site, you can choose which gift you would like to send. When it comes to the personalized letter, there are two options.
"Shoppers can choose to craft their own letter or personalize the pre-written letter that is provided by The Future You Project," says Zawadzki. "All choices can be made directly online during the checkout process. If the sender would like to customize a box and/or five-week gift experience, they can email us directly here. "
Not only is The Future You Project creating experiences for the women in your life, but they’re also helping to support others around the world.
A percentage of all net proceeds generated through the curated gift boxes and five-week gift experiences are donated to Together Rising.
Zawadzki says The Future You Project chose to support Together Rising because the money donated to the organization goes to people most in need at a specified moment.
"They often help fund families that fall through the cracks and don't necessarily qualify for other forms of assistance," she says. "And they move fast. Their goal is to alleviate the critical, urgent needs of women, children, and families around the world and in our backyards, whether that crisis be hundreds of immigrant families separated at the border or a single mother fighting cancer and struggling to provide for her family. It’s very diversified in how they help - they aren’t just tied to one cause. Their cause is ‘people in need, when they need it most.’"
To learn more, visit futureyouproject.com and use the code AMYSCALIA for 20% off any curated gift box, 5-week gift experience and/or single gift item.
You can shop The Future You Project here. You can also keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram.