Behind the Scenes of Your Italian Fix: Day 7

by Bianca Gignac

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>> This is the last day of a 7 day party delivering a sneak-peek at how getting your Italian Fix is the best thing you can do with your precious vacation time. <<


What is giving?

Is it throwing pocket change at the guy on the street corner?

Is it buying dinner for a friend?

Is it slipping 20 bucks to your kid?

Of course it’s all those things.

But what if giving was something automatic — built right into your lifestyle?

You knew you were gonna make something happen but you didn’t focus on how you were gonna do it.

You said things like:

“This year, no Christmas presents, the gift budget is going to (insert person/country here)”.

“I’m giving 100 bucks to the food bank cause they do good work”.

“I want all the kids at my child’s school to have a healthy snack”.

And so you move forward. You make it happen.

I’m a crazy reader.

I read ninety-nine percent nonfiction. I read mostly about people – what they think, how they do things, how they live. I’m the weirdo who went to the bookstore to buy WordPress Visually so I could figure out how to build this website (I laugh at myself because I didn’t even own my own computer at that point. At times my optimism borders on bizarre).

In my reading, what has inspired me the most is this: EVERYDAY people make something out of nothing. Just from an idea.

Visionaries rock! Instead of saying, “I can’t do this cause I don’t (insert excuse here)” or “I don’t know how to (insert phrase here)” — they say, “There must be a way” or “How can I?”

The best quote I heard over the weekend at a conference in NYC was by Danielle LaPorte: “Choose to be one of the people who pulls it off”.  Ouch! So hot it burns.

Last year, I had an epiphany. I thought: How can I amplify my service to others? How can helping women lead an exceptional life help others in their struggles?  What is IMPORTANT to me? What makes me FEEL good? How can I do greater things?

My definition of greater things (and everyone has their own) is going beyond pure self-interest. Sure, it’s pretty human to have the, “What’s in it for me?” mentality. But the crazy truth is that all our decisions affect others people’s lives — for better or for worse.

And so this inspiration came to me: Bianca – level the playing field. Amplify joy by giving to those who have less.

Thanks brain. That was a good download.

But I had a big problem.

My brain said: “give” and I got in the way. I said: “How? I don’t *come* from money. I never have a big chunk of it. I work, I buy stuff I need, and then it’s usually gone. I don’t have a high paying job – I have no big stash. It’s just pocket change. I suck. I’m out of my element”.

Shit – this whole giving thing is stressing me out!

Then my brain spoke a little louder cause I’m obviously slow on the uptake: “Give through your business. Grow your business and grow your giving”.

Shit – THIS is good brain! Really juicy idea, brain. Brava brain!

And so I started giving through Italian Fix last year.

What does Italian Fix giving look like?

It means that every time you invest in a product or service that my company offers – you are investing in others too.

It means that this season, when you travel to Italy with us, a percentage of your sale goes directly to levelling the playing field of social and economic inequality.

Translation: Your giving is built right into your trip!

Not only do get the most amazing travel experience of your life – you get to GIVE an amazing opportunity to someone else. It’s automatic and you don’t have to do any of the work.

This year (like last year) we’re giving to Kiva.

If you don’t know Kiva then I’m gonna give you the lowdown showdown. Kiva’s vision is this:

We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.

We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.

What Kiva does is simply turn donations into loans for people.

But these aren’t just any people, they are entrepreneurs, many of them dirt poor (not just I’m-poor-so-I-won’t be-going-out-for-dinner-tonight poor). These people couldn’t normally get a loan, and they have no access to credit or collateral (you can’t charge a credit card if you can’t get one).

I have a big crush on Kiva because I know that 100% of our donations fund microloans, not administration fees and staff salaries.

Also – these are loans peeps! And most of the times – the loans get re-payed – which means you get to RE-GIVE to someone next in line. The money recycles to others and keeps working. How cool is that!

I am really proud of this part of my business and that’s why I wanted to share it with you.

If you want to hear my biggest-deepest secret it’s this: My goal is to give $100,000 in my lifetime to people and organizations who make the world a saner place. I’m gonna do that through the businesses that I create. I’m very excited by my goal and even though I’ve just begun, I know that people have overcome bigger challenges; life is full of success when you set your eye on the target.

I know this isn’t revolutionary – there are tons of people who are being the change they want to see in the world and they have inspired me to do this. I love feeling like I’m part of one tsunami wave of worldwide awareness. I hope you’ll jump on in – cause the water is great!

The last day:

This is the last day of our 7 day party that was born to celebrate the release of our brand new trips to Italy this upcoming season.

Six days into trip sales — the response has been awesome.

We’ve had 200 comments posted in the last 6 days on Italian Fix. We’ve sold trips to people who now have “vacation in Italy” marked on their calendar! How great is that. And we’ve offered great give-aways everyday to anyone who has left us a comment.

I hope that you feel you know me a little more than you did last week. And that I’ve showed you something that you would like to be a part of.

Thank- you to everyone who’s spent time with me in the last week. I’m feeling the love! Grazie infinito.

But there’s one little thing I wanna leave you with:

You HAVE TO make space in your life for things YOU want. You have to prioritize the things YOU need. You have to make your calendar reflect the things that are IMPORTANT to you (it’s not just about obligations).   Only YOU can do this – don’t wait for anyone else to give you permission. If you don’t make a move for yourself and define your own priorities — who will? Only YOU know what is truly right for you.

Free Stuff:

We’re giving away another fab 12 x 16 photo print by Leela Cyd of the Cinque Terre worth $250. Leela will send you your choice of a stunning print of Italy from the photo gallery.

You have until the November 30, 2013 to leave a comment and be entered in the give-away.

In the comments below chat about anything:

What is giving to you? Do you feel like you have something to offer others, financially or otherwise? Does Kiva speak to you? Do you have any suggestions of worthwhile charities or people making a difference?

Thanks for being here. It’s been an incredible week! Big hugs! {Luck + Love, Bianca}

{Giveaway update: Bethany is the recipient of this beautiful print by Leela Cyd}

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }


I love how you GIVE, how you INSPIRE, how your WORDS light so many people up (me included!). Thank you! I am going to do some serious mulling over this post and then make a PLAN and DO IT!!!!



Bianca Gignac


It makes it all worth it to hear those words. Thanks for inspiring me too. xx B



Thank you for reminding us of what we truly can be if we choose to be!


Bianca Gignac

Hey Marina. You “get” the exact spirit of the post. Thanks for commenting. xx Bianca



Love your enthusiasm! You have a big heart girl. Thanks for the reminder to live large and share.


Bianca Gignac

I’m blushing. xx Bianca


Your Mama

Well…what a week! So happy you made it home from NYC in one piece… had the best time reading your ‘seven days behind the scenes’. So, if I may, I am now in love with the Fiat 500. The Continetale is my new favorite hotel and Cappun Magru will be my ‘go to’ ristorante next trip to Italy. I am already a fan of Leela, Tim and Filippo. I am especially proud of your generous nature and was inspired to become a Kiva lender/ donator funding two women with their business startups. Good Work! xoxox


Bianca Gignac

It’s funny when bloggers talk about their biggest readers being their moms. Certainly true in my case. Thanks mamma.



Beautiful pictures! I can’t decide if I would choose a classic coastline shot or one of the beautiful & simple coffee cup shots. The dark wood with chocolate cake and the white espresso cups against orange are both awesome.
I’ve been thinking a lot about giving lately. This christmas I want to find an affordable way to show my close friends and family that I’m thinking of them, near or far!


Bianca Gignac


The dark wood and chocolate cake is one of my faves. That was a little snack the day our group hiked the coastline of the Cinque Terre to Portovenere. The thing I love about hiking in Italy is that you’re never far from eating great things. Same with going to the beach in Italy. There’s always a cocktail just steps away. Being from Canada, we aren’t used to that. When you’re hiking or at the beach you eat squished sandwiches you packed yourself. Not half as tasty.

As far as affordable Christmas presents — some time in photoshop arranging past memories into a montage for a book or something they can hang on their wall is an idea that will fit your needs. You can even scan old pre-digital images and give them new life in photoshop. Love that. xx B


Bethany ~ twoOregonians

I love initiatives that bring new hope to people! Terrific work. I’ve been excited this fall to share my Beautiful Ideas Help the World series and introduce readers to artisan products crafted by women seeking new chapters in their own stories… My friend Shanley’s company Nakate works with women in Uganda, a great organization called Sari Bari works with women in India, and right now I’m featuring Knitting Peace, a company that sells gorgeous hand knit alpaca wool products crafted by women in Bolivia.

So cool that you’re giving away a print by Leela! We’ve never met, but I follow her on Twitter and we’re fellow Portland, Oregon foodies :) I need to stop by your blog more often – such great posts. xx


Bianca Gignac

I checked out the initiative you have going and I think it’s wonderful! Enjoy the Leela print! xx B


Lisa Caldwell

Bianca –
I love your note on giving. As usual – another inspiring message. Hope all is well

Miss you!



Today, I spent 15 minutes with a lady at the baking grocery aisle going over her banana pudding recipe and what could have possibly gone wrong on her first try (the day before). We went over the ingredients and when she told me she used PET evaporated milk, we came upon her error. She told me I was so good I should make a food show… hmmmmmm…. I believe that when you do good for others without expecting anything back, it comes back to you tenfold. Karma… my dear. So bella Bianca, with your inspiring message and the seeds of goodness you’re planting in the world… I just know you and Italian Fix are going to be BIG. Mucho love!


Bianca Gignac

Ayon, I love the idea of your cooking show. I would watch it. I can see it now!


Bianca Gignac

Hi Lisa, Thanks for letting me know. Would love to see you on a trip this summer. Leela and I were talking about how the photography course for you and Bernadette would be perf. But hey, I know there are other places out there…but we just loved having you on our trip last year!
xx B


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