Chain of Wealth

E34- Shreya Bhargava from District Mugs

Connect with Our Guest

Subscribe to Chain of Wealth

Join 40,515 Monthly Listeners

Subscribe to Chain of Wealth

Join 40,515 Monthly Listeners

Pro Tip: Timestamps below are clickable. Click on the time below in the brackets and the audio will start playing at that part of the show.

Need a financial checkout? Head on over to and let’s help you manage your money better! Only $75 for 30 minutes deep dive!

Shreya Bhargava is a local neighbor to us here in Washington D.C. and has started an incredible cause to help the homeless community.

It is a nonprofit called District Mugs.

District Mugs introduces entrepreneurship to the homeless and low-income individuals in D.C. by teaching the homeless and low-income participants how to paint, market, and sell coffee mugs.

Their mission is to empower economically disadvantaged segments of our population by providing them with the opportunity to earn a small income while learning transferable skills.

Shreya, it is an honor to have you on the show, welcome!

[2:40] Tell us a little about yourself.
·      Grew up in India
·      Loads of people struggled to make ends meet
·      Studied economics at Brown University
·      Been volunteering in a shelter for the last year and started District Mugs shortly thereafter
·      Helped over 20 people today

[4:2] What is the difference between a nonprofit business and a “regular” business?
·      Purpose ownership & public support are the indicators
·      The mission is to benefit society and not to make profits
·      Public ownership – no one person holds all the ownership
·      Income must never be distributed to any owners

[5:23] How did the idea for District Mugs occur?
·      When working at the shelter, realized there was a massive gap between the services and what people actually needed
·      Identified a serious gap to get these people employed by providing transferrable skills
·      The goal is to teach entrepreneurship and business skills, the mugs are a byproduct.

[7:7] What are the main obstacles that stand between you and your mission, and how do you plan to overcome them?
·      Time – relies on passionate volunteers, people are working free of cost
·      Transient homeless individuals- need to incentivize people to come to class & get them paid faster

[8:52] What is a long term goal you have for District Mugs?
·      Help participants run their own successful businesses
·      2 people currently selling on Etsy, another person at the Eastern Market
·      Goals is to help people learn knowledge on business so they can start their own businesses
·      Provide a full time income

[9:55] How has the company changed over time?
·      Started really small scale, the idea has evolved significantly from creating mugs to entrepreneurship.
·      Popup sales have worked great lately
·      Great support from the DC community
·      Frugal innovation- producing goods and services with as little cost as possible

[11:51] Where does most of your funding come from?
·      Started with a $800 donation from a corporate donation
·      Actively participating to get grants and donations
·      Recently won the Beacon DC grant.

[12:51] What percentage of your budget comes from private donations, and what do private donations help you to do that your other sources of funding don’t cover?
·      80% grants from corporate donations
·      20% private donations from website or mug sales

[14:19] Do you meet at the same location every month?
·      Columbia Heights in DC
·      Meet on Thursdays
·      Professional art teachers provide lessons
·      Business workshop after the painting
·      Working on getting more locations

[15:36] If I wanted to get to know the organization better, what are the best ways to learn more? Are you accepting new employees/ volunteers?
·      Website:
·      Facebook
·      Instagram
·      Email: [email protected]


[16:38] Sponsors: Chain of Wealth – Learn how to save money in everyday living, head over to to find out more!

If you’re enjoying this podcast, don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review!

Value Link Round

[17:14] Why do you think that people fail at achieving their dreams?
·      It takes persistence and dedication, don’t give up!
·      People are not organized enough, work and life.

[18:0] What other books or podcasts can you recommend?
·      Ted Talks: How great leaders inspire action and why good leaders make you feel safe
·      Ted Talks: Creative problem solving in the face of extreme limits
·      Book: Pivot by Jenny Blake
·      Book: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

[19:17] What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
·      Being confident in my own abilities

[20:29] What is a quote that you try to live by?
·      “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Einstein

Enjoying Our Podcast?

We have over 150 episodes to listen to! Join over 2,167 daily listeners that pursue financial freedom.

By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Other Podcasts

E174- Brandon Pearce from Family Adventure Summit

In his 10th year traveling the world with his family, successful 4-hour workweek entrepreneur and founder of the Family Adventure Summit, Brandon Pearce is passionate about living life to the fullest while inspiring others to live their heartfelt dreams.

Listen »
About the Podcast
Chain of Wealth

Chain of Wealth

The Chain of Wealth podcast is a biweekly podcast boasting over 500,000 downloads. We interview inspirational guests about money topics. You can learn more about us here.

Share On

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *