Everyone could use a little bit more positivity in their lives. That’s the spark behind a new business venture by Sadie Higgins ‘06, an entrepreneur and alumna of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media.

Higgins recently launched a website that allows users to create a virtual scrapbook of positive messages to encourage people going through both high points and tough times.

The website is called Palonka, after a word Higgins learned when she was given small handwritten notes of encouragement during youth ministry retreats as a teenager.

Palonka.com collects notes, gifs, videos and photos, then emails it as a package to someone on a designated time and date. Higgins sees these marking milestones like retirement and birthdays, as well as events like divorce or death.

“A client once compared this to a big electronic love bomb,” Higgins said. “There’s a lot of negativity online right now, so this is an antidote of sorts.”

Higgins’ background at UCF prepared her for a business founded on the power of words. A Communication major, Higgins spent her four years as a sports reporter. She remembers gifted teachers passionate about their subjects and excellent mentors in the athletics department guiding her growth.

When quarantine started earlier this year, Higgins decided to act on an idea of an online environment she had been musing over for years – which became Palonka.

Palonka is in the early stages still. It is completely free while Higgins tests the demand for the service and develops auxiliary products.

Higgins is optimistic about the need for some bright spots in an increasingly fractured online community.

“It’s what the world needs right now,” Higgins said.


This article was originally published on COS News on July 2.

Published August 3, 2020 on Nicholson News by Iulia Popescu.

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