As an entrepreneur, I appreciate businesses both large and small. I especially admire those that have a great product and also support creating a better world.
I enjoy hearing the stories behind the brand; the lives that have been touched and the unwavering integrity of the makers. While not everything I buy has a great story to tell, it sure helps me purchase with a purpose.
Following are companies I admire that offer quality, hope and inspiration.
This Ventura, California, company has been making reputable outdoor gear and clothing since the 1970s. As the brand has grown, so has the company’s commitment to fair working conditions and protecting the environment. Patagonia donates a cut of revenues to various environmental groups and more recently launched a recycling program that repairs and repurposes its clothing.
Patagonia management is also fiercely loyal to its employees. One longtime customer service manager, struggling through cancer treatments for more than two years, retained his medical insurance while unable to work until he lost his battle. It was a just reward for a man who had committed two decades to the company.
Glassybaby is “devoted to giving hope, beauty, kindness, and millions of dollars to help people, animals, and our planet heal.”
How can you not support this mission?
Their vibrant hand-blown glass votive holders and short drinking glasses easily fit in the palm of your hand. They are great for gift giving, especially when you share the message behind the brand.
Owner Lee Rhodes is the three-time cancer survivor behind the Washington-based company. Rhodes found comfort in lighting candles and wanted to help others afflicted with cancer heal. That was nearly 20 years ago.
Today, Glassybaby has two thriving storefronts—San Francisco and Seattle. She employs local artists who hand craft these works of arts and donates 10 percent of her profits to cancer-related causes. To date, that equates to more than $1 million.
If you saw their jewelry, you’d be blown away by their story.
Here how it goes: Stephanie Pollaro traded in the beaches of Southern California for a cause in India. She had heard about women and girls forced into prostitution after they were kidnapped and sold. She was resolved to make a difference.
She started working in shelters, teaching survivors a sustainable trade: jewelry making. That was 10 years ago and Pollaro hasn’t left Mumbai since.
Today, International Sanctuary provides jobs to survivors in India and Orange County, California. They create pieces through its wire and beaded jewelry line, Purpose Jewelry. Survivors share in the profits and, more importantly, they learn self-sustaining tools and gain a confidence long lost.
Their goal is to create 10 more “sanctuaries” around the world in the next three years.