Every time you buy something, you vote with your wallet.
As someone who has bootstrapped companies and knows just how hard it is to do it right, to fight the good fight and do things the right way, not just for the bottom-line, but actually run a business with a set of values that might make the world a tiny bit better, I know just how incredibly hard it is to make it work. Just like this election has shown, the ruthless ones, the ones that don’t care about anything other than full pockets, are the ones that usually win.
I have bootstrapped Tattly from the beginning and we had some wonderful successes but it is a bumpy road, even 5 years in. I believe in manufacturing whatever I can in the U.S. I believe in selecting my artists carefully and paying them a generous royalty. I believe in shipping everything out of Brooklyn and creating lower wage jobs in the city. I believe in creating a healthy work environment for my employees and offer sane working hours. I could go on! All of these values make it exponentially harder to succeed. Our business model has been copied by people that don’t care about any of these things and that are just in for the money.
All of this has made me realize that I need to be more careful on how I spend my money and who I support and endorse. My purchases have a direct impact. Supporting small matters. Here are are few small companies and individuals that I know, or have been following for a long time, that have a set of values I admire. I want them to succeed with their businesses.
Help me grow this list! What small entrepreneurs or individuals should we be supporting and why? Write suggestions below as a comment with links to their sites. I am actively keeping tab of companies that make the world a little better and will continuously support them, here on my blog and beyond.
Here is my GROWING list of companies I suggest you consider supporting this holiday season:
Sugru – the world needs fixing. The founder Jane is one of my favorite people. Watch her 99u talk and fall in love as well.
Slow Factory – Fashion as a tool for social and environmental change. NASA images printed on 100% natural fabric and eco-friendly dyes and process.
Holstee – a subscription that explores one mindful theme each month through art, words and action.
Various Keytags – get someone a special key chain. The people that run it are special too.
Three Potato Four – Janet Morales and Stu Eli began Three Potato Four through their love of found objects. It’s been a pleasure to watch their labor of love grow into a company.
Pipsticks – Monthly sticker subscription, run by a super kind couple with three kids.
Tinybop – the best educational kids apps out there. SUCH good, smart people that run this company.
Uncommon goods – Dave the founder is remarkable. Read their about page. Then support them.
JAM – online courses for kids. Zach Klein, the founder, is good people.
The Sill – Get some plants into your home and office. Healthy plants by healthy, lovely humans.
– American Heirloom – I have one of their cutting boards. It’s my favorite.
Field Notes – the original. I have admired Jim Coudal, the founder, for a long time and he has been instrumental in my decision to let go of clients. He is an entrepreneur with values I admire.
Jen makes beautiful jewelry. And she is a beautiful human.
Rifle Paper – satisfy all of your paper needs. Anna Bond, the illustrator behind the brand, has shaped this industry. She is probably the hardest working human on this planet.
Etsy – a company with fantastic values and a serious moral compass, supporting makers around the world. YES!
Brooklyn Industries – know and admire the founders.
Oliver Jeffers – one of the most talented and hardest working artists I know. Buy a print or look for his picture books next time you’re in a book store.
Brvtvs – a New York based jewelry collection created by Caroline Ventura.
City of Industry – It’s been a pleasure seeing Sara build out her pin business into more than just that. A labor of love I want to see succeed!
Soma – Good people. Good products.
Charity Water – instead of christmas/wedding or birthday gifts fundraise for clean water?
Lumi – I met Jesse Genet, the co-founder recently and was so impressed by her hustle and enthusiasm to improve the world of packaging goods.
Kikkerland – my favorite place to find fun gifts.
ban.do – a destination for slightly silly fun gifts.
Ghostly – it’s easy to get lost in their music or products.
Haptic Lab – stunning products by a remarkable woman.
Poketo – beautiful gifts curated by a beautiful couple.
Paper Jam Press – love these so much.
Hendley – I have never met a person before that makes perfumes. Hans’ love for this industry is beautiful to follow along.
Adam J. K. – one of my favorite places to shop for gifts on the internet.