I AM SO FIRED UP ABOUT THIS YOU GUYS!
Confession: I have been trying to set up a fundraising, charitable aspect of my business since the very beginning. My goal was to set up a formal, official fundraising partnership with a local non-profit organization, but it's been surprisingly difficult.
My "please let me give you money and raise awareness for your cause" messages go unreturned for weeks, months...
Or when I do get a response, my contact will leave to work somewhere else.
Then I'll put it on the back burner because I get busy.
Then I start to question:
Am I SURE I have enough room in my margin to donate?? Maybe I should crunch the numbers again...
Do I even have time to make things to give away for practically free??! Some days I don't even have time to shower!
I mean, I'm still kind of a charity case myself... maybe I should wait until my business is bigger and better? Would the amount of money that I'd be able to raise even make an impact at all?
And given our current social/political climate, we, I, don't have time for excuses anymore.
So I've been thinking long and hard over the past few weeks about the best way that I can use my business, my brand, to create a positive social impact. (I mean, you know... aside from the ethically produced, eco friendly, vegan, cruelty free, safe, nontoxic goods that I make...)
And I think I've finally come up with the perfect solution:
I don't make, print, or ship any of it myself, so I have no problem giving away the profits.
Everything is produced and printed in the USA, so I'll also be supporting local manufacturing jobs;
and having a bunch of compassionate people walking around wearing my logo/website will help raise brand awareness, which will allow me to have greater positive impact as my business grows.
Win, win, win!
And the cause is something that's very near and dear to my heart:
Side note - I should mention that this is not a formal partnership. I haven't spoken to anyone at the organization and we don't have an official fundraising agreement.
But given that it's been difficult for me to set anything up so far, I figure I'll just start. I'll start donating every month, and maybe eventually I'll get someone's attention and we can work together on something bigger and better!
So here's the thing:
There are about a million different causes that desperately need our attention and money right now, but since I am just picking one, I think that ending domestic violence and the culture of toxic masculinity that breeds violence in our society is of the upmost importance.
Especially given our current political leadership.
Since it's no secret that I am anti-Trump around here, let's just call a spade a spade:
he's an abuser,
and I won't stand for it.
If, like me, you're one of the 1 in 3 women in the US who have been a victim of intimate partner violence, I don't have to explain to you why his tough guy, "locker room" rhetoric, outright lies, and subsequent attempts to gaslight the entire country make my skin crawl.
(FYI - abuse is more than hits and punches and unwanted sexual advances... oh wait, Donald Trump has openly admitted to that too. Not. Acceptable.)
If you are lucky enough to not feel traumatized every time he opens his mouth, I encourage you to browse the NCADV website.
You'll learn some very harrowing statics, like how in America, 1 woman is fatally shot by a spouse, ex-spouse, or dating parter every 14 hours... (but yeah, let's close the borders 'cause terrorists are scary.)
You also find ways that you can help raise awareness (which I plan to be doing much more of in the near future) and further support the work that they do, which involves:
Promoting legislation and policies that serve and protect victims of domestic violence, offering cosmetic reconstructive surgery to survivors, and many other educational and healthcare initiatives to drive change.
Seeing as how all 25 grant programs managed by the Office on Violence Against Women could be on the chopping block under the new administration's proposed budget cuts, organizations that fight to protect these policies need our support now more than ever.
So, let's get to the happy, feel good part where you can do something to help:
buying cute clothes and accessories!
I'm starting with very simple, casual designs, but if things go well, hopefully I can expand my collection!
If you follow my Instagram stories, you might have noticed that I've already been wearing the hoodies, drinking from my mug, and wearing some of the tanks to yoga class, but I haven't gotten samples of everything to photograph yet. Unfortunately the website images I have from my drop shipping service aren't the best quality... but I will work on updating the product images as I get samples in.
The hoodies, Ts, and unisex tanks are all American Apparel, (I know it's not the most ethical brand in the world, but it is sweatshop free and readily available to me at this point) and I'm super excited about the new muscle tank I just added... (produced in LA by Bella+Canvas)
I think it'll be super cute for workouts, or just pairing with jeans and a bralette this summer.
The prices aren't cheap - these are quality goods that are produced and printed in America, unlike Donald and Ivanka's clothing and accessory lines.
To be completely transparent:
The price you pay for each item covers the wholesale cost of the goods (what I pay for the merchandise & print service) plus shipping, plus a $5 donation. Because I round up to make all of the prices an even $20, $30, $35, $40, or $50, there's anywhere from $1-$4 per item left over that I'll take to help cover my website fees, and to pay me for the time that I'll be spending on any customer service issues that may arise. If you would like to pay for your own shipping at checkout, I'll donate that money as well.
And for everyone who's already purchased a mug or a T, (THANK YOU!) I'll be including an extra $5 for your order in my February donation.
Okay, cool. Let's shop!