“starting something that matters”

a little over a year ago, i read start something that matters by founder of toms shoes, blake mycoskie. in case you’re not familiar with toms’ business model, it’s a “one for one” concept: for every pair of shoes sold, toms donates a pair to someone who can’t afford this very basic item. since its inception, toms has expanded to include eyewear as well (much like warby parker, which has a similar one for one business model). i’m fascinated by the ingenuity of this concept. the founders of both companies have created a product that they’re passionate about and proud of; and to make matters exponentially better, they’re doing good for the less fortunate in the process.

i don’t own a pair of toms, and i’ve had the same glasses since college, so haven’t gotten a pair at warby parker just yet. but i’m big into jewelry, and always looking to add to my collection. so i was thrilled to find out about a company called “jewelry for a cause“. i’ve been listening to this great series of talks called “borrowed wisdom“; the summit was created by an awesome mother/daughter team aimed to encourage women to “get a life they love”. the 12-week interview series features self-help experts in everything from exercise to meditation to dating. the summit is completely free, and interviews can be accessed online from anywhere for 48 hours after they originally aired. in addition to the countless free talks, borrowed wisdom is offering several special bonuses, including a 20% discount at jewelry for a cause. i’ve become a quick fan of the caliber collection: really cool, fashionable bracelets and cufflinks are made with the serial numbers from illegal guns and the metal from bullet casings that have been taken off streets of some of america’s most violent cities (think newark and detroit). i’m not quite sure if any proceeds of jewelry sales go to charity, but even if they don’t, it’s admirable that the collection’s designer is recycling and reusing items with a very negative connotation and giving them a new and positive one.

the ultimate goal is to turn my mysterious “passion project” into a vehicle for doing good. companies like toms, warby parker, and jewelry for a cause offer inspiration in spades. i would be proud to own and wear any of their designs, and can’t wait for the day when people feel similarly about mine.

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