I’ve been in two minds about writing this blog post, because it’s not something I’m proud of, and it kinda feels vulnerable. But I wanted to share this with you, since you all have made this business a reality!
I had doubts…. I had real , big , doubts… I felt like throwing in the towel!
Running an Eco friendly ethical business has its own set of challenges and I was facing one of the toughest ones. Making the business profitable while still remaining ethical. Ethically made products cost more then ones who aren’t. And there is a balance between how much people who are used to having very cheap prices are willing to pay for ethical products. My inner gremlins were having a field day, thoughts like “this business won’t work” and “who do you think you are?!” were going around and around in my head. What if I just order cheap china made pads at £1.70 each at wholesale, it would be easy and they had a good profit margin. Plus more people would be willing to pay for them at that price. But could I really do that? Could I really go against all the ethics and values at the heart of this business? Would I be proud of myself at the end of it?! The answer was a resounding NO!!! I felt it in every cell of my body. I can do better than that! Why would I adopt a business model that was totally unsustainable, that was broken! Because some people made me feel that I wasn’t ‘successful’ unless I made X amount of money, they didn’t care how I made it. And I feel that that is part of the problem, we define success in business as how much profit that business generated, we don’t give a thought to what kind of impact that business is having. When the focus of any business is solely on generating more profit , things like the environment, human rights, workers rights, get lost. Then we are all in uproar when a factory in India collapses killing more than 1000 workers, or when we find out that an 8 year old child made the shoes we got for a bargain price of £9.99 last week. A business based on materialism is costly, and we’re not paying for it. And the truth is we never wanted to!
” If your not paying for it, then someone else is! ”
I had my doubts about how I could make this business work, since the end goal is that me and my partner in crime could make a living off of it. So making it work financially is important. But I also chose to redefine what “success” in the work place was for me. Success, for me is knowing the exact manufacturing process from start to finish of every single product we sell on the website, regardless of whether they are manufactured by us or another company. Don’t believe me? Just ask! Success, is knowing the exact environmental, social, and economical impact the business is having. In a nutshell, I believe that businesses can be more then money making machines. I believe that businesses can be change agents, that they can lift up communities, protect rather than destroy the environment, and have a positive impact on all social, economic, and environmental levels. If my business can have such a positive impact, and makes such a difference, then in my book, it is successful!
I took a tumble, had doubts, my self-confidence hit zero, but I still got back up and took the next leap of faith! We have big dreams and goals for this business (now limited company) and I can’t wait to see where this takes us. And I want to give my sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported us! You’ve made this dream a reality.