It was holiday 2019, you know, back when you could go to Target with no mask and get name brand hand sanitizer. I was on the hunt for client gifts. I really wanted to spend my holiday funds in a meaningful way. I hoped my clients would like the gifts I got them, but I didn’t know them well enough to be 100% sure. But at least if I purchased their gifts from a place that supported a cause I was passionate about, I had that to hang my hat on. I was looking for something unique, thoughtful and on-brand. My other company is named Health and Fitness Activations – so I needed the gifts to be within the wellness space to fill that third qualification.
But…what happened? I ended up buying gym bags on Amazon and having them embroidered with our logo. While I did get positive feedback from my clients, I didn’t achieve my personal goal of spending for a cause. Why? Honestly, I ran out of energy and time.
I probably went to 20 websites looking for gifts. I found many sites with products that, if I was honest with myself, I would only consider purchasing because I liked the cause they supported. I found others that offered great items, but I had to piece meal them together, pay for shipping from multiple vendors, package them up and then pay to ship them again. And finally, I found a handful that were not super transparent on what percentage of sales actually went to a cause.
Let’s be clear – I’m all for corporate giving, but when I am specifically shopping in order to support a cause, I want to know where my money is going. As an example, I found one gift company who sold a product produced by a company that donates 5% of their profits to the stated cause. Let’s do the math on that real quick. For the sake of simple math – A $50 item probably costs $25 wholesale. Of that $25, let’s say $5 is profit. Of that $5, 5% goes to the cause. That’s 25 cents. 25 cents of my $50 purchase goes to the cause. Again, I feel that’s better than nothing. If all companies did this, our world would look drastically different. But that didn’t feel like enough to me.
So, after spending a couple of weeks and countless hours looking for the perfect gift, I caved and went the simple route…Amazon. At some point, it dawned on me that there were probably a lot of people in my situation – people who cared about purchasing with purpose but had limited bandwidth to pull it off. How many others admitted defeat because the process was so arduous? I felt this was a question worth investigating.
So, in January of 2020, I began looking into the concept of a cause-focused gift box company. I met with suppliers to ensure selling wholesale made financial sense for them – after all the whole point is to support these social enterprises, not rob them of their profits. I mapped out how this would work and put down on paper what solutions my company would provide. I researched some competitors. I even started outlining my target demographic.
After these initial steps, I still felt great about the concept. I talked to my family and close friends about the company and received resounding encouragement. I prayed about it. Still felt good. So, in the summer of 2020, I set off on a new entrepreneurial journey to make it easier for others to be CAUSE minded. On November 2, 2020, the beCAUSE minded website went live and beCAUSE minded was officially born. I don’t know where this journey will lead, but I am excited to find out. And I am grateful for everyone who has joined me along the way.