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The Innovator Advocator: Goods that Matter

An interview with Tippy Tippens, Founder of Goods that Matter

Please tell us a little more about yourself and about Goods that Matter.

I am the Chief Eternal Optimist and the Founder of Goods that Matter. I am a social entrepreneur, designer, gandhiwarmer, and lover/maker of ice cream. I am also proud to be in the GOOD 100, 2013, named as one of 100 people pushing the world forward!

Goods that Matter is a design for good, New Orleans based product design studio. We create eco-friendly goods with U.S. artisans and manufacturers that are poetic, heirloom quality, and donate to partner social and environmental causes. We are proud to be a Benefit Corporation & to have donated $25,020 so far to wetland restoration, oil spill cleanup, disaster relief, education, literacy, small business, and more.

What made you want to start your business?

In September of 2010, I moved from Brooklyn to New Orleans after the BP Oil Spill in order to create BirdProject. This was my way as a designer & long time environmentalist to give back. I got my start on Kickstarter & was inspired to form the company upon developing BirdProject Soaps, where I saw the need for socially inspired products that sustainably and poetically fulfill our basic needs.

What is the toughest decision that you have had to make with regards to your business?

When I began, I donated 50% of proceeds to our partner groups. I realized that this was too much in order for the business to succeed & had to decide to reduce that donation percentage. We currently donate 10% of proceeds. We still raise significant donations for our partners, but it was a difficult realization for me to come to that this change was necessary.

What is the future goal for Goods that Matter?

To do more good: to donate one-million dollars to our partner groups, to create good jobs in the U.S., and to make eco friendly the norm.

What have been the most satisfying moments of your journey in creating Goods that Matter?

Sending donations to our partner groups & collaborating with kind and lovely local makers. It is so gratifying to hear how my work has helped our partner groups get the word out about their good work & how the donations have directly created benefits for them.

Also, hearing from customers whether by mail, in person, or email about how much they love and have connected with our products.

Before you started, if there is any advice that you would’ve gave to yourself, what would it have been?

Learn excel quickly. And, ask for help immediately when you feel stuck.

Visit them online to shop their amazing products at www.OurGoodsMatter.com

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