Product with Purpose
Duke Cannon Supply Co. Anthony Albanese and Sam Swartz, co-founders
Mission: “To eliminate the difficulty of buying gifts for men by offering authentically masculine products that men love to get and women love to give. … Duke Cannon is serious about its commitment to give back to the men and women serving our country. That’s why a portion of our proceeds directly support veteran causes.”
How do the products serve the mission? “Last year, we donated about 5 percent of net profits to causes that support veterans and active duty military. … For example, the size and shape of our Big Ass Brick of Soap was inspired by the soap used by GIs in the Korean War. It’s made in the same plant that was the sole supplier to the military in that era. We test every product with active duty soldiers to ensure our products meet the needs of hard-working men. Because we leverage military heritage in our products, we feel it’s important to give back.” Duke Cannon Supply also works with the Honor Flight Network (www.honorflight.org).
Plans for the future: “To continue expanding our line of giftable products for mainstream men. For our retail partners, we wish to be a one-stop shop for all the gifts a man would ever want.”
How can retailers get more involved? “We create (point-of-sale) pieces that help tell our story. Having that next to our products helps drive consumer interest and product velocity, which, in turn, helps us give back more.”
Mama Malas Heather Mudry, CEO and owner
Mission: “Our mission is to enhance a mother’s lives with intentional and meaningful accessories that open her to the magic of motherhood and inspire her to shape her reality through intentional and meaningful purchases, experiences, and actions,” Mudry said. “We create products to remind her of the honor and beauty in consciously creating an authentic and mindful life for herself and her family. We strive to improve the lives of mothers spiritually, emotionally and physically through our products and charitable partnerships.”
How do the products serve the mission? “Our mala beads are designed as tangible reminders of your intentions, and tend to the emotional and spiritual needs of motherhood. We partnered with the UNFPA to help support the urgent physical needs of mothers who find themselves in a crisis or disaster setting without a safe place to give birth.” For 108-mala beads set sold, a Clean Delivery Kit is donated to a woman in need through Mama Malas’ partnership with UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund).
Plans for the future: In the future we plan to expand our line of mala beads, and find new and meaningful ways to get more involved in bringing awareness to the need for proper maternal care both overseas and at home.
How can retailers get more involved? “By actively promoting the partnership in their retail displays, educating their customers about how their purchase helps, and creating events to help support the amazing work that the UNFPA is doing for women around the world. The UNFPA website (www.unfpa.org) is a wonderful resource for ways to get involved in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”
Mud Pie Marcia Miller, founder and CEO
Mission: “Our commitment to helping babies began with a little girl who touched our hearts forever. Baby Elizabeth — like all newborns being treated in the cardiovascular intensive care unit — could only wear diapers and socks. Friends and family showered her with adorable Mud Pie socks to make sure her tiny feet made a fashion statement,” said Ellen Fruchtman, director of public relations. “Her mother reached out to Mud Pie to share her experience of how something as small as a pair of socks was able to provide smiles and hope during exceptionally difficult circumstances. Her sweet story continues to inspire us to help moms and babies through our support of the March of Dimes.”
How do the products serve the mission? Mud Pie developed a signature partnership in 2013 to help raise funds for the March of Dimes through the sale of baby socks and soft headbands. Through this alliance, Mud Pie contributes a dime for each soft headband and pair of baby socks sold. To date, the program has generated over $360,000 in donations and the partnership has been so well received that Mud Pie has guaranteed an additional $150,000 donation for 2016.
Plans for the future: Mud Pie will introduce a new Piggy Bank for fall/holiday 2016, just in time for holiday giving. The keepsake bank will feature a preemie footprint logo. The company will donate $5 to the March of Dimes for every bank sold. March of Dimes will support this campaign with national advertising during October and November.
How can retailers get more involved? “The easiest way to get involved is to purchase Mud Pie products that support the March of Dimes,” Fruchtman said. “There is nothing to track or report.”
Coton Colors Laura Johnson, founder
Mission: “In the spring of 2012, I was invited by St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa to participate in their art therapy program with their children. Spending the day hosting an art workshop with those sweet kids changed my life. Seeing firsthand the positive and uplifting effects that art expression had on their spirits and overall health is something I will never forget. From that day forward I was committed to bringing art therapy to children who need a little extra happy in their lives and thus, Attached to a Cause was born.”
How do the products serve the mission? “We design a custom Art with Heart attachment each year to benefit art therapy at pediatric hospitals, namely St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the hospitals in our brand’s backyard as well.” Coton Colors donates 50 percent of the retail price.
Plans for the future: “We are thrilled to continue to grow this program through the years, designing a new attachment for each year of the program. … Our (custom) St. Jude Mug featuring inspiring messages with style, is available to consumers beginning September. We’re particularly excited to make this product available during Childhood Cancer Awareness month, as we are donating 100 percent of the retail price to St. Jude.”
How can retailers get more involved? “In addition to believing in the art of celebrating everyday, we are also big fans of supporting our customers. Retailers that purchase our Attached to a Cause products are provided with supporting marketing materials (in-store signage, social media posts and designed emails) to help tell the St. Jude and Attached to a Cause story and encourage success within their stores. In addition to carrying the products, we want retailers and their teams to know the St. Jude mission and to be able to sell this to their customers. Many retailers have opted to take the program a step further, adding donations to St. Jude to their wholesale order.”