Tippy Tippens - Goods That Matter
Time, things will take.
I say this to myself, yoda-style & it regularly reassures me that I will get to that place, where I envision Goods that Matter to be in a healthy, reliable state & man, I will be excited to get there.
Other regulars are: ‘before the mountain, comes the valley’ (my dear swiss friend Cécile used to say this to me when we were in grad school), ‘comparison is the end of happiness’, and ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ (the title of a long time fave book by Paul Arden).
Be Authentic, Stick to it, & Try new things
When I started my business, Goods that Matter, I started a little backwards because I started with a product & then was inspired to start a company.
This is my fifth year & I can finally see things coming together. I also feel like I’m starting to know more about my business. Coming from a creative background, the past five years I feel like I’ve been earning degrees in Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Project Management, Resilience, & more. They say it takes 5-7 years to get your business off the ground & I believe it. Mine has been both off and on the ground & I will be grateful for it to be flying the majority of the time.
I got my start on Kickstarter for BirdProject Soap, as my way to help with cleanup after the BP Spill. I was then inspired to start a company that would continue to make eco friendly products for new partner causes. All Goods that Matter products are thoughtfully designed to raise funding for a unique social or environmental epidemic.
As a small company, it can be difficult to get noticed and stay relevant or interesting over the years. I have found that to stand out in any crowd, you need to be authentic and stay true to your voice.
I rely on details pulled from research to base my design and project ideas upon as a new source of inspiration. These details build authenticity and help build links to the tough problem that the product is designed for, these are also the things that connect with our customers.
Celebrate and relish in the successes
Sometimes, the smallest things are awesome wins! Finally finishing an excel worksheet that I’ve been meaning to do for 6 months or even remembering to order packing tape before I run out. High fives! The small successes lead to the big successes.
Other successes are more grand. This week, I was so lucky to work with four MBA’s that are part of Ross Open Road (formerly MBAxUSA), they helped me build a powerful projections worksheet, update my business plan, strategize for better online sales, and greatly improve a new tool for makers/designers that will launch so soon! This week has given me extra steam to plow ahead with new energy.
And others are more visible, recently West Elm featured Matter/me in a national video campaign about 3 Maker communities across the U.S. They also included our BirdSoaps on their National website & included us in their summer catalog. This is helping Matter to reach a new audience, which as such a teeny company I am so grateful for.
Since I started with a product and then built a company, I think that it took a bit more time for me to figure out what that company should be & to build out that vision. It’s also important to remember that success is measured in many different ways: revenue generated, donations given, products created, communities helped, and more. As I mentioned before, comparison is the end of happiness & there are those that seem to have achieved so much more than I in the same amount of time, but I remind myself, this is my timeline and my pitfalls and my successes, we all have our own.
One thing that I can rely on and that carries me through is, there is beauty and unique gratification in feeling good all the way down to your toes about what you’re spending your time on. Both sides of my family worked so hard and overcame so much, I think of them often, reminding me to remain focused on what’s important and if you put your might behind it you will get there. So, I think no matter what field, you have to feel a burning desire for the thing that you’re working on, to hold your interest and passion over time.