What Nike did.

Recently Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of its new marketing campaign.

The campaign includes an advertisement that is extremely powerful. Just watching it inspires viewers to go out and accomplish something incredible. However, what makes the advertisement special is that it provides Colin Kaepernick with a new platform for protesting police brutality against African Americans and has put this cause back in the spotlight.

I don’t remember the last time an advertisement was this polarizing.

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For people who give a sh*t!

That’s the tagline that flew out of my mouth during our first coaching call with Karen Kahn, founder of iFundWomen. We joked around about it, but that’s pretty much the thrust of this whole endeavor. Because there are a lot of people who give a sh*t, looking for ways to make a difference.

When we talk about what we’re aiming for, we talk about creating an online marketplace that helps people activate their everyday dollars through something most of us can’t avoid doing — buying stuff.

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Sara LeHoullierComment
Startup FOMO

Whenever I cross the water, I step off that ferry into the Seattle stew of startups. Half of the people I've met over the past few months are part of a startup, want to work for a startup, are thinking of starting up a startup (though I haven't met as many people who are aching to give money to startups - those are elusive). 

Both together and separately, Edgar and I have attended events like Startup GrindFounders LiveF-Bomb Breakfast Club, Startup Week - the list goes on. We discuss accelerator vs. incubator, advisors and board members, shares and equity. I have been added to countless facebook groups, and trying to have meaningful discussion in the midst of all of this has begun to feel frantic. I have trouble remembering who I met where, and why I need to remember what we talked about. This is not a good feeling, as I am a person who truly values communication and personal relationships over most other things. 

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Sara LeHoullierComment
Be Our Valentine

Despite Valentine’s Day being an excuse for the world of things to push all that glitters, cards that pop open and sing, and overpriced bouquets of roses into our collective hands, there is a certain amount of nostalgic sentiment attached to the holiday, and some of us enjoy celebrating it despite all the fuss, in our own way (especially if that involves chocolate, fresh flowers and good food). 

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Got brand loyalty?

Edgar and I attended an event last week (Founders Live at The Riveter in Seattle - it was great prep for when I have to get up on that stage for 99 seconds of pitching). Over a cup of boxed wine, I ended up in a discussion about why we are starting our app with groceries, when that's clearly the most difficult sector - for a variety of reasons. Finding accurate information about ingredients, sources, companies, parent companies - it's a huge undertaking. But it's necessary, we believe. 

Then it came to brand loyalty and how we choose what we buy and eat... 

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Pain Points: Grocery Shopping Edition

A few months ago, I sent a list of exploratory questions to some excellent moms I know, and they were kind enough to send me answers promptly (which I then promptly let slip to the bottom of my inbox, buried under a bunch of other to-dos and go-dos and whatever else - but better late than never!).

I've been thinking today about pain points, challenges, things that come up that make our shopping experiences more difficult than necessary (for a whole host of very personal reasons). 

Here's the first question I asked:

What are your biggest challenges in terms of grocery shopping (besides having kids with you)? 

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Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, Cyber Monday

Sara here, just tinkering with some ideas about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and shopping in general. 

What did you do with your hard-earned cash after Thanksgiving? If you went shopping, what did you buy and where did you buy it, and why?

I've never been a Black Friday Shopper. The thought of waiting in violence-laced lines for a 1000-inch television or a rare athletic shoe makes me want to curl up and watch the fireplace channel on my regular old normal sized TV, on the couch I got for free from my neighborhood Buy Nothing group a couple of years ago. I'm a proud (sometimes) procrastinator when it comes to purchasing gifts for holidays, and in the past few years, my family has gotten more and more minimalist when it comes to presents. Both of my parents say 'I don't need anything, don't buy me anything'; my sister, who works so incredibly hard for everything she has, says 'I'm so sorry, I'm going to have to send you baked goods again this year'. Which is NOT a downgrade - I love her home-made treats, and they make my whole household incredibly happy. Isn't that all we really need?

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Sara LeHoullierComment
6 Spooooky value-based treats for Halloween!

Oscar Wilde once said, 'Everything in moderation, including moderation' - perfect for a time of year when we fill pillow cases with candy, dunk our heads into barrels of apples, and engage in all manner of costumed debauchery.

On a typical day, you probably wouldn't find yourself giving the go-ahead to your kids to cram a bunch of sugar into their faces after dark, but Halloween is very special (for children and the adults who sneak into their candy buckets to squirrel away choice pieces for secret enjoyment). 

Halloween is also a wonderful time to share your values with your entire neighborhood! It's easy to align your treats (maybe not your tricks) with your personal values, and even on Halloween, contribute to making the world a better more compassionate place for everyone. At least until the sugar crash.

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Exploitation in Food

Even though it is fairly uncontroversial to say that exploiting people to make money is wrong, a large number of companies owe much of their success to doing just that. It is so prevalent in certain industries that exploitation is essentially a standard operating procedure. Some of the industries with the worst reputations include extraction/mining of rare metals and fossil fuels (which is in tech devices and cars), seafood harvesting and processing, clothing and textile manufacturing, and cocoa production. Exploitation in these industries take a wide-range of forms: human trafficking, slavery, sweatshops, child labor, environmental injustice, to name just a few.

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Helping Companies Take a Stand

You may have noticed that most companies have been slow to express outrage or provide counter messaging to the recent rise of right-wing extremist hate groups and the current US Administration’s non-denunciation of these groups. For the most part, the only companies that have taken any meaningful action are large tech companies, well insulated by their market positions.

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Meat Week: Nutritional Values with Lisa Levine!

We've explored a number of lenses through which to look at the way decide which meat to purchase, but we know that we're missing something.

For many of us, health and wellness are values that parallel the others we've discussed, and carry equal weight when we make our shopping choices.

However, this is one area where we definitely want to defer to the experts in the fields of nutrition, wellness, and overall whole-being health.

Today, we're bringing you an interview with Lisa Levine, Wellness Coach at Audacious Health & Wellness (and, full disclosure, personal friend and overall amazing person), about meat!

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WellnessSara LeHoullier
Meat Week: Animal Welfare

Clearly, we realize that when we talk about the welfare of animals in the same breath as value-based meat consumption, there's a bit of a disconnect.

If we were discussing absolutes, we'd have to say that someone who really cares about the welfare of animals simply wouldn't eat meat. But no one expects the world to work like that, and there are companies and certifying groups that are working diligently to lessen the discomfort and pain of animals that will be turned into food. 

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Meat Week: Reducing Carbon Footprint

For those of us who want to reduce our carbon footprint through the way we eat and choose our food, meat is one of the biggest problem areas.

Across the board, meat is pretty bad for the environment, with beef being the biggest offender in most cases. One pound of beef has roughly four times the CO2 footprint of a pound of chicken.

So, if we don't want to cut meat out of our diet but we want to reduce our footprint, what should we do?

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Meat Week: LGBTQ Rights & Gender Equality

OF ALL OF THE WAYS A COMPANY CAN DO GOOD IN THE WORLD, MAKING THE DECISION TO BE A CHAMPION FOR LGBT & GENDER EQUALITY IS A MAJOR ONE.

It takes a lot of intentionality, conversation, openness and transparency to ensure that the workplace is a safe, supportive space for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or preference. Since it's still MEAT WEEK (!) we focused today's post on finding brands that align with this particular value. 

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Edgar Mason
Meat Week!

Providing good guidance on consciously consuming meat is a tricky thing.

We know that this is a controversial and emotional subject.

And there's no way we can cover every nuance of it. But we'll spend the week on ways to align meat eating with personal values, and end with an interview with a wellness coach who can shed some light on nutritional values as well!

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A guide to value-based boozing

As I’ve gotten older, my drinking tastes and habits have changed, perhaps one could say they’ve matured. I now shy away from drinks I think might give me a headache after only one round (bottom-shelf tequila margarita), anything lit on fire, or served in a giant, plastic boot. With alcohol having such a profound impact on many of my experiences, I now consider whom I’m support with my imbibing choices in order to try to align them more closely with some of my personal values.

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How To'sEdgar Mason
Host a value-based 4th of July!

What if you had a conversation like this on the 4th of July?

“Hey, Uncle Jim, I’m glad you’re enjoying that beer. You know, it’s not only cold and refreshing, but the company that creates it provides healthcare to the partners of all its employees even if they aren’t in traditional male-female marriages ...

Doesn’t it taste even better now?”

Independence Day is one of those rare holidays that’s really about reveling in the fact that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves: a community of people who make up the United States of America. Regardless of whether or not we agree with political or international policies, the vast majority of us will get together with friends and family to eat, drink, and celebrate with things that sparkle and go boom.

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Edgar Mason