GOOD Maker Challenge: Introducing the Green Side of Business Winner
This post is brought to you by GOOD, with support from UPS. We’ve teamed up to bring you the Small Business Collaborative, a series sharing stories about innovative small businesses that are changing business as usual for their communities and beyond. Learn how UPS is helping small businesses work better and more sustainably here.
Through the Green Side of Business Maker Challenge presented by UPS, we offered a $10,000 grant to small businesses that hoped to expand and build a more sustainable business model for their operations. After careful consideration of each company’s submitted plans, we’re happy to announce that the winner is Blissmo, a San Francisco-based company that will be using the grant money to explore more sustainable options with eco-friendly advice from sustainability experts from UPS.
The Blissmo team at their San Francisco office: Ian Johnstone, Brett Greenbaum, Andrew Macnider, Nicole Narris, Sundeep Ahuja. (Missing newest member Natasha Meir).
A company that promotes the consumption of organic, non-toxic food and personal-care products through its monthly discovery box service, Blissmo offers safer, healthier product alternatives at up to 70 percent savings from regular retail prices. With three discovery box themes to select from each month, consumers can learn about everything from Fair Trade, seasonal, and yoga products to safe cosmetics and non-toxic cleaners. With a curation philosophy that includes companies like method, Sambazon, Kaia Foods, Pangea Organics, Yes To, and Clean Well, Blissmo has a directional approach to finding products that are either organic or have low or no chemical content, save money, are sustainable, and most importantly, promote a more positive community.
Blissmo's Fair Trade discovery box.
The difference between Blissmo and a company like Whole Foods is that as a smaller company, Blissmo’s team writes informative, helpful reviews of each product that they include in their boxes after personally testing and researching them. Also, as an online company, Blissmo has the power to reach more dispersed people, including that guy from Montana that has to drive two hours to get to his P.O. Box. “The necessary evil of our model, however, is that the shipping is not always sustainable,” says co-founder Ian Johnstone. “Our hope is that we can upgrade our online ordering system to talk with UPS software so that we can process orders with less errors, and therefore reduce waste.”
Blissmo sees itself as a uniting hub between brands and consumers. Although they don’t use ads or investors as resources to expand their business, they’re making both their brands and consumers happy, and it’s through word of mouth on Facebook or this YouTube playlist of “unboxing” fans. And now that Blissmo is the winner of the GOOD Maker Green Side of Business Challenge, Johnstone says, “We have an opportunity to be a leader to the smaller mom and pop companies we work with that make great products, but may not have the resources to reach a wider audience."