This shop is a force for good
When I decided to go into business for myself, I had no idea that my journey would lead me towards ecommerce being such a huge part of the plan. I envisioned spending my days reading, and writing books (though I do that, too). I have fallen in love with having an online shop, and I continue to be inspired by the kinds of people who buy products from me. I also have a blast designing and sourcing products. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is my commitment to set aside 10% of my profits for good.
I do that in two ways:
The main way is that I fund microloans through Kiva. What is Kiva? It's an organization that matches small lenders and supporters with people who need the money to grow their businesses. You can fund a loan for only $25. Most of the loans are for around $500, and I focus exclusively on women, many of whom are refugees.
Many loans are for things like a sewing machine so a woman who was a seamstress can get her business up and running now that she is in a new place, having had to leave her home because of war. Women put most of their profits back into helping their family and children. I just funded a loan for a woman who wanted another dairy cow in Kenya, where there is great demand for milk, and with the profits she would put her children into school. Those are the kinds of loans I look for.
Nearly half the world's population - more than 3 billion people - lives on less than $2.50/day. Every day 22,000 children die of hunger or poverty-related illnesses. 80% of the world's population lives on less than $10/day. Source: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty
When you shop from my store, you shop knowing that part of the profits go directly to helping end hunger and poverty in the world, so that people can focus on other things, like the Tudors, and music, and the arts, because they've got their basic needs taken care of. It's hard to focus on the uplifting power of literature and the arts when you haven't fed your family in three days. This isn't to say that you should shop from me instead of giving to hunger charities and groups! But when you do shop in my store, you can feel good about the fact that 10% of the profits are going to these organizations.
Secondly, I support the local historical society in my hometown in Lancaster, PA. Nearly 30 years ago I worked my first job as a student docent at a local Revolutionary War museum. It was an 18th century home of one of Washington's generals, and I spent hours giving tours and soaking up the history. Small museums like that (some days we only had ten visitors all day) are still alive because of grants and funding from government agencies, and historical societies that do so much good to keep history moving forward so future generations can be inspired and connected to the past like I was.