I can't believe Thanksgiving is almost here. We're on the cusp of the largest shopping weekend of the year, and I want to take a moment to share my thoughts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is my first holiday season at the helm of Gratitude Soapery, and I feel it's important to approach the holidays in a way that aligns with our core values.
I'm not gonna lie, I've struggled with whether or not to participate in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness. Gratitude Soapery strives to change the world by helping others and encouraging kindness and compassion. Black Friday can feel misaligned to those values.
As a society, we spend an inordinate amount of money on Black Friday, largely on items we don't need. Wouldn't it be better if that money went to people who really need help? How do I reconcile the business side of running a business with the philanthropic side?
What I've realized is Black Friday will happen regardless of my actions. I won't change consumer behavior by ignoring Black Friday, and I also won't help Gratitude Soapery achieve our mission to change the world. The question then becomes:
How do I hack into the power of Black Friday to do good?
How do I ride the tidal wave of shopping to further Gratitude Soapery's mission as much as possible?
Reframing the question has been a huge help. With the new goal of doing as much good as possible, I've chosen two ways to participate in Black Friday that transform it into a force for good.
First, I created the 'Buy One, Give Two' sale to maximize the benefit of Black Friday sales. For every bar we sell this weekend, we're doubling our Soap for Society donation and donating two bars to local shelters.
To be totally honest, I DO want to sell a boatload of soap this weekend. We need to sell soap to, y'know, pay our bills and keep the lights on. More importantly, our donations are based on a percent of sales. Selling more soap = donating more to our rockstar nonprofit partners.
Second, I'm choosing to support other small businesses this weekend - both personally and using my (tiny) megaphone here at Gratitude Soapery.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities. When people shop at small businesses, $68 stays in the local economy versus only $43 at a large business.
This week on Facebook I'll feature gift guides to local businesses, and I'll personally support small businesses whenever possible.
I hope everyone has a restful and joy-filled holiday weekend. And if you enjoy some shopping this weekend (I know I will!), I hope you also find ways to give back and contribute to our communities.