When I was a little girl, around 5, I had an idea that I wanted to make and sell my own perfume. My mom lovingly gave me some of her little perfume sample tubes (probably some Liz Claiborne, Opium and Giorgio) and a few old glass bottles. I mixed and mixed all these smells, and probably threw in some water. But it needed a name (Princess Buttercup! I was 5…) and a label, so out came the construction paper and glue. Then I sold the bottles, that probably smelled like The Golden Girls, to my moms gracious friends.
It was that moment, that creative process of taking a product through the lifecycle of design to sale, that I would uncover 30 years later as the thing that satisfies my soul. The thing that makes everything make sense about how I was created. We all are made with different gifts, different talents, different things that inspire and bring us great joy. (How was this uncovered? Go read – and answer the questions in – Jon Acuff’s Quitter. Life changing.)
So now, instead of designing perfume from samples from the 80’s (you’re welcome), I design handbags. Bags that are focused on supporting US makers and giving back in our own communities. Sign up to stay up to date on our launch (and Kickstarter!) at BEVY Goods and follow us on Instagram to see what we’re working on, vote on color choices, etc. A bevy of people – a community – can do great things and impact lives for good.
Who knows how I stumbled upon Jon Acuff’s blog. But it led to me reading his book Quitter. Which led to me brainstorming those hinge moments to uncover, not discover, my dream job. (Seriously, read the book.) And now he’s in my facebook feed, this time talking about Improbable Philanthropy. When I read Al Andrews statement on the home page of Improbable Philanthropy, it was as if he lifted those words off my heart. It reads:
I have a dream of becoming a philanthropist, of acquiring the financial resources to contribute generously to various non-profits around the world that are making an impact for good.
But there’s a big problem. Philanthropists have a lot of money. I, on the other hand, do not. So I’ve set out to find a way to make this improbable dream a reality. My plan is to start a business (write a children’s book), see it become successful, and give away 100% of the net profits.
That’s it! That’s exactly what I want to do! Well, maybe my plan will involve some other business instead of writing a children’s book. I have been praying as to what this business should be. But while I listen for an answer, develop a plan and start that journey, I am starting this blog to encourage generosity. Who says you have to have a lot of money to be a philanthropist? Why can’t we be everyday philanthropists? As Al Andrews says, “Why should Bill Gates have all the fun?”
Imagine the good that could be done if everyone gave up one of their weekly Venti Caramel Macchiatos and donated that money instead? Or if we took an hour a week and gave back to our community? Or if we taught our children that giving is really better than receiving? I am still learning, so I look forward to going on this journey with you.