Case Study: Creating a Limited Edition Product to Benefit a Local Charity

End of the year festivities are fast approaching, and that means a lot of wonderful things for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs, among them, opportunities to donate some of the fruits of your labor to worthy charitable causes. According to a study released earlier this year by Good.Must.Grow., a socially responsible marketing consultancy, 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to purchase more from socially responsible companies, while only 18 percent said they plan to increase charitable giving.

This is an awesome opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to combine an end of year sales boost with helping others who are less fortunate. Our member, Misty Rawls of Just Wanna Melt in Lexington, South Carolina, is a great case to study in this regard. She co-created a limited edition product that benefits children in her local community. Introducing “Sam's Soap,” a limited edition Lavender Citrus handmade soap designed by Misty and an autistic boy named Sam.

How it all started

Misty, who enjoys making charitable donations both personally and professionally, said that, this year, she had a “light bulb moment,” and placed a phone call to Sam's mom to discuss collaborating with Sam to develop a soap to help autistic children.

Says Misty, “I wanted to get Sam himself involved in the creation of a product that would raise money and awareness.” Rather than use a product she had already created, Misty wanted this product to be all about Sam.

Sam designed everything

“Sam picked out the oils to be used in the soap, and he designed the label and selected the charity,” says Misty.

Misty sells Sam's Soap from its own separate booth when she offers it at shows. They sell like hot cakes. Here is a picture of the table setup, along with the front and back of the Sam's Soap label — designed by Sam.

case study: how to create a product for local charity | indiebusiness network

Since one of Sam's favorite scents is lavender, Misty suggested a Lavender soap, but after seeing that Misty already had a lavender soap in her line, Sam suggested adding some orange and tangerine to the mix. The soap is blended and packaged according to Sam's specifications.

Sam chose to donate the money to Camp T.A.L.K., a local social skills day camp, so that other children could have a chance to attend the camp at no cost.

Misty sells each bar of Sam's Soap for $8.00. It's available at local shows and to people who email her to make a purchase. (The soap is not available online.)

100% of the sales go directly to help children attend Camp T.A.L.K.

Sending Austistic kids to camp

Today, sales of Sam's Soap have helped 5 children attend Camp T.A.L.K.

And they only started four weeks ago.

Makers: Take Note: doing well by doing good

Misty says that roughly 30% of people who buy Sam's Soap also make substantial purchases of products in her Just Wanna Melt line, proving that doing good can lead directly to doing well.

“Makers need to know this,” says Misty. “There's nothing wrong with donating money and gift baskets, as we are so often asked to do all year long. But if you think things through, there are probably tons of opportunities to do something unique like this in your own back yard.” She continues: “You can do something different, not the same old thing.” This will set your company apart, says Misty, while you are using your brand to make a difference locally.

“And people spread the word like wildfire,” she says.

Here is Sam's Story

How to create a limited edition product for charitable donations | Indie Business Network

Other examples

Here are a few other examples of companies that sell products designed specifically to benefit charities.

Charity Pot: hand and body lotion from Lush.

Onelets: handcrafted bracelets from Type 1 diabetics and their friends, from charity: water

How to buy Sam's Soap

You can purchase Sam's Soap by sending an email to Misty at info at justwannamelt dot com. Put “Sam's Soap” in the subject line, along with the number of bars desired, and where they should be shipped. Misty will reply with payment information.

If you're are in Misty's area, you can also buy Sam's Soap at these upcoming events:

November 1: Lexington Mommy Expo, Lexington, SC

December 1: Sustainable Midlands Holiday Celebration, Columbia, SC

December 14: Crafty Feast at the Columbia Convention Center, Columbia, SC

Visit the Camp T.A.L.K website.

Connect with Just Wanna Melt!

Here are Misty's links: website, Facebook Twitter

Read our Member Spotlight on Misty here.

Question: Does this get your charitable donation juices flowing? Have you ever done anything like this? What opportunities like this are there in your area?


Best and Success!

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.