First, I’d like to say that I’m sorry that I seem to have bowed out a bit in the last few weeks on the blog in terms of personal updates and so forth. Though I haven’t done it intentionally, I’ve been going through a lot of personal changes lately and I have been working through some tough stuff, which I’ll be discussing in the weeks and months to come. As I have been going through these shifts, I’ve kept it to myself. Once I’ve learned the lessons, I will report back. And I have to say, though things haven’t been easy, they have been incredibly powerful and ultimately, will bring positive change to my life.
Anyways, my intention is to now to inject a bit more of my day to day activities into blog post intros so that if you’re even mildly interested on what I’m working on, you’ll be a bit more in the know (though I already do a pretty good job with personal updates on Twitter, @JessConstable).
Designing a Business with Intention: Soc Chic
Okay, so now, let’s get down to business. Literally.
Given that this week is the huge Soc Chic All Week Giveaway, it’s the perfect time to discuss how Soc Chic started and why I have created this necklace line to benefit social causes. Below I’ll break down how things got started and why it works.
The Genesis of Soc Chic
Believe it or not, this social cause line of necklaces began by accident. While I was in college, I created a fortune cookie necklace with a red stone and nicknamed it the “Lucky In Bed Necklace” since it combined the lucky Chinese color, red, with the longstanding tradition of adding “in bed” to the end of fortune cookie messages. Given my target audience at the time, college women, it was a huge success and by far my best-seller for several years.
In November of 2007 I decided to train for a marathon with Team In Training. In order to participate, I needed to raise a considerable amount of money (about $3,000) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since a close family member survived Lymphoma several years earlier, I had a personal connection to the cause which propelled me past the fear of raising the substantial sum during a very lean time in my business.
I immediately decided to create a necklace that would benefit my fundraising and the cause. At that point, the Silver Lining necklace was born. It was an instant hit.
After running my first marathon in Nashville(!), I decided to help other runners fundraise by letting them sell the necklaces to their supporters. Soon after, Bright Pink, a local non-profit, heard about the Silver Lining necklace and asked to have their own design made to support their cause in a similar manner. We named Bright Pink’s necklace the Pink Lemonade necklace. It too, was a success.
At this point, I recognized that I was easily able to help causes raise money doing something that I knew best; designing cute necklaces with positive messages. So I decided to open the line up to a variety of causes helping them raise money and awareness through the Soc Chic collection whose tag-line is “chic necklaces benefiting social causes.”
How Soc Chic Works
The structure of the Soc Chic necklace collection is pretty simple. They are sold through stores, jesslc.com, and the non-profits themselves. Here’s how it works:
Wholesale (boutique) Orders – 10% of the wholesale price is donated to the cause.
Retail (jesslc.com) Orders – 10% of the retail price ($4) is donated to the cause.
Non-Profit Orders – 40% of the retail price ($16) is donated to the cause.
The causes who work with us are not required to pay any fees for the creation of their custom necklace. We do however request that the non-profits order 50 of the necklaces in the beginning to help cover our initial expenses. Once the causes sell those necklaces to their supporters, with the 40% donation they each raise a total of $800 for their missions. Which is a win-win for everyone. After that point, all the necklaces sold continue to support the cause.
As you can see, though this wasn’t something I had a grand plan for in the beginning, it’s evolved into an amazing way to collaborate with non-profits across the country. If you are involved with a non-profit who might be interested in Soc Chic, email me at email@example.com and let me know!