I had the fortune of participating in a bike race this last weekend called the Tour New Braunfels. It basically amounts to going around a 2.5 mile circuit with about 70 people you’ve never met at speeds that quickly make you question your judgement…
And while, I’m not the fastest guy by any stretch of my imagination, it’s fun to be able to still get into the mix. The amount of hours it takes to run a company is well beyond any expectation that I had. I’m asked to speak regulary to entrepreneurs seeking to enter the natural products world. And while I promote the idea, there exists a delicate balance keeping someone’s excitement about their dream and explaining the real change to their life that it will cause. We’ve also been called into helping existing companies with refining their assortments. All of these activities, we believe are important part of our mission. We understand that we alone cannot change the world.
I have to say I feel lucky to have had the backround that I had stepping into the realm of making safe consumer products. I can’t help but feel inspired every day to take on this mission. A mission that often has us taking on major retailers and industry organizations to push for them to focus on their product safety. And while we have been successful in forcing the door open around the discussion of BPA in products. We’re still finding that many companies are producing products full of potentially harmful chemicals that are marketing them as “BPA free”. To us, they are nothing more than mere marketing companies with anxious investors.
So even though, I found myself at the back of the pack during the race. This really isn’t the race that I’m participating in. We will continue to push for corporations to be socially responsible to their consumers through the products that they choose to select. We will continue to bring to light relevant research and chemicals of concer. We will continue to add products to our mix. We did not design thinkbaby and thinksport for explosive growth. Those companies are typically here today and gone tomorrow. We believe in responsible and deliberate growth. We endeavor to continue to build something truly meaningful.
Consumers, like never before, have a very powerful voice. The ability to aggregate opinion in mere minutes instead of months is one the true powers of social media. As an example, it was recently discovered that Johnson and Johnson was using formaldehyde in their baby shampoo destined for the US. The public outcry was so swift and focused, it was strong enough to cause one of the largest companies in the world to buckle. To force change that quickly is simply astonishing. We have spent less time and energy trying to change governmental regulation, but appealing to consumers. Consumers not only can force the issue via social media, but also doing so with how they purchase.
We hope that when you are making product buying decisions that you take this power seriously.
On a final note. The guy that parked next to me at the race had the misfortune of hitting a deer on his way to the race. I noticed that he flatted about 5 laps into the race. And while that seems like a bit of misfortune, he wasn’t any one of the four guys that left the race in an ambulance…