So, this is my first attempt at blogging. I am not quite sure what the tone should be and not quite sure what I want to say. I also do not know if we will continue having a blog as we move forward or if we will simply communicate in other ways, such as through a quarterly newsletter. But, since there is a space here for a blog, I though I had better get started. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback.
So far, this has been a pretty crazy experience for me. Having never planned to start a business, I am amazed at how much I have accomplished and learned in the past eight months. And, every bit of it has been an endeavor of passion. Inclusivi-tee was born out of a need to do something to make a difference. I understood that I could no longer stand on the sidelines and wait for someone else to protect the world. It is amazing how fast the idea for Inclusivi-tee formed once I sort of stepped back and allowed it to happen, like it was there in the wings, waiting to unfold. It has been overwhelming and scary. I have sometimes felt like I was extremely alone, although I have incredible friends and family supporting me. I guess feeling alone is normal for anyone starting a business. And, it seems like each time I feel overwhelmed or alone, someone steps up and offers support, sometimes someone I know and sometimes a completely new face.
Inclusivi-tee has evolved over time. We have honed our message and begun to really understand who we are supposed to be. And I am very committed to our vision of diversity and inclusivity. Sometimes, I have had to make compromises—I wanted to use earth-friendly inks in our printing from the beginning but cannot afford to do so right now. (That is phase two.) But, I have not compromised on the things that are at the core of the business—-highlighting social and earth justice in our shirt designs; paying our artists; using earth-friendly shirts; donating 100% of our profits; partnering with other companies that are trying to make a difference (Freeset, Clothes Made From Scrap; Sunrise Bank). And, I do not plan to compromise on these ideals as I move forward.
Starting Inclusivi-tee has been an amazing, inspiring, exhausting, exhilarating experience. I have never felt as challenged or as alive. I have met the most wonderful, compassionate people and have felt my life expand as a result of this work. When I see negative things happen around me, when I hear about people’s rights being taken away or the earth suffering hardship, I am bolstered by the support we have received, by the caring people I have met. I cannot possibly express my gratitude for all I have been given during this process.
I have so many goals for Inclusivi-tee—spreading words of hope; sharing beautiful art with millions; donating ever-increasing money to the non-profits; growing so that we can hire employees at a livable wage; encouraging other companies to care more about social and earth justice than the bottom line; and demonstrating through every decision I make that we will walk the walk of progress. These goals change and expand every day. And, as I think about reaching them, I feel lifted up and I understand I am on the right path. Thank you for reading this and thank you for being on our site. You are very welcome. I hope you will join us as we try to make the world safer for everyone.