The Big Idea
S.W. Basics is a natural and organic skincare company in Brooklyn that makes healthy, super-simple products using minimalist formulas. Since we launched, we’ve gotten to know a ton of other small business owners who are deeply committed to making products that have a positive impact on the environment, public health, and on local economies.
Every single product on a store shelf exists because a huge network of people worked really hard to get it there. In making our products, we work with some incredible businesses. These are organic family farms, American manufacturers, women’s cooperatives reshaping communities globally, and inspiring next-generation start-ups right here in Brooklyn. These are totally badass people doing totally badass things, and we think everyone should know about them. We’re asking the Kickstarter community to help us create a video series to share some of their stories and to showcase the power of values-driven small business.
We created the video below about Maine Sea Salt's Steve Cook (harvester of the sea salt we use in our Exfoliant), to give you an idea of what we want to do for other incredible small businesses.
Real People, Keeping it Real
The food world has done a great job of educating people about the importance of shopping local. It’s better for the environment, healthier, and it creates more sustainable economies. But the thing is, all of that is just as true for products and industries other than food.
Knowing where your products—all your products—come from really does matter. If manufacturing computers didn’t occur behind closed doors, we wouldn’t have to worry about sweatshop labor. If you knew they were putting lead in your lipstick, you probably wouldn’t buy it—and you’d be healthier as a result.
So we want to shine a spotlight on the companies who are doing stuff right, on seriously solid folks making their living doing work they care about.
As we've grown our own company and started building stronger relationships with our suppliers—the husband and wife from Maine who make our sea salt, the family that harvests our witch hazel in the Ozarks, the super-nice crew in Iowa that makes our lip balms—we realized that, while faceless mega-corporations had certainly become the norm, they hadn’t taken over completely. Small, conscientious businesses could still exist, and thrive.
So, we started thinking... Why is it that these kinds of stories happen behind the scenes? When you buy stuff, you’re trading money for some real person’s real work. And that’s kind of awesome when you think about it.
That’s why we’d be honored to have the Kickstarter community pitch in to help us make these films.
We have some really cool prizes, including a 1-day film shoot for any amazing startups or non-profits out there looking for an affordable, professional-quality short video. All of the treats included in the prizes come from mission-aligned companies who will also be featured in the videos we make! Once they are all completed, Nitehawk Cinema has generously offered to host our first showing, complete with Maine Sea Salt popcorn!
$10 donation: a link to the videos, 1 pound bag of Maine Sea Salt straight from Steve Cook, and an online booklet guiding you to small, sustainable suppliers
$25 donation: all of the above PLUS an S.W. Basics Exfoliant
$50 donation: all of the above PLUS a jar of Fair Trade shea butter from the Global Mamas collective in Ghana
$75 donation: all of the above PLUS an S.W. Basics Cream
$150 donation: all of the above PLUS the FULL line of S.W. Basics products (total value over $200!!)
$250 donation: all of the above PLUS a basket of goodies from missions-driven businesses, including Little Duck Organics, NibMor, Purely Elizabeth, Simple Squares, Squarebar, Quinn Popcorn, and Ella Sven. (total value over $300)
$450 donation: all of the above PLUS a second basket of goodies and set of S.W. Basics of products (total value over $600)
Thank you so much for checking out our page. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or ideas.
Risks and challenges
Sourcing ingredients directly from farmers and small producers is inherently unstable, due to production capacity, vagaries of weather, and the simple fact that doing so means you’re working with real people whose businesses are their whole lives. It sucks, but sometimes it happens that our suppliers and business partners change.
What that means for this project is that, while right now we have a pretty good idea of the companies we want to profile, those might change down the road.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter