We want to use the power of film as a tool to celebrate and honor business done right.
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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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.
Currently we have the project budgeted for 7 videos:
-our witch hazel farmer
-our lip balm manufacturer
-our product line manufacturer
-our oat farmer
-our shea butter collective in Africa
-Ella Sven, a small fashion designer who uses only reclaimed materials
-NibMor, a chocolate company sourcing sustainable, ethical ingredients
The budget includes travel expenses, and pay for our filmmaker and his equipment.
If we have excess funds for any reason, it will go towards making more videos! Absolutely none of the Kickstarter money will be used for anything other than documentary videos promoting small businesses.
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • A packet of Steve Cook's Maine Sea Salt (see the video on this page to know just how awesome this dude is) • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businessesEstimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businesses • A packet of Maine Sea Salt • An S.W. Basics Exfoliant (made with Maine Sea Salt)Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businesses • A packet of Maine Sea Salt • An S.W. Basics Exfoliant (made with Maine Sea Salt) • A small jar of raw shea butter from a Fair Trade women's collective in GhanaEstimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businesses • A packet of Maine Sea Salt • An S.W. Basics Exfoliant (made with Maine Sea Salt) • A small jar of raw shea butter from a Fair Trade women's collective in Ghana • An S.W. Basics Cream (made with the same shea butter).Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businesses • A packet of Maine Sea Salt • A small jar of raw shea butter from a Fair Trade women's collective in Ghana • And a complete set of S.W. Basics' productsEstimated delivery:Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
• A link to the directors' cut of each video • An e-book guide to sustainable suppliers and businesses • A basket with all of the above plus goodies from other like-minded small companies, including NibMor Chocolate, Purely Elizabeth, Little Duck Organics, Ella Sven, and others.Estimated delivery:Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $450 or moreYou selected
• Same as above, times 2: one for you, one as a gift.Estimated delivery:Add $75 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
• For startups and non-profits only: Your very own video (yours to own). We'll send our awesome filmmaking team out for a 1-day shoot at your HQ. (Domestic U.S. only, and any travel expenses outside NY-NJ-CT not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
• Airfare for 2 guests to NYC, a two-night hotel stay, and free admission (tickets plus dinner and drinks) to our viewing party at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (From locations in the domestic U.S. only)Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)