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January 15, 2018

Let Me Play Outside – How Rebel Pine Got Its Start

I did what I was supposed to do…

I went to school and got a degree I mostly liked and that I guessed would help me make a living.

After graduating, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I took the first opportunity available. It sucked – it paid my rent and fed me, but it had not substance and made me miserable. But hey, I had a job and that was OK.

Working a job you hate will kick your butt into gear and force you to find what you really want to do.

So I found a new profession to try out and went back to school to learn a valuable skill.

I then used those new skills at a variety of jobs over the next few years. I started at a small agency of 20 people, then went to a large agency of more than 2,000 people, and then onto freelancing and contract work.

I realized that maybe this was not what I wanted to be doing full time. I mean, it was enjoyable and it was a good source of income, so I didn’t want to give it up anytime soon. I just wanted to make it more of a part-time situation.

Brainstorming session…

Can I combine my education and my passion into a possible way to make a living? What can I do with my previous education – Environmental Economics & Web Development – and some of my interests and passions – rad, small batch coffee, the great outdoors, and environmental protection/conservation?

I knew right away I wanted a business with a purpose, to do some good in a world. I didn’t want to do something only for the money. Thanks to the many, many people before me, the path of social and creative entrepreneurship was well paved, so much so that creating a company focused on doing good is not a new concept.

I came across the idea of the Triple Bottom Line (another post on our Triple Bottom Line here).

People. Planet. Profit.

Love it!

How do I do it?

I borrowed heavily from the mission statement from one of my favorite and most respected brands, the outdoor gear company, Patagonia. They simply and wholeheartedly believe:

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

So I broke it down to apply it to my passions.

“Build the best product & cause no unnecessary harm…”

  • Work to provide fairly traded, responsibly grown with organic and best farming practices, great tasting coffee.

We have sourced some of the best coffee around, fitting our criteria.

“…Use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

  • Partner with nonprofit organizations giving a portion of all sales to fight for the environment.

This includes a one for one partnership empowering farmers to create change in their communities by hiring them to plant trees in surrounding areas destroyed by destructive farming. For every bag of coffee purchased, a tree is planted.

And we have partnered with 1% For the Planet to help us get our dollars to the environmental doers around the globe. This allows us to focus on growing the business, while getting money to those who focus on fighting the good fight.

We started our company with a purpose of trying to do good first and make money second.

Viewing every decision through this lens provides us a clear direction to take and guides us to help make the planet just a little bit better.

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