DSR Apparel has been in business for a little over two years, so it hasn’t been around that long. While I was in the process of launching it, I had a chance to read Start Something That Matters by TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie. If you haven’t read it yet, you should really pick up a copy. In Start Something That Matters, Mycoskie outlines TOMS start. He lays out how he’s been able to do a tremendous amount of good in the world, while still making a profit. It’s very inspiring, especially for anyone wanting to start a business with purpose.
Over the years, as I was brain storming what would eventually become DSR Apparel, I knew two things – (1) I wanted to start a business that had substance and (2) I wanted to make meaningful products. I knew I wanted to use my business as a platform to do good. In starting something that matters, I didn’t feel I had to sacrifice making a difference in order to make a dollar – I always felt I could do both.
I recently had a chance to interview Alex Torrey of Umano Clothing for Detroit Style Review about the company he co-founded and the work they do. The passion with which he spoke about the product and their school supply give back program was so inspiring it made me that much more determined to keep pushing forward, even when DSR Apparel doesn’t seem to be growing as fast as I’d like it to. I bring this up because being in the entrepreneurial space, you’re constantly bombarded with stories about these “gazelle” companies growing at the speed of light, and it can sometimes be discouraging. But as the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. When you’re starting something that matters and you’re focused on the long game and the end results, you begin to realize that the overall outcome and making a difference is worth all the problems, hurdles and obstacles you face to get there.