Q&A with the PMP panelists

Tanaaz Jasani
June 29, 2017
5 min read
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The first Purpose Meets Profit event at our headquarters was a huge success. Swell hosted several socially conscious entrepreneurs building brands with purpose to discuss their impact. Here are a few words from our inaugural panelists on joining purpose and profit:

Greg Morena

Greg Morena, co-founder of The Albright
Greg Morena

Co-owner of The Albright, a sustainable seafood restaurant recognized as the first sustainable business on the Santa Monica Pier

What inspired you to make The Albright a sustainable seafood restaurant?

My wife and I were born and raised in Santa Monica. The city taught us, a long time ago, recycling is part of the life. I remember in the 7th grade when they introduced blue trash cans into our school. It was weird at first but we figured it out. You could say it was bred into our culture and lifestyle. We’ve simply expanded on that concept. If we’re NOT sustainable, something is weird.

By being a sustainable business, does it help or hinder your business from generating profits?

It’s a bit more expensive operationally, but the gains far outweigh the cost. We get to share our story and hope to inspire more people to find sustainable ways to live. We’re invited into various circles to help solve sustainability issues. Most importantly, we’re making the world a better place for generations to come.

Brandon Piety

Brandon Piety, co-founder of Noble
Brandon Piety

Entrepreneur and co-founder of Noble, a meaningful media production company.

The stories you’ve curated are so inspirational! What is your process/thinking for curating such incredible insights?

We really believe that there is an unmet need in media to tell stories that matter — really diving deep into the greatest cultural issues of our time with the best writing, design, and production. Our vision at Noble is to curate and create beautiful and intelligent content that digs deeper, inspires creativity, and sparks conviction. In our latest issue on clean luxury, we have curated from some of the leading voices in sustainability and innovation in the fashion and beauty space — in effect, launching an ongoing content channel where we will continue coverage. In our next issue on climate change we will look to innovators and tell the stories of brands who are solving massive problems in the most elegant of ways.

What has been the biggest lesson learned from co-founding Noble?

We have learned so much but the biggest lesson is to stay focused on your vision, create that distant picture of the future for what you are building and go after it. Let it be the thing that drives you. And talk to your customers a lot along the way, it is amazing the insights you will learn about your product.

Beth Helmstetter

Beth Helmstetter, founder of The Good Beginning
Beth Helmstetter

Founder of The Good Beginning, an online donation registry where couples can register for donations to their favorite organizations in lieu of or in addition to a traditional gift registry.

How do you select the charities that are included on The Good Beginning registry?

The charities included on The Good Beginning are submitted by the couples. We have a "Submit Charity" section where couples can request us to add a charity that's meaningful to them. After a vetting process, we add them to the site for the requesting couple - as well as any other couple that may be drawn to support that particular organization.  

What inspired you to found The Good Beginning?

After visiting Haiti following the 2010 earthquakes, I felt compelled to connect my couples with charitable causes that would impact the world around them in a very significant way. I have seen my clients attempt to use their weddings to give back in the past, but I found it was a challenge of logistics and accessibility for both couples and their wedding guests. Unfortunately, popular charity platforms are simply unequipped to properly accept and track multiple donations from small groups of people, and because of design, often neglect the smaller specialized efforts that benefit indigenous communities most directly.

Using my MBA with an emphasis in nonprofit administration in conjunction with many years in the wedding industry, I knew The Good Beginning needed to provide users with a seamless, secure, and effective experience. Working with developers, the platform was built with the functionality needed to not only handle those individual contributions, but also invite couples to add charitable organizations they feel personally connected to. All this was not possible with other online platforms. The Good Beginning easily integrates with popular wedding websites just as a traditional online registry would and was developed with style and clarity in mind. It was important that couples felt proud to share The Good Beginning with their wedding guests. Users are invited to browse the couple’s profile, learn more about various causes through a curated blog, and contribute with ease and confidence.

Mingle with more social entrepreneurs and be inspired at our next Purpose Meets Profit even on July 18th in Santa Monica.

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