The Beautiful Business project: three months on…
It’s been three months since @beautifulbizz, the beautiful business project started. The weblog (Small World Beautiful Business http://www.hoadd.wordpress.com) has had great traffic with over 1500 visits during this short period, lots of twitter followers and new friends made. In aviation terms, we’ve been on the runway, built up some momentum and now we are ready to take off, with our new website coming soon and the e-zine Beautiful Business.
Looking back we have covered some great businesses, all of which are inspirational and have well and truly earned the title of Beautiful Business. Thermofleece and the Ethical Shellfish Company opened my eyes to truly creative businesses finding their own solutions to big problems. Thermofleece’s Carbon absorbent sheep-fleece insulation is a beautiful solution grounded in a renewable natural resource, whilst the ESC selective dive fishing is an attractive alternative to factory trawl fishing and sea bed destruction.
Made & Told artisan crafts from Central Asia
More recently we showcased ethical fashion and textiles with IOWEYOU and Made & Told; the luxurious collection of sustainable and ethical gifts put together by MyFabulousCollection.com; in New York we came across three marvellous businesses, each with a unique story to tell and some really beautiful conversations with those I met. Billykirk, the leather-goods designing brothers Kirk and Chris and their intriguing relationship with the immensely talented and skilled Amish. In Williamsburg, the Mast Brothers making exquisite handmade chocolate, sailing the cocoa beans from southern and Central American plantations and developing meaningful relations with farmers. Most recent has been Beecher’s NYC, making artisan cheeses and trying to encourage healthy eating initiatives.
Kirk Bray of Billykirk
The showcases have been a brilliant way to get to know them all and understand what motivates them to be beautiful businesses. It goes without saying that an ethical and sustainable sensibility is at the core of these businesses, but there are other features which make them to stand out. They put PEOPLE FIRST… In every case these businesses have paid close attention to the businesses and people in their supply chains, working closely with them, getting to know them and recognise that people are part of this system and not abstractions.
RELATIONSHIPS…Building a relationship with suppliers is essential to the monitoring and verification of ethical and sustainable supply chains. Furthermore, building trust between parts of the chain, builds trust with consumers.
CREATIVITY…So far these businesses have shown an incredible degree of ingenuity and creativity. In their attempts to be ethical and sustainable, beautiful businesses have shown that alternatives are possible and that ways of doing things are not set in stone. Different is okay.
SKILLS…these businesses respect the skills, and the craftsmen and women that make, create, mix and sew. Traditional skills face extinction in the face of industrial mass production and post industrial changes. Beautiful business harness and give expression to artistic and creative endeavour. They are skills repositories for jewellers, carpenters, leather makers, weavers and chocolatiers and it would be a crime to lose them.
- Ethical production
- Sustainable and resource mindful
- People first
- Beauty and aesthetics
- Doing things right
The Principles of Beautiful Business
THE X-FACTOR…how do we describe this? These businesses are different. The beautiful business belongs to an era, a vibe or an aesthetic. An outlook on the world which sees quality, longevity and care as an essential features. rather than add ons.
Here’s hoping that beautiful businesses will continue to inspire, to protect, to enhance and build for everyone’s future. Report back at the end of the second quarter. DH @beautifulbizz