As an entrepreneur growing a business can bring challenges you never thought you’d experience. When Hippo Hug went from a home-based business it required personal sacrifice that I wasn’t’ necessarily expecting. However, I was focused on growing the business ethically, ensuring my staff and customers were well cared for and providing a quality product. It meant that some months I paid myself last so I could ensure the business thrived in the lean times. But regardless of my personal sacrifice, I made sure that I maintained my core values.
One of my core values, and now that of Hippo Hug’s has always been to help other people. In business it’s called Social Entrepreneurship and this year we are a finalist for an award in that category as a part of Small Business Week Calgary. As I mentionedI make sure my staff are taken care of with good wages plus health benefits and lots of little thank yous, not to mention a fully stocked snack cart. But what I find most fulfilling is helping the greater community, which is better than any payday.
In the past an ongoing we have provided several thousand dollars in merchandise and donations to the following charities.
We currently partner with AARCS to donate pet beds AND if a client donates to AARCS and provides proof we will send them a free pet bed.
Humane Society of Calgary – provided pet beds.
Various schools and charitable organizations – silent auction donations
Donation and auction of a weighted blanket to benefit the Humboldt Broncos
Donation and auction of various Pride theme items to benefit Camp Fyrefly
Auction of weighted blanket to benefit Calgary Veteran’s Food Bank
Auction of weighted blanket to benefit Ronald McDonald House
2018-2019 Business mentor for Crossing Park School grade 7 business class
2018 – Mentoring an adult with autism in their Entrepreneurship through Spectrum Advantage
November 2016 I hosted a five-year anniversary party that had all the proceeds from ticket sales go towards Inn from the Cold.
253rd South Heritage Cub Pack
Hosting annual learning events at Hippo Hug
Hosting event nights at Hippo Hug
Donating all our refundables
Most recently we hosted a pillowcase making night at Ronald McDonald House in Calgary where we brought all the fabric, supplies and sewing machines to help the guests at the house make their very own pillowcase. It was so much fun to see the joy on the kids’ and parents’ faces when they sewed for the first time or got to put together a pillowcase that reflected their personality. We loved it so much we are doing it again in October and then the guests can use their pillowcases for trick or treating!
I hope that I continue to be able to make the choice to support local charities in creative and meaningful ways. Hippo Hug is a weighted blanket company with a big heart and we want to do so much more than just sell you a weighted blanket.
Textile manufacturing can be a high waste industry. To reduce our impact on landfills in Calgary we endeavor to find useful and unique uses for our scrap yardage. This includes the creation of waterproof pet beds, Hippo chill crash mats and donations to local groups with a need for textiles for craft projects. Another way we reduce waste is to work with other local companies like Bouncing Off the Walls who use our empty fabric cardboard flats for shipping their beautiful products.
Running a business is about more than making money to me, it is about connecting with people and fulfilling a need they have. It is about helping people live a life with the tools they need to cope with bad sleep or tough days. It is about philanthropy and connecting with local charities to build a better community and social experience for everyone. It is about opening my heart so you can help me fill it with all the good the world has to offer.