Lip balms and dreams

In March 2010, I went to a green expo at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, where I figured out what I want to do with my life.

At the expo, there were over a hundred eco-businesses, including Clif Bar and Equal Exchange. While wandering from table to table, I stopped at a booth that was selling environmentally friendly lip balms. Fortunately the Founder was there, and instead of reading the labels of the nicely presented products, I asked her what’s so great about these lip balms.

She replied that they’re eco-friendly. I asked her to explain, and she followed with a very, VERY long explanation that consisted of words like molecules, atoms, ozone layers, and chemical terms I don’t know how to spell. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.

There I was, the perfect customer with chapped lips, a high interest in sustainable products, and money to spend at this expo… but she couldn’t turn me into a customer because I just had no idea what this lip balm is all about. The problem isn’t that she doesn’t know her own products, no, it’s that she didn’t know how to convince me to buy it.

This is when I realized I wanted my marketing career to focus on sustainable products and businesses. There were so many awesome earth-friendly, sustainable products at that expo that are way better than their mainstream counterparts. They were all products that can truly make a difference in issues like global warming and waste management. However, how can these products become popular if no one knows about them? Or the business owners don’t know how to sell them?

I realized then that I want to use my skills, experience, and education in marketing communications to help businesses like the lip-balm-lady’s. I want to help these businesses and organizations-who are doing good for our planet and our communities- grow and thrive, so their impact is even greater.

So, that’s how I came up with my career goal: to run a boutique marketing agency that focuses socially responsible, green businesses and social justice nonprofits.


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