Business with Purpose takes you “behind the scenes” with some of the world’s most generous entrepreneurs with host Molly Stillman of "still being molly blog - stillbeingmolly.com." From the CEOs of mission-driven brands, to directors of small, community non-profits, and everything in between, Molly is sitting down with men and women who believe in changing the world through not only their personal lives, but also their professional careers. We believe that every person was created with a purpose, for a purpose and this podcast gives inspiration for how we can all make an impact by supporting businesses with purpose.
How this Beauty Brand is Going Beyond Fair Trade | EP 281: Olowo-n'djo Tchala, CEO of Alaffia
My guest this week is Olowo-n'djo Tchala. Born in the village of Kaboli, Togo, West Africa near the border of Benin, Olowo-n’djo grew up sharing an 8’x10’ room with seven siblings and his mother.
Although they did not always have enough, his mother, Ina, instilled in him the importance of kindness and generosity by always sharing what they could. Unable to afford school fees, Olowo-n’djo dropped out of school in the sixth grade to help support his family.
After meeting his wife he founded Alaffia in 2003. In 2004, armed with his understanding of the value of indigenous West African resources and sustainable business ideologies, he launched Alaffia's ﬁrst collective. Alaffia continues to redefine the natural products industry through its values of beauty, equality and empowerment.
Alaffia handcrafts award-winning clean, green beauty and grooming products and is a social enterprise on a mission to invest in a more equitable future.
4:25 – My personal testimonial I’m such a huge fan of Alaffia. My son Amos, who is almost 6, had horrible eczema as a child. We tried everything. Somebody recommended Alaffia to me, and I became a believer. It was safe and smelled amazing. It was a lifesaver. 6:09 - Olowo-n’djo 101 He sees Alaffia as everybody’s brand, not just his. He feels honored to do something that he believes in. 10:43 – Meeting his wife Olowo-n’djo’s wife, Rose, studied chemistry and is from Washington state. He decided to follow her because, “You have to follow the one that touches your heart.” 14:38 – Meaning of Alaffia Alaffia means peace and health. His beauty brand represents a social movement, not just a business. 18:55 – How his business sprouted Olowo-n’djo’s mother instilled a sense of responsibility in him. He wanted to be a subway engineer at one point to help find clean water. 21:20 – Fair trade model Alaffia has gone above the idea of the “fair trade” model. He is setting a standard for other companies. 24:36 – Funding births Olowo-n’djo has funded over 6,500 births. 29:24 – Women’s issues I am so grateful to Olowo-n’djo for talking about important topics, like women’s’ maternal health. Women often have to advocate for themselves, so it’s nice to see a man advocating for us. 33:53 – Biggest challenge The biggest challenge he faces depends on the day. The challenges are continuous, and there are incredible difficulties. 37:09 – His products Alaffia makes a lot of bath products, but they also make creams for moisturizing the skin. 41:29 – Get to know you Who would play him in a movie? He would play himself. Who would play his mom in a movie? His aunt FEATURED QUOTES
I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us. We have so much to offer the world.
I get to do something that I deeply and profoundly believe in, really deep in my heart and my soul.
About Olowo-n'djo Tchala:
Olowo-n’djo Tchala, founder and CEO of Alaffia, was born and raised in the village of Kaboli, Togo, Africa located in the Central region near the border of Benin. Growing up, he shared an 8’ x 10’ room with his mother and seven siblings. Olowo-n’djo’s mother taught him the importance of kindness and generosity and by the age of five, Olowo-n’djo was working on the family farm to help support his family. After meeting Prairie Rose Hyde, who was serving in the Peace Corps at the time, he came to the United States and worked his way through school, eventually graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in organizational theory. Shortly before graduation, Olowo-n’djo and Rose felt they had the responsibility to fight the injustices that existed in West Africa. They founded Alaffia, which handcrafts award-winning clean and fair trade beauty and grooming care. The organization advances gender equality and alleviates poverty through the fair trade of indigenous African resources such as unref
22 Ways to Be Happier in 2022 | EP 280
I’m so excited about this episode. Can you believe that it’s episode 280? I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do for episode 300. I’ve been doing this podcast for nearly 5½ years, which is crazy.
Today’s show is about 22 ways you can be happier in 2022. This list is a chance for you to think about things and see if there are areas that you might want to improve, grow or change in 2022.
4:46 – Learn to laugh at yourself 5:19 – Put your phone away 5:52 – Learn something new 6:45 – Go outside 7:53 – Declutter your stuff 8:32 – Make mistakes and acknowledge it 9:00 – Pick your battles 10:11 – Serve others 10:48 – Eat tacos or burritos 11:00 – Text and call your friends 11:36 – Call your family 11:47 – Forgive someone 12:48 – Try a lo-dough ($) month this year 13:38 – Face a fear 14:09 – Learn to accept a compliment 14:42 – Perform random acts of kindness regularly 15:17 – Take a trip 15:33 – Exercise 16:26 – Turn off social media and news media 17:05 – Create a gratitude list 17:28 – Pray 18:02 – Dig into God’s word Ok, now that you’ve read my list, what would you add to it? I want you to know I’m praying for you, and I’m truly grateful for you. You’ve had a massive impact on my life. It is so meaningful anytime you listen to my show and share it.
19:55 – Interview with my kids, Lilly and Amos The funniest animals on the farm are the guineas and baby goats, which jump like maniacs. If we could add any animals to the farm, it would be cows, horses, and peacocks. If you want to be happier in 2022, you should skateboard, take a walk, get outside and come see our baby goats. Follow our mom on Instagram and you can see 3,000 videos of our baby goats. We saw the baby goats being born, and all the moms there were like, “I feel ya, girl. I feel ya!” FEATURED QUOTES
The Creator God gave us this beautiful creation, the earth and the sun and the sky ... Just get outside. It can do so much for your emotional and mental health.
This list is a chance for you to think about things and see if there are areas that you might want to improve, grow or change in 2022.
Learn to laugh at yourself. People who take themselves way too seriously tend to have a tougher time rolling with the punches.
Put your phone away. No, seriously. Put it away.
For me, learning more about the Lord and his nature has been life changing, perspective shifting and one of the most impactful things in my life.
Thank you to our partner of the show!
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Why the Principles of Improv Are for Everyone | Joy Eggerichs Reed, Punchline Agency
My guest this week is Joy Eggerichs Reed, author of Get to the Publishing Punchline, released in June. She is also the founder of Punchline Agency and has been a speaker over the past decade.
Between 2005 and 2015, Joy worked as Conference Director for her parents Love and Respect marriage conferences. She later created the Love and Respect Now website and The Illumination Project small group study as resources for her generation on the topic of singleness, dating and marriage. In 2014, Christianity Today named Joy one of 33 leaders under the age of 33 shaping the next generation.
Over the course of the last decade of creating content and speaking, Joy has discovered a love for learning through interviewing. She enjoys hosting events, interviewing speakers and mediating dialogues.
She has taken several years of improv comedy classes to help her listen, add levity, and let the conversation and event unfold in a unique way. She enjoys helping others communicate on camera, be themselves on stage and develop talks and presentations.
3:45 – Joy 101 Joy grew up as a pastor’s daughter and watched her father speak on stage. She loved being on stage and watching people talk, but she often felt dumb and out of her lane. She thought about going into fashion but decided it wasn’t for her. 10:11 – Living in Paris Joy and her husband Matt have been living in Paris, France since 2017 and have two children, Millie and Emerson. 15:08 – Improv comedy She took improv classes for five years and loved SNL, especially when she was in high school. When you get into an improv community, it’s kind of like a family. 25:59 – Good comedians Try using “yes, and” instead of “no, but” in conversations to move it along in a positive way. One of the things that she noticed about really good comedians is that they’re noticers. They notice every single, little detail. 33:11 – Reel challenge Joy and Molly are doing Reel challenges on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/reel/CXWEO8MIgCG/) 43:20 – Writing a book She wanted to help kids in the foster system and encourage them to write. People sometimes feel really lonely in the writing process and it can be overwhelming, so she wanted to create something to help writers. 53:47 – Get to know you Best concert she’s attended? Coldplay and Harry Connick Jr. Do audio books count as reading? Yes! FEATURED QUOTES When you get into an improv community, it’s kind of like a family.
One of the things that I noticed about really good comedians is that they’re noticers. They just notice every single, little detail.
People sometimes feel really lonely in the writing process and it can be overwhelming.
CONNECT WITH JOY:
https://punchlineagency.com/ https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Bernard-Baguette-Silly-Discover/dp/1955051046 https://www.instagram.com/reel/CXWEO8MIgCG/ Thank you to our partner of the show:
MamaSuds helps label-reading moms create a safe and nontoxic home for their family by creating synthetic free household cleaners. And one of those cleaner is MamaSuds
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Running a Fabric Led Sustainable Fashion Brand | EP 278: Nancy Zeffman + Eileen Willett, Cucumber Clothing
My guests this week are Nancy Zeffman and Eileen Willett, co-founders of Cucumber Clothing. Their brand offers luxury, cooling, sustainable clothing and nightwear for women.
After meeting at school gates 20 years ago, they became friends and started Cucumber four years ago. They wanted create clothes for busy women who wanted luxurious, everyday clothes without having to wear sky-high heels and uncomfortable garments.
Their simple, multifunctional designs slip perfectly into every woman’s wardrobe, and the ultra-modern performance fabrics mean the clothes move with you, not against you and always feel beautifully soft against the skin.
4:41 – Nancy 101 Nancy is from London and started her career in advertising. She took some time off to be a mom and do some charity work before starting Cucumber. She also mentors small businesses and gives talks about female entrepreneurship. 5:57 – Eileen 101 Eileen is Japanese-Canadian and was born in Vancouver. She moved to England for several decades and started a family. She loves mentoring women and helping them with mid-life pivoting. Eileen and Nancy also love to exercise. 9:32 – How Cucumber started They wore workout gear a lot and wanted to replicate the comfortable feeling in something that you could wear all day. Their company is all about sustainable, comfortable fabrics. Making anything leaves a carbon footprint, but they try to do it in the lightest way possible, in a way they feel proud of. 12:09 – Fabric-led fashion It’s a fabric-led fashion brand. You can wear Cucumber clothes to bed, to work, to the club, anywhere. 17:20 – Customer feedback They launched with six nightwear clothes, and they branched out after customer feedback. Some people said the clothing was great for breastfeeding moms. 19:00 – Researching fabrics You can work with agents who work with mills that make fabrics or you can approach mills directly to get samples of their fabrics. Their fabric feels like cotton and is lightweight but doesn’t absorb sweat. 24:47 – Preloved section Some pieces are pRELOVD returns and are clearly labeled as such. Others are end of line, new or unused/never made production samples. 33:52 – How to get started If you want to start a business, just start. At some point, you just have to go for it. Having a co-founder is a fantastic thing, because it allows you some flexibility. 38:07 – Get to know Nancy and Eileen Nancy’s favorite thing about being a Londoner? She loves being a city girl Eileen’s most versatile clothing piece? Her Cucumber strappy top FEATURED QUOTES We wanted a business we could feel proud of. – Nancy
Making anything leaves a carbon footprint, but it’s trying to do it in the lightest way possible, in a way that we feel proud of. – Nancy
Our clothes look really lovely, and you can dress them up, you can dress them down. You can wear them to bed. You can wear them out clubbing, if you want to. – Eileen
CONNECT https://www.cucumberclothing.com/ Discount code: purpose15
ABOUT NANCY AND EILEEN:
Co-founder at Cucumber Clothing, Nancy is a born and bred Londoner. She began her career in advertising, working at Saatchi and Saatchi on some major blue-chip clients and FMCG brands. Following this she worked for several years in the charitable sector before co-founding Cucumber Clothing, a fabric led fashion brand. Chosen as one of small business Britain’s #ialso2020 celebrating top female entrepreneurial talent, Nancy is also a speaker on female entrepreneurship and slow fashion. She also mentors start-up businesses and co-hosts round table events on a variety of female facing subjects.
Born in Vancouver to Japanese parents, Eileen trained in fashion in Paris and San Francisco before settling in London to work at Nicole Farhi where she was instrumental in growing the menswear brand. She founded and ran her successful bespoke accessories brand before launching Cucumber Clothing with her Co-founder Nancy Zeffman
From Good Intentions to Real Cultural Change | EP 277: Bethaney Wilkinson, The Diversity Gap
My guest this week is Bethaney Wilkinson, a facilitator, author, and champion of race-conscious leadership. She has dedicated more than a decade to exploring the intersections of community, racial justice, and social change—specifically in the organizational context.
In her work with business and non-profits, she co-designs and facilitates learning and culture-shaping experiences for teams. As part of her work in diversity and cultural change, Bethaney is an invited speaker at major conferences and top global companies.
She is host of the popular podcast, The Diversity Gap, and is the founder of The Diversity Gap Community, an online learning platform for leaders seeking to pair their good intentions for diversity with true cultural change.
9:29 – Bethaney 101 She is a facilitator and racial justice educator who helps teams be more supportive of diverse groups of people. 10:14 – What led to her passion? She ended up doing the work after trying to support people in her community. She wanted to fill the gaps and help people work together. 12:41 – Challenges organizations faced One of the biggest challenge was many leaders go-to action was let me diversify my team and board. That intention was positive, but they weren’t asking If their culture supported diversity. 14:38 – Media hype versus real change If you’re not experiencing the harmful effects of racism, it is very easy to turn it on and off. Think of it like an iceberg. What you see is diversity, and most people stop there. Below the water is where actual transformation and reconciliation happens. 19:53 – Creating culture change Culture is the stories we tell ourselves – who is the victim and who is the hero? Focus on values, the ways you behave and what you prioritize. 26:03 – Fear of making mistakes You will say the wrong thing, and you will do the wrong thing. After you get over that hump, the real work is being willing to receive feedback. 31:15 – Receive feedback A good lesson for any leader is to be able to receive feedback. 37:22 – Get to know you Best concert she’s ever attended? Rising Appalachia FEATURED QUOTES Do you want to do the hard work it takes to maintain that relationship?
How are we willing to change to adapt to actually serve people who we’re not practiced at serving?
If you’re not experiencing the harmful effects of racism, it is very easy to turn it on and off.
You will say the wrong thing, and you will do the wrong thing. After you get over that hump, the real work is being willing to receive feedback.
CONNECT WITH BETHANEY:
About Bethaney Wilkinson:
Bethaney is a writer, leader, and social entrepreneur who has dedicated more than a decade to exploring the intersections of community, racial justice, and social change. Bethaney began her career as co-founder of Atlanta Harvest, a high-production development farm on a mission to create jobs and strengthen economies in disadvantaged communities. She then founded G.Race Dialogues, a faith and community-based initiative designed to support individuals and organizations pursuing racial reconciliation. Bethaney expanded her research and broadened her reach after joining the team at Plywood People, a non-profit in Atlanta leading a community of startups doing good. As part of her work in diversity and cultural change, Bethaney is an invited speaker at major conferences and top global companies. She is host of the popular podcast, The Diversity Gap, and is the founder of The Diversity Gap Academy, an online learning platform for leaders seeking to pair their good intentions for diversity with true cultural change.
Thank you to our partner of the show:
MamaSuds helps label-reading moms create a safe and nontoxic home for their family by creating synthetic free household cleaners. And one of those cleaner is MamaSuds
Fine Linen Soap- which is the best thing since Sliced Bread.
Wash your high-quality sheets, line
How Faith & Business Don't Have to Be Mutually Exclusive | Michelle Myers + Somer Pheobus, She Works His Way
My guests this week are Michelle Myers and Somer Phoebus, the founders of She Works His Way. Their organization counteracts culture’s way with a gospel-centered approach to work and womanhood. They also believe that community is greater than content and that women’s priorities should be Christ, home and work, in that order.
What started as a Google Hangout with four friends has now grow into a global ministry that reaches thousands of women daily.
5:55 – Somer 101 Somer lives in Annapolis and is a pastor’s wife. From a young age, she enjoyed working and had an entrepreneurial spirit. She has two daughters, 19 and 21. 9:07 – Michelle 101 Michelle despises birds (☺) and lives in Asheville. She is also a pastor’s daughter who married a pastor. She has three kids, the oldest is 10, and the youngest is 5. She quit her job and went to seminary. She wanted to learn more about ministry and find out what God wanted her to do with her life. 12:47 – She Works His Way It’s a discipleship community for working women to encourage and equip them to stop compartmentalizing their faith. When you’re in your purpose, everything, all the hard, it has purpose. 15:12 – Mixing faith with profit This can be done well or poorly. It depends on what your motives are. It’s one thing to put your faith on your company website. It’s another to live it out. If you make decisions based on what you think other people’s perceptions of you are going to be, you’re going to struggle for the rest of your life. If you’re called to put faith on your billboard, put it on there. 25:35 – Achieving balance When we try to achieve balance, we try to be everything that God has called us to be and then everything that the world expects us to be. But it’s not balance, it’s bondage. Women often feel like they’re on a hamster wheel on a tightrope. 37:44 – Drowning in information The first place they send women is to the local church, because community is so important. We’re desperate to be inspired and get motivation, and we are drowning in information. They suggest informational fasts for women to take a break from consuming so much information. 52:09 – Analysis paralysis If you feel overwhelmed, try these three simple steps:
Do a weekly brain dump on a sheet of paper Categorize your brain dump by home, career, big projects Schedule it on your calendar FEATURED QUOTES If you make decisions based on what you think other people’s perceptions of you are going to be, you’re going to struggle for the rest of your life. – Somer
If you’re called to put faith on your billboard, put it on there. – Somer
When you’re in your purpose, everything, all the hard, it has purpose. – Somer
What is your view of God, and who are you? – Somer
What are you called to? What is God asking of you? And then you step in obedience to whatever that is. – Somer
Michelle Myers had no idea what started as a Google hangout at 5am with three friends would one day result in the title of "founder" of she works His way. But here we are, six years later, with thousands of women gathered for the same reason we started: How can I glorify God, honor my family, and serve others at work? Basically, her happy place is encouraging + equipping working women to live for the glory of God and the good of others. Home will always be her favorite place to be, with her husband, James, and their three children, Noah (9), Cole (6) and Shea (3).
Somer is a lead communicator + managing partner at she works HIS way. She spent the first half of her career building the businesses of others and the second half building and selling a few businesses of her own. She is also the creator of Productivity Academy + the owner of Somer Phoebus Consulting, where she coaches other working women and female entrepreneurs in the areas of productivity, leadership, brick and mortar bus
Love this podcast
It is my new favourite ethical fashion podcast. I love that Molly looks through the world of fashion with her Christian world view and is unashamed of the gospel.