Located in Mid-City, the Goods That Matter shop invites customers in with the gentle aroma of its soaps, candles and fragrances. But passersby might not suspect this cozy shop on the streetcar line is also a groundbreaking business venture. Tippy Tippens, the enterprising CEO of Goods That Matter, took a unique bar of soap and turned it into an entire company – the first of its kind in Louisiana.
Tippens began with a single product, BirdProject Soap, as a way to help raise funds for relief after the BP Oil Spill Disaster in 2010. The black, bird-shaped soap bar contains a white ceramic bird at its center as a symbol of the cleanup. Ten percent of the proceeds were donated to Gulf Restoration Network & International Bird Rescue for cleanup and restoration help.
Following the success of BirdProject Soap, Tippens was inspired to start a design for good company. After a Kickstarter campaign in late 2010, Tippens founded her new venture: Goods That Matter. True to her vision, all of the handmade home goods are crafted from eco-friendly materials, and many of them are created by local New Orleanians. The company also offers design services and quality, eco-friendly fundraising products. In addition, the products sold by Goods That Matter give back to unique social and environmental causes.
According to Tippens, the company’s donations and partnerships are its biggest success. “I collaborate with so many wonderful people to make our quality, giving goods, and I really cherish and am proud of that. Our products also provide a little hope and optimism for complex and overwhelming problems.” Local nonprofits that receive donations from Goods That Matter include the Gulf Restoration Network, Animal Rescue of New Orleans, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, STAIR and Cease Fire.
In addition, the company collaborates with local makers to create and source its products. Working with small, city-based businesses also benefits the New Orleans economy.
One of the most unique aspects of Goods That Matter is its designation as a Benefit Corporation. As Tippens explains, B-Corps are triple bottom line businesses that value people, planet and profits equally. For instance, the eco materials the company uses are often more expensive than other available materials. Because of its designation as a Benefit Corporation, Goods That Matter couldn’t be forced by shareholders to use the cheaper materials. For B-Corps, profit alone isn’t the bottom line.
“Forming as a Benefit Corporation is important to me as it reinforces Matter’s ethics and mission throughout our business structure,” said Tippens. “It helps to let our customers know that we actually do what we say we do and protects our ethos.”
For more information and to purchase from Goods That Matter, visit the store at 4201 Canal St., call 264-2478, visit OurGoodsMatter.com or find it on social media @goodsthatmatter.