Pivoting With Purpose | Tokki's Small Business Response to COVID-19
“Whoa, Tokki is making face masks and candles?!”
Let me explain. Six months ago we launched Tokki to help make gifting more sustainable and memorable. But the world has changed. It’s no surprise that the last thing on anyone’s mind is reusable gift wrap. As our young and growing business collapsed to zero, we had to get creative to support our small but mighty team. We also wanted to be as useful as we could to our community.
These two goals of team and community have led us to dramatically shift our work. We are now pivoting with purpose.
100% Cotton Face Masks
Less than two weeks ago, my girlfriend and fellow entrepreneur Lisa Sun, the CEO of the fashion brand Gravitas New York called me from her home in New York because friends of hers on the front lines were asking her where they could get fabric masks. Lisa knew I had 100% cotton in fun patterns, and she had the design and sewing resources (her housemates were cutting elastic on her living room floor!) so we got to work being useful. When the word got out, within a few hours we suddenly had several hundred orders on our hands.
We iterated quickly to design a comfortably fitting mask made of two layers of 100% cotton that is washable and features a pocket for wearers to insert a filter.
In deciding to offer our masks more broadly, we wanted to create a vehicle for giving back to our community, which is why we are donating a mask to a front-line worker in need for every one purchased. Our hope is to do some good, while also supporting our teams.
The “Here’s to You” Appreciation Candle Collection of 12 Ready-To-Gift Candles
I started making candles because I wanted to create a physical vehicle for sending my love to my girlfriends I couldn’t be with in person. I wrote unique messages on each one and played with different environmentally friendly waxes and skin-care grade essential oils. Just in time for Mother’s Day, we are launching 12 candles each with a unique message of gratitude and love that I wrote myself some truly inspiring girlfriends in mind. We wrap the candle in a tokki reusable wrap, you customize the message on the digital tokki tag, we send it to your recipient. Be on the lookout for these candles next week.
LIke our masks, we wanted to do some good, so we’ll be donating 10% of proceeds to the American Red Cross.
Last Sunday, Lisa Sun, CEO of Gravitas New York and I hosted our first Instagram Live discussing our challenges as Entrepreneurs in the world of COVID-19. We will be doing it again Sunday 4/12 at 5pm PT/ 8pm ET and hope you can join us.
In the meantime, check out our recent article 6 ways women entrepreneurs can support each other in a COVID-19 world featured on NBC News. Whether you join us or not, happy Passover and Easter! We hope you will be able to be next to your loved ones soon.
Double down on connection
In creating our mask and candle collections, we’ve been inspired by the idea of sparking the connections between us that are essential to our strength and resilience. Now more than ever, connection is not just a nicety; it’s a necessity.
Wishing you creative ways to connect,