Author Archive for Ari Carter

Set in Clay

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Like so most small startups its beginnings were modest. It began in a small garage in Fall of 2009…Here a hugely successful social enterprise was born.

“With nothing more than an old stamp set, a box of clay, and a plan to support clean water projects in Africa, handmade creations emerged and MudLOVE was born.”

The MudLOVE team is made up of artists, makers, doers, thinkers…entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs with a skill and a passion to make the world a better place: “With ‘mud’ in our hands and love in our hearts, the chance to make a difference is our inspiration to create.”

MudLOVE partners with Water for Good through providing a week of clean water to someone in need for ever ML product purchased. Like many other developing countries, lack of clean water is a huge issue. The Central African Republic is no exception. MudLOVE aims to transform communities and save lives through providing access to safe and clean water.

MudLOVE also has a “Fundraiser Marketplace.” The company chooses initiatives to support and creates a campaign and a customized product to raise funds for that specific initiative.

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 In addition to providing water, MudLOVE necklaces, bracelets and mugs were designed to be instruments of encouragement and inspiration among people. The goal is for the products to spark conversation. “On the right wrist, a simple word can take on powerful significance.”

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MudLOVE craetes products that are aesthetically pleasing…appealing to the millennial generation through the design and the story and meaning they represent. Millennials are bound to make an impact, as they already have. We are drawn to buy products that make an impact on the world, and spark connections with others. MudLOVE products aim to do just that.

The story and mission of MudLOVE carries all the way into how they produce their product.

“Rethink, reuse, recycle: We are solution solvers. In the neverending search for improvement, we invent new tools that still require the careful guidance of human hands. As we strive to streamline production, our emphasis on quality goods remains strong. Every product goes through a careful screening process. If clay gets scrapped, we simply mix it into a new batch. There is always potential for the broken to be made new.”

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Not Your Typical Lemonade Stand

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Four. That’s how old Mikaila Ulmer was when her parents first encouraged her to enter into a children’s business competition. She put on her thinking cap and went to work playing with some ideas. During this brainstorming process two big things happened in 4 year old Mikaila’s life…She was stung by a bee twice and her Great Granny sent her family an old cookbook, including her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade. Although bees originally scared her after her experience she became fascinated with the creatures, learning about how they benefit the ecosystem. She wanted to do something to help honeybees. Out of this desire, Me & the Bees Lemonade was born (Originally “Bee Sweet Lemonade”). The recipe comes from Great Granny Helen’s cook book and is sweetened with local honey. She donates a percentage of the profits to local and international organizations that are fighting to save the honeybees. “Buy a bottle…Save a Bee.” Now 11 years old, Mikaila snagged a $60,000 deal on shark tank with Daymond John. Her refreshing and healthy beverage is flying off the shelves of Whole Foods Market and is available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food deliver companies. She even leads workshops on how to save the honeybees.

At 11 years old Mikaila Ulmer is a social entrepreneur, bee ambassador educator and student.

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Revolutionizing Dinner Time – Blue Apron

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It has been another long day in the office. It is the end of the week, your fridge is empty and you haven’t eaten since that blueberry muffin and cup of coffee at noon. You weigh the options. Order in again? Maybe Chinese or pizza, maybe you muster up some energy to go to the grocery store to make an actual meal or maybe you just dare to consume that microwave meal that has been sitting in your freezer for eternity in case of an emergency. All these options are less than enticing. After all you love to cook, but grocery shopping takes way too much time out of your week.

Amidst a sea of food services Blue Apron has differentiated in an incredibly unique way,  developing a RECIPE 😉 for success for Americans who love to cook by offering them a meal kit – a big box of ingredients in exactly the right amounts and a recipe card with easy instructions on how to make the meal. All at a price of roughly $10. A gourmet meal at your fingertips for a very reasonable price.

Our mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone

And that is exactly what they do. They pick the freshest, most unique ingredients on the market within a sustainable food system. Blue Apron sets the standards high for ingredients sourcing from direct relationships with farmers. The company desires to build a community of home chefs, through providing recipes that encourage home chefs to try new ingredients and cooking techniques every week, customizing the meals to the skill level of the cook.

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You can have all of these ingredients for one of these meals delivered directly to your door for just you or for your family.

Like many start-ups Blue Apron started in a with a problem that translated into an idea. In the summer of 2012, Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas, and Matt Wadiak tested the first Blue Apron recipes in their tiny New York apartments. “The goal was to make the experience of cooking with quality produce and specialty ingredients accessible to everyone, no matter where they live or how busy they are.” The first test was to family and friends, when the three entrepreneurs hand-picked the first boxes themselves and delivered them to family and friends. It was hugely successful. Now the company sends over 8 million meals per month to home chefs nationwide, with thousands of employees working in the offices around the country.

Blue Apron is not only providing a high quality service but is bringing families together through these delivered meals. The recipes are easy for kids and parents to get involved in!

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Hello Alfred

Watering plants, dry cleaning, shoe repair, furniture assembly, stocking the fridge, dog care, prescriptions, gluten-free snacks, home cleaning, dishes, gift shopping and returns.

These and many more are some of the weekly tasks nearly every individual living on his or her own is responsible for. These things take time. Time that for those who have families and busy work schedules wish they had free to spend with their kids or friends to relax or go to the gym or to get more pressing things done.

29 year old Marcela Sapone and her co-founder Jessica Beck, Harvard Business School grads, realized this when they first hired someone to come to their apartment weekly to take care of those mundane tasks that take up so much time. Then they turned it into a business called Hello Alfred.

Hello Alfred is an app that matches you with a carefully vetted personal butler who visits your home each week to handle the tasks you don’t want to do for just $32 a week (or $58 to visit 2x a week).

Testimonials:

A.J. & Christina C. are Legal Professionals

“There is a sense of peace and calm when you walk into your home and everything is put away. Having your groceries already in the fridge is incredible. No other service does it this way.”

Their Alfred list: Returns, Home Cleaning, Dry Cleaning

James M. career is Real Estate Finance

“I’ve used Alfred for a year. It’s freed up my weekends. Rather than spending Saturday running errands, I go to brunch with friends, sleep in, or go to the gym.”

His Alfred List: Dry Cleaning, gift shopping, home cleaning

 

IHOP Pancakes Delivered? Why not!

Picture this…It is 10pm, dinner was five hours ago. You have about 4 hours of work standing between you and sweet, sweet sleep. You could really go for some pancakes. Maybe some fresh IHOP ones? If only they delivered. Well, now you just might be in luck! DASH, a new start-up created by 28 year old Phil Dumontet operates out of only 7 cities currently. It provides the fastest delivery from the best restaurants who don’t have their own delivery services. They promise to deliver in under 40 minutes. Some of the restaurants include:

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Dashed offers service available exclusively on Foodler. Founded in 2009 with 1 biker & 1 restaurant, the company has grown to be the leading restaurant delivery service in the Northeast, serving over 800 top-rated restaurants that wouldn’t otherwise offer delivery across Boston, Providence, New Haven, Hoboken & Jersey City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. Dashed is the first service of its kind to offer full delivery & marketing services for its restaurant partners, so restaurants can focus on what they should: taking care of in-house customers. The company has been showered with awards and acclaims over the years which are only growing.

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SHRI

In the U.S. we take so many things for granted. You’ve probably heard about the scarcity of clean water in developing countries. But, have you ever thought about what a blessing indoor plumbing and working toilets are? It is so easy to forget that commodities like these are actually a luxury in much of the developing world, and the consequence of not having these are detrimental. Annop Jain and his company SHRI (Sanitation Health Rights in India) are making an impact on both of these issues. More than 6o0 million people in India lack adequate indoor sanitation facilities, forcing them to defecate outdoors, exposing the population at large to 100,000 tons of untreated human waste annually, and contributing to the spread of diseases that kill 450,000 each year. In addition 100 million Indians lack access to clean drinking water.

Anoop graduated from Northwestern University in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Engineering. He worked as an engineer for a year then quit his job after raising $30,000 to build a community soup kitchen for Tibetan Refugees in northern India. Then, in the summer of 2010, Anoop realized the importance of improved public health. He eventually ended up in the state of Bihar and after seeing the severity of the public health problems there, SHRI was born.

Jain has helped to create an organization which works with local communities in India to end open defecation and improve access to safe drinking water. “SHRI sees overcoming these issues and providing access to sanitation as a right and not a privilege.” It constructs toilet facilities, and uses the methane gas produced by anaerobic digestion to power a generator. This generator in turn filters water for safe consumption to provide a complete solution.

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