First off, it's midnight. Actually, by the time I'm writing this sentence, the clock says 12:01 AM - I don't want to be dishonest here. I'm touting transparency and trustworthiness, after all.
Two hours ago, I was all squared away in bed, reading on my phone. My fiance had already fallen asleep. I was all cozy with my hot water bottle and my late-night chocolate. And then I received this email.
It was about a potential competitor. I started reading it, and had this sinking feeling. So, I had to do some research. I actually prefer using my phone for pretty much everything, so doing this from bed, on my phone was perfectly feasible to me. I explored the ins and outs of this potential competitor. I worked myself up into a panic, as you do. Especially when it's late...
Naturally, when my fiance made the mistake of moving in his sleep, I pounced and said, "Are you awake?" knowing full well he wasn't. He made a sound that said clearly, I'm asleep. (Not like he said, "I'm asleep" but really made a sound that indicated without doubt that he was asleep and had been disturbed in his dreams by a distant sound.)
So, being a considerate partner (ha!), I said full bore, "I think I've found a real competitor! And they're so big! And they've raised $160M in funding!"
Now, in clear contrast to me, he's a good partner. He woke up and started trying to un-fog his brain to think this through with me.
So, where did we end up. Well, there's good news and there's bad. They're mostly focused on being an online Whole Foods, a healthier, more affordable grocery store. They have some home goods, but nothing along the lines of the main-stay products like furniture and clothing that we will and often already do cover. And, they're based on a membership model, so you pay to play. And, they're not a lifestyle brand like Cara's Market. They're a grocery store folks. #defensivevoice ... And, they have raised over $150 million in funding - so, that's kind of validating. And, intimidating.
Gabe, well, he said, It sounds pretty different from what you're doing. Plus, you'll do it much better. #goodpartner #partneroftheyearaward
Okay, none of this is even meant to be the point of this post. But, it's the pre-cursor to why it's after midnight and I'm all fired up.
Moving on to the point.
I believe. I really believe there is something here. That our world needs. That will change the future and change the economy.
I believe. That we all deserve something better than our current economy, an economy based on the consumption of products that are destroying our bodies and our homes. This business, my business, this business I'm building for me, and for my mom, and for you - this business, your business - it is needed. I need it. All the time, I'm like, I wish Cara's Market was up and running so that I could shop there already. Wish somebody would get on that!
Jokes aside, we all need it. We need a world where people can shop for healthy products without having to do extra research, without having to differentiate between vague terms that change in meaning, without worrying they are buying something harmful to them, without compromising on either health or function or price in every single purchase. And these products should be affordable to every single one of us.
We should all, every one of us, be able to go to the store and purchase any product with full confidence that this product is not only not harmful but that it is good for us, and not only not harmful to our environment but that it is good for the planet, and not only that the company that made it isn't bad to its employees but that it is good to them. I want that. For all of us. And I know many more people who want it too.
And I think Cara's Market can do it, competitors or no. Are you with me?
Here's to making that future. One midnight blog post at a time.