Last month I met with Jessica Moment and Sally Fowler, the co-owners of Philanthropist, a gorgeous designer boutique in Presidio Heights. Philanthropist donates 100% of its profits-- yes, that's everything the shop makes beyond its operating costs-- to charities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Philanthropist's unique business model has garnered lots of press attention since the shop opened in 2008, with mentions in The New York Times, In Style, Vanity Fair, and Lucky, to name a few. So it was a big honor that Jessica and Sally agreed to sit down with Became Today one evening.
Philanthropist has been a major success, despite the initial skepticism of some people in the retail community. "There were a couple [people] that said, 'People don't really care about giving back. They just want great clothes,'" Jessica said. "But we really have found that our clients really care about giving back, too. If they are going to buy the same dress here, or at some department store, they're definitely going to choose here, because their money is going to somewhere that they really feel good about."
Jessica, Sally, and the shop made for such great footage that I have a few videos I'll be posting from my evening there. Some highlights from the first video:
- How a routine trip to the grocery store spurred Jessica's "A-ha" moment that led to Philanthropist
- The transition from working at a corporate retailer to owning an independent boutique
- Jessica and Sally's top advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
- How Philanthropist designed a shop that "makes you feel beautiful"-- champagne and cupcakes are involved!