The practice of giving is universally recognized as a virtue and is the foundation of all spiritual practices. Another universally recognized truth is that giving provides reciprocal benefits.
In Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein “traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism” and visualizes “great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.”
Social entrepreneurs are discovering the reciprocal values of giving. Social entrepreneurship is booming globally. There’s a good reason for that: it works.
Social entrepreneurship is the work of entrepreneurs who create businesses directed toward solving social problems. Some entrepreneurs are highly successful with this kind of work, and they are finding that the benefits are indeed reciprocal. Jill Nadine Clements, owner of Nadina’s Cremes, is one of those.
Jill Nadine Clements’ journey toward social entrepreneurship began in 1986, when she traveled as an apprentice potter, selling cremes at Renaissance Faires. By 1989, she began working out of her grandmother’s kitchen, creating both cremes and containers. As a potter, she was well-prepared to create her beautiful, hand-worked containers.
In 1990, Jill took definitive steps toward becoming a social entrepreneur, employing developmentally challenged workers to make ceramic jars and wooden displays for Nadina’s Cremes for the 100 stores she supplied by that time. In the following year, 1991, Nadina’s Cremes began to donate to environmental and social concerns and to share information about the Rainforest. In 1993, North American Indians started to make some of the jars for more than 1000 stores selling Nadina’s Cremes.
In 1995, Nadina’s Cremes introduced their “Have a Heart Gift Basket” to raise awareness about domestic violence, and a portion of the profits from each basket is donated to shelters for battered women.
In 2003, the company began a cooperation with Aubrey Hampton of Aubrey Organics on product development, creating Aubrey Organics scents and a lavender face mask and mist. In 2006, meetings with rainforest researchers Chris Kilham and Yellow Emperor’s Andy Levine brought a new level of knowledge and experience to product creation and ingredients at Nadina’s Cremes. Rain Forest Shampoo and Cream Rinse as well as a skin healing Tamanu oil product launched.
Social entrepreneurship has certainly been a two-way gift in the case of Nadina’s Cremes. Vulnerable individuals, environmental projects and society at large have benefitted at the same time as the company has grown and prospered. In 1996, Jill Nadine Clements, then 36 years old, was listed in Entrepreneur among 45 who made one million dollars before age 40.
Jill’s two passions are her all-natural, handmade body creams and her pottery, passions she has combined into one by designing and making both the creams and the jars in which they come. Throughout her amazing success as an entrepreneur, she has remained true to her company’s mission, advocating for education and many social issues, including rainforest preservation, domestic violence, homelessness and the developmentally disabled. As she says on her website, the company’s philosophy is to “contribute to a better future by giving back to the community.”
Nadina’s Cremes: a great example of how giving provides reciprocal benefits, providing, in the words of Charles Eisenstein, a “great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.”