Give Back By Shopping At Others

by on Jan 28, 2015

Shopping That Gives Back Twice

Others is a new boutique in town that was started with the spirit of giving back. The shop is filled with one-of-a kind and handmade items from regional and local vendors, and 100 percent of the profits are donated to a cause. Essentially, everyone can give back to the community simply by shopping. Too good to be true?

Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

Top Photo (Left to Right): Sara Strong (Retail Associate), Laura Morris (Founder), Jodi Regan (Operational Director), Keely Ronnevik (Retail Associate)

Everyday Inspiration
Founder Laura Morris and her husband sought to make aA shot of the clothing sold at Others boutique in Fargo. difference that went beyond working for a nonprofit organization or donating to a cause. Constantly inspired by those who do good work, the couple wanted to find a way to bring the community together through everyday actions and incorporate that into their lives. They began to ask themselves, “How can we support nonprofits in their endeavors and make a bigger impact worldwide through everyday actions?”

“We were going to start a nonprofit but there were a lot of struggles with trying to get funding and having admin costs,” explained Morris. “That’s where the idea for the store came from. We can essentially use the store to fund the nonprofit and have it fuel itself.”

Morris teamed up with operational director Jodi Regan, and Others was born and opened for business in November 2014.

The Double Give Back
Regan explained that at the point of sale, the vendor gives back through a donation of profits or by creating jobs. Any profit that the store itself makes is donated to their own initiatives that align with the products or any organizations that the vendor supports.

Quirky cards that are sold at Others in Fargo.“We started with a few inspirational vendors that eventually led us to others, and we wanted to choose products and organizations that will have a lasting and worldwide change,” said Morris. The idea is to have everybody supporting everyone, so the store partners with local vendors and helps them find an organization they’re excited about.

The boutique does not source anything that is made in sweatshops, and most of the items are handmade and limited. “The chances of us getting stuff back in after it sells out is low. Keeping a high volume of goods on the shelves can be tough,” said Regan. “It is both a blessing and a curse.”

Along with this, they make sure that all items are made responsibly or through fair trade. They seek to choose items from small businesses that source raw materials in a socially responsible way, or organizations that give their profit to charity. They say that this allows those who make the products to get a sustainable hourly wage.

“Our goal is to help people internationally to be able to support themselves and their families and to get themselves educated,” said Morris.

The shop aims to have something in the store for people of all ages and all types, and at every price point. Regan explained that people can find unique things without having to pay designer prices, and more of the money will go back to the people who made the goods.

The Snowball Effect
The store doubled in staff size two months after its opening, and brought on retail associates Keely Ronnevik and Sarah Strong. What started out as just a boutique and having no retail experience, Morris and Regan have found themselves with aKnick knacks and accessories at Others boutique in Fargo. movement that is snowballing into a variety of ways to bring the community together.

“We want people in Fargo to know that they can change the world just by shopping. You don’t just have to volunteer your time or work for a nonprofit, but of course those are also great ways to give back as well,” said Regan.

As far as the future goes, the store is working on hosting workshops and classes for even more community outreach. They will also continue to partner with charities to do local give back days, which is something that has been successful for them so far.

Morris said they would also like to utilize the open area in the front of their store. With free Wi-Fi and “pay what you can” espresso, they hope to have a community space where people can come to take a break or work in a quiet area.

“It just started as a store and it’s snowballing into many different things. We want to keep the momentum going,” said Morris. “We’re always aiming and working toward forward movement.”

The wall art in Others boutique in Fargo.OTHERS | 17 7th St. S, Fargo

Find them online or search Facebook for “Others”.