I was not born an entrepreneur; it was one of the last paths I thought I’d ever take. My first product idea was a cloth and spandex cover that could fit snuggly over a television screen to mimic a painting and hide the ever growing “black mirror.” After explaining the idea in-depth, every day, for over a year to Kate and creating little to no enthusiasm, I realized something: the concept was intrinsically flawed, it tried to solve a frivolous aesthetic problem that most people are ambivalent towards and after technological advancement would most likely end a purposeless life in a landfill. As an avowed environmentalist I had to reassess, how can I start a business and help the planet, is that even possible?
With a honed vision and a couple of years, Kate and I finally decided to open a business. I would invent sustainable children’s toys and she would sew organic kids clothing. An agreement was reached, industrial sewing machines ordered, and we celebrated with a pint at a local pizza restaurant. That afternoon, we chatted with another customer, a former business owner himself. We explained our idea and he chuckled remarking, “you should have started that company 20 years ago.” He was right, and that bothered me, but it was biting criticism at the right moment.
Being certified organic is not good enough anymore. Likewise, there is no need for another company claiming to have the “softest clothes” in the world or locally made wooden toys. Our planet needs systemic innovation to reduce pollution, waste, and unethical working conditions. With this spirit, we thought of the Patches Project and Peace House Studio was born.