Shop with Purpose. We’ve said it before and if you’re new to our mission, you might be wondering what we mean. In case you missed it, Ramble on Pearl founder Andy Minden sat down with the BizWest podcast in January where they discussed what it’s like to run a small business deemed “non-essential” during the pandemic. Here’s what Andy had to say about the purpose of Ramble on Pearl:
We’re a non-profit social enterprise, which for a clothing boutique sounds a little bit odd, but what we do is host a job training apprentice program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We help learn what their skillsets are, what they need some help strengthening over a period of 3-6 months, and then we help them get jobs with local community employers. They are working alongside our job coaching staff and retail staff, so when you come in to the store you might not expect it, but it’s part of what we do!
Andy also discussed how the pandemic has affected our graduates who have lost jobs due to the pandemic, and our efforts to continue assisting them in finding new employment solutions.
Responding to the the perception that hiring an IDD adult is risky, Andy said: “One of the things we’re pretty proud of with our program graduates, since many of them are filling entry level positions, is that once they do get a job that is well-matched to their skillset…their longevity and retention in those jobs is much higher than the typical entry-level job that rotates in and out of constantly re-training new employees.”
So, what can you do to continue supporting us and your other favorite local businesses? Andy offers some suggestions:
We launched our online store in May 2020, where you can shop from the safety of your home, and select delivery or curbside pickup.
Purchase a gift card now to give a friend or to shop later in the post-pandemic world.
Leave reviews or spread the word on social media when you have a great experience with us or another small business.
Know that we have taken your safety and that of our employees to heart. We have adopted a complete range of “new normal” safety precautions to provide the safest shopping experience possible. You can read more about these practices on our Shop Small, Shop Safe post. You can also request a free, private shopping appointment to minimize exposure. Contact us by phone at 303-442-2267 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to the full BizWest Podcast episode here (find Andy at 20:30). Thanks to BizWest for inviting us to chat, and thank you for continuing to support small businesses like ours!