What is Enrou? We’d love to hear your elevator pitch…
Enrou is a curated marketplace of meaningful products for you and your home. Every single purchase provides opportunity and empowers makers all around the world. We want to inspire people to craft, curate and discover a life of meaning.
Clever name. How did the name Enrou come about?
Enrou comes from the French phrase “en route,” and it’s all about being on a journey to create a better world. Enroute to being better. Stronger. Progression. A Life of Meaning. A Better World. What are you #EnrouteTo ?
What is your mission?
To inspire and empower people to explore how to beautifully craft, curate, and discover a life of meaning.
What is your vision?
Inspire meaningful living: At Enrou, we believe that creative and passionate people can radically change the world for the better. Through beautiful storytelling and thoughtfully curated products, we want to inspire and empower.
You use the word “meaningful” to describe your products and style of living. What exactly do you mean by that?
As restless dreamers and intentional shoppers, so many of us crave a life of meaning and to surround ourselves with items that align with our values, philosophies and beliefs. Enrou empowers people to not only express themselves, but to take action and change lives, through how they decided to live theirs.
What makes your impact different, you ask?
It’s our Dual Impact Model! When you shop Enrou, your purchase helps reduce global poverty in two distinct and powerful ways. The first is the direct investment in the person who made your product — your purchase provides him or her with dignified work, as well as an income and job training. The second part of your impact is in the community where your product was made — our brand partners offer development initiatives on the ground, such as health education, financial coaching and women’s empowerment programs, to help strengthen the local community.
Enrou has a pretty unique business model. Can you tell me more about it? Are you a non-profit?
Enrou is a social enterprise, which means we are one of the many businesses out there changing the world for the better! Social enterprise are built with the mission to tackle social problems, improve communities, provide opportunity to others, or improve the environment. We make money by selling beautiful hand-crafted goods to the global market, but we reinvest our profits back into our impact partners and their local communities. And so when we profit, communities around the world also profit.
What does it mean to be a business with purpose?
Purpose means living and breathing an idea that motivates you and drives you. We operate with the desire to change the world! We are concretely doing this by utilizing our dual impact model that focuses on giving back to the individual producer and also supports the seven causes featured on our site. Each cause works to help alleviate an aspect of the global poverty cycle and enable people to take control of their lives in the global market. We see poverty as the lack of access to opportunity and we see our role as helping provide that access through tangible skills and not just handouts. Purpose means working with intention, working for a goal. Our goal is to help break the cycle of global poverty, and we plan on continuing to do so, one purchase at a time.
ABOUT OUR IMPACT PARTNERS
How does Enrou select its brand partners and artisans you work with?
Each brand partner that is featured on Enrou goes through a thorough an evaluation and vetting process. Our most central requirement is that each of our vendors fall within our dual-impact model. What that means is that each impact partner must 1) Create, provide and/or enable dignified work opportunities – i.e. at or above fair wages, and in safe, supportive, and ethical working environments – for people in the developing community where they are working in. 2) Build, support, or further enable community development initiatives. These can range from educational and vocational trainings, child care services, or scholarships, to name a few. The main goal of our impact model is to further establish the community infrastructure around the workers so that the new capital entering into the economy through job creation can be withheld for long-lasting and sustainable impact with the end goal that the community can become self-sufficient. These initiatives vary by impact partner based on an assessment and partnership between them and the workers they employ and/or the greater community. This approach ensures that this program is bringing the greatest value to the people it affects.
How much of the money goes back to the artisan who made it?
Because we work with so many different brand partners around the world, the percentage varies from partner to partner. Each one of our impact partners work in various geographic regions, have different working conditions, with different wages and initiatives on the ground to help the community at large. This makes it difficult to generalize an exact amount to represent all of our brands and artisans. Either way, all of our impact partners are required to pay at or above fair wages as determined by local community standards.
How did you decide which causes to highlight on your site?
Each of our causes are ones defined to contribute to alleviating poverty. We try to clearly define a few causes that are very overarching of a number of our brands and programs. For example, women empowerment is a cause that many connect with. It’s a particular cause that we like to focus on, develop and tell the narrative of since it has such a profound affect on local communities to alleviate poverty, but there are so many ways it is executed depending on the needs of the community. So there’s one that’s a skills training program, another one that’s a micro-financing program for women. It’s all different, but we try to make the content and message a bit simpler by focusing on seven main causes that are easily understood and have great impact in the way that multiple programs help support.
How are the hours of dignified work calculated for each product?
On our site, we have created a tracking system for the number of hours of dignified work that is created from each purchase. What this means is that we calculate on average, the time it takes to make each product. Since all of our partners are required to employ their artisans in work that is fair, safe and ethical at or above fair wages, each hour creating a product equals an hour of dignified work
How many hours of dignified work has Enrou created thus far?
We launched our #GiveOpportunity campaign on Giving Tuesday in November 2015, where we hit our goal of creating 5,000 hours of dignified work for artisans around the world in only 6 days! Thanks to intentional shoppers like yourselves, we hit our goal! Woo Hoo! Now, we are over 41,000 hours of work (and counting!).
What is Enrou’s team culture like?
Since 2014, passionate individuals have been an indispensable resource in helping us create change that will last for generations to come. Our team works together to transform the way people shop, live and give as well as build the professional experience to take them to the next level in their careers. At Enrou we work with intention -- everything we say, everything we do, propels our mission of ending global poverty.
What are your team values?
Passion, mindfulness, curiosity, kindness, empowerment
How many people are part of your team?
We are small but mighty! We have just a handful of full-time employees and a small army of interns that are the passionate hearts and souls behind the brand. We are so excited to be bringing on more passionate individuals onto our #ImpactSquad soon. You can learn more about our people, culture and careers on our Career Page and/or follow our team Instagram @YourEnrouTeam for an inside peek into our everyday!
Do you see Enrou expanding beyond just an e-commerce store?
Absolutely! We definitely want to be in brick-and-mortar, whether that means opening up a storefront or having a showroom in L.A. We value the importance of having a physical storefront and are bustling with ideas of how to get these incredible pieces in the hands of intentional shoppers like you! This is still a bit away, but we feel so lucky that these ideas could become a reality in the near future.