I continue to be astounded at both the support we continue to receive from our closest friends as well as complete strangers.  In only two weeks since launch, we’ve had numerous dealer inquiries and will be featured in a few print magazines too – possibly a fashion catalog magazine in Singapore (CATALOGMAGAZINE.COM)

But far and away, the most exciting news of the week is that we’ve been selected to speak at the 2nd Show & Tell PDX on May 22nd at SUBSTANCE and PINCH world headquarters in Portland.  We are one of only seven presenters selected.   The format is simple: I have 10 minutes to share something that explains “What am I working on?”  The last event featured designers, coders, Choffy and bacon entrepreneurs.

Why am I so excited?  Well, it’s our first opportunity to tell and sell the real idea to a very enlighted and erudite audience.  Where else but Portland, right?  Yes, we make some cool wallets and of course we should all care about recycling and social responsibility.  I will assume those as givens.   I’ve always said that Milkmuny is an idea first, a tribe second and company last.  I get 10 whole minutes to distill the little/BIG idea; how an unassuming simple paper carton that’s so readily discarded has the immense potential to feed Portland’s hungry, be a creator of jobs and be a fundraiser to some great non-profits and groups… But and also…  The challenges that go into collecting post consumer waste and converting it to a mass produced product of uncompromising function and beauty.

Oh yea… and why I did it at this time; when everyone else thinks the whole economy is going to hell-in-a-handbasket!  (See post below)

Hoping I don’t blow it, John

Optimism… get some!

Job Gains and Losses In 2009

Job Gains and Losses In 2009

What is ROI?

'The Quicky' recycled wallet

'The Quicky' recycled wallet

Want to learn about small business fast?  Then just start one!  Seriously people, go out, print some business cards and start living the dream!!!

I feel pretty compelled this week to share just how quickly we’ve started to see a return on our investment but I’m not talking about the financial return… That will probably be some time far down the road if ever.

We started Milkmuny for the educational return, and to spread the word and even a little money around to some very good causes.  And while I know we’ve just scratched the surface, I can’t believe what we’ve learned so far about ‘The Art of the Start‘ as Guy Kawasaki would call it.

10 quick things we have learned in only 3 months:

  1. That it IS possible to conceptualize and launch a new concept company in less than 100 days.
  2. How to make a small short film on your kitchen table with only a sharpie, some white paper and a Canon G9.
  3. That we know some incredible talent – all with hearts, generosity and a work ethic to match…  Jeremy Helms who built the whole website.  Dave Gurley who designed it.   Tyesha Snow is a UX extraordinaire. And then there’s Dr. Summy To… you can only wish you had a friend like her!
  4. Twitter and Facebook are incredible marketing tools.
  5. Google analytics and shopping cart software are both incredibly cool and scary at the same time.
  6. We have friends in the UK, Singapore and Taiwan!
  7. It’s not easy to get things to stick to wax coated paper board.
  8. but it IS POSSIBLE to create a product and company with a nearly ‘ZERO’ carbon footprint.
  9. That enthusiam and faith trump both money and talent when it comes to succeeding.
  10. And by the emails, Retweets, fans and orders, we’ve found that there are thousands of people out there that believe as strongly as we do in Milkmuny and the little big idea…

But the real and most important return on our investment would be the emotional one.  The gratitude of the people who work and depend on the Union Gospel Mission in Portland, where we make our weekly juice and milk deliveries,  is all we need to remind us of what a recycled paper carton wallet can do.  And it reminds me of a maxim I read just this last week in a book called ‘Gross National Happiness‘… “Money doesn’t buy happiness unless you give it to charity”

Get the Karma you need,



Well, we did it!  And in under 100 days I might add… we quietly launched in the wee hours this morning from our secret lair in Portland, Or.  Raising awareness, funds for charities, and the bar on corporate responsibility.

We hope you like this very different idea in design, sustainability and corporate responsibility.   And we hope you’ll buy a wallet too!

Peace, Team Milkmuny

Getting very close…

open or biz 4/27ish

open or biz 4/27ish

Well, we found out today that it will still be another couple of days before we can open the virtual doors. In the meantime, we will continue to ready the site, even add a few bells and whistles we thought might have to wait.

No worries… We got into this to learn and that’s exactly what we’re doing.  Today, for example, we learned that it’s a good idea to make sure your virtual merchant account has been authenticated well in advance of you intended launch.

We haven’t lost our enthusiasm either.  Success doesn’t come from winning every time.  It comes from getting up after setbacks.   Setbacks build our patience, teach us and make us work harder than we would have which can only make us stronger.  Success come when we rise after we fall….

How’d that sound?  Did I convince you?  Truth is I’m pissed but, hey, what am I going to but keep learning…

Thanks for your all the emails, tweets and especially your patience.  We’re getting there!

Sincerely, John in about 100 seconds

1% For The Planet

logo_vert_standard_color1The BIG launch is only days away now.  Jeremy and Dave have the website nearly complete, Pete has set up some excellent relationships with the local community kitchens and food banks and I just finished a small video that will explain the Little Big Idea all in under 100 seconds…

In addition to our fund raising concept, Milkmuny is proud to be pledging 1% of all sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.  We have reached out and are currently bringing on other benefactors as well – I will keep everyone posted as we forge these newer partnerships.

1% For The Planet is an alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the natural environment. They understand that profit and loss are directly linked to the health of our environment. In addition, these businesses are concerned with the social and environmental impacts of industry.

If you’re a business owner (or have any influence over your boss) please consider becoming a member of this socially and environmentally progressive group too! By contributing 1% of net annual sales to grass roots enviro groups, members of 1% For The Planet affect real change. And members receive other benefits: The satisfaction of paving the way for more corporate responsibility in the business community and the recognition, support and patronage of conscientious consumers who value serious commitment to the environment.

To learn more about 1% For The Planet, check out