The Goodshop Story

Hi, everyone.  This is JJ Ramberg, co-founder of Goodshop.  Thank you so much for writing about us on your website, blog, social media, and more!  I’ve given you some nuts and bolts about us below to include, as well as some more on my story and why I started this company!  I can also always be reached here.

The Nuts and Bolts of Goodshop:

  • Gumdrop by Goodshop is the easiest way to save money and help a cause!
  • It takes seconds to add to your browser. When you go to checkout at an online store, it finds the best coupon code and automatically applies it to your purchase!
  • And, you can sign up and pick a cause. Whenever you make a purchase, Goodshop donates to that cause on your behalf, at no cost to you!
  • To date, Goodshop has saved people more than $100 million and raised more than $12 million for good causes.
  • Gumdrop works with thousands of stores like Staples, 1800Flowers, Macys, Apple, Vistaprint, ToysRUs, and more!

 

And here is my story:

Why I started Goodshop.

Ice cream and fleece.  That’s where this all started.  When I was younger I remember being in awe of Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.  I’m sure the fact that I have a huge sweet tooth and love the outdoors had a little something to do with it, but what really made me love those companies was that they were the first socially responsible companies that I had ever heard of.  I just thought it was so amazing that these companies had products that I loved and had a social mission as well.

The seed was planted.

At some point, I knew I wanted to do something similar.  But, as with all things, it takes having an idea — and that took a little while. In the meanwhile, I became a journalist (working for NBC and then CNN), worked for microfinance organizations in Uganda and India (where I learned how a little support can make a big difference), worked for an internet company (Cooking.com) during the first dot-com boom and did what I could to support the causes close to my heart.

The idea finally came to me in the form of a conversation with my brother Ken — an entrepreneur who had started a company with my mom which they had sold.   We were talking about the success of the (RED) Campaign which partners with top brands, including Nike and Apple, to sell red-colored products to fund AIDS research and has now raised $465 million.  What if we could expand on that idea. What if we could do the same thing, but with virtually any product at any store and the shoppers could support whatever cause they wanted.

Just as we were working on launching the site, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.  I was still working for CNN at the time and as I spent my days really understanding how people’s lives were forever changed from that massive disaster, I knew that we needed to get our company up and running.  Our idea of allowing people to support causes with their everyday shopping could help all these people affected by Katrina, as well as support so many other organizations around the country and the world.

Now, we are eleven years in and we’ve raised more than $12 million that has gone to pay for health care needs, find homes for stray dogs, build wells — and so many other things.  But the company has changed — as companies do — and we now have a dual mission.  The second part is to help people save money, so we’ve focused on getting our users the easiest access to coupons for all the stores they shop at.  To date, we’ve saved people more than $100 million.

Through all of our growth, I still keep in touch with one woman named Paige.  Right after we started the company, she called me to see if she could use it to raise money for her son who had a life-threatening disease.  We put her campaign up on the site, and through Goodshop, she raised the money she needed to buy the plane ticket to get her son to the doctor who saved his life.  It’s the personal stories that make this business worth waking up for.

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