Here’s a fantastic new shopping site that you should definitely check out. It’s called PatchworkRoad.Com, and it just launched yesterday.
There are certainly a lot of marketplaces out there that donate a portion of proceeds to charity. But right away this one feels very different. Instead of dumping you into a huge morass of affiliate links, Patchwork Road very carefully selects what products they offer. The products are high quality, unique, and in most cases are produced by merchants who themselves are entrepreneurs. While the presidential candidates endlessly debate who will help small businesses more, it’s sites like Patchwork Road that remind me that the real power to help small businesses (and ultimately this country’s economy) is by finding and buying great products.
The products are constantly changing, but already at launch I see some fantastic product ideas that can really make your life easier. There’s a clever diaper bag organizer by sugarSNAP that’ll let busy moms organize their diaper bags like a rolodex. There’s an ingenious iPad protector from Grip Sense that protects your iPad screen against drops, both by helping you get a good grip on it, as well as cushioning the blow should it fall out of your hands. And there are beautiful pieces of hand-made jewelry from 31 Bits Designs that not only help the charity of your choice, but also help the women of impoverished areas of Uganda who make them.
The products are all unique to Patchwork Road in one way or another; in some cases it’s a product specially designed for sale on their site, and in others the merchant has decided to pre-release it to Patchwork Road visitors prior to releasing it to the public. Many of the items are made-to-order. If you see something you like, grab it quick, as it’ll only be on the site a short time (the on-sale time will be listed by the product name).
What’s very cool is that at least 10% of every product’s price (in many cases more) will be donated to a cause that you choose. There are already over 30 causes and growing that you can support, ranking from helping the poor and homeless to helping victimes of domestic abuse and human trafficking, to helping the elderly. The biggest challenge will be choosing just one charity to support.
Patchwork Road was founded by two entrepreneurs in southern California. It would have been easy for these guys to create a startup that maximized profit for themselves, but they decided to give back, not just to the charities they’re helping, but also to the entrepreneurs who are creating unique and high quality products.
Here’s a great infographic about how Patchwork Road works, and what makes it unique versus other deal-of-the-day sites or charity marketplaces: