ML Dreams: AmyAnn Cadwell, Founder & Editor-In-Chief at The Good Trade, Los Angeles, CA
The Good Trade...where it's at. Beautiful design and curation, socially conscious resources for the ethical consumer, well written journalism, and really nice people to boot! What is not to love? Hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about their founder, AmyAnn, as much as we did. Add @thegoodtrade to your Instagram and blog feed today!
What is The Good Trade?
The Good Trade is an online publication based in Los Angeles, built on the fundamental idea that consumers are powerful and the dollars we spend each day are a vote for the world we want to live in. Our team envisions a world where ethically minded consumers vote with their everyday purchases for a world that is sustainable and free from forced labor.
Why did you start TGT?
The driving force in our work with The Good Trade is to start a meaningful conversation. We want to be a gathering place for a quickly growing collective of conscious consumers who aren’t afraid to use their voice and their wallet to question the way things are and seek a better way.
Your hubby is your co-founder ;) What is the biggest benefit that comes along with that?
Blake and I met working for the same company (my dad’s company - but that’s another story!) We worked in different departments but were tasked with creating a nonprofit subsidiary of the company that provided training and development seminars to local youth. We fell in love and although our lives and careers have turned many corners through the years, we haven’t stopped working together in some capacity. The biggest benefit has been in sharing an incredible passion for social justice and getting to do our small part - together.
If a stranger walked into your home would there be any clues that you are a conscious consumer?
If the stranger knew what they were looking for! ;) The immediate reaction might be that our lovely little (TINY) home of 400 sq feet is extremely small and minimally furnished. When it comes to our home and the things we fill our life with, we are in a constant search for quality over quantity. For us, ethical consumption not only about buying more conscious products, but also about buying less things in general and making the few purchases we do make really count in terms of ethics and durability.
When you went for your Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship, did you already have the vision for The Good Trade, or did it come while you were studying, or afterwards?
We had sold a previous publication when we moved to LA and were itching to start something again. The idea to cover conscious brands felt like the most obvious - and most inspiring choice for us at the time. The way the publication grew alongside my graduate work in Social Entrepreneurship was really symbiotic for us.
I read that you spent some time volunteering for the Nicaragua Initiative for Community Advancement. How was this experience?
Amazing! This was part of my graduate work for Pepperdine and it was incredibly expanding to work alongside entrepreneurs and social innovators from around the world. It makes my day to day job here so much more real and meaningful to me - as many of the ethical companies we feature on The Good Trade exist to empower men and women around the world by extending them the opportunity of entrepreneurship and fair trade work.
Do you sometimes find yourself paralyzed in making a purchase when/if you "know too much"?
Great question. I’m a total believer in small steps, in asking more questions, and in raising one’s voice. When it comes to our spending, we cannot underestimate the power of our little decisions to accumulate into something meaningful. Beginning to buy local or to grab a fairly traded coffee roast, these are all small but amazing steps. Where we go wrong is when we become paralyzed from transforming any part of our purchasing habits because we know we can’t transform them all.
What is your dream for The Good Trade 5 years from now?
We have some AMAZING people on our team right now and I’m thrilled to continue to grow our team so that we can grow the content we are providing for readers. Ultimately, we envision a world where consumers match their ethics and their spending to promote environmental sustainability and ethical labor practices and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to provide resources for those consumers!
All images courtesy of The Good Trade